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Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Series S vs Series X (resolution, performance, etc.)

Series S is arrived!

I'll download Dirt 5 and let you know about the graphics options for it to fill in the table. Not interested in buying Devil May Cry because I played it already on gamepass before they removed it - so can't help you there. I'll happily take a look at anything on gamepass or EA play or back compat. I have an elgato HD60S+ which will let me pass through to my laptop and count the pixels, too, though I don't have any framerate counting programs.

I have ridiculously fast internet in this accommodation, so much so that I downloaded Fifa21 (50GB) in less than 25 minutes. (Not for me, for the flatmates...)

First impressions are that it's quite cute. It's made of a pretty scratch-resistant plastic, not too dissimilar to the white phat Xbox 360's of old. I prefer the look of it standing up but for some reason it doesn't seem very balanced when upright, so it's sat down for now. Anyway. Send requests if you're curious



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I think it is still to early to tell since most of the games are held by last gen versions as well. But for 1080p30fps or 60fps Series S certainly should be viable for the whole gen. Not for me as I want the best bang for buck and visuals I can reasonably get, but certainly there is market for Series S.

But it is a great initiative to make a list and track how they compare.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

Ok so Dirt 5 has got two modes by default "prioritise image quality" and "prioritise framerate". If you turn the video settings to 120Hz in the console settings you open up a 120fps mode.

Having recorded and counted three clips:

1. the "quality" mode is 1440p but doesn't always lock 60. You do feel dips especially if you move to the front bumper view, down to what feels like 50fps.

2. "prioritise framerate" performance is better but the graphics settings are really turned down. If you pay attention you an also see where it switches to lower resolution targets also, though 3 out of 4 counts were still at 1440p.

3. "120hz" mode is a bit of a disaster. I had 3 counts at 908p and 3 at 762p, (25% of the resolution!!). I dont think the settings were dropped noticeably further than on framerate mode. 120hz seems great though. I think it looked OK on the snowy track but the blurriness on the "dirt" track made it look really ugly. I never counted it above 908p, so maybe that's the effective cap on DRS.

TLDR; 1440p/60fps or 762~900p/120fps



EnricoPallazzo said:
Im underwhelmed by Series S. I though the difference would be games running at 1080p instead of of 4k only which would make sense I guess since it would be generating only 25% of the pixels of a 4K game. But it seems the gap is much wider and games need to run at 30fps. Why would Valhalla have to run 1620p/30 fps instead of 1080p/60fps? Or why you would have to turn off ray tracing ON TOP of lowering resolution from 4k to 1080p?

Valhalla doesn't need to run at 1620p 30 fps, devs were lazy and used the same 1620p-2160p scaler on Series S, Xbox One X, PS5, and Series X, because 1620p is over the 1080p-1440p recommendation for Series S, Ubisoft had to drop to 30 fps. It could definitely run the game at 60 fps, most likely with a 1080p-1440p dynamic scaler, if Ubisoft cared to take the time to implement it. 

As for no ray-tracing on Series S for DMC V, considering it is terribly optimized on both PS5 and Series X, I'm guessing they didn't want to take time to optimize a 3rd version of the game when they were already struggling to optimize 2 versions. Doesn't help that they decided to target so many different performance profiles, they have 4 different performance profiles per platform to optimize on XSX and PS5. It's just too much work for a small porting team that is facing covid production issues. 

Also it's worth noting that we have reports from several sources that the Xbox SDK was behind schedule and came in hot, only giving devs a few months to get used to Xbox Series development ahead of launch. I'm guessing that played a factor in these Series S launch game issues as well. 

The good news is that several of these launch games and next-gen updates for last gen games show performance on Series S runs as expected, 1080p or 1440p at the same framerate as Series X runs them at 4K, exactly what MS designed Series S to do. Yakuza for instance, it has one of the most demanding game engines of any of these launch games, the Dragon Engine, and yet it's managing 1440p at the same framerate as Series X at 4K. 

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 16 November 2020

FIFA '21 is 1080p/60fps on Series S. It doesn't drop frames or from resolution target. It was 1080p/60fps on Xbox One S as well. I can't notice any performance or graphical improvements either. I thought this game was getting an upgrade?!



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Mr Puggsly said:
SvennoJ said:
Mr Puggsly said:

Again, the enviornment changing form and allowing water to realistically flow around it is more CPU and GPU intensive. But thank you for elaborating.

According to MS the Crackdown destruction was CPU intensive. Probably too demanding even for current gen CPUs.

So Outerworlds struggled with 8th gen RAM limitations, but it also works on Switch? Impressive. I guess what I was really trying to say is 8th gen has plenty of open world games with lots of activity and the Series S specs overall can expand on that significantly. Especially if the SSD can alleviate stress on RAM and quickly load in signifcant data given its apparently 40x faster.

