Microsoft finally unveils Xbox Series X hardware specs, expansion card, more

Microsoft is unveiling loads of Xbox Series X hardware details today via Xbox Wire. We previously had a pretty good idea what this thing was packing when Microsoft revealed features like Quick Resume and Smart Delivery at the end of last month, but we now have plenty of details — including specific numbers —  on what’s under the hood. Head below for a closer look.

Xbox Series X hardware specs:

Let’s start with the processor and RAM situation. Firstly, the built-in eight-core AMD Zen 2 processor runs at a fixed 3.8GHz (“3.66 GHz with SMT”) with one of the cores specifically delegated for operating system-related tasks. Long-time business partner AMD suggests the architecture is a “playground for technical innovation” for developers due in large part to the aforementioned, custom-designed, AMD Zen 2 CPU.

Split RAM Allocation

Xbox Series X hardware will make use of a sort of split RAM allocation system. Overall, you’re looking at 16 GB GDDR6 memory with a 320mb bus, but only about 10GB will be allocated for the GPU-intensive draw games mostly require (560 GB/s). The remaining 6GB of memory will run at 336GB/s with 3.5GB of which allocated for less-intensive gaming-related tasks and 2.5GB for your console’s operating system, according to reports.

12 teraflops and beyond

While we already know the Xbox Series X hardware would support up to 12 teraflops, Microsoft has now put that into perspective with some concrete numbers. Xbox Series X will house a custom RDNA 2 GPU at a fixed clock rate of 1.825GHz capable of 52 compute units. While for some those are just numbers that hopefully amount to solid frame rates that are a whole lot better than what they’re used to, Microsoft says it will do just that.

The company is looking for 4K at 60 frames per second with support for as much as 120 frames per second on some titles. While it still sounds like this is what Microsoft is aiming for rather than achieved, an optimized version of Gears 5 (with PC settings at Ultra Spec) is already running at 100FPS on Xbox Series X. In fact, reports suggest it can even handle some features high-end PC can’t. More specifically, things like contact shadows and self-shadow lighting, but as of right now, it’s unclear how many games will actually be able to make use of the high-end lighting feature known as raytracing that has been thrown around quite liberally over the last few months.

Xbox Series X Storage + Expansion Card

We are also learning more about the system’s 1TB SSD storage as well. We already know how much an NVMe-based SSD can drastically affect load times and the like, but Microsoft is doubling down with a feature known as Xbox Velocity Architecture. This new steaming system allows developers to make 100GB of in-game content “instantly accessible” and is described as being able to “create an effective multiplier on physical memory that is, quite literally, a game-changer.” It directly accommodates the Quick Resume feature we detailed last time around as well. While 1TB of built-in storage really doesn’t sound like enough for the next generation of gaming, Microsoft is implementing a 1TB Expansion Card system that apparently matches the performance found on the internal storage “exactly.” Support for USB 3.2 will enable a faster connection for legacy/slower external storage solutions as well.

Here’s a bird’s eye view of the Xbox Series X hardware specs directly from today’s Xbox Wire post:

CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 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

Memory 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus

Memory Bandwidth 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s

Internal Storage 1 TB Custom NVME SSD

I/O Throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)

Expandable Storage 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)

External Storage USB 3.2 External HDD Support

Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive

Performance Target 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS

9to5Toys’ Take:

On top of some controller and HDMI 2.1 output latency optimizations, this is the most important information pulled from today’s Xbox Series X specs feature. You can read more about how this stuff will directly affect developers right here. Despite growing concerns over COVID-19 and the cancellation of E3 2020, it sounds like Microsoft is going full steam ahead with the launch of its new Xbox Series X hardware. While Sony is yet to reveal all the details on PS5, it sounds like Xbox Series X will have a slightly more powerful GPU setup, but it’s still a little too soon to know for sure. Stay locked to 9to5Toys in the coming weeks for all things Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and beyond.

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