PS5 vs PC vs XBOX SX


XSX performing worse than PS5 was unsurprising
The fact that microsoft refused to show any XSX gameplay other than the disastrous halo infinite demo was a big red flag. There were reasons to believe the theoretical 17% XSX advantage (if you just look at TFLOPS) wouldn't materialize.
  1. The GPU performance doesn't scale linearly with the number of compute units.
  2. xbox series x has questionable ram design
  3. xbox series X do not have the same compute unit design as PS5
  4. xbox series X / S have one CPU cores (2 threads) locked to the OS.
  5. with xbox series X and S there are 2 consoles to worry about meaning less effort will be put into optimizing for each one.
There is no guarantee that XSX will ever surpass PS5 when it comes to performance in games, it's unclear to which degree the bad performance is a hardware issue. If you own an XSX you should probably just sell your system and switch to PC (if you really want the best performance) or PS5 (if you want to keep playing on console).

Microsoft really focused on "games will look and play the best on xbox series X" and now it turns out it's more like third best. Sony is more focused on other things (games, controller, etc) and doesn't really rely on power in their marketing even when they are ahead on that front.



What Microsoft should have done
Microsoft could have gotten a significant win in terms of performance but they dropped the ball badly and lost.

0. Clock the GPU far higher (2.19 GHZ instead of 1.825).
1. Have unified ram.
2. instead of the series S offer an all digital version similar to PS5 all digital edition.
3. Name it "xbox scarlett" instead of "xbox series X".
4. Offer a 2TB version.
5. offer a real next-gen controller.

It's unclear if 5 would have been needed, it looks like most xbox fans are not really interested in change with regard to the controller, they want to continue with aim assist and worthless thumb-sticks.

If microsoft hadn't fucked up the XSX specs would have been the following

GPU: 14.4 TFLOPs (52 compute units @ 2.19 GHZ)

ram: 20GB GDDR6 @ 560GB/s (320-bit bus)

Or if memory bandwidth is still holding the GPU back

ram: 16GB GDDR6 @ 896GB/s (512-bit bus)

For series S they should have had the following


RAM: 12 GB GDDR6 @ 336GB/s (192-bit bus)


XSX performing worse in dirt 5
The 60hz image quality version ran at higher resolution and framerates on the PS5, the trend of PS5 performing better continued.

XSX did get higher framerates than the PS5 in the 120hz mode but that was at the prize of significantly worse graphics.

The stated the bad graphics XSX had in the 120hz mode probably was a bug but that is highly unlikely, they simply had to drop the graphics that far to reach a stable 120fps.

As we see PS5 really need to add support for variable refresh rate, with that and some other fixes the PS5 will outright destroy the XSX.


PS5 also have issues
The general pattern is that these issues are software issues or sony just being anti-consumer for no good reason. Here are the biggest issues

0. Sony are really bad (worse than microsoft and nintendo) when it comes to censoring videogames.
1. PS5 currently doesn't support variable refresh rate (will be fixed soon).
2. the PS5 HDMI 2.1 is currently limited to 32Gbps (should be fixed soon).
3. Poor support for gyro aiming.
4. No NVME drive has been approved for PS5 yet.
5. no support for 1440p output (might never be fixed).
6. cannot play PS3 games
7. cannot play PS2 games
8. cannot play PS1 games
9. a few PS4 titles (about 10) isn't playable on PS5.

The actual hardware in the PS5 is clearly just fine, not as good as high-end PC but still overall welll-design and most people will be happy with how it performs in games. This actually illustrates that even when the actual hardware is good you are still at the mercy of the console manufactorer, you have to hope they actually let you use the hardware to its potential and this will never happen of course.

Issue 4 might not actually be the fault of sony, the issue could be manufacturers failing to make fast enough drives, we can more of less assume that they will get their eventually.


I told xbox fanboys to sell their XSX
While they will be able to get their money back (and more) by selling now most will not actually take that opportunity, instead they will tell themselves "this is just a temporary issue" even though history show hardware that initially perform worse will keep performing worse and never catch up.

