Welcome to the Xbox Series X vs Xbox One S showdown! The Xbox Series X is launched in Holiday 2020 and with it, a whole new era of console gaming from Microsoft arrived. Microsoft gave a first look at the upcoming flagship console in December 2019, and we gotta say, even back then we were really impressed.
Not only does the Xbox Series X have an all-new design, but it’s also absolutely packed to the gills with power and will even support 8K gaming. But just because Microsoft launched the Xbox Series X that doesn’t mean it did away with its other Xbox console: the Xbox One S. The company has kept both consoles in its lineup. There’s a good reason for doing this. The Xbox Series X, being a next-gen console, is a pricy machine. By letting the Xbox One S stick around, Microsoft is ensuring that people can pick up an Xbox no matter how thick their wallet is (or isn’t).
This brings up a question…Is the Xbox Series X better than the Xbox One S for the extra price you pay? Or is the Xbox One S good enough?
Just how do the two compare? Let’s take a look.
Xbox Series X vs Xbox One S
Xbox Series X vs Xbox One S Quick Comparison
Here’s a point-for-point breakdown of all the major specs of each console and how they compare.
- Xbox Series X – The Xbox Series X features an all-new vertical design. It looks like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Or the rectangular cousin to Apple’s 2013 Mac Pro. Regardless, we think it’s pretty cool looking.
- Xbox One S – The One S has the classic horizontal or vertical design we all love. However, compared to the Series X, the One S’s design looks a bit stale. Also, note that there is an “all-digital” version of the One S, that doesn’t have an optical drive.
Winner? Xbox Series X – The Xbox Series X blows the Xbox One S out of the water with its modern design.
- Xbox Series X – the Xbox Series X features the 3.6 GHz Custom AMD Zen 2-based CPU, which is insanely fast. It also sports a Custom AMD Navi-based GPU that performs ops at 12 teraflops per second.
- Xbox One S – the Xbox One S features the 1.75 GHz AMD Jaguar chipset. The GPU is an AMD Sea Islands (GCN 2) Bonaire that performs at 4 teraflops per second.
Winner? Xbox Series X – The 3.6 GHz Custom AMD Zen 2-based CPU in the Series X is almost three times as fast as the CPU inside the One S. And with a GPU that triples the teraflop performance–it’s no contest. That’s not even to mention that the Series X support 8K gaming.
- Xbox Series X – The Xbox Series X features 16GB of GDDR6 RAM.
- Xbox One S – The Xbox One S features 8GB of GDDR3 RAM.
Winner? Xbox Series X – Not only does it have double the RAM, but it’s also got the speedier GDDR6 modules. The more, better RAM means the Series X will roast the One S.
- Xbox Series X – unknown
- Xbox One S – 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Winner? Xbox Series X – Microsoft hasn’t announced the size of the storage on the Series X. However, you can expect it to AT LEAST have a 1TB drive. But why does the Series X win over the One S here when the One S has up to a 2TB hard drive? Because the Series X will sport an SSD drive, not a standard hard disk like the One S has.
- Xbox Series X – $749 (1TB SSD)
- Xbox One S – $299 (500GB), $349 (1TB), $399 (2TB); or $249 (1TB all-digital version)
From a technical perspective, it’s not even a contest. The Xbox Series X is going to be the clear winner. It’s three times as fast as the One S, it also supports 8K gaming, has double (faster) the RAM, a new design, and an SSD-based hard drive.
Where the One S beats the Series X is on price. That means the One S may still be a valid low-cost option for years to come since many Xbox games won’t support 8K out of the gate. And considering you can get the all-digital version of the One S for $250 or less, it makes the console a very good deal.
Xbox Series X vs Xbox One S: Games
The good news for Xbox fans is that no matter which console you have, there are a ton of games for it. Matter of fact, here’s just a partial list of all the games that can be played on either console. Keep in mind, however, that some of these games will look or play better on the Xbox Series X due to its improved graphics and performance. By the way, if you’re into Xbox games, you’ll want to check out our list of some of the best Xbox games of all time.
- Halo Infinite
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Scarlet Nexus
- Second Extinction
- Call to the Sea
- Hitman 3
- Resident Evil 8
- WRC 9
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Bright Memory Infinite
- Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
- Far Cry 6
- FIFA 21
- Battlefield 6
- Dying Light 2
- Dirt 5
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- The Medium
- The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
- Gods and Monsters
- Rainbow Six Quarantine
- The Ascent
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
Xbox Series X vs Xbox One S: Specs
Here are the specs for the Xbox Series X:
- CPU: 3.6 GHz Custom AMD Zen 2-based CPU
- GPU: Custom AMD Navi-based GPU (12 TF)
- Storage: SSD drive, capacity unknown
- RAM: 16GB GDDR6 RAM
- Video output: 8K
- Optical Drive: 4K Blu-ray
And here are the specs for the Xbox One S:
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- CPU: 1.75 GHz AMD Jaguar
- GPU: AMD Sea Islands (GCN 2) Bonaire type (1.4TF)
- Storage: 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB 2.5-inch hard drive (5400rpm)
- RAM: 8 GB GDDR3
- Video output: 4K
- Optical Drive: Ultra HD Blu-ray optical drive; or an all-digital version without optical drive
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I get Xbox Series X or S?
If you’ve got the extra cash, go with the Xbox Series X. The reason? It’s the latest next-gen console from Microsoft. The Series S’s tech is based on the previous generation console. That means the Xbox Series X has much better graphics and performance than the Series S. It also mean the Xbox Series X will be future proof for a much longer time.
Q: Is the Xbox S worth it?
Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox Series S is worth it. Either console is great if you don’t have all the money necessary to splash out on a brand new Xbox Series X. And the Xbox One S and the Xbox Series S play many of the same games that the Xbox Series X does.
Q: Is Xbox Series S future proof?
Eh, that’s a hard question. The Xbox Series S is still a current console that is sold by Microsoft. However, the latest next-gen console sold by Microsoft is the Xbox Series X. So if you are looking for future-proof consoles, it’s best to go with the most advanced one on the market, which in this case is the Xbox Series X.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.