PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Power and Hardware Differences, Specs and Which Console Should You Buy

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Power and Hardware Differences, Specs and Which Console Should You Buy
The PlayStation5 and Xbox Series X are the best gaming consoles in the market today. Both systems are powerful and deliver an incredible experience, bringing gaming to new levels. But which of the two is the superior machine? Photo : Louis-Philippe Poitras/Unsplash

The PlayStation5 and Xbox Series X are the best gaming consoles in the market today. Both systems are powerful and deliver an incredible experience, bringing gaming to new levels. But which of the two is the superior machine?

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Hardware

Design

Starting off with the hardware that houses the consoles, the two could not be any different.

The Xbox Series X sports a matte black tower PC that can switch from a horizontal to a vertical configuration easily, per What Hi-Fi. The Xbox is 30cm x 15cm x 15cm and weighs 4.45kg. It works with a 130mm fan that brings cool air up through vents in the bottom and sends hot air out through outlets at the top. Unlike its previous generations, the Series X does not have an HDMI input or optical output.

The PS5 sports an asymmetrical white body with a glossy finish. According to Tom's Guide, the asymmetrical design makes it more difficult to switch from vertical to horizontal configurations. It is significantly taller than the Xbox at 39 cm but is slightly slimmer at 14 cm. The PS5 uses a single fan that is quite large that can be heard in a silent room. However, the fan is quiet enough to be drowned out by any sound coming from the TV or sound system, they said.

Both consoles' disc drives are noisier than the fan , but What Hi-Fi pegs the PS5 to be a tad bit quieter than the Xbox.

The PS5 does have a USB-C port which is quite handy seeing as more and more accessories get USB-C adapters.

In terms of managing physical storage space, the Xbox Series X is the more sensible choice whereas the PS5 is more visually interesting.

Controllers

The Xbox Series X's controllers are almost identical to the Xbox One model, just with an improved D-pad and a new "share" button for screenshots of the game. It still runs on AA batteries which can feel archaic, Tom's Guide said, and passes added costs to the end-user to replace the AA batteries unless they opt for the rechargeable kind.

The Xbox controller does feature a Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) which is supposed to immediately synchronize each controller input with what you see on screen, but do take into account your TV's lag. But overall, it speeds things up and it feels eager to respond to commands. It's an excellent controller, What Hi-Fi noted, but not something that you should rush to buy to replace the older models.

The PS5 DualSense offers a more significant change to its predecessor the DualShock 4. It offers an amazingly immersive experience when gaming all thanks to the series of motors that provide haptic feedback and resistance in the triggers.

For example, then pulling down the left trigger to aim down the sites of a gun in "Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold Ware," the resistance under the player's finger caries depending on the weight of the weapon. Pulling the right trigger and the first bit of movement is light before the player feels a bite point that needs to be clicked through to fire the weapon.

The DualSense also has an integrated microphone that has its own mute button. You can plug any pair of standard wired headphones into the bottom of the controller and take advantage of the console's bespoke 3D audio technology.

Overall, the PS5 takes the cake for the incredibly high-tech controller.

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PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Specs and Game Library

Price 

Both consoles cost $499, with the PS5 Digital Edition priced at $399. It can be a bit tricky to secure these consoles, however. Restocks are sporadic and third-party retailers add incredibly high mark-ups.

Most people in the market for the consoles usually wait on trackers and restock updates online to hopefully snag a console up before it sells out.

Specs 

When talking about the CPU and GPU, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X are almost the same. The PS5 has an eight-core, 3.5 GHz AMD Zen 2 CPU with a 10.3 teraflop AMD RDNA 2 GPU. The Xbox has an eight-core, 3.8 GHz AMD Zen 2 with 12.0 teraflop AMD RDNA 2.

Both offer 16 GB GDDR6 of RAM with a resolution of up to 8K and a frame rate up to 120 fps. The Standard PS5 and the Xbox also support 4K UHD Blu-ray. Storage-wise, the PS5 offers 825 GB custom SS while the Xbox offers a whopping one TB custom NVMe SSD.

Games Library

In terms of backward compatibility, almost all PS4 games--including the optimized PS4 Pro titles--are compatible with the next-gen console. All Xbox One games, select Xbox 360 games, and original Xbox games can be played with the Series X, according to Tom's Guide.

You have exciting key exclusives like "Spider-Man: Miles Morales," "Horizon II: Forbidden West," and "Gran Turismo 7" for the PS5. Titles like "Halo Infinite," "Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2," "Forza Motorsport 8," and "State of Decay 3" are exclusive to the Xbox.

Xbox has the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which is a $15 monthly subscription service that lets you download more than 100 games across a variety of genres. Sony does not have a direct comparison to that but does offer the PS Plus collection, which lets subscribers download a few dozen PS4 classics--though it does have room to grow and offer more games down the line.

Sound Quality

The PS5 does a good job of optimizing Dolby Atmos soundtracks in Blu-rays. It also fills the room with sound that's of quality clarity and has well-placed sound effects. Moreover, it's fitted with a bespoke 3D audio system that delivers quality atmospheric sound.

The Series X delivers reasonably impressive clarity, solidity, and atmosphere, according to What Hi-Fi. When playing Atmos-enabled games or films, it fills the room with effects that sweep across the soundstage as the action unfolds.

Picture Quality

Both consoles provide native 4K gaming at incredible frame rates that make graphics buttery smooth.

The Series X supports Dolby Vision while the PS5 does not. But the PS5 is a bit quieter when spinning a Blu-ray. Both perform equally in gaming and it boils down to what the user prioritizes.

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Which Should You Buy: PS5 or Xbox Series X?

Both consoles offer a near-identical gaming experience in terms of specs and performance. However, the PS5 does offer a more immersive play with its DualSense controller.

The XBox offers a more robust subscription service, although the PS5 gives a better list of newer exclusive games.

While the PS5, on paper, is the more exciting purchase out of the two, the Xbox series X has its merits as well. When choosing which console to purchase, it boils down to what features are a priority to the player.

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