a look at the Xbox Series S specs may initially give the impression that it’s not worth buying when compared to other consoles available this generation, like its more powerful sibling, the Xbox Series Xas well as its competition in the form of PS5. However, when you consider the console’s relatively lower price tag, the Xbox Series S’s specs are a welcome surprise.
Previously, we considered whether the Xbox Series S Still Worth Buying in 2022, where we briefly covered the console’s specs and how they stack up against other systems. Now, we’ll get into a more comprehensive breakdown of the small size machine’s details to help you understand if your specs line up with what you’re looking for.
Alongside the Xbox Series X, the Xbox Series S is one of the newest Xbox consoles you can buy, and as a result it packs some really impressive specs that, while not as potent as their premium counterpart, are a good step up from Xbox One X and far exceeds the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch. The Xbox Series S can be seen as something of a mid-range house, featuring slightly reduced specs for its lower price point.
Xbox Series S specs at a glance
- CPU: AMD Custom Zen 2 CPU, 8 cores at 3.6 GHz
- GPU: AMD Custom RDNA 2 GPU, 4 teraflops
- Memory: 10GB GDDR6 128-bit bus
- Storage: 512GB custom NVMe SSD
- Resolution: Up to 1440p
- Performance: Up to 120fps
- HDMI: HDMI 2.1 supported
- HDMI Features: Low Latency Auto Mode, VRR, AMD FreeSync
- Audio: L-PCM 7.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Atmos
- Ports: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1, Ethernet, dual-band 802.11ac wireless
- Dimensions: 6.5 cm x 15.1 cm x 27.5 cm
- Weight: 4.25 pounds (1.93 kg)
Xbox Series S CPU
The Xbox Series S features a custom version of AMD’s Zen 2 CPU. The custom 8-core Zen 2 CPU has a clock speed of 3.6 GHz and is comparable to AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series CPUs such as the 8-core Ryzen 7 3800X CPU. That’s a small step down from the Xbox Series X’s 3.8GHz clock speed, which can result in slightly lower framerates in comparable games.
Xbox Series S GPU
It’s the GPU where there’s the most noticeable difference between the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. Microsoft has also opted for the custom AMD architecture on both consoles, and the Xbox Series S’s custom RDNA 2 GPU features just 4 teraflops of power at compared to Xbox Series X’s most impressive 12.15 teraflops.
The Xbox Series S falls short in terms of graphical prowess not just its counterpart, but the last-gen Xbox One X, which was 4K-ready and boasted 6 teraflops of power. By no means does the Xbox Series S underperform, however. It’s still capable of outputting 1440p resolution at up to 120Hz, but it’s one of the main reasons the Xbox Series S costs so little compared to beefier consoles.
The Xbox Series S also has less RAM than the Xbox Series X – just 10GB compared to 16GB. This is another reason why 4K visuals aren’t really viable on Microsoft’s more affordable machine. Less of the fastest console RAM not available to developerseven less than the 4K capable Xbox One X. That’s a big reason why 1440p is a more realistic target for the Xbox Series S.
Xbox Series S Storage
The Xbox Series S custom PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD is identical to the Xbox Series X in all but storage space. While the Xbox Series X has an adequate 1TB of storage space, the Xbox Series S struggles a bit at just 512GB without expandable storage devices like the Seagate Xbox Storage Expansion Card.
This means that space will be used up quickly if you plan on installing and playing a decent amount of games, leaving the SSD a little tight. And if you sign the stellar Xbox Game Pass service, you will likely end up deleting games frequently to make room for new ones.
However, the Xbox Series S’s NVMe SSD picks up the slack when it comes to performance. SSD is incredibly fast and capable of loading content faster and more efficiently than high-end hard drives, which are positively glacial in comparison. Expect most loading screens, even on big-budget AAA titles, to last mere seconds. Even initial load times after launching a game rarely exceed half a minute, which means the speed of the Xbox Series S is a fantastic selling point.
Xbox Series S resolution and performance
Most current-gen games on the Xbox Series S can be played at 1440p resolution, with some particularly demanding games dropping to a still respectable 1080p, either by default or in a frame-rate boosted performance mode setting. However, there are some high-end cases, such as games like Ori and the Will of the Wisps or The Touryst, that can produce 4K resolution on Microsoft’s fairer-priced machine.
In terms of performance, the Xbox Series S is remarkably slick. With an HDMI 2.1 cable, the Xbox Series S is capable of running compatible titles at 120fps. Additionally, HDMI 2.1 offers variable refresh rate, an automatic low-latency mode to reduce input lag from wireless controllers, and – thanks to onboard AMD components – FreeSync technology for a much smoother and more consistent frame rate, free of screen tearing.
The Xbox Series X is still a very capable console then. The machine can not only reach 120 fps, but is also capable of ray tracing in applicable games, and as demonstrated by Technical demo of Matrix AwakensIt’s a bit future-proof for Unreal Engine 5 games.
Xbox Series S Project
One of the best aspects of the Xbox Series S has to be its form factor. With dimensions of 6.5cm x 15.1cm x 27.5cm, it’s a much, much thinner unit than the Xbox Series X and PS5. In fact, it’s the smallest Xbox ever made. This compact design is ideal if you’re looking for a smaller console as part of your home setup or if you don’t have a lot of space in general.
Equally impressive is the Xbox Series S’s weight of 4.25 pounds. That’s just under 2 kg and that’s less than half the weight of the bulky Xbox Series X, which comes in at 4.45 kg (9.8 pounds).
Overall, the Xbox Series S features a brilliantly minimal design that complements its pared-down specs when compared to the bigger fish. Aspects of the Xbox Series S’s design can be seen as a trade-off. Yes, you’re not getting the 4K power of the Xbox Series X or PS5, but the bright side is a space-friendly unit that’s still capable of high-end features and won’t break the bank.