Xbox Series X, specifications and characteristics of this console

Microsoft entered the console market between 2001 and 2002 with the primary Xbox, a console that was far above its opponents within the technical part and that inherited PC {hardware}. Almost twenty years later, each desktop console in the marketplace follows the identical philosophy as the unique Xbox, however every has its personal distinctive design character.

The Xbox Series X SoC

Xbox Series X SoC

The SoC of the Xbox 360 is a chip created to measure by AMD for Microsoft, which has been created to measure and due to this fact is unique to the Microsoft console. It is a monolithic 360 mm2 processor, which incorporates the next elements inside:

  • CPU based mostly on AMD Zen 2 structure.
  • Custom GPU based mostly on AMD RDNA 2 structure
  • Accelerators specialised in sure particular {hardware} duties

We are going to undergo the completely different components of the Xbox Series X SoC level by level all through this article. since it’s the foremost unit that features all of the {hardware} besides the RAM of the system and its SSD storage.

The Xbox Series X CPU

Zen 2 Renoir Xbox

The Xbox Series X CPU is strictly the identical CPU that AMD built-in into the SoCs that they launched for laptops and PCs in 2020 underneath the Ryzen 4000 trademark and codenamed Renoir. These being “trimmed” variations of the Ryzen 3000 cores for desktop. The purpose we put it in quotes is as a result of apart from the L3 cache which has been trimmed for house causes, the remaining of the chip and its performance stays the identical, unchanged.

Unlike its counterpart on PlayStation 5, of the identical structure, it may work in two other ways:

  • In the primary mode, it really works with the SMT lively and due to this fact can run 2 threads per core. In stated mode it runs at 3.6 GHz, making it 0.1 GHz sooner than its counterpart on the PlayStation 5.
  • In the second mode, the SMT is inactive, however in return every core works at 3.Eight GHz. This mode is specifically designed for Xbox One (X) video games that ran on Eight AMD Jaguar cores with out multhilo assist.

The reality of utilizing the Zen 2 structure represents an vital leap, the brand new CPU not solely doubles the clock pace of the usual Xbox One fashions, but in addition has greater than double the ability per clock cycle, assuming one of the most important leaps between console generations.

The Xbox Series X GPU

Gears 5 Xbox Series X

Base structure AMD RDNA 2 customized
Base clock pace 1825 MHz
Boost clock pace Does not have
Compute Units 52
ALUs FP32 by CU 64
Power in FP32 12 TFLOPS
Power in FP16 24 TFLOPS
Power in Int 8 32 TOPS
Texture Units 208
Texturing price 379.6 G pixels / s
Fill Rate 116.Eight GPpixels / s
Cache L2 5 MB
Mesh / Primitive Shaders Yes
Variable Rate Shading Yes
Ray tracing Yes
Sampler Feedback Streaming Yes
Infinity Cache Not

Although they share the identical fundamental structure, Microsoft has taken a very completely different path from SONY in relation to designing its console and selecting the GPU. While in PlayStation 5 a design with fewer Compute Units within the GPU has been chosen, offset by a better clock pace, within the case of Microsoft a decrease clock pace has been chosen however a better quantity of Compute Units. From our information, Microsoft’s alternative is healthier, since consumption will increase exponentially with clock pace.

Being a novel design, its configuration in Compute Units doesn’t correspond to any mannequin in PC, because it has 52 lively Compute Units working at 1825 MHz, which provides it about 12 TFLOPS of energy constantly and with out fluctuations. Like PlayStation 5, it’s a design based mostly on RDNA 2 however it has extra of this structure than its direct rival, which solely has RDNA 2, the unit in cost of calculating intersections in Ray Tracing.

The know-how that AMD and Microsoft haven’t built-in is the Infinity Cache, which is regular given the massive measurement of the SoC. We can not overlook that we’re taking a look at AMD’s largest SoC underneath TSMC’s 7nm node, for the reason that PlayStation 5 is smaller than the Xbox Series X.

Render Backend + and VRS


ROPS models, which have the perform of writing the picture buffer, are referred to as Render Backends. In RDNA 2 for PC and Xbox they’ve earned a + on the finish of the title as a consequence of the truth that along with the rasterized unit they’ve been modified to carry out Variable Rate Shading. Which consists of grouping the repeated Pixel Shader strains into one to calculate them as one as a substitute of repeating their calculation.

The distinction between the PC RB + and the Xbox Series X is that the console is a considerably trimmed unit, since whereas the PC can write as much as 128 32-bit pixels per clock cycle, 128 ROPS, on the console model the factor stays at 64. Otherwise the performance of the Variable Rate Shading is unbroken and is one of the differential components with which Microsoft takes out its chest when it talks about its new console.

