Xbox boss talks about Series X's "hardware advantages" over PS5

midian182

Posts: 5,780   +46
Staff member
A hot potato: For as long as there have been rival consoles, fans have argued over which is superior. And it’s not just owners; the developers also like to weigh in on the ‘mine’s more powerful’ debate. Following the recent PlayStation 5 reveal, the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, says he "felt good" after seeing what Sony had to offer, adding that the Xbox Series X has a “hardware advantage.”

As reported by VideoGamesChronicle, Spencer was asked about his reaction to the PS5 reveal during the Gamelab Live conference on Wednesday. “I watched the show, I thought they did a good job,” he said. Spencer even sent Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan a congratulatory note for PlayStation’s production of the event.

“As a competitor, it’s great to have them out there now so we kind of know what the program is, we see the device, we see the games,” he continued.

“Just being honest, I felt good after seeing their show. I think the hardware advantages that we have built are going to show up as we’re talking more about our games and frame rates and other things.”

The Xbox Series X and PS5 feature similar specs: eight-core custom Zen 2 CPUs, RDNA 2-based GPUs, 16GB GDDR6 memory, SSDs, up to 8K resolutions, and games that can hit 120 fps. Microsoft’s machine has the edge when it comes to total number of teraflops, offering 12.155 compared to the PlayStation 5’s 10.28, but Sony says its console runs at its full output consistently—there’s also that much-talked-about SSD. The PS5 might be cheaper, too, with Sony believing it will “emphasize value over price.”

Following the disappointing Xbox Series X gameplay reveal event in May, another showcase is taking place this month that is likely to center around Halo Infinite.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 2,901   +2,642
SSD storage is not the real story here.

Apparently both of these companies want to talk about how fast the SSD are but ultimately the only people who will be impressed by those SSD are console gamers who have never used computer SSD gaming before.

The real issue that Xbox is going to have is the IP. Sony tends to have better IP than Microsoft does on Xbox nowadays.

If there are no exclusive to make me buy a scarlet then PC gaming is all I need.

As far as "SSD" goes...I'm buying the Samsung 8TB QVO. Storage capacity is all I really care about - moreso than theoretical maximum transfer speed.
 
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Puiu

Posts: 3,912   +2,427
I doubt that a17% difference will be felt that much for multi-plat titles, we'll most likely see it used by first party titles. The problem Xbox has is that PS5 will most likely have more games or at least a bigger variety since Sony has a good stranglehold on asian devs (European devs also prefer PS).
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 53   +64
I feel the ps5’s storage speed is going to be the real differentiating factor between the two systems.

Xbox has gamepass, and a tiny bit more horsepower.

PS5 is allowing developers to reconfigure how they code games, in a good way, not a complicated ps3 cell processor way.
2TF difference on the same arc is a big difference. Same goes for the memory bandwidth difference and raytracing hardware difference.

The Xbox has a much more powerful GPU. Not a small number by any means.

But the PS5 still has a strong GPU and will produce awesome visuals.


The PS5 and XSX both have very fast SSDs. Huge jump from consoles in the past and both will allow for removing limitations in game design from slow game asset loading times. The PS5 by far has the faster SSD solution. This is not even debatable. Just doing very loose math, The PS5 can move 16GB of data into RAM in 3.2seconds with no compression. Compared to the XSX which would take 6.6seconds. PS5 is easily twice as quick when it comes to moving large sets of data. Now both are super quick, compared to a HDD that would take around 160 to 320seconds. And that is if the HDD doesn't have to do much for seeking. Normally a game can start before everything is loaded into RAM luckily, but we all know the PS4/XB1 don't load games very fast.

Will PS5's SSD advantage be very noticeable? Maybe. Will it be able to do things in games the XSX's SSD wouldnt be able to keep up with? Probably not. Latency between the two will be nearly identical, nearly zero. Which was always a problem with HDDs.

Most won't notice or care about the difference in GPU power. Just like most won't notice or care about the difference in SSD speed. Loading times between the two are going to differ in only a few seconds. Unless you have both consoles side by side. Who cares. Just like the GPU, unless you are analyzing FPS who cares if the game is running a higher FPS or higher internal res.

Get the system you want. I have always owned each and every console of every generation. I am not going to stop doing so.
 
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neeyik

Posts: 1,008   +971
Staff member
Apparently both of these companies want to talk about how fast the SSD are but ultimately the only people who will be impressed by those SSD are console gamers who have never used computer SSD gaming before.
There's more to it that just an SSD, as both consoles have dedicated hardware, instead of using the CPU, to decompress data after it's been pulled off the drive.

So game data will be compressed in its original format (I.e. during download, installation of a disc, and stored on the drive), remain compressed as its pulled off the drive, and then decompressed after the transfer.

This is all possible on a PC, of course, but there's no hardware solution for this, other than utilising the CPU to do it.

