(Pocket-lint) - The Xbox Series X brings 4K 60fps gaming and next-gen power. But how does it compare to the outgoing Xbox One X?

What you really want to know is that, if you already own an Xbox One X, is it worth upgrading? We compare the specs and features of them both to help you make up your mind.

squirrel_widget_351765

Design

As you can see, the design of the Xbox Series X is quite a departure from the norm. It is designed as a standing unit, although can be laid down on its side too. However, it is considerably larger than the Xbox One X so you will need a bigger space in your TV stand, for instance.

One of the reasons for its larger size and aesthetic is heat dissipation. The grille at the top allows for internal heat to dissipate, which is important as the processing chips inside will get extremely hot and if there are not sufficient cooling measures employed, you'll find the internal fan will have to work harder - resulting in a very noisy machine and, worse still, one that is prone to crashing.

The same is true of the Xbox One X, which can run noisy at times for the exact same reason, but its internal hardware is easier to keep cool as it is lesser specced, so has a slimmer, more conventional profile.

Graphics

Graphics hardware is, naturally, different in the two machines. With the Xbox Series X representing a significant upgrade. It sports a custom GPU with 12 teraflops of power and 52 compute units running at 1.825GHz. That's basically the most powerful graphics processing chip in any console to date - even more powerful than the one in PS5.

In comparison, the Xbox One X has a similar custom GPU but with 6 teraflops of power, 40 compute units and running at 1.172GHz.

Microsoft claims the Series X is twice as powerful as the One X in terms of graphical prowess.

In simple terms, it will run nigh-on every game natively in 4K 60fps, where the One X can only run a handful of titles in full 4K natively. And often, you have to choose between 60fps or 4K, not both. Some games will also run at 120fps on the Xbox Series X - it has that much potential.

It is also worth noting that games for the Xbox Series X can utilise real-time ray-tracing technology, to make in-game lighting more realistic. The Xbox One X does not support that feature.

CPU and memory

Like the GPU, the main processor sees a major jump between the two consoles. The Xbox Series X comes with a custom eight-core AMD processor based on the Zen 2 architecture, running at up to 3.8GHz per core.

The Xbox One X, on the other hand, also has a custom eight-core AMD processor, but it runs at a maximum of 2.3GHz per core. This, says Xbox, means the Series X is four-times faster, more efficient and powerful.

On top of that, the next-gen machine comes with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, while the One X has 12GB of GDDR5 RAM.

Storage

Another big leap comes in the storage solutions used in the new console.

The Xbox Series X uses SSD (solid state drive) storage, which is much faster for read/write transfers than traditional hard drive tech. It contains a 1TB SSD which will provide a couple of major benefits. Not only will games load faster - including in-game loading times - you will be able to pause a game, start up another, and go back to the original paused title instantly.

The Xbox One X, on the other hand, comes with a 1TB HDD, which is still capable and reasonably speedy for normal use. There is basically nothing wrong with it whatsoever.

Both consoles are able to be expanded through USB 3.0 (3.1 on the Series X) external drives. In addition, the Series X also comes with a dedicated, proprietary drive port on the rear for users to plug in an optional extra 1TB SSD unit.

Controller

A new version of the Xbox Wireless Controller comes with the Xbox Series X. It looks similar but has a new "share" button and the D-Pad design that looks more like the one on the Elite 2 pro controller.

We have no problems whatsoever with the current Xbox controller though - it's one of the best ever released - and the best news is that you can use it on the Series X too.

Games and accessories

All Xbox One games and accessories will be compatible with the Xbox Series X, although that won't always work the other way around.

Xbox is committed to releasing games for all Xbox consoles (from One up) for at least a couple of years going forward. And, as a bonus, some of the games will instantly be upgraded when installed on a Series X.

That might mean enhanced graphics and better loading times. Think of it much like the Xbox One X in comparison to the One S - many current games have enhanced graphics when played on the One X.

Xbox's Game Pass subscription service will work on the Series X as it does on the Xbox One.

Home entertainment

Both consoles sport a 4K Blu-ray drive and support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. All other streaming apps and entertainment services will be similar across both. 

One thing that might make a difference though is that the Xbox One X has a HDMI 2.0 output, while the Xbox Series X will come with a HDMI 2.1 equivalent. This means the One X cannot go above 4K HDR 60fps in video output terms, while the Series X is capable of 8K 120fps. That could be important if you plan to purchase an 8K TV anytime soon.

Price

Currently, you can snag an Xbox One X for around £350 - its original RRP was £450. The Xbox Series X costs $499/£449 (in contrast, the Xbox Series S is $299/£249)

With Xbox All Access, which includes Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can get either one of the new Xbox consoles for a monthly fee. There is no upfront cost, and you pay one monthly price for two years.

  • $22.99 or £18 (Xbox One S 1TB console, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)
  • $24.99 or £21 (Xbox Series S console, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)
  • $34.99 or £29 (Xbox Series X console, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)

squirrel_widget_141329

Xbox Series X vs Xbox One X: Which is best for you?

Ultimately, the main decision to make is whether you want to invest (heavily) in the future of gaming or you're happy to settle for the very best the last generation has to offer.

The Xbox Series X is an extremely powerful, exciting new console. But we also have a massive sweet spot for the Xbox One X. The latter is an amazing machine for the current price and you can buy one now with free games thrown in. 

squirrel_widget_158169

Writing by Rik Henderson.