Also it's really hard to get a PS5 for reasonable price now if you didn't make a pre-order, thus it really sucks if you abstained from pre-ordering a PS5 becuase microsoft promised you would get more performance with the series X.

I wrote the following and they ended up deleting the post and banning me for 14 days:

Are you going to sell your XSX now after it failed to perform better than PS5?
Microsoft promised that "games will run and play better on the xbox series X" and now it turns out that was a lie.

The rational thing to do when you get new information is to factor that information into your decisions and possibly change your plans, you should be able to sell your xbox series X at profit now due to the shortage and you can use that money towards a gaming PC or a PS5.

I am aware it's possible that XSX will end up catching up to the PS5 in terms of real-world performance but looking at history that is probably not going to happen, it's rare for a worse performing product to ever catch up to a better performing products. Good developer tools have been available since june which should have been enough time to do a decent optimization for the XSX.

I can still see some reasons for sticking to microsoft but all these reasons can be used for instead going for high-end PC assuming you can afford that
  1. sony have started to censor videogames (this is really bad).
  2. gamepass providing good value (if you like that service).
  3. you like some title not available on the PS5.
  4. PS5 currently doesn't support variable refresh rate and 40Gbps HDMI 2.1 (should be fixed soon).
The biggest issue with PC gaming now is shortages so you might end up without a system if you sell now.

Only a single individual stated that he was going to get rid of his XSX and instead get a PS5, that's just sad and illustrates how people are hurt by blind brand loyalty, the same thing happened with the original xbox one where fanboys bought it even though playstastion 4 was better in every way.

An4rchy17 wrote:

Not for me. I was sooo close to going ps5, with xbox being the best in class I stuck with xbox. Xbox may get better with time but lifes short so for at least now ill swap to the better versions and ps5 launch line up.


This is just sad
Of course i told him to sell the console now when he can get a good price for it. Given the title it seems like he really do care about power and that he bought into a lie. Unfortunatily it does seem like he already bought games for it so he might not be able to recover the money he spent now



Observer: system redux
Weirdly they do not offer any mode where they can be easily compared between the consoles, on both however the performance is very poor.

PS5: limited to 1080p when raytracing is enabled.
XSX: has a 4K option

Now let's compare that to an over 2 year old graphics card


Of course the newer RTX 3080 perform even better



How does performance scale with the number of shaders?
Some people think the PS5 GPU being higher clocked is the reason for it performing better since the performance does not scale linearly with the number of shaders, this however may not be enough to explain the difference in performance.

6800xt vs 6800
shaders: +20%
performance: +14%
performance/hz: +6% (approx)

3080 vs 3070
shaders: +48
performance: +30%

3080 does however also have faster ram but you still do not get a linear performance increase at 1440p.

XSX vs PS5
Shaders: +44%
performance/hz: +10% (approx)

Shaders: +160%
performance/hz: +130% (approx)

This strongly indicate that it's something else holding the xbox series X back that is also affecting the series S.


Memory bandwidth
This is the by far most likely explanation for why the new xbox consoles perform so poorly, if the issue was just difficulty giving all 52 compute units meaningful work then why is series S performing so poorly?

16 GB GDDR6 with 320-bit bus
10 GB @ 560 GB/s, 6 GB @ 336 GB/s

10 GB GDDR6 with 128-bit bus
8 GB @ 224 GB/s, 2 GB @ 56 GB/s

The reason PS5 doesn't have the same issue is likely due to them having a solution similar to "infinity cache" and thus they do not run into bandwidth issues. Their ram design is also clean making it easier to optimize for:

256-bit, 448GB/s

Microsoft probably decided to sacrifice cache in favor of more compute units. It's also possible that they were not even allowed to use sonys solution for legal reasons (AMD being allowed to use their innovations for PC only, not their console competitor).

This means that a lot of data that would otherwise been sent to the memory can instead be stored in the cache resulting in less strain on the memory bandwidth. Microsoft used a solution for this with the original xbox one to compensate for slow ram (ddr3).