Also, both Microsoft and Sony have developed their own lossless compression algorithms (BCPack and Kraken) for texture (and possibly other data, but vertex/index/constants are already compressed).
 

Irata

Posts: 584   +752
TechSpot Elite
Do we even know all of both consoles‘ custom parts yet ? Some were mentioned like Tempest, SSD controllers but afaik no deep dive and this is what should set the consoles apart from each other from a technical perspective.

Also, when someone mentions „putting value over price“ I associate that with higher prices, but that may just be me.
 

Experimentongod

Posts: 302   +132
I love all the "subjective technical specs talk" I'm seeing online about next gen consoles. Guys just wait for these things to come out and let Digital Foundry do their jobs :D
 
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Rdmetz

Posts: 48   +16
I feel the ps5’s storage speed is going to be the real differentiating factor between the two systems.

Xbox has gamepass, and a tiny bit more horsepower.

PS5 is allowing developers to reconfigure how they code games, in a good way, not a complicated ps3 cell processor way.
Devs have already come out and said they are doing similar instant world teleporting on Xbox series x as well and though I know the ps5 drive is faster in this regard I think the only REAL upgrade that will end up mattering in regards to storage is it being exclusively NOT a hard drive that difference alone is what will enable most of this "next gen" experiences and though the ps5 may be almost 2x as fast in this area it will end up being a difference of a instead 1 sec loading you get 2 or the "instant" loading has to last just a bit longer before you get full control again. Stuff like that next to imperceptible differences. The games that end up cross platform I don't think I you'll ever see a situation where the ps5 version offers a superior experience because of this difference though I can wholeheartedly see the Xbox series x versions of games offering real significant resolution or (more importantly) fps increases that actually make playing the game on Xbox thee "superior" version.

Time will tell but it was pretty obvious before launch that ps4 was going to have better versions than Xbox one and then Xbox one x would offer better than ps4 pro and both ended up very much true for the most part. The same will happen here again and definitely expect the advertisements to push this VERY HARD.
 

fps4ever

Posts: 412   +400
I love all the "subjective technical specs talk" I'm seing online about next gen consoles. Guys just wait for these things to come out and let Digital Foundry do their jobs :D
Being allowed to basically program to bare metal and knowing most of the specs already these are both going to be some reaaaalllyyyy nice consoles!
 

Gypsygib

Posts: 63   +38
Did the Xbox Boss talk about hardware advantages or merely mention in the most general way possible that there were hardware advantages.

I read the entire article, didn't see any talking about hardware at all.
 

ColdDeck

Posts: 14   +7
I feel the ps5’s storage speed is going to be the real differentiating factor between the two systems.

Xbox has gamepass, and a tiny bit more horsepower.

PS5 is allowing developers to reconfigure how they code games, in a good way, not a complicated ps3 cell processor way.
Tiny bit more horsepower? That's like saying there's a tiny bit of horsepower difference between a 2060 and 2080. PS5 is allowing developers to reconfigure how they code games... isn't that kind of the point of a next generation??
 

Edster

Posts: 16   +13

I feel the ps5’s storage speed is going to be the real differentiating factor between the two systems.

Xbox has gamepass, and a tiny bit more horsepower.

PS5 is allowing developers to reconfigure how they code games, in a good way, not a complicated ps3 cell processor way.
Gamepass? This is the classic marketing BS that people get suckered into. Considering that gamepass is optional for devs to implement, and that the option is there for Devs to do it on the PS5, there is actually no meaningful difference apart from the fact Xbox gave a name to it and can claim the moral high ground.

I really have no idea who is talking truths when it comes to the horsepower consistency. I have watched YTer Austin Evans saying that MS can run at its max more consistently/long time, but he is a bit of a MS shill but one would hope he got his information from a source. Whereas here, Sony claims they can do it more consistently, and obviously they be shilling at themselves but surely the PS5 is not a tank without a good reason to be and cooing is good as any. Being able to run at their advertised top speed more frequently is as important of a factor as the top clock speed itself.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 900   +392
SSD storage is not the real story here.

Apparently both of these companies want to talk about how fast the SSD are but ultimately the only people who will be impressed by those SSD are console gamers who have never used computer SSD gaming before.

The real issue that Xbox is going to have is the IP. Sony tends to have better IP than Microsoft does on Xbox nowadays.

If there are no exclusive to make me buy a scarlet then PC gaming is all I need.

As far as "SSD" goes...I'm buying the Samsung 8TB QVO. Storage capacity is all I really care about - moreso than theoretical maximum transfer speed.
Xbox may do well, may not. Either way MS wins. Most of the Sony exclusives will be coming to pc so MS still wins.
I think both will do fine like they have been doing the past few yrs.
 

