Microsoft has today revealed the full hardware specification of the Xbox Series X as well as the proprietary cards allowing for its storage to be expanded.
Writing on Xbox Wire, editor in chief Will Turtle, shared what must be the most detailed pre-launch breakdown of a games console ever released. Most important of all, is the complete spec of the machine, which includes:
- AMD Custom Zen 2 CPU running at 3.8GHz (7nm 8-cores ,16 threads)
- AMD Custom RDNA 2 GPU running at 1.825GHz (3,382 shaders, 52 Compute Units)
- 16GB GDDR6 RAM
- 1TB custom NVMe SSD
- 4K UHD Blu-ray optical drive
Other features of note include support for external hard drives running over a USB 3.2 connection, but also a new, proprietary storage expansion card created in partnership with Seagate. Microsoft is set to make 1TB cards available initially, and they match the internal storage solution, meaning the same performance should be achieved. What we don’t know yet is how much the cards will cost or if larger cards are planned.
Microsoft points to the Digital Foundry video breaking down the hardware in detail, which goes into a lot more detail on all the components:
The Series X targets running games at 4K 60fps, but can achieve 120fps under the right conditions. Although DirectX ray tracing is being pushed as a core new feature, the biggest difference Series X brings over previous consoles (beyond a huge leap in performance), is how it handles loading and game assets.
Microsoft developed what it is calling the Xbox Velocity Architecture. It takes advantage of the SSD storage to offer optimized in-game asset streaming, which effectively means developers have instant access to 100GB of game assets at any time. It unlocks the potential for much larger environments, eliminates load times, and creates fast travel systems without gamers having to ensure a pause in gameplay.
Beyond what we’ve already heard from Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, the clear selling point for Xbox Series X is 4K gaming, but for games that are massive in terms of the environments you explore and without the long load times we’ve all had to endure for the past couple of hardware generations.