Monday, March 16th 2020

Complete Hardware Specs Sheet of Xbox Series X Revealed

Microsoft just put out of the complete hardware specs-sheet of its next-generation Xbox Series X entertainment system. The list of hardware can go toe to toe with any modern gaming desktop, and even at its production scale, we're not sure if Microsoft can break-even at around $500, possibly counting on game and DLC sales to recover some of the costs and turn a profit. To begin with the semi-custom SoC at the heart of the beast, Microsoft partnered with AMD to deploy its current-generation "Zen 2" x86-64 CPU cores. Microsoft confirmed that the SoC will be built on the 7 nm "enhanced" process (very likely TSMC N7P). Its die-size is 360.45 mm².

The chip packs 8 "Zen 2" cores, with SMT enabling 16 logical processors, a humongous step up from the 8-core "Jaguar enhanced" CPU driving the Xbox One X. CPU clock speeds are somewhat vague. It points to 3.80 GHz nominal and 3.66 GHz with SMT enabled. Perhaps the console can toggle SMT somehow (possibly depending on whether a game requests it). There's no word on the CPU's cache sizes.
The graphics processor is another key component of the SoC given its lofty design goal of being able to game at 4K UHD with real-time ray-tracing. This GPU is based on AMD's upcoming RDNA2 graphics architecture, which is a step up from "Navi" (RDNA), in featuring real-time ray-tracing hardware optimized for DXR 1.1 and support for variable-rate shading (VRS). The GPU features 52 compute units (3,328 stream processors provided each CU has 64 stream processors in RDNA2). The GPU ticks at an engine clock speed of up to 1825 MHz, and has a peak compute throughput of 12 TFLOPs (not counting CPU). The display engine supports resolutions of up to 8K, even though the console's own performance targets at 4K at 60 frames per second, and up to 120 FPS. Variable refresh-rate is supported.

The memory subsystem is similar to what we reported earlier today - a 320-bit GDDR6 memory interface holding 16 GB of memory (mixed chip densities). It's becoming clear that Microsoft isn't implementing a hUMA common memory pool approach. 10 GB of the 16 GB runs at 560 GB/s bandwidth, while 6 GB of it runs at 336 GB/s. Storage is another area that's receiving big hardware uplifts: the Xbox Series X features a 1 TB NVMe SSD with 2400 MB/s peak sequential transfer rate, and an option for an additional 1 TB NVMe storage through an expansion module. External storage devices are supported, too, over 10 Gbps USB 3.2 gen 2. The console is confirmed to feature a Blu-ray drive that supports 4K UHD Blu-ray playback. All these hardware specs combine toward what Microsoft calls the "Xbox Velocity Architecture." Microsoft is also working toward improving the input latency of its game controllers.
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128 Comments on Complete Hardware Specs Sheet of Xbox Series X Revealed

#76
notb
ratirt
Ray tracing again? Guys, Full ray tracing with all it really should do is not happening for few years at least.
I don't understand why you're so clung to "full ray tracing".
Most 3D games aren't fully 3D. Doesn't that bother you? :P
Posted on Reply
#77
ratirt
notb
I don't understand why you're so clung to "full ray tracing".
Most 3D games aren't fully 3D. Doesn't that bother you? :p
Because there is more than just shadows or lightning etc. there's the entire environment. If you want (as other claim) full realism you can't focus on one thing.
Yeah well 3d is not full 3D just as RT is not full RT.
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#78
notb
ratirt
Because there is more than just shadows or lightning etc. there's the entire environment. If you want (as other claim) full realism you can't focus on one thing.
Yeah well 3d is not full 3D just as RT is not full RT.
Full 4K RT render of a complex model takes a lot of time... on rendering clusters. You may not live long enough to play a game rendered in the same way movies are rendered in 2020.
More importantly, you'd never benefit. Gaming is elusive. You'd never notice if the remote tree is rendered with RT or not.