RAM on Xbox Series X

GDDR6 Xbox Series X

Xbox consoles have at all times used a UMA system, so we’ve got all of the reminiscence in the identical effectively, this time made up of 10 GDDR6 reminiscence chips with uneven capacities, since though its bus from 320 bits to 320 bits at 14 Gbps, 560 GB / s of bandwidth we don’t discover a configuration of 10 GB or 20 GB, which might be the same old if we had been speaking about PC {hardware}, however 16 GB, because it combines completely different 1 and 2 GB chips.

Although we’re outdoors the GPU space, we’ve got to make clear that within the case of RDNA 2 architectures the quantity of partitions of the L2 cache is instantly proportional to the quantity of GDDR6 channels within the system. Since GDDR6 is 2 channels per reminiscence chip and we’ve got 10 chips then we’re speaking about 20 channels and cache partitions on the GPU.

In order to keep away from rivalry, or conflicts in entry to RAM between the CPU and its shoppers and the GPU and its shoppers, the 16 GB capability is split into two completely different blocks,

The 16 GB of reminiscence is split into two completely different blocks, one of 6 GB and the opposite of 10 GB, that are accessed underneath the next situations the next situations:

Channel 1 Channel 2 Total
Area 1: 10 GB Channel 1280 GB / s GPU Channel 2280 GB / s GPU Total560 GB / s
Area 2: 6 GB Channel 156 GB / s CPU Channel 2280 GB / s GPU Total336 GB / s

The purpose why the CPU accesses solely 56 GB / s has to do with the best way through which inside Zen architectures the unit referred to as UMC accesses RAM, it at all times does so on the pace of memclk * 32 bytes / cycle. Since the memclk of the GDDR6 is 1/8 of the Gbps, this signifies that it really works at 1.75 GHz, which provides a bandwidth of 56 GB / s when the CPU by means of the UMC makes use of that channel.

Accelerators on the Xbox Series X SoC

Xbox Accelerators

An accelerator is a unit designed to do a particular job and free a extra complicated processor from that activity, there are two varieties of accelerators:

  • Fixed perform: they’re these that aren’t programmable, they at all times carry out the perform in the identical method. Due to their simplicity, they occupy the least house and eat the least, however their lack of versatility signifies that their efficiency is static.
  • Specialized objective processors: These are small CPUs designed to run a microprogram, they’re often microcontrollers contained in the processor with their very own instruction reminiscence and due to this fact with a Harvard-like design, some might have entry to the reminiscence.

In Xbox Series X we’ve got a sequence of accelerators, which might entry one of the 2 RAM reminiscence wells described above or each on the similar time.

Throttle Memory house
ThrottleDMA # 0 Memory houseBoth of them
ThrottleDMA # 1 + LZ Encode Memory houseBoth of them
ThrottleDMA # 2 ´LZ Decode Memory houseBoth of them
ThrottleDMA # 3 Memory houseAmbox
ThrottleAudio DSPs Memory houseCPU
ThrottleVNC Memory houseGPU
ThrottleDisplay controller Memory houseGPU
ThrottlePluto (Safety) Memory houseCPU
ThrottleSSD codec Memory houseBoth of them

The group of these is similar as that of Xbox One, however an important of them is in cost of managing entry to the SSD, colloquially referred to as by Microsoft as Velocity Engine, which implements Microsoft’s DirectStorage know-how.

SSD and Velocity Engine

Internal SSD Xbox Series X

Microsoft has taken a special path for the SSD, as a substitute of designing its personal drive, it has determined to put in a drive of the M.2 2230 sort, which makes use of a 2-lane PCI Express 4.Zero bus for entry. Which provides you a 2.Four GB / s bandwidth, however utilizing the info compressor and decompressor within the SoC you may attain 4.Eight GB / s of bandwidth. The unit, as you may see within the {photograph}, not like the PlayStation 5 SSD, will not be soldered to the motherboard and regardless of being slower, it has a better storage capability by bringing 1 TB.

Seagate Storage for Xbox Series X

To develop storage, Microsoft has not opted for M.2 drives however for modified CFExpress reminiscence playing cards, which include a 1 TB capability M.2 disk. These playing cards use the opposite two PCI Express lanes assigned to the SSD and due to this fact their entry capabilities are the identical as the primary unit. The counterpart of it? As a single unit, Microsoft will management the worth very strongly and on condition that storage is critical, we imagine that Microsoft might capitalize on its console in that sense.

Velocity Architecture and Sampler Feedback

Xbox Velocity

The unit in cost of managing entry to the SSD is the Velocity Engine, since with out it it could be needed to make use of a number of CPU cores to decompress the info. If in your PC the CPU suffocates by decompressing at a price of a couple of hundred megabytes, think about with charges of gigs. That is why all new technology consoles have particular models devoted to this activity inside the primary SoC of every of them.

In the case of the Velocity Engine, it’s suitable with the DirectStorage API and is designed to use the Sampler Feedback Streaming, which consists of builders when loading a texture which variations of will probably be loaded and which of them is not going to. , as a way to keep away from loading into the RAM of superfluous and due to this fact pointless knowledge.