Xbox One X Review: A More Future-Proof Xbox For HDR And 4K

Like Sony’s PlayStation four Pro earlier than it, the Xbox One X represents a mid-generational improve that gives a major increase in efficiency over its predecessor. Microsoft says the console will enable builders to render video games natively at 4K, provide high-dynamic vary for extra correct colours, enhance load instances, and bolster framerates. While we encountered points with a few of these enhancements, the Xbox One X has the potential to actually soar when its energy is leveraged successfully.

What’s within the Box?

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The Xbox One X retails for $500 / £449 / AU $649. For that, you get the console, a 60-inch lengthy energy cable, a six-foot high-speed HDMI cable (wanted for 4K HDR), Xbox One controller, two AA batteries, a 14-day free trial for Xbox Live Gold, and a one-month subscription to Xbox Game Pbad.

Design

The console measures 30 x 24 x 6 cm (11.Eight x 9.5 x 2.four inches), which technically makes it the smallest Xbox console but. This is admittedly spectacular when you think about the truth that it has an built-in energy provide unit, just like the Xbox One S earlier than it. This signifies that you do not have to take care of an obnoxiously mbadive exterior energy brick like with the unique Xbox One. Despite its small dimension, nonetheless, it is the heaviest Xbox One at Eight.four kilos.

Aesthetically, it appears lots like a matte black Xbox One S. Like the S earlier than it, it has a bodily energy button, which strays away from the unique Xbox One’s capacitive contact equal. This is a welcome tweak contemplating it was typically vulnerable to unintentional shutoffs. The entrance of the console additionally sports activities a 4K HDR Blu-Ray drive, one USB three.zero port, and a controller pairing button. The ports on the again stay similar to the S; from left to proper it gives: HDMI out, HDMI in, two USB three.zero ports, IR out, S/PDIF, and Ethernet. The X is backwards suitable with the present Xbox One equipment, although you may want a Kinect dongle if you wish to use Microsoft’s not too long ago discontinued digital camera system.

Overall, the design is straightforward and clear. It has loads of air flow by way of the again and whenever you couple this with its compact dimension, you get a way that Microsoft prioritized perform over a flashy design right here. Luckily, it nonetheless has an unbaduming aesthetic that ought to match proper in with most private leisure facilities.

Specs

  • CPU: x86-64 2.3GHz Eight-core AMD customized CPU

  • GPU: 6 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon-based graphics clocked at 1172MHz with 40 compute items

  • Memory: 12GB GDDR5

  • Storage dimension: 1TB HDD

  • External dimensions: 30x24x6 cm/11.8×9.4×2.three in

  • Weight: Eight.four lbs/three.Eight kg

  • Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray

  • Input/Output: Power, HDMI 2.0b out, HDMI 1.4b in, three USB three.zero ports, IR out, S/PDIF, gigabit Ethernet

  • Networking: IEEE 802.11ac twin band (5GHz and a couple of.4Ghz), 2×2 wi-fi Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct

  • Power consumption: 245W

Underneath the hood, there’s been quite a lot of discuss in regards to the Scorpio Engine fueling the system. At the center of it’s AMD’s x86-based 2.3GHz Eight-core CPU, which is clocked 550MHz quicker than the unique Xbox One’s octa-core equal.

Arguably greater beneficial properties come from the built-in graphics processor, which makes use of a customized AMD Radeon-based resolution that options 40 compute items clocked at 1172MHz. This supplies six teraflops of graphics efficiency, which is over four.5 instances that of the unique Xbox One and over 1.four instances that of the PS4 Pro, its nearest console competitor. This offers it sufficient horsepower to run sure video games at 4K (2160p) with high-dynamic vary colours enabled.

The Scorpio Engine is cooled by way of a vapor chamber cooler, which homes a small quantity of water that evaporates into steam when it will get too scorching. It then reverts again to liquid when the system cools again down. You usually solely see vapor chambers in high-end graphics playing cards, however they have been identified to work successfully, and it is good to see Microsoft implement it right here.

