Xbox Series X review: Next gen-console

Microsoft’s console is undeniably the most powerful console ever – but it lacks the wow factor

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Our review

The Xbox Series X is the most powerful console ever. It utilizes its powerful specs to significantly to reduce load times and increase overall game performance and increase frames per second ( fps ). But, while features such as Quick Resume, Smart Delivery and backwards compatibility give it that extra boost, it’s hard to deny that it’s lacking in key areas like the controller and exclusives.

ForAgainst
Faster loading times
Dolby Vision and Atmos support
4K/60fps gameplay
No Xbox exclusives
Supports 120HzController is outdated and lacks new features
Backwards compatibility for large range of gamesExpensive expandable storage
Quick Resume feature

Image Credit : TechRadar

Design

  • Modern PC like design
  • Extremely quiet
  • Minimal and clean UI
  • Better ventilation

The design of the Xbox Series X is a major change from its previous ones – the upright tower design is more like a desktop gaming PC, although you can position the console horizontally, too. 

The cuboid-shaped Xbox series X is matte black all over and measures 15.1 x 15 x 30.1cm and weighs 4.45kg. It has a a green hue inside the indented cooling vents on the top – it’s a clever optical illusion that elevates the console’s design. 

Coming to the IO, at the front, there’s a single USB port and the 4K Blu-ray drive and at rear there are two USB ports at the rear alongside an Ethernet port, a storage expansion slot, and HDMI 2.1 out. Microsoft has also added raised Braille bumps next to the ports on the Xbox Series X, a nice touch for accessibility. Sadly, the Xbox Series X doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6, which would have been great future-proofing for many.

One of the major positive for Xbox series X is that its extremely quite. When on home screen the max loudness was around 30dB – that’s similar to whispering and this changes little bit when you play games. When playing games we recorded around 33dB. The sound levels sometime reached 45dB but still its doesn’t interrupt the immersive game experience. The console itself does get a bit hot, but there was no thermal throttling when running more intensive next-gen titles. 

While the external design of the Xbox Series X has a lot of changes from the previous ones, the new console’s UI and dashboard have undergone more subtle changes. It’s pretty much same but with some improvement in the UI and responsiveness. Overall the new UI is much easier to use and much faster too.


Image Credit : Regard News

Performance

  • Significantly faster loading times and more stability
  • Auto High Dynamic Range (HDR)
  • Easily expandable storage
  • 4K/60fps gameplay (up to 120fps support)
  • Up to 8K

The Series X is an absolute powerhouse. It is equipped with an eight-core AMD Zen 2 processor running at 3.8GHz, a custom RDNA 2 AMD GPU that puts out 12 TFLOPs of processing power, 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and a 1TB Custom NVMe SSD. 

Complete Specs:

CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
GPU: 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
Die Size: 360.45 mm2
Process: 7nm Enhanced
Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320b bus
Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
Internal Storage: 1TB Custom NVME SSD
I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s
Expandable Storage: 1TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support
Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive
Performance Target: 4K @ 60fps, Up to 120fps

Load times are incredibly fast on the Xbox Series X compared to older consoles. The Xbox Series X utilizes a greatly improved CPU that works in tandem with the SSD to help games load far faster than the current Xbox One X.

GameXbox Series XXbox One X
CoD: Warzone16 seconds21 seconds
Red Dead Redemption 252 seconds1 min, 35 seconds
The Outer Worlds6 seconds27 seconds
Evil Within 233 seconds43 seconds
Sea of Thieves20 seconds1 min, 21 seconds
Warframe25 seconds1 min, 31 seconds
AC: Odyssey30 seconds1 min, 7 seconds
No Man’s Sky1 min, 27 seconds2 mins, 13 seconds
Destiny 243 seconds1 min, 52 seconds
Source: The Verge

The Xbox Series X’s RDNA 2 GPU allows the console to target 4K at 60fps, however, it also means there’s support for up to 120fps. It can also support 8K at 30 fps.

