In a blog post, Xbox chief Phil Spencer describes Xbox Series X as “a superior balance of power and speed in console design, advancing on all technological fronts.”
Spencer notes the Series X CPU (central processing unit) is a custom designed processor that “leverages” AMD’s Zen 2 architecture. It’s not known how many cores or FPUs (floating point units) the CPU houses, but Spencer claims the Series X CPU will be four times as powerful as the Xbox One X.
The Series X GPU (graphics processing unit) uses AMD’s new RDNA 2 microarchitecture and Spencer says it will enable developers to leverage 12 teraflops (floating point operations) of GPU performance. Based on what we know of RDNA 2 so far, Spencer’s claim that this performance is “twice that of an Xbox One X and more than eight times the original Xbox One” could well be a conservative estimate.
RDNA 2 caters for several new graphical features that the Series X will be able to utilise. Variable Rate Shading allows the GPU to prioritise specific parts of the rendered scene to help maintain a consistent framerate and resolution. There’s also hardware-accelerated support for DXR (DirectX Raytracing), the same API used by developers implementing raytracing across a range of recent PC games.
Spencer says Xbox Series X is their fastest, most powerful console ever, and we would be greatly worried if it wasn’t. He says he will have more details about the new Xbox to share in the coming months. Microsoft has committed to attending E3 2020 in Los Angeles this June and we would expect a full reveal of the Series X at their E3 press conference.
The Xbox Series X has no firm launch date but is likely to ship in late 2020, probably sometime between mid-October and mid-November.