Sony’s next-gen game console will have across-the-board performance enhancements thanks to upgraded processor, memory, and storage specs.

In an online press event today, Sony provided detailed specs for the upcoming Sony PlayStation 5

The game console will be powered by an 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor with custom RDNA 2 graphics offering 10.28 TFLOPs of performance, 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and an 825GB SSD — which should bring a big boost to game loading times, since the PS4 had a hard drive.

But the PS5 isn’t the only new game console coming this year. It will compete with Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox Series X, and Sony’s spec reveal comes just two days after Microsoft told us what to expect from its next-gen console. On paper it looks like the Xbox might have a bit of an edge… although it’s probably a bit too early to say whether the specs-on-paper will translate into real-world performance differences.

That said, the hardware is similar enough that it’s actually pretty easy to do a spec comparison for the current and next-gen game consoles for the two companies, thanks to information compiled by Eurogamer:

PS5Xbox Series XPS4Xbox One X
CPU8x Zen 2 Cores @ 3.5GHz (with variable frequencies)8x Zen 2 Cores @ 3.8GHz8x Jaguar Cores @ 1.6GHz8x Custom Jaguar Cores @ 2.13GHz
GPUCustom RDNA 2 w/10.28 TFLOPS, 36 CUs, @ 2.23 GHzCustom AMD RDNA 2 w/12 TFLOPs, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHzCustom GCN w/1.84 TFLOPs, 18 CUs at 800MHz6 TFLOPs, 40 CUs @ 1.172GHz, Custom GCN + Polaris Features
Memory 16GB GDDR616GB GDDR6 w8GB GDDR512GB GDDR5
Memory bandwidth448GB/sUp to 560GB/s176GB/sUp to 326GB/s
Built-in storageCustom 825GB SSD1TB Custom NVMe SSD500GB HDD1TB HDD
IO throughput5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)2.4GB/s (Raw), 4.8GB/s (Compressed w/custom hardware decompression block)50-100MB/s (dependent on data location on HDD)120MB/s
Expandable storageNVMe SSD Slot1TB Expansion CardReplaceable internal HDDN/A
Optical disc drive4K UHD Blu-ray Drive4K UHD Blu-ray DriveBlu-ray Drive4K UHD Blu-ray Drive stuff

While the Xbox Series X seems to hit some higher numbers on the spec sheet, Eurogmer notes that there are some key differences in the way the CPUs of the two new game consoles will handle power consumption and clock speeds, which could help make up for those differences.

For example, the PS5 processor supports variable speeds — but unlike most PCs, phones, tablets, and other devices that doesn’t mean they run slower when hot. Games should always run the same way on every PS5, no matter the environmental conditions — and that means that the PS5 should be able to hit the clock speeds necessary to deliver the game play you expect at all times.

Game developers targeting the Xbox Series X will theoretically have access to a CPU with a higher top frequency and a GPU with more compute units. But they’ll need to be more conservative with power consumption in order to guarantee reliable performance.

And as Gizmodo explains, the Xbox Series X may have more GPU Compute Unites, but the PS5 GPU runs at higher frequencies — which could result in stronger performance in some circumstances.

Other features Sony is promising include support for ray-tracing, backward-compatibility with PS4 titles, and support for USB hard drives.

You can read more about the new features and expected performance for the upcoming PS5 in Eurogamer’s extensive article, or check out Sony’s “The Road to PS5” video below:

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  1. Am I the only one seeing the table being too wide for the layout and the right side getting cut off?

    1. What device are you using, and what’s your screen resolution? The right side cuts off for me when viewed in portrait mode on my phone, but turning the phone sideways lets the whole thing show up in landscape. I haven’t seen any problems in desktop browsers.

      1. I see this cutting off too. I’m using a laptop with Firefox. This new layout may be better for phones (only for portrait) but it’s terrible for desktops. Lot’s of wasted space and forcing content into a narrow column only works on a phone in portrait (landscape mode isn’t great either). The reading experience has been a downgrade for me.

  2. These consoles are really so similar that which ones has the actual edge in performance is probably going to vary from game to game. And it’s going to be so little that when you’re actually sitting down, playing the game, it’s not going to matter at all.
    It’s certainly not going to make the game any more or less fun.
    The only time the performance difference between these consoles is going to matter at all, is when you want to insult people for being in the wrong sect of the religion of Consumerism.

