The Xbox Series X and Series S are the new consoles from Microsoft. The Xbox Series X is the top-of-the-line version, while the Series S is the toned-down variant meant to be more of a budget-friendly console.
If you are interested in building a PC that matches the Xbox Series X or S performance, you need to know about the GPU and CPU inside these machines. This article will go over the GPU and CPU inside the Xbox Series X and Series S.
The Xbox Series X has a custom AMD CPU with eight cores and 16 threads, based on the Zen 2 architecture. The CPU can run at 3.8 GHz but with SMT enabled, it runs at 3.6 GHz. The budget-friendly Xbox Series S has the same CPU but runs at 3.6 GHz, or 3.4 GHz with SMT enabled. In addition, the Series X has an AMD GPU based on the RDNA 2 architecture with 52 CUs and a clock speed of 1.825 GHz. The Xbox Series S has a similar GPU with only 20 CUs running at 1.565 GHz.
If you want to build a gaming PC with a performance similar to that of the Xbox Series X or Series S, you need the right parts. Below I have gone over the equivalent GPUs and CPUs to the Xbox Series X and Series S, so you can pick the relevant details and build a similar performing gaming PC.
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What GPU is equivalent to Xbox Series X
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is equivalent to the Xbox Series X based on teraflop output and gaming at the exact resolution with 12.4 FLOPS throughout and a clock speed of 2581 Mhz to the Xbox Series X GPU potential power of 12.1 teraflops with 3.8Ghz clock speed.
The Xbox Series X targets 4K 60 FPS gaming enabling games to run at 120 FPS and supported displays; an equivalent graphics needs to hit at 4K 60 FPS in demanding titles and 120 FPS in competitive games such as League of Legends or Overwatch.
There are plenty of variants of the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT and the Nvidia RTX 3060, and the boost clock speeds can vary depending on the model. You can also overclock these GPUs to get even better performance out of the box. With the RTX 3060, you also have access to additional features such as ray tracing and DLSS.
Remember, the Xbox Series X does target 4K 60 FPS, but the settings and resolution of any game are up to the developer; a game might not run at 4K natively all the time. Consoles also do not run games with all the settings maxed. When compared to PC, most of the graphical settings are set to medium or high. If you want to run games at ultra or high settings at 4K, you will need an RTX 3070 or higher.
You can see how the RX 6700 XT compares with the Series X in the above YouTube video.
However, there is one thing the Xbox Series X does better than the RTX 3070, and that’s ray-tracing, while it can. Unfortunately, ray-tracing it’s not the best GPU for it on the market; you can read a ray-tracing review of the RTX 3070 by Eurogamer in this article.
The RTX 3060 is a fantastic 1080p GPU for most PC gamers with excellent ray-tracing; 13 teraflops of power, 0.9 more than the Series X.
You are getting a more powerful GPU that allows games to run higher resolutions, faster resolution with more consistent ray-tracing.
If you are not interested in ray-tracing, the RX 6700 will provide better performance in all metrics than the Series X; to do ray-tracing, you’d have to spend more on the fantastic RTX 3070.
GPUs are the most expensive part of a PC gaming setup. Therefore, it’s essential to know how long your fancy card will last you. To find out, I recommend you read my dedicated post here.
What CPU is equivalent to Xbox Series X
AMD’s Ryzen 7300C is equivalent to Xbox Series X. Both GPUS are based on AMD Zen 2 architecture with eight cores and 16 threads with a base clock speed of 3.6Ghz, which can boost to 4.4Ghz compared to the 3.8Ghz of the Xbox Series X.
While the GPU does the primary heavy lifting when gaming at higher resolutions, the CPU needs to be fast enough to keep up with the graphics card. So to game at higher resolutions and higher refresh rates, you need multiple cores and threads and high clock speeds for the CPU not to bottleneck the GPU.
AMD CPUs based on the Zen 3 architecture have already been released for PC builders, and you can buy AMD Ryzen 5800X that also features eight cores and 16 threads for newer architecture. The CPU has a base clock speed of 3.8GHz and can boost to 4.7GHz, making it 300 MHz faster than the 3700X. The new CPU is not only faster but more efficient and will future-proof your build.
On the Intel side, I recommend the i7-11700 get it for a bargain on Amazon here that comes with eight cores and 16 threads. The CPU has a base clock speed of 2.50GHz and has a max turbo of 4.90GHz.
So I’ve discussed the GPU/CPU of the Xbox Series X. How does its less powerful brother compare?
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What GPU is equivalent to Xbox Series S
AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 is equivalent to the Xbox Series S GPU. It provides excellent 1440p gaming performance with 8GB of VRAM, providing enough buffer for higher resolution gaming. In addition, it’s based on RDNA architecture, providing a boosted clock speed of 1465 MHz and can increase to 1725MHZ.
The RTX 2060 Super is also a great alternative that also comes with 8GGB of VRAM. It is slightly more expensive than the RX 5700, but you get additional features such as DLSS and ray tracing, which will help you hit 120 FPS at 1440p.
While some other graphics cards are out there that work fine at 1440p, they are limited to 6GB of VRAM. That is not ideal for gaming at 1440p; for higher resolutions, I recommend 8GB VRAM.
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What CPU is equivalent to Xbox Series S
The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is equivalent to the Xbox Series S CPU. The Ryzen 7 3700X has eight cores and 16 threads, just like the Series X CPU. It has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and can boost to 4.4GHz. You can, however, get the newer and faster AMD Ryzen 5800X.
The CPU inside the Xbox Series S is the same as the Xbox Series X, but with a lower clock speed. The difference is 200 MHz. Since the Xbox Series S does not hit 4K, it does not need a CPU as fast as the Xbox Series X, but the high number of cores and threads does help a lot in terms of multitasking and enabling features such as Quick Resume.
Keeping in mind that the Xbox Series S does not hit 4K, you can build a gaming PC with six cores rather than 8. I recommend going with the 5600X that features six cores and 12 threads; find out how to make one in my article. The CPU has a base clock of 3.7GHz and can boost it to 4.6GHz.
On the Intel side, we can recommend the 11400 that also features six cores and 12 threads. The CPU has a base clock speed of 2.60GHz and can boost to 4.40GHz.