Also, I'm not sure why I'd want full realism. We're talking about games. You're like those people who say "but if someone falling from a building was caught by Superman right above the ground, he would die anyway". :)
Clearly it hasn't happend yet, but at some point you'll notice that some things in games are unrealistic and they should stay like that. For example: laser weapons, all kinds of energy fields etc. You can't ray trace them. :)

The significant gain is that already today you can have properly rendered shadows of the objects you focus on: your character / vehicle, faces of NPCs, objects that you interact with etc.
I get this may not be important for you, but guess what: it's gaming. It's not that important in general.

Anyway, this topic is not about RTRT so lets leave it here. Plus, I'm really bored by these discussions by now. I'm glad some graduated from "RT will never work" to "but this is not full RT".
At the same time I'm rather shocked that some still have no clue how ray tracing works - it's such a simple, intuitive idea (compared to pixel shaders etc).
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#79
ratirt
notb
Full 4K RT render of a complex model takes a lot of time... on rendering clusters. You may not live long enough to play a game rendered in the same way movies are rendered in 2020.
More importantly, you'd never benefit. Gaming is elusive. You'd never notice if the remote tree is rendered with RT or not.

Also, I'm not sure why I'd want full realism. We're talking about games. You're like those people who say "but if someone falling from a building was caught by Superman right above the ground, he would die anyway". :)
Clearly it hasn't happend yet, but at some point you'll notice that some things in games are unrealistic and they should stay like that. For example: laser weapons, all kinds of energy fields etc. You can't ray trace them. :)

The significant gain is that already today you can have properly rendered shadows of the objects you focus on: your character / vehicle, faces of NPCs, objects that you interact with etc.
I get this may not be important for you, but guess what: it's gaming. It's not that important in general.

Anyway, this topic is not about RTRT so lets leave it here. Plus, I'm really bored by these discussions by now. I'm glad some graduated from "RT will never work" to "but this is not full RT".
At the same time I'm rather shocked that some still have no clue how ray tracing works - it's such a simple, intuitive idea (compared to pixel shaders etc).
To summarize, I don't need RT that much as of now. Thanks :)
I am bored too so lets leave it as is.
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#80
Rahnak
Tsukiyomi91
This is the first time that consoles actually closes the gap with the PC. it's not like consoles is gonna decimate the PC market space anytime soon or it's going to destroy Nvidia's RTX series of GPUs just because next gen consoles have RT baked into the SoC. I see this as something to look forward to than rejecting/hating it outright.
I just watched the DF video and I'm very, very impressed by the XSX. Especially at the part where they showed a 2 week port of Gears 5 running at the equivalent PC 4K Ultra settings which by DF's testing was pretty close to the performance you would get out of a 3.6Ghz locked 3700X and a RTX 2080. For a system that's going to cost 500 to 600 €/$ that's shaping up to be incredible value.
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#81
Tsukiyomi91
@Rahnak that's very impressive. =O My only gripe here is the majority of games that's on XSX might ship to Windows unless there are some upcoming titles being "exclusive" to the console only.
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#82
ppn
Rahnak
I just watched the DF video and I'm very, very impressed by the XSX. Especially at the part where they showed a 2 week port of Gears 5 running at the equivalent PC 4K Ultra settings which by DF's testing was pretty close to the performance you would get out of a 3.6Ghz locked 3700X and a RTX 2080. For a system that's going to cost 500 to 600 €/$ that's shaping up to be incredible value.
and 16GB of Ram... Should have 20GB at least. 10 Fast and 10 Slow., I would say 24GB of 384bit memory and 3840 Cores, but obviously too expensive. But not having at least another 4GB could be a problem in the future. also non M.2 nVME, to expand to 4TB on the cheap in 2 years.
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#83
Rahnak
@Tsukiyomi91 Microsoft is done with exclusives in the traditional sense. They see xbox as a platform/service rather than a console. So yeah, this isn't for those of us that already have gaming PCs, we already have xbox in Win10. This is for people that have a smaller budget, or just want a couch gaming experience in a more compact/cheaper form factor.

