PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: not better or worse, just different

Mitch of RGN writes, "Throw in that this generation's cooling systems are taking radical redesigns, we will have to wait and see and it is also likely that different games will operate better on different consoles depending how they were utilized by the developer, on a case by case basis. This may end up being a very good thing in the long run as well, giving identity to each console makes developers more excited and helps produce more truly one of a kind experiences for gamers.

One example of this is how Sony is including on-board hardware, an additional processor for Audio Raytracing, which can be reprogrammed and used for any sort of processing by developers if they aren't putting Audio RT in the game. The existence of many custom chips like this on both the XSX and the PS5 are precisely why games will vary greatly on each console, and they'll have their own flavor and style more so than last generation's Jaguar APU setups on XO and PS4."

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oakshin1292d ago

It's Complicated but I get it.....can the ps5 run over clocked consistently and not melt will the Xbox split memory and slower ssd lead to wasted performance how many shaders does the ps5 gpu even got (that's the big question because I generally trust the Sony engineers with the cooling but screw tflops I need shader count )

oakshin1292d ago

Yea I'm actually going to be looking forward to the comparison breakdown of games this gen consoles are so much better with custom tech to me it's interesting

darthv721292d ago

1k shader difference between the two... what does that translate to in terms of performance?

ABizzel11292d ago


You can't really say without a like for like game / product. What it means in basic terms is the Series X has more rendering performance than the PS5, meanwhile the PS5 is likely a bit faster at rending said images.

In a game an example would be the PS5 is faster at displaying the gameworld, but the Series X can display more things on screen with less of an impact on performance because it has more shaders to take on the workload.

But both consoles are going to be fast so the PS5's speed edge gaming wise, shouldn't be a huge deal, we're looking at a few seconds at best in like for like loading, but it should be faster in OS functions, navigating menus, getting in and out of games, and just daily use. These are best case scenarios for PS5 from just pure logic of technology.

Meanwhile, the Series X has more potential for gaming graphics (nothing will ever be night and day difference, but it can do a bit more), likely higher resolutions in more demanding games Native 4K vs 1800p, and higher fps in games with like for like resolutions and graphics settings generally 10% - 20% (aka unlocked 60fps PS5 (55~) and locked 60fps for Series X). And these will generally be one or the other, and extremely rare for all 3 wins in a single game. These are best case scenarios for Series X from just pure logic of technology.

The best comparison we have right now is looking at an RTX 2070s (PS5) vs an RTX 2080s (Sereis X).

fr0sty1292d ago

They aren't "shaders", a shader is an app that runs on a GPU core. They are cores, though not the same type of fully featured cores you'd expect to see in a CPU, which is why they can cram thousands of them in there despite CPUs being generally less than 32 cores.

Core count isn't raw power. Each of those cores runs at a clock speed, and that helps determine what the core is capable of. So, while PS5 has fewer cores, they are running faster, and Cerny said he saw superior results in real world gaming applications when going that route (which means Sony too considered using more cores at one point, but decided against it).

While the cores can't consistently run faster all the time, since they are boost frequencies that rely on system cooling, games are not going to max out your system the entire time either, so it's unlikely that a game would be held back much by the system being too hot. We don't even know the capabilities of the PS5 cooling system yet, either. It may be substantial enough to keep PS5 cool at high clocks for as long as any game would need it to be.

Sony also seems to be stepping back towards exotic hardware designs, with the audio processing unit that can also lend its power to processing other things.

Comparing the two side by side isn't going to be easy. Both have strengths and weaknesses that make it so that there is no clear winner in the "which is more powerful" debate. Some games that come out on XSX could never run on a PS5, and the reverse will also be true with games that take unique advantage of PS5's transfer rates, more unified memory, and tempest engine.

dcbronco1291d ago


I'm not sure the transfer rate will matter. Sony hasn't said anything one way or another but Microsoft has said they have machine learning built in with the ability to make low resolution textures look like high resolution textures. If this works as advertised developers can substitute low resolution textures where possible to make the speed of the playstation hard drive pretty much unnoticeable. The machine learning acts like compression so the Series X won't seem to have nearly as much information to be transferred. You can see it in Flight Simulator 2020. That and variable shading will allow them to use low resolution textures for obscured images to cut bandwidth use.

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NeoGamer2321292d ago

To me the biggest problem with both these consoles is the reliance on SSD performance. Now my games have to be on a 1 TB or 825 GB internal hard drive to run them.

Many triple AAA games are 50-100 GB. This means that I can only have about a maximum of about 20 games on my system before I am swapping.

