Xbox Series S and PlayStation 5 (PS5) are two new generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony, respectively. After months of leaks, Microsoft finally confirmed the existence of the S Series, formerly known as “Lockhart”. The entry version of the new generation of Xbox, it appears as a more considered alternative to Series X and possibly PS5, which has not yet had its price revealed.
For $299, Microsoft’s new videogame has a faster processor than PlayStation 5 and promises games up to 1440p resolution, while Sony’s rival can run at 4K. In the following comparison, see the Xbox Series S datasheet side by side with PlayStation 5 and understand its main differences.
Xbox Series S vs. PlayStation 5 Features
|Specifications||Xbox Series S||PlayStation 5|
|CPU||AMD Zen2 octa-core up to 3.8 GHz||AMD Zen2 octa-core up to 3.5 GHz|
|GPU||AMD Radeon 20 UCs at 1.56 GHz||AMD Radeon 36 UCs at 2.23 GHz|
|Computational performance||4 TFLOPS||10.28 TFLOPS|
|RAM memory||10 GB GDDR6||16 GB GDDR6|
|Storage||512 GB NVMe SSD, up to 4.8 GB / s||825 GB SSD, up to 9 GB / s|
|Disc player||No||Versions with or without Blu-Ray player|
The Xbox Series S has a minimalist and discreet design, with the same white finish that resembles the Xbox One S. The great highlight of the design is the fact that it is the smallest Xbox ever built. Microsoft also states that the console is 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X.
The PS5 design takes a different direction. Larger, the Sony console displays more eye-catching lines and has a LED that illuminates the curved contours of the casing. With a predominantly white finish, the reason for the PlayStation 5 to be larger may be the need for a robust cooling system.
The Xbox Series S processor is the same as the Xbox Series X: an AMD octa-core with speeds of 3.8 GHz using only the eight cores, or 3.66 GHz using the 16 execution lines (threads) supported by the CPU. The processor threads represent the number of run lines the chip offers. The 16 CPU threads of the S Series mean that the processor can perform 16 instructions at the same time.
On Sony’s side, the PS5 has a very similar processor. The console has an octa-core developed by AMD that also offers the possibility of 16 execution threads. The different feature on PlayStation is the speed. Although it can run at 3.5 GHz, the PS5’s CPU offers a variable clock system that oscillates the processor speed according to need.
As you can see, the S Series processor is even faster than the one used by Sony on the PS5. Although the difference is small, it can contribute to Series S having a greater ability to refresh the screen, achieving more stable frame rates per second.
The S Series is an input console and has lower graphics performance than PS5. While PlayStation is expected to run games in 4K native mode, the S Series offers more suitable hardware for games to play in Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) or Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels).
The Xbox S Series graphics processor (GPU) consists of a modified Radeon with 20 computing units (something like the GPU “cores” where graphics instructions are processed), and a speed of 1.56 GHz. Ultimately, this graphics card must deliver something close to 4 TFLOPS (teraflops) of raw computational performance.
The PS5 also uses a graphics card created by AMD. In the case of the Sony product, there are 36 computational units capable of running at speeds up to 2.23 GHz, something that results in maximum computational performance of 10.28 TFLOPS.
Discounting these differences in processing power, both consoles are expected to offer similar features, such as support for ray-tracing effects, and upscaling techniques. This approach allows a game to be synthesized at a lower resolution by the console but appears on the screen at a higher resolution. Also known as image reconstruction techniques, upscaling can enable both consoles to produce superior results than the raw power of hardware might suggest at first glance.
The scenarios are quite different in terms of RAM. Xbox has less memory, with a total of 10 GB of GDDR6 divided into two groups: 8GB high speed and 2 GB low. Also, S Series memory communicates with the processor at speeds of 224 GB/s for 8 GB and 56 GB/s for the remaining 2 GB.
On PS5 there are 16 GB of GDDR6 type RAM, of which 13.5 GB is free for use in games. According to Sony, all this memory exchanges information with the console processor at a speed of up to 448 GB/s (gigabytes per second).
The Microsoft console comes standard with a 512 GB SSD capacity. Like the X Series, the input Xbox has a slot for installing a removable SSD that can have up to 1 TB of space but needs to be purchased separately.
Like the more expensive brother, the S Series brings the benefits of technology that Microsoft calls Velocity architecture. This means loading games in the house of seconds or instantaneous switching between multiple games left open in the background.
The PS5, on the other hand, stands out in terms of storage. Sony’s console uses a custom 825GB SSD with read speeds of up to 9GB/sec. According to Microsoft, SSD Series read speeds can reach up to 4.8 GB/sec.
In Sony’s case, it is also possible to install an additional SSD to increase the capacity of the console. The PS5 accepts common PC NVMe SSDs, provided they are approved by Sony to ensure performance levels comparable to what the console requires.
Microsoft promises that all Series X games will have Series S compatible versions. According to the company, the input console is capable of offering the same experience as the big brother, only with smaller resolutions.
Besides the new games for Xbox, Series S is also naturally compatible with the entire Xbox One catalog since 2013. In addition to all these games, there are the games from Microsoft’s backward compatibility program, which offers games released for the first Xbox and Xbox 360.
From Sony’s side, the game library brings the new generation releases for PS5, but it is also capable of running PS4 games. So far, there is no confirmation that the new PlayStation supports PlayStation, PS2, and PS3 games.
Microsoft has already confirmed the values of its new consoles. The Xbox Series S should reach the market in November for $299 abroad. The Xbox Series X is more powerful and more expensive. The manufacturer reported that the top-rated Xbox lands in the market for $499.
To date, Sony has not released the PS5 prices. The most recurrent rumors revolve around values like $399 or the same $499 as Microsoft’s high-end.