The Xbox Series X and Series S are Microsoft’s offerings in this generation of console gaming. The former is objectively better as it offers better specs across the board, but it’s significantly more expensive. The latter is a less capable unit, but also significantly cheaper. If you are looking to get an Xbox console to take advantage of Microsoft’s excellent Xbox Game Pass service, which of these two consoles should you get? Is the Xbox Series X worth it? Or should you save your money and get the Xbox Series S instead? To help you decide, here is our Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S review and comparison.
Xbox Series X vs Series S Specs Comparison Chart
The Xbox Series X comes in black while the Xbox Series S is available in white.
It’s easy to tell apart the Xbox Series X and Series S as their designs are nothing alike. Measuring 5.94 x 5.94 x 11.85 inches and weighing 9.8lbs, the Xbox Series X is the bigger and heavier console. It comes in black with green accents and it’s designed to have a vertical orientation. That said, you can also lay it on its side if you want to. The bigger chassis of the Xbox Series X allows for better airflow and cooling since it is the more powerful of the two.
Meanwhile, the Xbox Series S is more compact, measuring only 2.60 x 5.94 x 10.83 inches and weighing only 4.25lbs. Its compact size allows for easier placement if you have a smaller TV rack. It comes in white with black accents.
As for the included accessories, both consoles come with an Xbox wireless controller, two AA batteries, a power cable and an HDMI cable. The HDMI cable that comes with the Xbox Series X is the HDMI 2.1 variant, which allows you to play games at 4K up to 120 frames per second and watch 8K content. On the other hand, the Xbox Series S ships with an HDMI 2.0 cable, so it has a lower bandwidth that only allows up to 1440p 120fps when playing games and up to 4K resolution when watching movies or streaming.
Xbox Series S vs Xbox Series X Specs
The Xbox Series X boasts faster CPU and GPU performance than the Series S.
Internally, the Xbox Series X has more powerful components than the Xbox Series S. While both are powered by custom AMD Zen 2 processors and RDNA 2 graphics, the chips inside the Xbox Series X runs faster and have a higher bandwidth. The Xbox Series X CPU runs at 3.8GHz while the CPU of the Series S runs at 3.6GHz. The difference is even more pronounced in graphics processing, with the Xbox Series X GPU capable of 12TFLOPS processing power while the cut-down version on the Series S is only capable of 4TFLOPS.
The amount of RAM is also in favor of the Xbox Series X. It has 16GB of GDDR6 RAM whilst the Xbox Series S has 10GB.
As for storage, the Xbox Series X comes with a 1TB SSD while the Xbox Series S ships with 512GB of SSD storage. They both support fast loading times and Xbox’s quick resume feature that allows you to pause and resume games where you left them. You can expand the storage using the proprietary Seagate Storage Expansion Card. Both consoles also support the addition of USB 3.0 external drives, but if you go this route, fast loading and quick resume are not supported.
Another major difference between the two is that the Xbox Series X has a Blu-ray drive while the Xbox Series S does not. With the Xbox Series X, you can still buy physical media whereas on the Xbox Series S, you’ll need to purchase everything digitally.
You can play games at 4K 120fps on the Xbox Series X while the Xbox Series S is limited to 1440p 120fps.
From the specs, it’s obvious that the Xbox Series X is objectively the better console when it comes to gaming performance. Both consoles support Ray tracing and variable refresh rates, but the Xbox Series X can run games at native 4K while the Xbox Series S has a maximum resolution of 1440p. The difference in resolution will be more pronounced the bigger your TV.
As for frame rates, both can go up to 120fps for a smooth gaming experience. The Xbox Series X is capable of running some games at 4K 120fps, but for the majority, resolution is usually lowered to achieve higher framerates. The Xbox Series S, on the other hand, does not have processing power to run games at 4K 120fps.
The controllers that ship with both consoles are practically the same, save for the different colorway. They are improved ergonomically over the Xbox One controller and they feature a new d-pad that’s similar to that of the Xbox Elite controllers.
Games and Accessories
All Xbox games will work on the Xbox Series X and Series S.
Despite their difference in hardware and performance, all Xbox games will work on both consoles, well, aside from Xbox Series X discs. Even previous gen Xbox One games featuring enhancements will work on both the Series S and Series X.
It’s the same story with Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft’s subscription service is available on both Xbox Series X and Series S.
As for accessories, the two are compatible with Xbox One accessories. Headsets, controllers and other peripherals that work on Xbox One consoles will also work on Xbox Series X and Series S consoles.
Go with the Xbox Series X if you want the best gaming experience. If you are on a budget, the Xbox Series S is a cheaper alternative.
Xbox Series X
Xbox Series S
Better for those on a budget
If you want the best Xbox gaming experience, the Xbox Series X is a no-brainer, if you have the money for it. It runs games at higher resolutions and better framerates. It also has more storage out of the box, so you won’t have to worry about running out of space too much, especially with how big games are these days. Moreover, it has a physical Blu-ray drive so you can sell games that you already finished to recoup some of the cost.
The Xbox Series S is a good alternative if you have a tighter budget or if you don’t have a 4K display to take advantage of the Series X’s power. For instance, if you still have a 1080p TV and you don’t have any plans of upgrading, or if you play on a 1440p monitor, the Xbox Series S is the wiser pick.
They have plenty of differences, but in simplistic terms, the Xbox Series X is the more powerful console, and it can run games better than the Xbox Series S.
Yes, this generation of consoles offer excellent value for the money since they can hang with mid-range to high-end PCs when it comes to gaming performance.
It can upscale games to 4K if you are using a 4K TV, but it will still run at 1440p internally.
Yes, the Xbox Series X supports Dolby Atmos content.