  3. “On paper it looks like the Xbox might have a bit of an edge… although it’s probably a bit too early to say whether the specs-on-paper will translate into real-world performance differences.”

    This is the folly of Microsoft. this was the same thing said about the original Xbox and the Xbox One, but Sony outsold them even at a technical disadvantage (PS3 and 360 sales were fairly even).

    1. Uh, not really.
      The Xbox One was noticeably weaker than the PS4… AND it costed more. Early games on the PS4 were able to hit a consistent 1080p/30fps/Low-Medium Settings. Whereas the XB1 was more inconsistent and it hit as low as 720p, as low as 20fps, while at a slightly lower Graphical Setting.

      Things pretty much levelled out with the Xbox One S, which had slightly better hardware, and their software stack improved by that time.

      On the PS3 and Xbox 360, the roles were reversed. The PS3 was a decent bit more powerful, but it shipped much more expensive and over a year later. And Sony’s new console was much harder to develop games on. So games actually looked and played slightly better on the weaker and cheaper Xbox. Sony lost money on each PS3 unit sold, and it required them a long-time to recoup and turn a profit. So the PS3 lifecycle was extended slightly, and this allowed MS to keep the Xbox 360 in the market too, since there weren’t any other competitors. Eventually the PS3 outsold the Xbox 360, and to this day there are more users of it, thanks to Sony’s policy of allowing third-party accessories, the BluRay drive, and their free online option. And there’s a bucket-load of fun games to play on both systems. But overall, I think MS was the more successful competitor of that generation.

      “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it”.

      So the lessons we can gather here, is that the PS5 is noticeably weaker than the Xbox Series X. I think their console runs cooler, has a faster SSD, faster CPU, and faster GPU. I also think MS’s SDK which is based on the latest DirectX 12, might be a little better/easier for developers than Sony’s SDK. During the first few years, it is likely MS will run games better (higher and consistent resolution, framerate, settings). Not to mention, the XSX will offer nearly full backwards compatibility with previous Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games. And it will upscale and improve them too! Plus, the Xbox Live service is still noticeably more faster and stable than the PSN, and MS offer cross-play with players on other devices like Nintendo or PC.

      If these two consoles are priced equally, at say USD$599 (or hopefully $499), then the XSX offers more value than the PS5 and it would lead to a headstart. However, Sony will surpass them due Brand Loyalty, and the franchise of exclusives they have created and will sell/exploit. And even more effective, they could surpass them if they undercut them by a little, example, $499 versus $599. Or if Sony promises to do native backwards compatibility with PS1, PS2, and PS3 games… which the new hardware, and their available developers could implement.

      1. I mentioned in another blog, how consoles are conservative with their power draw. So that their Maximum Performance is not really the Standard Performance we can expect on average. That’s about 80% of its Max Performance. Running as such ensures that they last for years and years, not to mention other benefits of lower power draw, lower heat, lower fan noise, and better consistency. They simply don’t have the power budget and thermal capabilities like on Full-ATX Gaming PCs.

        So while the MS Xbox Series X has a “Maximum Performance” of 3.8GHz CPU, and 1.9GHz GPU. It’s “Standard Performance” will probably be around 3.5GHz CPU and 1.6GHz GPU. Whereas the PS5 has a “Maximum Performance” of 3.5GHz CPU and 2.2GHz GPU. The PS5’s Standard Performance is likely to be around 3.4GHz CPU and 1.9GHz GPU.

        The fact that the X is going to have about 30% more performance overall, when comparing Max to Max, or Standard to Standard. It’s impressive. Despite that, I sort of expect the PS5 to produce a tad more heat, noise, and power consumption as well.

        However, even though the Xbox Series X may launch sooner, same priced, and have all these other tangible benefits… I still expect this generation to be lead by the PS5. Why? Games, games, games!

  4. The table is a bit wrong. It says that the x box series x has jaguar cores when they are actually zen 2. Same as the PS5.

    Aside from that I find it surprising that the PS5 has about twice the throughput of the Xbox.

    1. I remember hearing speculation that Sony was going to have some very fast, possibly proprietary, storage. Perhaps that’s what’s meant here by “custom” SSD. That’s the first thing that comes to mind there.