While the unique Xbox One and PS4 Pro each use 8GB of shared reminiscence throughout their respective CPUs and GPUs, the Xbox One X options 12GB of GDDR5 RAM that is able to delivering 326GB/s of reminiscence bandwidth. This is unprecedented for a console. Microsoft says that video games will have the ability to leverage as much as 9GB of it, with the remaining going to working system-related duties.

While we’d have most well-liked an SSD, Microsoft says that the Xbox One X’s 1TB exhausting drive is 50 p.c quicker than the unique’s 5,400rpm resolution; although we weren’t capable of validate this declare in our testing, which we’ll talk about under. Like the unique Xbox One earlier than it, the X helps exterior USB drives for added storage.

Graphical Enhancements

The major motive to get excited in regards to the Xbox One X is for the prospect of graphical enhancements. Rather than dictate a sure set of graphical targets for builders to hit, Microsoft lets builders use the console’s further processing energy as they see match. Games which can be tuned to benefit from the Xbox One X will carry an “Xbox One X Enhanced” label.

From what we have seen to this point, many builders are opting to render video games at 4K, which is 4 instances the 1080p decision of the vanilla Xbox One. Some are additionally including HDR help to supply a wider shade gamut and better distinction ratio between white and black ranges.

While the Xbox One X is geared in direction of customers with 4K HDR shows, conventional 1080p TVs aren’t completely left within the mud as some builders might select to make use of the additional processing energy to enhance lighting or so as to add dynamic shadows. Some video games can even run extra easily on the X. Standard HDTVs can even get supersampling, which renders video games at greater resolutions after which down samples or “shrinks” them to a decrease decision show. This acts as an efficient type of anti-aliasing that reduces undesirable jaggy results.

While solely Xbox One X-enhanced video games will reap a few of the aforementioned graphical tweaks, Microsoft says that the Xbox One X has tweaks on the stage to implement anisotropic filtering to each sport in existence. This may also help textures off within the distance look clearer.

Visual Analysis

To badyze the visible enhancements that the Xbox One X gives, I in contrast it towards the unique Xbox One, a high-end gaming PC, and Sony’s PlayStation four Pro with a number of copies of video games at any time when attainable.

I attached all of the techniques to the identical TV: a 55-inch 4K HDR Samsung UN55KS8000 after which swapped between the HDMI inputs to conduct visible A/B exams. Because the Xbox One X may bolster 1080p graphics, I additionally related each techniques to a 55-inch 1080p TV and equally badyzed the visible variations there.

While all kinds of Xbox One X-enhanced video games are on the way in which, sadly, on the time of this writing, solely a handful of video games have been patched to benefit from the brand new . The accessible video games that we examined embody Gears of War four, Killer Instinct, Super Lucky’s Tale, FIFA 18, Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure, and Disneyland Adventures. You can anticipate us to do extra graphics comparisons sooner or later because the Xbox One X enhancement patches are launched.

Gears of War four

Testing the third-person shooter on the 4K HDR TV, the decision bump is instantly obvious from the preliminary menu display screen, which showcases a real-time rendering of protagonist JD Fenix’s face. With the Xbox One X, the pores on his cheeks present an actual sense of depth, nearly like you may fall into them…should you have been tiny sufficient. On the unique Xbox One, they comparatively look extra like fuzzy mud particles.

You actually get significantly better element total with much less jagged aliasing points working on the X. This is very evident round characters’ hair or distant gadgets with straight strains. Overall, it quantities to a cleaner, sharper picture.

Gears of War four additionally sports activities arguably the perfect implementation of HDR we have seen in a sport but. The high-dynamic vary permits colours to look extra life like. The authentic Xbox One appears far more washed out and muted compared. The X’s high-contrast implementation additionally supplies actually darkish black ranges, which, once more, contributes to a extra life like picture that pulls you into the scene.

In phrases of pure picture constancy, it surprisingly regarded higher than our high-end gaming PC geared up with a GTX 1080 working the sport maxed out, because it provided further dynamic shadows that aren’t accessible on the PC. Unfortunately, the sport would not run at 60 FPS right here on the Xbox One X, so a high-end PC will have the ability to beat it by way of framerate.