@ppn You can't think of the memory in the XSX like you do for your PC or even the current consoles. The 10gb of fast memory is for the GPU, 2.5GB of the slower is reserved for OS and the remaining is for audio and other stuff (you can watch DFs video on that). And there will be a lot more loading from disk than before because they're so much faster now. So yeah, it's going to be a whole new way of doing things. I wonder if PC is going to be somewhat holding games back now rather than consoles, since not everyone has nvme ssds.

Oh and Sony just announced they're releasing PS5 system details tomorrow. Can't wait to see how they compare.
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#84
Valantar
ppn
and 16GB of Ram... Should have 20GB at least. 10 Fast and 10 Slow., I would say 24GB of 384bit memory and 3840 Cores, but obviously too expensive. But not having at least another 4GB could be a problem in the future. also non M.2 nVME, to expand to 4TB on the cheap in 2 years.
16GB is in no way a limitation for a console like this. Period. Even with 2.5GB reserved for the OS there is plenty of memory there, especially when you add on their new texture streaming methods that cuts down on loading of unused textures (DF video explains this; apparently only about 1/3 of loaded texture data is actually ever displayed) and that the entire NVMe drive is directly accessible by both CPU and GPU (slower than RAM, obviously, but much faster than SSD->RAM). There's no reason whatsoever to expect this console to run out of memory in its lifespan.



As for all of you people arguing about RT: please stop. Yes, there are very few games making any use of RT whatsoever currently. No, it's not currently possible (nor will it be in the foreseeable future) to do full RTRT of even somewhat photorealistic games. That doesn't change the fact that RT makes realistic lighting, shadows, reflections etc. much easier to implement (rather than the two+ decades of jerry-rigged hacks currently used and bogging down game development pipelines massively (while looking okay at best, terrible at worst)) and that next-gen consoles will be entirely capable of this. As for adoption, this new generation of consoles will ensure that RT lighting and reflections will be pretty much everywhere in the next couple of years - and due to RT being easier to implement than a stack of hacks and tricks in a rasterized lighting scheme it will likely spread into smaller games rather quickly once there's a significant install base. Is there a performance penalty? Absolutely. Is it necessary? Of course not. Neither is ambient occlusion, bloom, god rays, water transparency, volumetric lighting, anti-aliasing, etc., etc., etc. It's just that all these things make games look better - and better looking games are often (though obviously reliant on the quality of other aspects of the game) a boon in the immersion and other experiential parts of a game. Playing Rocket League, Overwatch or LoL in greyscale with simplified world and character designs would obviously make those games worse games, regardless if gameplay was otherwise unchanged.

Now, was RT a must-have for the first year of RTX market availability? No. The second year? No. The third? Not likely, but that depends on how long you keep your hardware for. I've kept my current GPU for going on five years now, and haven't truly decided to replace it until this year, which obviously means that my next GPU (which I want to last as long) really, really ought not to lack a rather crucial feature like this. Similarly, consoles last for 5-7 years minimum, so as such not having RT at this point is going to be an issue if the gaming world otherwise adopts it.

So let's stop bickering over this silly nonsense, please. For non-RT games we don't lose anything in terms of performance, and what has been demonstrated is that this console does a bang-up job in automatically improving legacy titles whether they are XBone, 360 or OG Xbox titles. Higher frame rates, higher resolution, increased fidelity, etc. - it's all there, and it doesn't suffer from there also being an option to have RT lighting and reflections in upcoming games.
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#85
dirtyferret
notb
Maybe it's a totally new strategy? Building up the lineup instead of replacing?
I mean: if new games work on both Xbox One and Series, there's really no need to replace what they have. They're offering a new model above those existing - with prices shifting over time to make room for another gen.
Maybe, time will only tell if that strategy works.

