From a tech specs perspective and if you only really care about getting the best-looking version of games made for all systems, it’s going to be the Xbox Series X based on its better compute hardware, but if you care about games not made for multiple systems, then the answer isn’t so clear. Oh, and PS5’s load times will be 2x as fast as XSX, but both of them are going to load an order of magnitude faster than their predecessors, so we’re talking about the difference between waiting 5 seconds and waiting 10 seconds.
- CPU: Xbox Series X CPU runs at a higher clock rate and it has 8 cores, 16 threads. PS5 CPU only runs 8 cores, 8 threads, at a lower clock speed. Not so much lower that it’ll make a huge difference, but it can be the difference between a stable and a slightly unstable frame rate.
- GPU: Xbox Series X has a massive GPU with 52 shader units. PS5’s is limited to 36 but runs at a higher clock rate. Overall XSX is about 25% faster, meaning things that the PS5 may only do at 1080p, where XSX should do at true 4k, and what the PS5 may only do at 90fps the XSX should do at 120fps.
- Memory: Both have 16GB. PS5’s is a single block, Xbox Series X configures it into a fast block and a slow block. The fast memory is crucial for ultra-high-pixel-count rendering and for the new ray-traced lighting effects. In this category, you can’t really say which one is best.
- Storage: This is the one thing that PS5 does better than XSX. PS5 has a screaming fast SSD and a customized access system that can dump straight from the SSD to the memory, bypassing the need for the CPU to mediate the interaction. XSX also has an SSD, but it’s only half the speed and has to have reads mediated through the CPU (to be fair, though, Microsoft has a fantastic software solution that substantially reduces just how much work the CPU has to do to move data from drive to memory). For games made exclusively for PS5, they may be able to utilize that SSD to have much higher levels of close-up detail and have the SSD stream in the next high-detail section on demand. This won’t happen for cross-platform games, though.
So from tech specs and cross-platform game standpoint, Xbox Series X is overall, the better platform.
But from a games perspective, Sony has been great at delivering hit after hit exclusive to their console, and Microsoft has only lately been trying to play catch-up. The only for-sure things we know we’ll be getting from Microsoft are continuing entries of Halo, Gears of War, and Forza Motorsport/Horizon, which by no means is bad. And more of that, Forza Horizon 4 has been a game-changer for Microsoft as it has locked Xbox users for good.
In my opinion, I would say that the PS5 is the overall better console for most people, and that’s for many reasons, but most importantly because it has more exclusive games that most people are most interested in. Nevertheless, the Xbox Series X is not bad by any means, but PS5 is far more superior, from my perspective.