What is the Xbox Series S?
The Xbox Series S is one of two next-gen consoles that Microsoft launched this year as the Xbox Series, it’s the more modest of the two bets as they have lower technical specifications than its older sister, the Xbox. Series X, with which, despite the difference in power, it shares several elements and technologies in common.
The reason is that Microsoft has created a common development platform, where the only difference between having one console or another is the graphics power. In theory, it’s the same as having a PC with the same specs, but only the graphics change. Later we will see that it is not like that one hundred percent, but let’s not go too fast.
The console is designed to be played on 1080p televisions and 1440p monitors, it should be remembered that the television standard for high definition and 4K televisions does not have Quad HD or 1440p resolution as standard. In any case, it’s interesting to know that the Xbox Series S supports this resolution but not 4K.
The Xbox Series S SoC
The Xbox Series S is not a lite version of the Xbox Series X, so it uses its own SoC, which encompasses all of the console’s components in a single chip except for RAM, storage, and frequency. radio chips for Bluetooth, WiFi Direct and WiFi connections.
It’s a 190mm SoC2, we are therefore faced with an SoC with half the size of the Xbox Series X, with which it shares a good part of its components except for the less powerful GPU and the memory interface.
Xbox Series S CPU
Microsoft has decided to use the same processor and with exactly the same conditions of the Xbox Series X in the Xbox Series S, which means that we are faced with 8 full Zen 2 cores, the configuration of which derives from that used in the PC. AMD Ryzen 4000. In other words, two CCX units where four Zen 2 cores and 4MB L3 cache are included inside each.
Like its older sister, it can operate in two different modes, the first of them at 3.4GHz having the active SMT, the second without the active SMT reaches 3.6GHz. Using the exact same processor model but at a bit lower should make it easier to move versions between the two Xbox series. The problem with that? That the memory configuration is different and in the case of the Xbox Series S having three times less memory allocated to the CPU than in the Xbox Series X means less compute load in games.
This means that while the console is the least powerful of the three, the conditions under which its processor operates are less heavy, so the console is more optimized to achieve higher frame rates than its rivals. Of course, with lower resolution and detail quality.
The Xbox Series S GPU
|Basic architecture||AMD RDNA 2 custom|
|Base clock speed||1565 MHz|
|Increase clock speed||He does not have|
|ALU FP32 by CU||64|
|Power in FP32||4 TFLOPS|
|Power in FP16||8 TFLOPS|
|Power in Int 8||16 TOPS|
|Texturing rate||125.2 Gtexels / s|
|Filling rate||50 GPixels / s|
|L2 cache||2 MB|
|Primitive Mesh / Shaders||And|
|Variable rate shading||And|
|Sampler feedback flow||And|
The Xbox Series S GPU is based like the Xbox Series X on a custom version of Microsoft’s RDNA 2 architecture and although it is a lower capacity version, it has not been cut in terms of graphics features. Thus, the smallest of the current generation consoles has all the features of its older sister such as ray tracing, variable rate shading and sample feedback flow.
However, it is necessary to clarify a series of concepts and misconceptions regarding this console, the fact that its memory location is different from that of the Xbox Series S does not allow to take the game from the Xbox Series X and run it. at a lower resolution. and requires special versions. For now, the console is happy with the versions run for Xbox Series S, which it runs with incredible ease due to the difference in power and the use of a superior architecture such as RDNA 2, compared to the GCN architecture, not to mention the difference as for the CPU.
We are therefore faced with a material which today is not used by the material that makes it work and which, contrary to what many people believe, is not a cut-out version of its older sister, but a console. distinct which itself requires its own optimizations. Which in the Xbox development environment at the moment is not a problem, as developers can optimize their games for this console and achieve unique performance profiles. Of course, it’s not a 4K console, so don’t expect to be able to play games at this resolution natively, as it can’t.
|Channel 1||Channel 2||Total|
|Zone 1: 8 GB||114 Gb / s GPU||114 Gb / s GPU||224 GB / s|
|Zone 2: 6 GB||56 Gb / s processor||114 Gb / s GPU||170 GB / s|
The Xbox Series S has a particular memory configuration, since we are dealing with an SoC with a 128-bit GDDR6 bus at a speed of 14 Gbps, so Microsoft uses the same memory chips in its two consoles. But in the case of the Xbox Series S, we have around 10GB of memory. The explanation at 10 GB is simple, the fourth channel uses Clamshell mode or GDDR6 x8 mode, in this mode 2 memory chips can be placed under the same channel instead of one. To do this, the first chip is placed in the first 8 bits of each channel and the other chip in the other 8 bits. The result of this is that the bandwidth is not increased but is distributed between the two.
The 10GB memory configuration is lower than the 16GB configuration of the Xbox Series X, and at first glance, given the memory allocation between the processor and the GPU of the X series and that the CPU part is essential, we could come to think that we are facing a configuration of 6 GB for the CPU part and 4 GB for the GPU, which would make sense for porting games. Reality? It’s not like that and the part allocated to the CPU is only 2 GB of information and the rest is for the rest of the system functions. We can not forget that the operating system and background functions also take up space in RAM.
The Xbox Series X memory reserve is 2.5 GB, but we have to keep in mind that it is part of the RAM reserved for recording content in 4K, which is much busier. In addition, Microsoft’s operating systems leave a very small part of their power to make the console interface run in the background in the background, so that the memory reserve for the operating system is lesser.
The Xbox Series S has the same storage technology as the other two consoles, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, with the latter it shares all the storage technology without any changes, so in this aspect Microsoft has not cut at least in appearance, and this is a negative point that we must take into account.
As of this writing, I have in my line of sight an Xbox Series X with 1TB of storage and honestly I’m running out of space to store all the games. Let’s not forget that Microsoft’s Killer App right now is the Game Pass where they offer a lot of games for a modest subscription and installing and uninstalling games for just 0.5TB, less really, is a big deal. nuisance. It wouldn’t have cost Microsoft anything to have included a 1TB SSD, it would have been really easy to use the same SSD that they included as standard in the Xbox Series X. Being the most negative part of it. this console from the point of view of seeing who writes these lines from this Microsoft console.
In terms of expansion options, the console supports the same memory cards as its older sister, the Xbox Series X, which uses variants of the CF Express cards made by Microsoft’s Seagate. Which as we have already mentioned have a high price and for what it costs an Xbox Series S and one of these cards is much better to go for an Xbox Series X, which has good hardware. better and better prepared for the future.