Tsukiyomi91
This is the first time that consoles actually closes the gap with the PC. it's not like consoles is gonna decimate the PC market space anytime soon or it's going to destroy Nvidia's RTX series of GPUs just because next gen consoles have RT baked into the SoC. I see this as something to look forward to than rejecting/hating it outright.
Original Playstation was as good or better then anything 3dfx had at the time for consumers so not the first time consoles closed the gap.
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#86
milewski1015
Od1sseas
"Barely makes a difference". Lmfao. People said same shit like that when tessellation first appeared and now look how important it is for games to look realistic. Educate yourself. Ray Tracing is the future and the difference is noticable.
I'm not arguing that RT isn't the way of the future - as the technology and hardware improves it will no doubt eventually become standard in just about every game. As for whether the difference is noticeable, personally I have a hard time differentiating the more subtle implementations unless there's a side by side comparison. Maybe that's because I mainly play fast-paced competitive games and would happily turn down graphics settings for increased frame rates. Similarly, I likely wouldn't take a significant performance hit for a touch more photo-realism. As @Valantar said, at this point in time, the list of games supporting RT is small, and it isn't currently a necessary feature. Point being, I didn't base my GPU decision on RTX.

My gripe was with @dicktracy calling the 5700XT obsolete tech. Just because the RTX cards were released doesn't mean people aren't still buying used 1080s/1080Tis. What's to say AMD won't bring RT support to the 5700 series like Nvidia did with Pascal? The 5700 XT is far from a paperweight - even if it doesn't get RT support, the performance is solid and it will continue to deliver such at least for a few years. I can live without RT until another upgrade
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#87
Darmok N Jalad
Rahnak
@Tsukiyomi91 Microsoft is done with exclusives in the traditional sense. They see xbox as a platform/service rather than a console. So yeah, this isn't for those of us that already have gaming PCs, we already have xbox in Win10. This is for people that have a smaller budget, or just want a couch gaming experience in a more compact/cheaper form factor.

@ppn You can't think of the memory in the XSX like you do for your PC or even the current consoles. The 10gb of fast memory is for the GPU, 2.5GB of the slower is reserved for OS and the remaining is for audio and other stuff (you can watch DFs video on that). And there will be a lot more loading from disk than before because they're so much faster now. So yeah, it's going to be a whole new way of doing things. I wonder if PC is going to be somewhat holding games back now rather than consoles, since not everyone has nvme ssds.

Oh and Sony just announced they're releasing PS5 system details tomorrow. Can't wait to see how they compare.
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I suspect PS5 will be very similar to XSX. I’m mainly curious if Sony will keep the storage upgrade option open to the customer.
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#88
Valantar
Darmok N Jalad
I suspect PS5 will be very similar to XSX. I’m mainly curious if Sony will keep the storage upgrade option open to the customer.
While I would like that, I can only imagine the horror of the average console user trying to install (even a simplified) m.2 drive. Hello bent pins, trashed sockets and torn-off SMD's!
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#89
gamefoo21
Super XP
Different specs different shell both powered by AMD.
Seems people don't understand that AMD CPUs and GPUs drive both the Xbox One and PS4 already.
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#90
kapone32
gamefoo21
Seems people don't understand that AMD CPUs and GPUs drive both the Xbox One and PS4 already.
Yes but they have different specs.
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#91
Darmok N Jalad
Valantar
While I would like that, I can only imagine the horror of the average console user trying to install (even a simplified) m.2 drive. Hello bent pins, trashed sockets and torn-off SMD's!
Maybe they will have a drive sled like they did with PS3 and PS4. Sounds like MS will just sell upgrade modules, kinda like in the 360 days.
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#92
Valantar
Darmok N Jalad
Maybe they will have a drive sled like they did with PS3 and PS4. Sounds like MS will just sell upgrade modules, kinda like in the 360 days.
You can also use USB storage, though only for XBone/360/OGXB games or "cold storage" of XSX games (need to load them onto the SSD from what I understand).

