We've finally seen the Xbox One and heard about it's hardware, which means it's time to do the hardware comparisons we've been waiting for.
Now that the hardware has been announced, developers are giving us more information on the systems; so lets compare the Xbox One to the PS4, and both against my own rig...
Lets do a quick rundown of each console; the Xbox One was revealed last night to have an 8 core CPU chip, with the graphics solution included in it. The Jaguar CPU is actually the same as the one in the PS4 - although the graphics capabilities are different. Both consoles are set to have 8GB of RAM, which will allow a lot of multitasking capabilities.
Have a look at the basic comparison:
First, a disclaimer - much of the information we have about the hardware is based on what the development studios are saying, and hasn't been officially confirmed by Microsoft (or torn apart and examined!)
Now lets look at the two new consoles; both are using the Jaguar 8 core 1.6GHz CPU, and the graphics for these machines are integrated solutions.
Developers have estimated the performance equivalents for the Graphics, which is a huge jump over the original consoles. Finally, both consoles will be using 8GB of RAM, for larger maps and faster multitasking. For reference, current top end PC games still do not use much more than 4GB-6GB, but this could be due to game developers waiting for the consoles to have more RAM available.
The two consoles then are largely the same as far as hardware goes, but the software will be very telling. The Xbox One will be running three different Operating systems in order to switch between programs quickly. Although this will allow very easy multitasking, it will take up a reasonable portion of the RAM - which then can't be used for elsewhere, like for gaming.
The 8 core Jaguar CPU's have never been seen in the wild, so we can only estimate their performance. The first thing that springs to mind is that very few programs are properly optimised for 8 cores. Games and programs are only just catching up to make use of the quad cores, so it will take some time before the multithreading is good enough to make full use of the Jaguar CPU.
Of course, with the graphics solution on the same chip, much of the computation can be handed off to the more powerful graphics chips. This will boost the performance over just the CPU's.
As far as the price goes, both of the consoles are expected to be sold, at least from launch, with two different models. Of course these models will be at different price points, although the hardware will still be mostly the same.
When a new bit of tech comes out the enormous R&D costs for creating the machine are usually not paid back for many years to come. The sales of the machines are just one area where Sony and MS recoup their costs, the other areas are from direct game sales and additional services the machines can deliver.
Expected prices are between $300 and $500; which is still cheaper than the estimated cost of my PC at current prices. Bear in mind that my PC cost also includes a very pretty case and a solid, long life PSU - both of which are actually from my last PC! Removing the cost of those puts my rig in the same price bracket of $300 to $500.
So, the PS4 is looking strong in terms of Graphics power, especially compared to the Xbox One; which will also have other processes draining the resources it has. My PC sits in the middle, somewhat on the lower end. Of course, my PC will be upgraded in another 3 years or so, which will almost certainly put it back on top until the next generation of consoles appears.
We have to also consider and presume that every component in both consoles is likely to have been designed and then built for its purpose. That each component is perfectly matched to each other component, making data timings between components excellently synched. This in turn can very well give a significant boost in terms of relative performance from these console machines over a PC that is built from various, possibly slightly mismatched components. Just something to consider when thinking about real world console lifespan.
What do you guys think of these specs? Are they enough for gamers today, or would you want more? Tell us below!