That article about Crytek from 2014 shows you are grasping at straws. For two reasons, that studio has sucked this generation and games have become significantly more impressive on 8th gen hardware since 2014. Seriously, don't bother with crap like that.

Developers primary focus will be to keep making tradional games with improved visuals and maybe increase the scale. What you are asking for is more like tech demos that developers probably aren't aiming for.

But since Sony 1st party is not hindered by Series S, maybe they will develop this amazing project you have in your head.

What has gotten significantly more impressive in terms of dynamism and interactivity?
From dust was a tech demo?

Memory was a big constraint and will be again. For example, Fallout 4, constantly hitting the limit while building
https://gamecrate.com/why-hardware-limitations-made-developing-way-out-xbox-one-special-challenge/18596
Series S doesn't only have less RAM, it's slower as well

We'll see how it goes. Today I had to abort my storm chasing in FS2020, the game needed too much RAM slowing down to sub 5fps with windows trying to provide more through pagefile and compressing parts of the memory. It didn't crash at least :)

I'll keep dreaming about worlds that actually change over time without limits to building.

From Dust was small in scale. Applying the tech you're suggesting to racing games would be cool, but again its more of CPU and GPU problem.

On a side note, Hydro Phobia was a really cool game given the specs it was on. Which shows games can be innovative even on very limited specs.

When I suggested 8th gen didn't struggle with RAM as much, I mean games didn't start to break because lack of RAM. Kinda like Skyrim on PS3. Games just worker more seemless even after many hours of play.

I am not sure how much slower RAM matters, especially since its still pretty fast. The general consensus is the amount of RAM available could be a bigger problem.

"I'll keep dreaming about worlds that actually change over time without limits to building." Next gen consoles still have limits.

Either way, the point of this thread is we observe what ports are looking like in practice. That's more interesting than debating what may happen.

Seems like I picked the wrong post from you to quote. But I do agree that with Series S in the market for 299, buying baseline X1S is obsolete (and for me with Series X on 499 X1X also became obsolete, reason why MS stopped manufacturing). Devs may cheap out and not make the best choices on Series S? Sure they can, but it still is a upgrade over baseline X1.

AkimboCurly said:
Mr Puggsly said:

The primary differences thus far between Series S and X games has been performance, resolution and ray tracing. The games simply playing is more important.

I am an avid gamer and I want the premium option. But the Series S is already a success. If you were fine with base consoles before, Series S is still a huge overall upgrade.

For people with a 1080p screen the difference between Series S and X will be framerate, texture details and supersampling. I think Series S will get Watch-Dogs style ray-tracing as a rule of thumb. At any rate I don't think going off Yakuza as a baseline is very wise. Nonetheless I don't want to see any more AC Valhalla situations where Series S targets 1440p/30 instead of 1080p/60fps. 

On the technical level the only concern I have about the S is that the memory is not unified. The biggest reason the Xbox One lagged so far behind the base PS4 last gen was that rendering targets needed to be squished into that tiny 32MB of ESram, meanwhile only 5 (patched to 6) GB of the shared system memory was available to used for games. Big multiplatforms had non-trivial amounts of memory sitting idle because frankly they couldn't access it without a lot of effort that quite often wasn't worth exerting on the One S. Meanwhile PS4 had unified RAM and it was faster. This complexity brought the PS4's theoretical 25%~ lead in graphics performance up to a 50% increase in resolution and often higher framerates to boot.

My point is just that the more complicated Xbox make their memory architecture, the worse they hold up against Playstation equivalents, because multiplatforms tend to be developed there first. The Series X is sexy and unified, except for some of the RAM running slower. The Series S isn't, and I see a repeat. The Series S CPU is not a problem. It actually appears to be faster than the PS5's. The GPU may begin to struggle at 1440p/30 or 1080p/60 but graphics can be scaled without damaging core gameplay. But yeah. Dev tools are important and Series S needs some love from devs

I don't remember 50% gap in resolution/performance on PS4 and X1 being common (very few games were 720p vs 1080p, most would be 900 vs 1080 or 720 vs 900), and don't think that was due to the edram.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

AkimboCurly said:

Ok so Dirt 5 has got two modes by default "prioritise image quality" and "prioritise framerate". If you turn the video settings to 120Hz in the console settings you open up a 120fps mode.

Having recorded and counted three clips:

1. the "quality" mode is 1440p but doesn't always lock 60. You do feel dips especially if you move to the front bumper view, down to what feels like 50fps.

2. "prioritise framerate" performance is better but the graphics settings are really turned down. If you pay attention you an also see where it switches to lower resolution targets also, though 3 out of 4 counts were still at 1440p.

