Microsoft Xbox Series X
The Series X has acres of power to offer, and it’s smooth and quiet in use, although its undeniable bulk makes it difficult to handle. However, this is Microsoft’s primary operating system for now.Goodness
- High energy
- Very good connection in the back
- 4K games
Microsoft Xbox Series S
Choosing a budget
Xbox Series S may be small and underpowered, but as a budget option it’s hard to beat, and you can get the same games at a lower resolution – a good deal that opens this generation up a lot.Goodness
- A great price
- Small feet
- All the same games
- The Xbox Series X is the most powerful and ultimate console, offering the best in terms of design and performance.
- The Xbox Series S is a more affordable option with a lower resolution and half the storage space, making it ideal for those with a smaller budget or without a 4K TV.
- Both consoles have features in common such as load times, compatibility with Xbox One accessories, and support for Xbox Game Pass, which make them both compelling.
One is a powerful gaming machine, with PC-like features, the other is a more affordable option. So which one should you save?
We’ve put together a handy guide to help you choose the next Xbox model that’s right for you.
Price, specifications and availability
A few years into their generation, both the Xbox Series S and Series X are now widely available and easy to find in retailers, which took a long time to become the norm. We are still far from the new consoles of Xbox, although the new version of the black Series S will be launched later in 2023, with double storage at 1TB, which is an interesting change.
You can also buy a console on Xbox All Access for a monthly fee. It includes the console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for a low monthly price. See all the details here.
Microsoft Xbox Series S Microsoft Xbox Series X Processing Power 4 EDUCATION 12 EDUCATION Storage 512GB internal SSD 1TB internal SSD CPU 3.6 GHz 3.8 GHz Dimensions 275 x 150 x 64 mm 301 x 151 x 151 mm Weight 1.9kg per 4.5kg per Ram 10GB GDDR6 16GB GDDR6 Screen Changer 1440p 4K
Perhaps surprisingly, the two next-generation consoles from Xbox don’t look the same.
The Xbox Series X is a sleek beast of a machine, designed to stand upright – but can also lie horizontally – and is only available in black with green slots above the grille.
The Series S, meanwhile, looks a lot like the original Xbox One S – it has a matching grille at the top (when it’s horizontal). Xbox has chosen to make the grille black and the console white, however, which makes it look like a loudspeaker when it’s positioned on its end.
Processing and images
Both the Xbox Series X and Series S are powered by an eight-core AMD Zen 2 processor, but the Series X CPU runs at 3.8GHz core (3.6GHz with multiple threads) and the Series S at 3.6GHz (3.4GHz with multiple threads).
They differ greatly in graphics processing, with the Series X sporting 12 TFLOPS (52CUs at 1.825GHz) of RDNA 2 graphics power. The Series S will have 4 TFLOPS (20CUs at 1.565GHz) of RDNA 2 graphics.
The amount of RAM also varies across systems. The flagship model has 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, while its stablemate has 10GB.
Ray’s investigation it’s supported by both, but while the Series X can run games on a 4K display, the Series S is effectively locked down to 1440p for gaming. Both consoles run games at 60fps natively, although they can go up to 120fps, often by lowering the resolution.
Although it is much lower, Series S supports refresh rates (VRR) and shading, like its brother.
In terms of storage, they all have a fast SSD and all the other capabilities that hard-state drives (SSD) can offer. Each supports Xbox’s fast resume, which can pause six or more games at once, allowing users to pick up where they left off or switch between them.
The Series X comes with an internal 1TB SSD, plus USB 3.1 support.
In comparison, the Series S has a smaller 512GB SSD to keep the price down. This gives faster loading times and more, but consider that most games these days are between 80-100GB in size so they load very quickly.
Both consoles have a large slot for an additional, fixed drive – the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X/S – which acts as an internal SSD, supports all of the next-generation features and provides fast recovery.
Both consoles support external USB 3.0 drives (and above) – although they won’t work with internal download times/storage or enhance any Xbox Series X/S game optimizations. It is used well, therefore, to save Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.
You can have three external hard drives connected at the same time.
- Both consoles: 1x AA-battery powered controller included
- Both consoles: Also compatible with Xbox One controllers
The new Xbox Wireless Controller that comes with the Xbox Series X and the one with the Series S isn’t different – it’s a different model. You can find out more about the new gamepad here: Xbox Series X controller: Everything you need to know.
It is also available for purchase separately and works with Xbox One consoles.
All Xbox One controllers also work with both consoles.
Games and accessories
- Both consoles: Back compatible with Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games
- Both consoles: Also compatible with all Xbox One devices
Almost all Xbox games – be it Xbox One, original Xbox or Xbox 360 – will work on the entire family of consoles. The only remaining ones will be those that require Kinect.
This includes the Series X and Series S, with great gaming and other platform capabilities coming under the banner of “Optimized for Xbox Series X/S“.
Microsoft game library subscription service, Xbox Game Passavailable on both Series S and X, and EA Play and Cloud Games it’s also part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, making for a very compelling subscription service.
All Xbox One devices and headsets will work on the new game.
- Both consoles: Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), HDR (high dynamic range), Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos
- Xbox Series X: 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray drive
- Xbox Series S: No drive, only digital
There is no physical disk drive on the Series S. The Series X (like the existing One X and One S) plays 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray for games and video playback alike.
Both support HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, for videos and games. However, Dolby Vision does not work during 4K Blu-ray playback.
Which one is best for you?
It makes sense for Microsoft to have two consoles, at two prices, as it has done in the past. However, after reviewing both – and Series X hereand Series S here – our feeling is the X is a true next-generation powerhouse, with plenty of storage, firing on all cylinders when it gets the chance.
Microsoft Xbox Series X
The default choice if your budget stretches, the Series X will sport the best options and best performance.
The Series S, meanwhile, has its place and is a very good machine for the money, but its elimination with half the storage space can be confusing.
Microsoft Xbox Series S
The second best option, the Series S is perfect for those with a small budget or those who don’t use a 4K TV, with lower resolutions for the same game.