Released on November 7th, the Xbox One X definitively ratifies the game 4K on a console, almost a year to the day after the PS4 Pro which had opened the prospect. But if the two machines can spit out a video signal with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels (also known as “2160p” or “Ultra High Definition,” UHD), they are not equivalent in their way of composing the image and in the “stability” of such a definition.
True 4K, false 4K, HDR, UHD, FreeSync, VRR, TeraFlops, HDMI 2.1, checkerboarding… Just like the imbroglio around the terms “HD Ready” and “Full HD” in the mid-2000s, the terms revolving around the new technologies of these consoles are particularly numerous, and we are all going to
Finally, to be complete, the 4K as it is heard by the latest generation of TVs and consoles does not match the definition designed at the base. Initially, the format was invented for cinema, which has a different ratio: the Digital Cinema Initiatives working group, which initially associated it with a definition of 4096×2160 pixels.
To put it plainly, when referring to the 4K format as it is practiced at home, whether through a TV, monitor or latest generation projector, the expression “Ultra HD 4K” should be used instead. It thus designates this definition of “only” 3840×2160 pixels that the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X reach. Let’s jump into the breach, Bertolt!
Technical Specifications Update
This is probably one of the most tedious exercises that await us! In order to better understand the difference between the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, and above all the one hundred euros that separate them, it is also the most objective: the two consoles share close but not equal technical characteristics, having chosen the same creamery.
On the processor side, there is an AMD chip with eight cores in both cases: two x68-64 Jaguar, clocked at 2.3 GHz for the Xbox One X, and 2.1 GHz for the PS4 Pro. It is an APU, which is a unit combining a CPU and GPU and engraved at 16 nm. In addition to this slight difference in frequency, the two chips share the same architecture and thus belong to the same generation.
It is, therefore, more precisely the graphics part that will distinguish them, even if again the two machines have made a technological choice very close. Their graphics circuitry is part of the Arctic Islands family of AMD, more precisely the Polaris architecture introduced with the Radeon 400. The Xbox One X carries 40 Cluster Units at 1172 MHz, compared to 36 units at 911 MHz on Sony’s side. In the absolute, even the fewer technophiles of you will have understood on which side the scale leans by roughly comparing these figures.
By way of comparison, since these 4K consoles are look-alike on the performance side of players’ PCs, the PS4 Pro’s graphics circuitry can be estimated to be approaching the Radeon RX 480 (approximately €260). It also has 36 calculation units with a base frequency of 1120 MHz. The Sony machine also includes 8 GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus with 218 GB/s bandwidth (compared to 224 GB/s for the Radeon RX 480). To simplify, it should be remembered that these values offer the console the possibility to load a large number of textures in high definition and to guarantee fast exchanges between the main processing unit (the processor) and the graphics part (the GPU).
The fact remains that the Xbox One X is proving to be technically better equipped for the coming years and that it justifies its 100 euros difference. There are, of course, the raw technical characteristics, with a higher computing power. But there’s also the presence of a 4K UHD Blu-Ray player where the PS4 Pro is satisfied with a standard Full HD Blu-Ray player.