The Xbox Series X is equipped with 1TB of Custom NVMe SSD storage but we can only use 802GB of it as 198GB reserved for system files and the Xbox operating system. That’s actually slightly more than the 780GB of usable space on the Xbox One X. Xbox Series X uses a proprietary storage expansion slot, and so far, only Seagate has been confirmed as a partner for the $219.99 1TB cards that slot into the rear of the console. The usable space on these cards is 920GB as, once again, space is reserved for Quick Resume. With Microsoft’s new Velocity Architecture some games get the most performance out of the system’s SSD. Both CPU and SSD have been optimized well to give a better performance.



Controller

  • Feels familiar in the hand yet subtly different
  • Works on a range of devices
  • Improved tactile textures and refined geometry
  • New ‘Share’ button
  • AA battery

The Xbox Series X Controller doesn’t have great difference with the previous Xbox’s. It sports a similar shape, and keeps the traditional button and trigger layout. On closer inspection, though, you begin to notice the subtle differences Microsoft has implemented. It feels familiar in the hand yet subtly different. The controller has improved tactile textures and refined geometry making for a more ergonomic, and more comfortable, playing experience. 

The controller has the matte black color matching the color of the console. Overall the Xbox Series X controller gives a more premium controller feel in both look and feel. The new pad now has a tactile texture on the triggers, grips and bumpers, which we found made the controller feel more secure in our hands. Also the controller is in the same size as its previous ones making it big for people with smaller hands.

Another changes to the controller is the introduction of ‘Share’ button and the hybrid D-pad. The share button is new version of capture button which enables us to easily snap screenshots of your game – a single click takes a snapshot, while holding the button down for longer records a 15-second video. This button makes capturing in-game memorable moments much easier and faster and also allowing to share instantly.

The hybrid D-pad, on the other hand, aims to provide a middle-ground between the Xbox One controller’s classic D-pad and the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2’s changeable disc-shaped, faceted D-pad. It is a small but welcome change and is intended to give more control and leverage over the D-pad – while generally feeling more comfortable.

Thankfully it retains the 3.5mm audio jack and expansion port at the bottom, its USB charge port and pairing button at the top, and its View, Menu and Xbox buttons on the face. The controller with powered by AA batteries which can be rechargeable via USB-C port on the controller.

Not just design, Microsoft have made a lot of improvement in its functionality too. The controller is now more responsive with low latency and connects wirelessly through Bluetooth.  


Image Credit: Engadget

Game library

  • Launch title lineup is a bit disappointing
  • Xbox Game Pass, offers plenty to play
  • Backwards-compatible for lots of games to play

Xbox new game launched are the one which lets us down. There are only a handful of new games available now like  Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, Dirt 5 and Yakuza: like a Dragon, none of which are Xbox exclusives. Xbox has actually less number of exclusives. Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps are some of Xbox exclusives which will be optimized for the new console.

One of the great news is that Xbox Series X has access to both backwards-compatible Xbox titles and a handful of next-gen games which have been optimized for the Xbox Series X. However some third party games are still yet to get optimized.

Coming to Xbox game pass it is one such great feature. It gives us access to thousands of backwards-compatible games at launch, so you’ll have plenty of older games to play. Picking up an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription to bolster your library as you will have access to hundreds of games on the go.


Some of Key features of Xbox Series X
  • Backwards compatibility with more games and accessories
  • Quick Resume
  • Faster load times
  • 4K 60fps
  • 4K UHD Blu-ray drive
  • Xbox game pass
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS support
  • More entertainment apps available than before
  • Smart Delivery


So here is the question. Should you buy Xbox Series X?

Buy if:

  • You want faster loading times and smoother gameplay.
  • You want a great audiovisual multimedia experience.
  • You want to keep access your older Xbox games and accessories.
  • You want more control over your storage.

Don’t buy if:

  • You want an exciting launch library.
  • You want a better controller.
  • You don’t intend to buy at least a 4K TV.
  • You don’t like PC like design.

Check latest prices and buy Xbox Series X from Amazon:

Thank you for visiting Burgee Byte and reading out our review on Xbox Series X. Also check out Xbox Series S review.

Kevin Joe Harris

Tech enthusiast who loves to share his knowledge and express his thoughts!

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