back to article Eight-core 3.8 GHz CPU. 12 TFLOPS GPU. 1TB NVME SSD. 16GB RAM. Not a half-decent workstation, it's the new Xbox

Microsoft has revealed some more specs for its forthcoming Xbox Series X, the fourth generation of its gaming console. Here’s the tale of the tape: Part Specs CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU GPU 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU Die size 360.45 mm2 Process 7nm Enhanced …

  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    But can it run...

    But what we’d really like to know is if the Xbox Series X can run Linux. Or Tetris.
    Is "but can it run Crysis?" too trite these days?

    But its specification is impressive and it looks like it would make a great workstation.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: But can it run...

      *Nodding enthusiasticly*

      Great sounding specs, except for that proprietary memory expansion dingus. Rip that out & replace it with another 16Gb of RAM & a second drive for use as the user file repo, then I'd love to have one...

      Just after you give it Linux instead of whatever crapware MSHQ decided to shite all over it.

    2. Reno77

      Re: But can it run...

      .. Can it run Quake? Quake RT 4k @60fps that is..

    3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: But can it run...

      Can it run Pong?

    4. MJI Silver badge

      Re: But can it run...

      My PS3 could run Crysis.

      was cheap on PS Store

  2. Totally not a Cylon
    Boffin

    Can it run MUD?

    a much tougher test for a console, does the keyboard work?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      multi user dungeon has never been known to run

      see " in stuck in mud"

  3. wolfetone

    It's impressive, although a little expected (as who wants just a slightly better console for the next gen?).

    The main problem though is that games that come out on both the Xbox and PlayStation aren't exclusive. So these days there really isn't any reason to buy one console over the other. And the worst thing of all is the lack of local multiplayer going in to games for these consoles now. Sure we can do it online but what if you've got your friends around for a drink and you want to cause merry hell locally?

    Oh yeah, we've got COVID19 to stop that. I forgot.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: "games that come out on both the Xbox and PlayStation aren't exclusive"

      Not true at all. I really like the overall aesthetic of the new Xbox, but would I buy one? No. The reason for that is because Horizon Zero Dawn 2 and The Last of Us 2 will be PS4 / PS5 exclusives.

      I do agree with you that the underlying hardware these days however is much of a muchness. Give it a couple of years and I think both Playstation and Xbox will just be games optimised PCs.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: games optimised PCs

        That's already what they are. There's just a little hardware chippery added to make sure you can't just plonk Windows in it and use it as a PC.

        I'm pretty sure the components are mainly off-the-shelf stuff. It's probably just the motherboard and BIOS that are a bit special, in order to enable the OS restriction and prevent tampering.

    2. popetackler

      > The main problem though is that games that come out on both the Xbox and PlayStation aren't exclusive. So these days there really isn't any reason to buy one console over the other.

      The PS4 exclusives of this generation sold that console to me. The Xbox exclusives on the other hand.. well, what exclusives?

  4. Paddy

    Windows 10?

    I'd be happy running full Windows 10 and "Windows Subsystem for Linux 2" on that hardware if it were atractively priced.

  5. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coat

    Storage

    About time consoles started ditching mechanical hard drives.

    Assume the Blu Ray Drive will be for movies since most content on console is downloaded anyway.

    1. Lazlo Woodbine Bronze badge

      Re: Storage

      Did you notice this bit "1 TB Custom NVME SSD"?

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Storage

        I'd say so

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Storage

        Yes, its very annoying on Rocket League when waiting for our console counterparts of the existing generation of consoles.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "eliminate loading times between levels"

    I think it's a bit premature to announce that, Microsoft. You have no idea how game developers can bog down a top-of-the-line system with the latest titles.

    There's a simple rule of thumb actually : a new game will require 180% of the resources your high-power gear has. It's only three years later that that year's high-level gear will be able to run said game properly.

    Also, sometimes loading time can actually be used intelligently and be a valid part of the gaming experience.

    1. Totally not a Cylon

      Re: "eliminate loading times between levels"

      Quote: sometimes loading time can actually be used intelligently and be a valid part of the gaming experience.

      Mass Effect elevators.........

      running on a high end PC made them a LOT faster........

      1. batfink Silver badge

        Re: "eliminate loading times between levels"

        I strongly suspect that some games (I'm looking at you, Civilisation) deliberately put delays into loading, just to make it a bit more difficult to reload when you fuck it up.

        Civ6 seems particularly bad for this. I have plenty of time waiting for loads (from my RAID0 SSDs) to sit there and try to work out how much data is actually being loaded. A few bits per unit, ditto per tile, probably a couple of bytes per city, plus lookup tables and a bit over overhead, all adds up to, er, very little. And I've still got time to wander off and push the button on the coffee machine.

        Of course, it may just be really shitty coding and/or data design...

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: "eliminate loading times between levels"

          I generally prefer the cockup rather than conspiracy explanation.

          1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

            Re: "eliminate loading times between levels"

            The XCOM reboot ran in unreal iirc. However seemed to use single thread file loading. It took forever to load anything. However pressing shift activated a debug option that seemed to stop dumping resources on rendering a pretty and over the top loading screen and *actually loaded the level*.

            Sped things up rather a lot.