Bp968

Posts: 132   +89
I doubt that a17% difference will be felt that much for multi-plat titles, we'll most likely see it used by first party titles. The problem Xbox has is that PS5 will most likely have more games or at least a bigger variety since Sony has a good stranglehold on asian devs (European devs also prefer PS).
A 20% performance drop from 60fps is down to 48fps. Now, we know sony will carefully manage graphics settings and use framerate tricks to make sure it pegs at 60fps, but if you compared them both at the exact same settings with a game that pegged GPU usage the PS5 would run at 48fps when the xbox ran at 60 fps or 96fps when the xbox pegged 120fps.

Will it make a difference? Unlikely.

For a PC gamer the other poster is correct, the SSD hoopla with the PS5 is silly and we wont see a difference most likely. I havent seen any reason to buy either system as a PC gamer.

As for the exclusives, yes sony has a handful of exclusives on their systems but they exist only because sony is funding them. No one would make an exclusive today without the system vendor lining their pockets. So one thing seems to stand out with sony exclusives, their all single player (with the occasional coop). Personally I like SP games but what it means is if your primarily a FPS player or MP online player it doesn't matter which system you buy, your likely to be able to play online with all your friends anyway. Sony tried to force the big MP games from being crossplay compatible but we see how well that worked. For the big MP games user-base is king. Without a big userbase to draw from your game dies. So it was forced on Sony. And once the vast majority of major games are multiplatform/crossplay it won't matter which system you own, and those exclusives won't matter much (which I strongly believe is MSes play here. You play the game on windows or xbox they don't care which, its win win for them).

In fact, with Horizon Zero Dawn releasing for PC soon I am starting to wonder if Sony is contemplating switching to a "timed exclusive" format, at least for their partner studios. I suspect some actuaries are doing the math and saying "hey wait a second, exclusives are nice and all but we see 3x the sales numbers if we sell on PC and 4-5x the sales numbers if we sell on xbox!" So having a timed exclusive on Death Standing was vastly cheaper for Sony then a total exclusive would have cost them. Expect to see more of this in the future (especially with regards to PC releases since PC is less of a direct competitor to the PS4/5).

 

Bp968

Posts: 132   +89
Xbox may do well, may not. Either way MS wins. Most of the Sony exclusives will be coming to pc so MS still wins.
I think both will do fine like they have been doing the past few yrs.
Lol. I posted a book level comment up above and here you summed it up in a handful of sentences. Heh
 
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Tom Yum

Posts: 17   +24
Tiny bit more horsepower? That's like saying there's a tiny bit of horsepower difference between a 2060 and 2080. PS5 is allowing developers to reconfigure how they code games... isn't that kind of the point of a next generation??
That's quite the exaggeration, the 2060 has 1920 CUDA cores compared to 2944 for the 2080, 53% more processing power. The difference between PS5 and XBX1 is 12TFlops versus 10.2 TFlops on the same architecture, around 17%. Its more like the difference between 2070 and 2070 Super, which is measurable but won't lead to a significant difference in experience. Multiplats will likely be slightly better on XBX1 but no so badly that it will significantly sway console choice I think. It'll come down to exclusives, like in most generations, and that is something that Sony has traditionally done better with than MS (but every generation is a new opportunity).
 

Puiu

Posts: 3,912   +2,427
A 20% performance drop from 60fps is down to 48fps. Now, we know sony will carefully manage graphics settings and use framerate tricks to make sure it pegs at 60fps, but if you compared them both at the exact same settings with a game that pegged GPU usage the PS5 would run at 48fps when the xbox ran at 60 fps or 96fps when the xbox pegged 120fps.

Will it make a difference? Unlikely.

For a PC gamer the other poster is correct, the SSD hoopla with the PS5 is silly and we wont see a difference most likely. I havent seen any reason to buy either system as a PC gamer.

As for the exclusives, yes sony has a handful of exclusives on their systems but they exist only because sony is funding them. No one would make an exclusive today without the system vendor lining their pockets. So one thing seems to stand out with sony exclusives, their all single player (with the occasional coop). Personally I like SP games but what it means is if your primarily a FPS player or MP online player it doesn't matter which system you buy, your likely to be able to play online with all your friends anyway. Sony tried to force the big MP games from being crossplay compatible but we see how well that worked. For the big MP games user-base is king. Without a big userbase to draw from your game dies. So it was forced on Sony. And once the vast majority of major games are multiplatform/crossplay it won't matter which system you own, and those exclusives won't matter much (which I strongly believe is MSes play here. You play the game on windows or xbox they don't care which, its win win for them).