Will XSX surpass PS5 with optimizations?
We can look at history to conclude that this is very unlikely to happen. Sony fans were hoping that the PS3 would eventually surpass the 360 in multi-platform games once developers learned to properly use the cell processor but that didn't really happen



PS5 is simply a superior system, the TFLOP advantage XSX had fails to result in better performance due to xbox series X having poor memory bandwidth, low GPU clock and the fact that GPU performance will not scale linearly with the number of shaders.

This will naturally be hard for xbox fanboys to accept and thus many of them will keep their xbox instead of getting their money back(or more) by selling/returning their console. There are many sad cases of xbox fans telling themselves "the game looks better on xbox" when it's just the dynamic weather system (reality: PS5 version have better graphics and framerate).


xbox series X is being crushed between PS5 and PC
Sony is well aware PC gaming is a very real competitor to consoles, this is why they launched the PS4 pro even though at the time they already had the far more powerful console.

Meanwhile valve has been trying to make PC more competetive for something like console gaming, they have made multiple attempts at that
0. The steam big picture mode (success)
1. The steam controller (limited success)
2. Steam machines (as expected, it failed).

This is why the xbox one X didn't sell well, it simply couldn't compete with PC, having better hardware than PS4 pro simply didn't cut it.


Dev mode
Turns out there is a mode allowing you to use use your console more freely after paying 20$

Microsoft giving PC features to their consoles could be a way to make them more relevant. Thus microsoft will be able to leverage their PC dominance to compete better against sony.

The xbox consoles run a lock-down (crippled) version of windows, by removing restrictions they give better value to their customers. The only issue with this strategy is that most console gamers are not actually interested in these things, they just want to sit in their cough and play halo.


Partial win for XSX in COD Black Ops Cold War
XSX performed better in the 60fps raytraced mode but lost in the 120hz mode.

This is the second case of XSX performing better in the low framerate mode but once settings were lowered it did not take as good use of the higher compute unit count and ended up losing.

A lot of people responded claiming the raytraced PS5 version ran at higher settings, this could explain the occasional drops the XSX doesn't suffer from

Watch dogs legions
In game there is no clear win here, both ran terribly (30fps). PS5 does however have faster loading screens which is the only noticable difference between the versions.

Earlier digitalfoundry stated (based on info from .ini files) that the PS5 and XSX version should have the same settings but the maker of the video above did see differences (that probably wasn't there):

Let's go with another NextGen comparison! This time the results are somewhat more interesting, but not much. Both versions run at a dynamic resolution between 1440p and 2160p. PS5 has a higher average resolution (at least in the parts that I have compared it is noticeably better in some areas), on the other hand, the drawing distance and the anisotropic filtering are higher in XSX. Regarding the framerate, both consoles run at a rate of 30fps. I have not experienced falls or tearing in any, however, I have not subjected them to very marked stress (many explosions, large load of enemies on the screen ... etc). Ray Tracing is exactly the same on both platforms, the equivalent of the low PC setting.

It's unclear why they do not offer a 60fps version, well that's the typical console experience.


Theoretical performance in perspective
Lets say xbox series X somehow manage to deliver 17% more performance as promised (very unlikely) in the future.


The price of old hardware was set to the approximate ebay price.

If that additional performance man to much to you why are you not playing on PC?

Of course how fun you have with a console/PC will depend on how powerful it is but it will not be linear, twice the power does not mean twice the fun.


Assassins creed valhalla has been updated
They added an unplayable (30fps) mode for people obsessed with graphics.

So far no information regarding how the PS5 version stack up to the XSX version after the update, it has been claimed that the performance issues on the xbox series X has been fixed but did that actually happen and if it was fixed did it come at a cost?

The update will ruin framerate on the PS5 and improve it on xbox series S.

Apparently, until DF/Dictator confirms all this and based on Tom's and John's tweets:
- PS5 version seem to run worse than before, however a recent tweet from John seems to suggest is not that bad and previously reported FPS drops may not happen that often or drop that low (a video on YT shows PS5 dropping 15fps every 15-20 seconds, could be a capturing issue).
- Some twitter users are suggesting that reinstalling the game fixes framerate drops on PS5.
- XBSX version runs better than before, there are also some cryptic tweets from John implying XBSX may drop to a lower res to maintain a more constant framerate and prevent tearing.
- Based on what Tom mentioned, XBSX (and apparently PS5 as well) run at locked 30fps on quality mode.
- XBSS seems to be the console to get the nicest bump in performance.