Fortunately, Gears of War four additionally gives a efficiency mode that eschews the native 4K rendering in favor of a smoother expertise. Here, it appears visually nearer to its orignal Xbox One counterpart, however typically felt prefer it was working at 60 FPS.

Hooking every little thing as much as the 1080p TV, the Xbox One X does an excellent job making the show punch above its normal HD decision. While there are nonetheless some jaggies, supersampling results present a really potent type of anti-aliasing. While the distinction between the Xbox One X and the unique Xbox One is not as outstanding on an ordinary HDTV, the general picture nonetheless appears noticeably clearer with much less noise. The Xbox One X can successfully make your 1080p TV look nearly as good because it presumably can.

Super Lucky’s Tale

When it involves Playful’s platformer, there’s a lot much less to investigate. Super Lucky’s Tale helps 4K 60FPS with the Xbox One X and 1080p 30 FPS on the unique Xbox.

Whether enjoying on the 4K TV or 1080p show, the body price improve with the X is noticeably smoother. The sport appears very crisp working on the 4K TV with the Xbox One X. When hooked as much as the 1080p TV, the X’s supersampling does make it look barely sharper than its Xbox One counterpart, but it surely’s not tremendous outstanding until you are actually searching for it up shut.

Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct already runs at a locked 60 FPS on the unique Xbox One. The X merely bumps up the decision to 4K, which mitigates a lot of the jaggies.

The sport would not help HDR, and the Xbox One X makes shadows look too darkish on our HDR show. We did not encounter this subject working the sport on our conventional (non HDR) 1080p show, nonetheless. Here, the unique Xbox One regarded washed out compared to the X. We additionally seen improved anti-aliasing and higher anisotropic filtering that made particulars within the background just a little extra clear.

FIFA 18

FIFA 18 is the one Xbox One X-enhanced sport accessible in the intervening time that is additionally enhanced on the PS4 Pro. When we pitted the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro face to face right here, it was truthfully exhausting to inform the distinction. Both platforms render the sport at 4K, however neither system is ready to obtain a secure 60 FPS.

The greatest visible distinction we may inform between the 2 consoles was that shade on the Xbox One X regarded extra life like on our 4K HDR TV. On the PS4 Pro, the grbad regarded a bit too “nuclear green” compared, which gave it a extra “videogamey” aesthetic.

Beyond that, should you’re searching for extra graphical comparisons between the 2 consoles, you may have to attend till we have now entry to extra Xbox One X enhanced video games submit launch.

Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure

This family-friendly mini-game compilation helps 4K and HDR by way of the Xbox One X. The enhancements enable the sport to function vibrant colours and look sharp, but it surely clearly is not capable of run at a easy 60 FPS, as we encountered the odd, occasional hiccup. This is disappointing contemplating Rush would not look very graphically demanding, particularly not in comparison with one thing like Gears of War four. This may very well be attributable to how the sport was initially designed or might converse to the standard of the replace.

Disneyland Adventures

Like Rush, Disneyland Adventures helps 4K and HDR by way of the Xbox One X’s enhancements, however, once more, the body price did not see an enchancment with it working under 60 FPS. Despite the official HDR help, the sport ended up wanting just a little dim on our 4K HDR tv.

4K HDR Video Support

To take a look at out the Xbox One X’s 4K HDR video playback capabilities, Microsoft supplied us with a 4K HDR copy of BBC’s Planet Earth II collection.

On our 4K HDR TV, the character documentary regarded gorgeous. The visuals have been sharp and crisp, and it was straightforward to make out each strand of hair on a sloth and each texture of every tree department.

The shade replica is equally superb. The blues of the ocean and the greens of the forest are realistically portrayed. The shiny rays from the solar pierced down by way of tree canopies very convincingly. This is about nearly as good because it will get so far as dwelling theater setups go.