Still, a sled is ... not really suitable for m.2. 2.5" drives are (largely for HDDs, entirely for SSDs) encased in a protective shell, and have screw points for easy mounting of a sled, while an m.2 drive is an entirely exposed piece of hardware with the only form of retention being the socket + a single screw. They could always make a more advanced sled with a socket adapter to something more slot-in friendly, but you'd still need people to mount the drive into the carrier then, with the same risk of breakage of both the socket and the drive. Or sell drives pre-mounted into sleds, which is essentially what MS is doing. I just really hope the MS standard is open and not only Seagate gets to make drives. That would suck.
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#93
gamefoo21
kapone32
Yes but they have different specs.
Isn't that the point...

If PS4 and Xbone are different...

Why does anyone think PS5 and the Series X will be the same?
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#94
rvalencia
Valantar
That's a misunderstanding. It has the equivalent of 25TF if the RTRT was done purely in shaders. The RTRT hardware can't do regular shader workloads, and thus does not translate back into FP32 TFLOPS.
RT cores can use in RT related audio, collision physics, graphics and BVH search tree/intersect test(fancy branch) applications.
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#95
Valantar
rvalencia
RT cores can use in RT related audio, collision physics, graphics and BVH search tree/intersect test(fancy branch) applications.
Yes? None of that is a general GPU shader workload (even if they all can be performed (much slower) on shader cores). Just like a video decode block can decode video as fast as (or even faster than) a high-end CPU doesn't mean that power is translatable back to general CPU tasks - quite the opposite. All you're saying is "RT hardware can perform RT workloads", which ... well, one would certainly hope so. Saying the XSX has 25TF of compute power is flat out false. Saying it has the equivalent of 25 TF of compute power if RT workloads is counted as if they were done on shader cores is true. Those two statements are very clearly not the same.
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#96
Jism
How clever they have 'adressed' the console's memory. Using like 6GB for the system as in slower speeds; i.e less chips, and 10GB for the GPU with higher speed (more chips).

Appearantly they can use GDDR6 as a mixed CPU/GPU memory architecture. How does it cope against traditional DDR4?

As for the chip; it does seem to look like a 2700X or so; 16 threads are'nt even needed in various games as 6 up most would be the most ideal situation.
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#97
Darmok N Jalad
gamefoo21
Isn't that the point...

If PS4 and Xbone are different...

Why does anyone think PS5 and the Series X will be the same?
Hardware specs are one thing, interface, first party exclusives, and development kits are another. AMD is still the primary provider of both consoles, so the range of what they can offer can only go so far. Will specs be identical? Not likely, but I don’t suspect it will be much more different than PS4 Pro vs XboxOne X was. As long as they are close, the differences won’t matter. I would almost suspect that the big name developers have a fair amount of influence on the hardware specs, as so many titles are cross platform. They probably don’t want the differences to be so great that it causes them more work to go cross-platform.

I guess I’ll be really surprised if PS5 blows XSX away. Do we really think AMD has that much more to give? These already have bigger GPUs than what you can get from AMD for your PC. I wonder if the weird memory layout was AMDs idea in the first place.
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#98
gamefoo21
Darmok N Jalad
Hardware specs are one thing, interface, first party exclusives, and development kits are another. AMD is still the primary provider of both consoles, so the range of what they can offer can only go so far. Will specs be identical? Not likely, but I don’t suspect it will be much more different than PS4 Pro vs XboxOne X was. As long as they are close, the differences won’t matter. I would almost suspect that the big name developers have a fair amount of influence on the hardware specs, as so many titles are cross platform. They probably don’t want the differences to be so great that it causes them more work to go cross-platform.

I guess I’ll be really surprised if PS5 blows XSX away. Do we really think AMD has that much more to give? These already have bigger GPUs than what you can get from AMD for your PC. I wonder if the weird memory layout was AMDs idea in the first place.
The specs are out and they show differences in design and the likely impact of performance.

The PS5 is likely going to be slower, but it's going to have the faster NVME drive, but it'll be more energy efficient.