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: "eliminate loading times between levels"

        Mass Effect elevators.........

        running on a high end PC made them a LOT faster........

        I don't remember system specs ever affecting the elevator travel time. No radio announcement or NPC conversation ever got cut short.

        ME2's loading screens were simply a video you had to watch until the video was finished, regardless of the background load state of the game. Replacing those video files with empty ones often dramatically reduced loading times on a capable PC...

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Re: "eliminate loading times between levels"

          Nope. Mass Effect 1 specifically used the elevators to hide the slow loading on the Xbox (was it 360?) version.

          PC might differ, due to different PC specs. Also, it was so bad on the Xbox, those conversations finished long before the game actually did load... worse if the DVD skipped. :P

          PS, you strawman with Mass Effect 2... like "My dog fetched bons" and you reply "Cats like fish, so you're wrong". Strange manner of conversation. ;)

          1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Re: "eliminate loading times between levels"

            The only thing strange about mentioning ME2 is that I forgot to begin the sentence with "And". It wasn't meant to "disprove" anything.

            Back to ME, I never noticed a speed-up after upgrading to a dramatically faster PC (or upgrading a slow one with an SSD). I assume that means the base storage performance of a contemporary gaming PC was more than sufficient for the game.

  7. Bronk's Funeral

    If it's backward compatible with 360 titles, it'll be one of the only consoles able to run a home version of Tetris The Grand Master (so worth it just for that!)

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      That could be tricky, as the Xbox One dropped 360 compatibility as technically infeasible at the time (different architectures--POWER versus x86--and not enough horsepower to make up the difference in emulation).

      As for Tetris, ask EA (I think they currently hold the rights).

      1. Bronk's Funeral

        I think EA hold the rights to mobile versions only—the Tetris Company can still release on consoles and PC. Puyo Puyo Tetris and Tetris 99 on Switch are pretty good (the latter is by Arika and is actually superb) and Tetris Effect, designed by Tetsuya Miziguchi of Rez fame, is an incredible piece of work on PC.

        I really, really like Tetris.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Then what about the Nintendo Switch, which...switches between the two? Does it count as home or mobile for the purposes of trademark rights?

    2. Roger B

      If it runs on the Xbox One, it will run on the Xbox Series X, but it looks like "Tetris: The Grandmaster Ace" is not a back compatible title.

      Unlike Crysis, so, unfortunately it wont run Tetris, but it will run Crysis.

  8. MJI Silver badge

    I can see a repeat of this generation.

    Comes down to games and what can run them.

    My money will be going to the same company as who made my 1982 portable VCR.

    1. YellaChicken

      Re: I can see a repeat of this generation.

      "My money will be going to the same company as who made my 1982 portable VCR."

      Are Ferguson making consoles now? ;p

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: I can see a repeat of this generation.

        No tractors

  9. Rob Crawford

    SSD worries

    Personally I'm more worried about what happens when the internal SSD starts to reach it's very finite number of writes.

    With the use of SSD as additional RAM for the GPU, number of suspend states and constant autosave writes I do have concerns no matter how good the write levelling is (and with the size of games the drives will be sitting pretty close to full most of the time)

    At least with a PC you can replace an SSD easily, not so with a console.

    1. Matt_payne666

      Re: SSD worries

      It maybe custom, which is a shame and in my mind daft. but the SSD will well outlive the console... Ive had less SSD's fail on me than spinning disks, even had a bunch of consumer ones in a RAID on a production HyperV server, after 2 years they were still 98% health - 4 years later one is still the main drive in my home server.

      as for easy to replace a console drive? im not sure about the XBox, but the PS4 is a user replaceable part.... it just slides in the side, no funny screws, seals or firmware.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SSD worries

      Have you tried? I found replacing the internal drive on a console easy PC, and doesn’t need third party software.

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: SSD worries

      "At least with a PC you can replace an SSD easily, not so with a console."

      Depends on the console. Most modern units that use hard drives rely on a standard design (like 2.5" SATA laptop hard drives) that make for easy service like you see on laptops. You open a door, pull the old drive out, slot the new one in.

      NVMe isn't too much different and can still allow for quick and simple service depending on the form factor in use. A U.2 NVMe drive would slot like a SATA one while an M.2 would probably use a trap-door design (the latter would be a bit trickier as it allows for multiple size factors).

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Will it run linux?

    Well doubtful MS will support this officially, but the more console manufacturers try to lock down their kit to not allow 3rd party code to run, the more the hacker community will try and defeat it.

    The PS3 was not jail breaked until after Sony removed the 'Other OS' option possibly because hackers could already run Linux on it and saw less of a challenge to hack it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Jail breaking PS3s

      > The PS3 was not jail breaked until after Sony removed the 'Other OS' option possibly because hackers could already run Linux on it and saw less of a challenge to hack it.

      Sony literally sued one of the guys ("Geohot") who did the jail breaking.

      Stopped using my PS3 the day Sony did that, and haven't bought a Sony product since. Nor planning to, ever.

  11. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

    One parameter missed

    How much power does this thing use?

    What will it do to your monthly electric bill if there's an obsessive-compulsive gamer in the house?

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: One parameter missed

      You're asking for your friend the O-C gamer, clearly?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020