User Interface

Microsoft launched its overhauled Xbox One dashboard final month. While there’s a small studying curve to new consumer interface, it is snappier than previous iterations. We did encounter some menu slowdown whereas we have been downloading a bunch of video games and rapidly flipping by way of all of the tabs, but it surely’s definitely not as sluggish as previous updates.

The new dashboard additionally means that you can filter video games which can be Xbox One X Enhanced, although it would not let you know what particular graphical enhancements the console gives.

Noise, Heat, Power Consumption, and Boot Times

Sitting within the dashboard, the Xbox One X runs silently. When we fired up Gears of War four, a slight hum from the cooler arose, but it surely’s impressively whisper-quiet.

Using Flir One's heat camera, we measured the Xbox One X's temperature.
Using Flir One’s warmth digital camera, we measured the Xbox One X’s temperature.

The console does get a bit heat, nonetheless. Just sitting within the OS, we clocked it at 54.three levels Celsius. When we fired up Gears of War, it rose to 61.7 levels C. It’s not scorching scorching to the contact by any means, however it’s considerably hotter than the PS4 Pro we examined final yr, which we noticed hit 46.1 levels Celsius once we have been gaming on it. Interestingly, the temperature dropped to 57 levels C once we converted to Gears of War four’s Performance mode, which optimizes body price over visible constancy.

We additionally noticed this mirrored once we measured the system’s energy draw. The Xbox One X consumed 144 watts of energy underneath Gears of War four’s Performance mode, however 174 watts within the greater constancy Visual mode.

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In phrases of boot instances, Microsoft baderts that the Xbox One X’s exhausting drive is 50 p.c quicker than the unique Xbox earlier than it, and whereas we did see enhancements right here, they weren’t nearly as good as the corporate’s claims. From a chilly boot, the X took 7.5 second to activate. This is simply zero.6 seconds quicker than the unique Xbox One. Loading up Gears of War four, the X took 50.Eight seconds as well to the primary menu, which was roughly seven quicker than the Xbox One. When I loaded up the identical Act 1 mission, each consoles took 31 seconds.

When I fired up Killer Instinct, the X launched the sport in 37.7 seconds, whereas the unique Xbox One did so in 44.1 seconds. While there’s typically a measurable efficiency achieve in the case of load instances, it isn’t as important as Microsoft is claiming up to now.

Conclusion

As Xbox head Phil Spencer has prompt, the Xbox One X shares lots in widespread with the corporate’s high-end Xbox One Elite controller. Both gadgets are designed for fans by way of and thru, and are priced accordingly. This makes the much less cost-prohibitive Xbox One S a greater match for most individuals.

While the Xbox One X is an costly field, from a standpoint, you are getting a really highly effective and succesful machine. You’ll be exhausting pressed to construct a comparably highly effective PC for $500. On prime of that, you get a 4K HDR Blu-ray participant, which might value a number of hundred by itself.

The Xbox One X is not good. From what I can inform to this point, its load instances do not dwell as much as Microsoft’s claims, and I seen some poor HDR implementation, however when a developer is ready to benefit from the , you may get sharper visuals, extra vibrant colours, higher efficiency, and added graphical bells and whistles. Playing Gears of War four on the Xbox One X actually feels prefer it’s the way in which it is meant to be performed.

Should you get an Xbox One X? That reply ought to largely depend upon whether or not you would be pleased with the console’s library of video games. You can try a listing of all of the Xbox One X-enhanced video games right here. If you are pleased with the lineup and are fascinated with leaping in, enable me to stipulate three totally different eventualities for you. If you sport on a 1080p TV and haven’t any plans to improve to a 4K one, the Xbox One S goes to be a greater match for you. While you’re going to get some graphical enhancements with the X, you do not actually get your cash’s value if you do not have a 4K HDR TV. But what should you already personal a 4K HDR TV and an Xbox One? In this case, I would solely suggest getting the X when you have the disposable money to spare for the elevated visible constancy and efficiency advantages. If you have got a 4K HDR TV, haven’t got a present gen console, and wish to buy one, nonetheless, the Xbox One X is a superb selection.


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