In fact, with Horizon Zero Dawn releasing for PC soon I am starting to wonder if Sony is contemplating switching to a "timed exclusive" format, at least for their partner studios. I suspect some actuaries are doing the math and saying "hey wait a second, exclusives are nice and all but we see 3x the sales numbers if we sell on PC and 4-5x the sales numbers if we sell on xbox!" So having a timed exclusive on Death Standing was vastly cheaper for Sony then a total exclusive would have cost them. Expect to see more of this in the future (especially with regards to PC releases since PC is less of a direct competitor to the PS4/5).
We'll not see 48 FPS vs 60 FPS. Games will just have a harder time holding a locked 60FPS. We'll see more aggressive optimisations on PS in some titles (like dynamic resolutions going slightly lower).

As for 120 FPS, beyond some small indie games it doesn't make any sense for big budget games to target that FPS. This generation of consoles will still target 30/60FPS with more of them hitting native 4K.
 

ColdDeck

Posts: 14   +7
That's quite the exaggeration, the 2060 has 1920 CUDA cores compared to 2944 for the 2080, 53% more processing power. The difference between PS5 and XBX1 is 12TFlops versus 10.2 TFlops on the same architecture, around 17%. Its more like the difference between 2070 and 2070 Super, which is measurable but won't lead to a significant difference in experience. Multiplats will likely be slightly better on XBX1 but no so badly that it will significantly sway console choice I think. It'll come down to exclusives, like in most generations, and that is something that Sony has traditionally done better with than MS (but every generation is a new opportunity).
That 10.2 number is bull. Look at the number of cu difference, xbox will have something like 50% more cores. So yes its like jumping from a 2060 to 2080. Yes its top speed is lower than PS5s, but its unlikely ps5 will run at its top speed during real gameplay. 2150 mhz is not easy to run at, will require higher cooling req more power req so any power savings by going smaller die is nullified by the need for more voltage due to needing high clocks. Maybe itll run 2ghz? Maybe im wrong maybe rdna2 runs up to 2.3 so finding chips that do 2150mhz at low volts will be easy..
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,008   +971
Staff member
That 10.2 number is bull. Look at the number of cu difference, xbox will have something like 50% more cores.
The 10.2 figure is given by Sony themselves. The GPU in the PS5 is a 36CU (2304 SP, 144 TMU, 64 ROP) chip, with a peak clock of 2233 MHz; the version in the XBSX is a 52 CU unit (3328 SP, 208 TMU, 80 ROP) clocked to a max of 1825 MHz.

The FP32 throughput is calculated via clock x SP count x 2:

PS4 = 2233 x 2304 x 2 = 10.289 TFLOPs
XBSX = 1825 x 3328 x 2 = 12.147 TFLOPs

So that's a difference of 18% in favour of the XBox. Other figures have the following differences:

Pixel rate
PS5 = 142.9 Gpixels/s
XBSX = 146.0 Gpixels/s

Texture rate
PS5 = 321.6 Gtexels/s
XBSX = 379.6 Gtexels/s

So yes, all these figures are based on values that Microsoft and Sony are claiming, especially the clock speeds. Whether or not they hit such targets on release is indeed another matter. However, there's a good chance that both will hit such targets in specific tasks.
 
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ColdDeck

Posts: 14   +7
Given by sony under what conditions? Thats peak at that clock. Yes it can clock up to 2233. But for how long? I find it hard to believe it will run at even 2.150ghz sustained. With a 5700xt you need water cooling and over 200w power limit to hit >2200 sustained without throttling. But yes maybe the process and architecture improvements allow ps5 to run at 2233 at all times... Smh...
 
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neeyik

Posts: 1,008   +971
Staff member
Sure, Sony haven't fully quantified the operational parameters for those clock speeds, but at least we know the PS5 GPU isn't an RX 5700 XT - it's an updated architecture, and it has fewer CUs (although without knowing what exactly AMD have added to the structure, 4 fewer CUs might not mean anything). The fact that Microsoft are claiming a clock speed 18% lower than the PS5's GPU, but for a 44% larger chip, does lend some support to Sony's claims.
 
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Puiu

Posts: 3,912   +2,427
That 10.2 number is bull. Look at the number of cu difference, xbox will have something like 50% more cores. So yes its like jumping from a 2060 to 2080. Yes its top speed is lower than PS5s, but its unlikely ps5 will run at its top speed during real gameplay. 2150 mhz is not easy to run at, will require higher cooling req more power req so any power savings by going smaller die is nullified by the need for more voltage due to needing high clocks. Maybe itll run 2ghz? Maybe im wrong maybe rdna2 runs up to 2.3 so finding chips that do 2150mhz at low volts will be easy..
Until we see the console and test it we have no reason to assume that it can't sustain those clock speeds when the game needs it, especially when we look at the massive vents it has.

For the power usage, all we know so far is that AMD said RDNA2 will have 50% better perf/W vs RDNA, but this could just be marketing speak and not real.

Have you seen the size of the console? It's massive and this implies a large cooling solution too.

As for the number of cores vs clocks speeds, some engines like more cores, others like higher clocks. There are many factors when trying to find bottlenecks.