3. "120hz" mode is a bit of a disaster. I had 3 counts at 908p and 3 at 762p, (25% of the resolution!!). I dont think the settings were dropped noticeably further than on framerate mode. 120hz seems great though. I think it looked OK on the snowy track but the blurriness on the "dirt" track made it look really ugly. I never counted it above 908p, so maybe that's the effective cap on DRS.

TLDR; 1440p/60fps or 762~900p/120fps

Even if its low res, simply offering a 120 fps mode is impressive.

Shame MS hasn't made the effort to turn Forza 7 into 120 fps. If the base Xbox One can do 1080/60 fps, then both Series consoles should easily target 120 fps.



Recently Completed
Rage 2
for X1X (4/5) - Rage for 360 (3/5) - Streets of Rage 4 for X1/PC (4/5) - Gears 5 for X1X (5/5) - Mortal Kombat 11 for X1X (5/5) - Doom 64 for N64 (emulator) (3/5) - Crackdown 3 for X1S/X1X (4/5) - Infinity Blade III - for iPad 4 (3/5) - Infinity Blade II - for iPad 4 (4/5) - Infinity Blade - for iPad 4 (4/5) - Wolfenstein: The Old Blood for X1 (3/5) - Assassin's Creed: Origins for X1 (3/5) - Uncharted: Lost Legacy for PS4 (4/5) - EA UFC 3 for X1 (4/5) - Doom for X1 (4/5) - Titanfall 2 for X1 (4/5) - Super Mario 3D World for Wii U (4/5) - South Park: The Stick of Truth for X1 BC (4/5) - Call of Duty: WWII for X1 (4/5) -Wolfenstein II for X1 - (4/5) - Dead or Alive: Dimensions for 3DS (4/5) - Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite for X1 (3/5) - Halo Wars 2 for X1/PC (4/5) - Halo Wars: DE for X1 (4/5) - Tekken 7 for X1 (4/5) - Injustice 2 for X1 (4/5) - Yakuza 5 for PS3 (3/5) - Battlefield 1 (Campaign) for X1 (3/5) - Assassin's Creed: Syndicate for X1 (4/5) - Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for X1 (4/5) - Call of Duty: MW Remastered for X1 (4/5) - Donkey Kong Country Returns for 3DS (4/5) - Forza Horizon 3 for X1 (5/5)

Mr Puggsly said:

Given Halo Infinite is cross gen, I don't anticipate it will be much different between Series S and X.

Much like Gears 5, the Series consoles may just get added effects and better assets. Maybe some sort of ray tracing will be implemented given that was entertained. CoD:Cold War for example has some light use of RT that seemingly has little GPU impact.

They might put in some more effort to make it more 'next gen worthy' after all the criticism., but true it's still a cross-gen title. Cyberpunk should show how it scales between all the consoles, also cross-gen but further towards next gen since they're struggling to get it running on base ps4 / X One. Of course that whole project is rushed or rather over strained, so could be rough at launch (if it even makes it this year)

FFWD to next holiday season! Post Covid hopefully.

I would be tempted by a Series S if it had a disc drive. It should have had for $300, or as you said $249 disc less. I'm not into subscriptions, second hand XOne games should be very affordable soon and I still have some physical 360 games. I'm now convinced the X is simply overkill for my vision, 12 ft from 65" I barely notice a benefit from 1440p compared to 1080p. It would be different if it had VR, get on it Valve, put HL: Alyx on Series X.

Oh well, no new console for me anytime soon. I didn't pre-order anything, stuff won't be in stores and a new lock down is imminent.

The prices here (New Xbox / PS5 consoles won't be available at our store locations this holiday season)
PS5 CAD 630 ($481)
XBox Series X CAD 600 ($458)
PS5 digital 500 ($382)
XBox Series S CAD 380 ($290)

Aggressive pricing here from Microsoft, yet with tax on top, ouch.
Sony also taking a loss but less.

Btw 1 Tb expansion card CAD 300, Dualsense CAD 90, XBox wireless CAD 75



Last edited by SvennoJ - on 16 November 2020


AkimboCurly said:

On the technical level the only concern I have about the S is that the memory is not unified. The biggest reason the Xbox One lagged so far behind the base PS4 last gen was that rendering targets needed to be squished into that tiny 32MB of ESram, meanwhile only 5 (patched to 6) GB of the shared system memory was available to used for games. Big multiplatforms had non-trivial amounts of memory sitting idle because frankly they couldn't access it without a lot of effort that quite often wasn't worth exerting on the One S. Meanwhile PS4 had unified RAM and it was faster. This complexity brought the PS4's theoretical 25%~ lead in graphics performance up to a 50% increase in resolution and often higher framerates to boot.