Right now, I have 3 x 10 TB external drives on my XBO X. Now I am going down to 1 TB internal and 1 TB external max on the XSX. I am not in impressed with either console's approach here. There are definitely benefits but I don't think the benefits outweigh the annoyance of always having to manage your game collection now.

oakshin1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

It's 4k texture streaming is the kicker on top of that come to find out hhd has limited game design for 20 years I know anything much stronger then a x1x without a ssd is pointless all the assets would be bottlenecked in the ram and hdd making the thing seem like a beast on paper but run like crap

ssj271292d ago

Games take nothing to install on the ps5 acording to the mark cerny words is what i understood so sure more memory is better always but it seems that you wont have to wait 30min for a game to install etc like we do now days you insert the disc and in a min or sec the game is ready to be played. If you are not using it for a week or month delete it and if you wanna install it again it will just take seconds or a min not 30min or 1hr like they do today.

darthv721292d ago

The SX memory cards are going to come in different sizes so you can expect to see 1tb, 2tb, 4tb and maybe even 8tb (whatever NVME flash storage sizes top out at)

i do like that I can use my external 4tb USB to offload SX games from internal to external to make room for other internal games. Moving stuff around can work but obviously I will get a memory card or two.

Phantom681292d ago

The reasons why game take so much space is because they need to duplicate assets on HDD install to reduce the seek time needed to find data. On SSD the dublication is unnecessary therefore the isntal size can be reduced. Nevertheless 1TB or less is way to small but they do give us the ability to expand SSD space.

SLiSH831292d ago

How many games do you actually play at any one given time?

I only have 4-6 games on my drive at a time. The other I either have on a USB drive or it’s Play complete delete repeat on other games that I don’t see playing a 2nd time through. (For awhile) and then I’ll just re down load those if I get the itch

NeoGamer2321292d ago

I have over 2,000 games on those drives. It is not about how many games I play at once.

It is more about sitting down and thinking, "What am I in the mood to play?" and going thru the games to figure out what I want to conquer next. I like all types of games so it is nice to just scan thru, decide then play. In the new world I can probably scan, then decide to play but not before I copy it to the internal drive. And on the internal drive I will be continually deleting games.


chiefJohn1171292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

Damn how many games do you play? 30 tb is over kill. The 1 tb plus my 1 tb external to hold last gen games and games I'm not playing should be enough for me. I may buy a 1tb card tho. These ssds are blazing fast. Heavy storage is not necessary

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dumahim1291d ago

Just remember, game size won't go up as much as you expect because of everything being solid state. No need for data duplication to reduce seek time.

KillBill1291d ago

How is their a max limit on the XBSX? You can purchase as many external SSD as you want and simply place in the one with the game you want to play.

Sure a pain on keeping track of which SSD has which games on it but not like it is actually a limit as you suggested.

Eonjay1291d ago

"Now my games have to be on a 1 TB or 825 GB internal hard drive to run them."
This is not true of the PS5. You can use an off the shelf NVMe However you will need to purchase one on the PCIe 4.0 standard in order that is compliant under the PS5 speed standards. In fact as fast as the PS5 is (fastest ever) there are drives coming out that will surpass the base PS5 SSD, but you can use that drive to store and play your games on

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rainslacker1292d ago

Running at full speed is not overclocked. They locked the GPU to prevent it from running faster than 2.33GHZ. If anything, they're just using these as 2.33GHZ processors that may not run at full speed.

GottaBjimmyb1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

Scaling clock rate on a CPU does defeat the purpose of static hardware though, does it not?

At minimum I hardly see a benefit to a varying clock rate for a console in really any scenario, wouldn't using the highest viable clock rate be the ideal situation? Also, varying CPU clock speeds would mean varying lifespans on said console, on that basis, which seems like an odd choice.

Did they confirm this? I haven't looked but it just seems unreasonable. Not to mention, what changes the CPU clock rate? Temperature or coding for the game? (I assume temp) If temperature, that would mean you could see a game run great sometimes and not as well at others, just an all around confusing choice if true.

rainslacker1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

No. Processors come off the silicon set for what they can run based on testing. There is no difference between a 2GHZ processor and a 3GHZ processor. They are made on the same silicon, and could be right next to one another. After they're made, they're tested to see what frequency they can run at reliably, and then they're sold at that speed. This is what makes overclocking possible.

These are 2.33GHZ chips, because one thing you don't want in a console is a processor that may not be able to run at full speed, because when a dev is making their game, they expect the timing to be consistent across all devices.

All Sony is doing is downclocking when they don't need the extra power. It's no different than how it's done on PC nowadays, and I question why Cerny even talked about it because it's nothing extraordinary. MS will always have their processor running at full speed, which is fine. Sony will vary the frequency as needed, and it's seamless to the dev.