What probably happened
Most likely ubisoft changed the PS5 settings to push more aggressively for graphics on the PS5 version at the expense of screantearing, the typical console experience of having little to no control over graphic settings.

It can be argued the xbox series X version actually look better than the PC and PS5 version due to lacking bloom.



Will the trend continue?
So far the results have overall favoured the PS5

But this is early versions meaning there will be bugs and other issues both console versions suffer from. Still it does seem like the PS5 will keep delivering superior performance in next-generation titles.


Backwards compatibility
The PS5 can run all PS4 games except 10 on the PS5 while the series X can run all titles that doesn't require the kinect (that microsoft forced people to buy only to later not even have a port for).

The xbox series X can also run xbox 360 and original xbox titles while the PS5 does not currently offer any such emulation.

When playing last-gen titles the system will emulate the older weaker hardware, luckily for sony the base PS4 is more powerful than the original xbox one and the xbox one S. Microsoft did however later leanch the xbox one X that is more powerful than the PS4 pro, thus last game titles (that are not given a patch for PS5/XSX) will run better on the XSX iff the game was enhanced for the xbox one X.

This is why a lot of backwards compatible ltitles load faster on XSX, the slow emulated CPU speed will bottleneck the fast PS5 SSD and thus XSX will end up loading slighly faster.


VG Tech ps5 vs XSX patch poerformane, drops to ps5 1368p and XSX 1080p
As expected the PS5 version runs at higher resolution, they did however push to hard for resolution resulting in lower frame-rate. No wonder PS5 is struggeling when it at the minimum resolution have to render 60% more pixels than the minimum xbox series X resolution. The general consensus is that the original PS5 version is superior (better framerate at 1440p minimum)

This however illustrates the issue of dynamic resolution, it's still hard for the game to pick the correct resolution for a stable 60fps, often it will set the resolution too low (causing dips) or too high (meaning the GPU will not be fully utilized).

Having variable refresh rate (consistently above 120fps) is a far better solution.

VG Tech wrote:

PS5 in Performance Mode uses a dynamic resolution with the highest native resolution found being 3840x2160 and the lowest native resolution found being approximately 2432x1368. PS5 in Performance Mode rarely renders at a native resolution of 3840x2160. Xbox Series X in Performance Mode uses a dynamic resolution with the highest native resolution found being 3840x2160 and the lowest native resolution found being 1920x1080. Xbox Series X in Performance Mode rarely renders at a native resolution of 3840x2160 and drops in resolution down to 1920x1080 seem to be uncommon. In scenes such as 8:14 the PS5 in Performance Mode runs at a higher native resolution than the Xbox Series X in Performance Mode but with worse performance. However, in many scenes the PS5 and Xbox Series X render at a very similar resolution in Performance Mode. PS5 and Xbox Series X in Performance Mode use a form of temporal reconstruction to increase the resolution up to 3840x2160 when rendering natively below this resolution. PS5 and Xbox Series X in Quality Mode uses a dynamic resolution with the highest native resolution found being 3840x2160 and the lowest native resolution found being approximately 3552x1998. On both consoles in Quality Mode drops in resolution below 3840x2160 seem to be uncommon. Xbox Series S in Performance Mode uses a dynamic resolution with the highest native resolution found being 1920x1080 and the lowest native resolution found being approximately 1200x675. Xbox Series S in Performance Mode uses a form of temporal reconstruction to increase the resolution up to 1920x1080 when rendering natively below this resolution. Xbox Series S in Quality Mode uses a dynamic resolution with the highest native resolution found being 2880x1620 and the lowest native resolution found being approximately 2048x1152. Xbox Series S in Quality Mode uses a form of temporal reconstruction to increase the resolution up to 2880x1620 when rendering natively below this resolution.