My point is just that the more complicated Xbox make their memory architecture, the worse they hold up against Playstation equivalents, because multiplatforms tend to be developed there first. The Series X is sexy and unified, except for some of the RAM running slower. The Series S isn't, and I see a repeat. The Series S CPU is not a problem. It actually appears to be faster than the PS5's. The GPU may begin to struggle at 1440p/30 or 1080p/60 but graphics can be scaled without damaging core gameplay. But yeah. Dev tools are important and Series S needs some love from devs


I don't remember 50% gap in resolution/performance on PS4 and X1 being common (very few games were 720p vs 1080p, most would be 900 vs 1080 or 720 vs 900), and don't think that was due to the edram.

So yes empirically you're absolutely right most were not the full 720p vs. 1080p. I didn't intend it to be read like that was the norm, only that in extremis you get a 50% resolution hit. 

The reason I say it has to do with the RAM (and by extension the ESram) is because of the way it was partitioned up. I'm not a developer obviously but to my limited understanding, unless you can fit your render target into the 32MB buffer of extra-speedy RAM, you're forced to relegate it into the DDR3. This meant that, especially in multiplats which seldom used the buffer, the Xbox One would construct its frame with DDR3 (which is supposed to be system RAM) while the PS4 was able to use its GDDR5. The bandwidth differences then become seriously 2.0. The new Series S has a similar tiered memory architecture which people suspect the slower 2GB will be used for the OS. But even the faster memory (8GB GDDR6) has less bandwidth than the slowest tier memory in the Series X. So to my mind, unless developers scale their rendering targets nicely, both for the GPU but ALSO for the memory bandwidth, the Series S will get the short end of the stick. In practice that means that cutting texture resolutions AS WELL as internal resolution is basically non-negotiable. Watch Dogs got it right and AC Valhalla got it wrong



AkimboCurly said:

AkimboCurly said:

On the technical level the only concern I have about the S is that the memory is not unified. The biggest reason the Xbox One lagged so far behind the base PS4 last gen was that rendering targets needed to be squished into that tiny 32MB of ESram, meanwhile only 5 (patched to 6) GB of the shared system memory was available to used for games. Big multiplatforms had non-trivial amounts of memory sitting idle because frankly they couldn't access it without a lot of effort that quite often wasn't worth exerting on the One S. Meanwhile PS4 had unified RAM and it was faster. This complexity brought the PS4's theoretical 25%~ lead in graphics performance up to a 50% increase in resolution and often higher framerates to boot.

My point is just that the more complicated Xbox make their memory architecture, the worse they hold up against Playstation equivalents, because multiplatforms tend to be developed there first. The Series X is sexy and unified, except for some of the RAM running slower. The Series S isn't, and I see a repeat. The Series S CPU is not a problem. It actually appears to be faster than the PS5's. The GPU may begin to struggle at 1440p/30 or 1080p/60 but graphics can be scaled without damaging core gameplay. But yeah. Dev tools are important and Series S needs some love from devs


I don't remember 50% gap in resolution/performance on PS4 and X1 being common (very few games were 720p vs 1080p, most would be 900 vs 1080 or 720 vs 900), and don't think that was due to the edram.

So yes empirically you're absolutely right most were not the full 720p vs. 1080p. I didn't intend it to be read like that was the norm, only that in extremis you get a 50% resolution hit. 

The reason I say it has to do with the RAM (and by extension the ESram) is because of the way it was partitioned up. I'm not a developer obviously but to my limited understanding, unless you can fit your render target into the 32MB buffer of extra-speedy RAM, you're forced to relegate it into the DDR3. This meant that, especially in multiplats which seldom used the buffer, the Xbox One would construct its frame with DDR3 (which is supposed to be system RAM) while the PS4 was able to use its GDDR5. The bandwidth differences then become seriously 2.0. The new Series S has a similar tiered memory architecture which people suspect the slower 2GB will be used for the OS. But even the faster memory (8GB GDDR6) has less bandwidth than the slowest tier memory in the Series X. So to my mind, unless developers scale their rendering targets nicely, both for the GPU but ALSO for the memory bandwidth, the Series S will get the short end of the stick. In practice that means that cutting texture resolutions AS WELL as internal resolution is basically non-negotiable. Watch Dogs got it right and AC Valhalla got it wrong

Understood. My technical understanding in this is also limited, but sure it is very reasonable expectation. Will just point out what Pemalite brought on the pixel count rendering isn't that much affected by the RAM amount (and perhaps speed), but textures and other elements are. But sure if your assets are being limited by the speed/amount of RAM making the render higher would just make things unbalanced. Let's see how things will roll during the rest of the gen.

On the 50% difference on some extreme cases I don't remember what were the games, but were very few, I think CoD was one of them on the release, did it got patched later? And from what I remember even those titles that had 50% difference in pixel count while playing weren't so much worse.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."