Did they confirm what? That it's a 2.33GHZ processor? yeah, it is. Cerny never said it was a boost mode. He specifically said it would run slower when it could run the processes at a speed needed. He said when the more demanding games needed the power, the power would be there. You can't promise that if the processor isn't meant to run at full speed at all times.

GottaBjimmyb1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

You have no clue what you are talking about, but don't take my word for it. Turbo speed generally (or always up until now if this is an exception) refers to increased clock rate when the CPU temperature is within a specific range and workload is above a specific range.


Also, CPUs and GPUs can be overclocked thanks to the ability to alter cooling in PCs, overclocking on systems with the default tested cooling will cause increased heat and lower lifespan. May I also add, if this is an APU, (I assume it is) this can actually cause even more issue as it could affect the GPU performance also.

GottaBjimmyb1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

I just looked up the specs, the CPU and GPU appear to have boost, and being on the same SOC and both being temperature and workload reliant for the boost. This does not sound like an ideal solution for a console. This would mean possible different performance between consoles, different lifespans between consoles and different performances between even two separate sessions on the same console.


rainslacker1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

It's not an ideal solution for a console, which is why it's not a boost mode. Cerny didn't say they were boosting the processor, he said they were slowing it down when it didn't need all the power. These processors can come off the line and be capable of more than the 2.33GHZ, it's just that Sony locked it at that speed, so it will have that consistency, and the dev can rely on it if they need to.

It's not rocket science, and you seem to be trying real hard to make this into something it's not.

This is a 2.33GHZ spec'd processor. It will run slower if it can run the code at a slower rate. this will conserve energy, thus heat.

GottaBjimmyb1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

Idk where you are getting your info, but eurogamer and techradar both disagree with you about the "boost" operation.


I was originally speaking hypothetically and even explained I had not researched the claim, but it not only seems you are wrong about the boost, but also that I was 100% right in my claims and you were wrong, like on almost every aspect, even with your edits.

ABizzel11292d ago


Not from my understanding. The scaling clocks are more so there to allow the GPU to boost performance in areas when needed. Let's say a game is 60fps, but it dips to the low 50's in an intense area, then the developer can program the GPU to boost up to a higher clock at that point in a game to give that extra performance to make the game stay at 60fps during that section.

It's more so there to give the extra power when needed.

rainslacker1291d ago (Edited 1291d ago )

I have official documentation from Sony that I go off of, not a website making it's own conclusions. The processor is locked so it can't go past the 2.33GHZ. It isn't a slower chip that is boosted when needed. It slows down when the extra power isn't needed....as was said by Cerny in the presentation.

A Boost mode will take the standard clock, and push it past what it is spec'd to do, typically by clock multiplying. What Cerny was talking about was throttling down, not boosting up.

If this were a boost mode, then it'd be pushing past the 2.33GHZ barrier that they locked the processor to, since the processor is rated at that speed. The actual processor is likely capable of a higher speed, but if I had to guess that's what they chose for yield to get the pricing they want to be at.

The developer can force it, but the processor will make this decision on its own in most cases. More often than not, a processor does not need to run at full speed even during heavy load assuming that all the processing is spread out properly in well designed threads.

Gazondaily1291d ago

Official documentation lol

RookieMonsterLives1291d ago (Edited 1291d ago )

"The processor is locked so it can't go past the 2.33GHZ. It isn't a slower chip that is boosted when needed. It slows down when the extra power isn't needed....as was said by Cerny in the presentation. "

Not according to digital foundry
"PS5 is predictable but it forces developers to make choices that won't be necessary on Series X. I think fixed clocks are a better choice in this case BUT we'll see how it goes."

Why would developers have to make choices on PS5 if the clocks are set at the max like you are saying?

VariantAEC1291d ago (Edited 1291d ago )

The PS5 power input is throttled
(Source: YouTube->Channel-"Play Station"-Video-"The Road to PS5"-Time-"35:00& ;quo t; - can't use HTML in comments here's a link: https://youtu.be/ph8LyNIT9s... ) as you can see PS5 varies its clock speeds rather than its power input meaning thermal performance should never be exceeded. The reason for that as Cerny explains is because from the get go they created a cooling system for the hottest thermal point the hardware can handle.
Fan noise should be minimal on PS5.

VariantAEC1291d ago

Those official docs should tell you the GPU clock frequency tops out at 2.23Ghz not 2.33Ghz.
This is what Cerny stated in The Road to PS5 video I linked to earlier.