That's ironically not exactly true but not wrong about AMD and it's history. The One X GPU was definitely bigger and badder than anything Polaris but smaller than Vega. Even the new GPU is definitely bigger and badder than Navi but what's interesting is that it's not just a tuned up Vega 44 like last time, it's very likely RDNA 2, which is smaller than Arcturus, which will likely get pulled into the consumer market like Vega 10 and 20. Soo...

Back on topic...

PS5 GPU: 36CUs, up to 2.26Ghz, up to 10.28TFLOPS, 256bit gddr6 memory

XsX GPU: 52CUs, 1.82Ghz, 12TFLOPS, 320bit gddr6 memory

That's quite a bit of variablity for a single manufacturer.
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#99
Valantar
gamefoo21
The specs are out and they show differences in design and the likely impact of performance.

The PS5 is likely going to be slower, but it's going to have the faster NVME drive, but it'll be more energy efficient.

That's ironically not exactly true but not wrong about AMD and it's history. The One X GPU was definitely bigger and badder than anything Polaris but smaller than Vega. Even the new GPU is definitely bigger and badder than Navi but what's interesting is that it's not just a tuned up Vega 44 like last time, it's very likely RDNA 2, which is smaller than Arcturus, which will likely get pulled into the consumer market like Vega 10 and 20. Soo...

Back on topic...

PS5 GPU: 36CUs, up to 2.26Ghz, up to 10.28TFLOPS, 256bit gddr6 memory

XsX GPU: 52CUs, 1.82Ghz, 12TFLOPS, 320bit gddr6 memory

That's quite a bit of variablity for a single manufacturer.
Considering those crazy clocks it's not going to be more energy efficient, even if it consumes less power in total. 2.25GHz has to be well past the sweet spot for the DVFS curve ...

On this note, am I the only one with the impression that the PS5 engineering team spent the past 48 hours furiously overclocking the APU to see how little of a disadvantage they might come off looking like they have, with marketing breathing down their necks the whole time? A faster SSD does little to compensate for the competition being 15% faster in your best case scenario. The wording also makes me quite sure the PS5 will run slower than this for the vast majority of games. I have no doubt this will still be a good console, but that is a significant disadvantage for sure.

As for "quite a bit of variability for a single manufacturer" - how? They're semi-custom chips, so there would be two pieces of silicon no matter what. And AMD's architectures are built to be modular and can be scaled up and down as wanted/needed. No surprise whatsoever that this is possible.
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#100
gamefoo21
Valantar
Considering those crazy clocks it's not going to be more energy efficient, even if it consumes less power in total. 2.25GHz has to be well past the sweet spot for the DVFS curve ...

On this note, am I the only one with the impression that the PS5 engineering team spent the past 48 hours furiously overclocking the APU to see how little of a disadvantage they might come off looking like they have, with marketing breathing down their necks the whole time? A faster SSD does little to compensate for the competition being 15% faster in your best case scenario. The wording also makes me quite sure the PS5 will run slower than this for the vast majority of games. I have no doubt this will still be a good console, but that is a significant disadvantage for sure.

As for "quite a bit of variability for a single manufacturer" - how? They're semi-custom chips, so there would be two pieces of silicon no matter what. And AMD's architectures are built to be modular and can be scaled up and down as wanted/needed. No surprise whatsoever that this is possible.
I think they are banking on how well the PS4 Pro has done vs the One X.

It's decently slower and can't play 4K blurays.

If anything the Sony engineers are probably trying to overclock the memory. I'm also a little surprised that they aren't going for 3.6ghz on the 8cores instead they are giving it a 3.5ghz max boost... Not set, but 'variable'...

Water cooling your console for stable performance... :laugh:

The lack of memory bandwidth is going to hammer the PS5 at 4K. I suspect it'll be 1440p with 'image enhancements' console.

Then there's the storage system... It's going to drink power and it's going to be hot.

I'm really not thrilled that both consoles have killed user replacement/upgrades on the flash, and that stuff wears out.

The PS5 is definitely shaping up to be a cheaper console to build so it's likely going to undercut the Series X by $100 USD at least. IMHO
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