Feature Article

Xbox One Vs Xbox One S Vs Xbox One X: What Are The Differences And Which Xbox Console Should You Buy?

We break down the specs, features, and price of the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X and let you know which Microsoft console is right for you.

With three major Xbox One consoles out on the market, it's easy to be a little confused as to the different specs and features of each model. We're going to clear that situation up in this article and break down which of Microsoft's systems is right for you. Make sure you also check out our review of the original Xbox One, our Xbox One S review, and our Xbox One X review. To see how all the modern consoles compare, check out our in-depth system spec chart.

Xbox One Specs

Xbox One

Xbox One S

Xbox One X

CPU

1.75GHz 8-core AMD custom CPU

1.75GHz 8-core AMD custom CPU

2.3GHz 8-core AMD custom CPU

GPU

Integrated AMD graphics clocked at 853MHz with 1.31 teraflops of performance

Integrated AMD graphics clocked at 914MHz

Integrated AMD graphics with 6 teraflops of performance

RAM

8GB DDR3

8GB DDR3

12GB GDDR5

Storage

500GB (5,400rpm) hard drive, supports external hard drive storage

500GB, 1TB, 2TB (5,400rpm) hard drive options, supports external hard drive storage

1TB hard drive

Dimensions

13.1x10.8x3.1 inches

11.6x8.9x2.5 inches

11.8x9.5x2.4 inches

Weight

7.8 pounds

6.4 pounds

8.4 pounds

Color

Black

Black and white

Black

Optical Drive

Blu-ray/DVD

4K/HDR Blu-ray drive

4K/HDR Blu-ray drive

Networking

Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi A/B/G/N 2.4GHz and 5GHz

Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi A/B/G/N/AC 2.4GHz and 5GHz

Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz

Internet Subscription

Xbox Live required to play online

Xbox Live required to play online

Xbox Live required to play online

Ports

Power, HDMI in, HDMI out, 3x USB 3.0, S/PDIF, Kinect port, IR out

Power, HDMI 2.0a in, HDMI 2.0a out, 3x USB 3.0, S/PDIF, IR out

Power, HDMI 2.0a in, HDMI 2.0a out, 3x USB 3.0, S/PDIF, IR out

4K Support

No

Yes (video)

Yes

HDR Support

No

Yes

Yes

Release Date

November 22, 2013

August 2, 2016

November 7, 2017

Release Price

$499.99

$299.99 (500GB), $349.99 (1TB), $399.99 (2TB)

$500 / £449 / AU $649

Current Price

$249.99

$299.99 (500GB), $349.99 (1TB), $399.99 (2TB)

$500 / £449 / AU $649

What are the differences between the Xbox One and Xbox One S?

Released in 2016, the Xbox One S represents a smaller, marginally more powerful version of the 2013-released Xbox One. With its 11.6x8.9x2.5 inch chassis, the black and white redesign is 40 percent smaller. It's also 1.4 pounds lighter, weighing 6.4 pounds. This is impressive when you consider that the S has an integrated PSU, unlike the original Xbox One, which came with a large external power brick.

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There S has several design tweaks. For instance, it replaces the capacitive power button with a physical one, which helps prevent accidental shutdowns. The S also removes the Kinect port. Unlike the original Xbox One, which was designed to lay horizontally, the S can also stand vertically.

In terms of specs, the Xbox One S has an overclocked GPU that got boosted from 853MHz to 914MHz. There's a chance you may see a slight performance improvement in games that don't have locked frame rates, but Microsoft primarily implemented the higher frequency to provide more overhead to support 4K HDR video playback, which is a feature the original Xbox One lacks. To supplement this new feature, the S also comes with a 4K HDR blu-ray player. While the original Xbox One debuted with a 500GB hard drive, the S features 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB variants.

The S model also comes with a slightly more refined controller that features a new textured grip. It also now supports Bluetooth, so users can use it with their Windows 10 PCs.

Should you upgrade to an Xbox One S if you have an Xbox One?

While the Xbox One S offers a small performance boost over the original, if you have a perfectly functional Xbox One, a more meaningful upgrade would be a move to the Xbox One X, which is significantly more powerful than either system.

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Xbox One/Xbox One S vs Xbox One X

Formerly codenamed Project Scorpio, the Xbox One X represents a significantly more powerful version of the Xbox One that's tailormade to take advantage of the burgeoning 4K TV market. Like the S model before it, it also supports HDR and comes with a 4K HDR Blu-ray drive.

Measuring 11.8 x 9.5 x 2.4 inches (30 x 24 x 6 cm), the Xbox One X is the smallest Xbox yet. This is especially impressive when you consider that, like the S model, it also has an integrated PSU. Aesthetically, it looks like a black version of the S and maintains its physical power button. It also doesn't have a Kinect port.

In terms of specs, it features improved hardware across the board. While it still uses a custom 8-core CPU from AMD, it's frequency has been boosted from 1.75GHz to 2.3GHz, which is 550MHz faster than the Xbox One/S before it. It also features a new integrated GPU from AMD that's capable of delivering six teraflops of graphics performance, which is more than 4.5 times as much as the original Xbox One. In terms of memory, the Xbox One X eschews the 8GB of slower DDR3 RAM for 12GB of GDDR5 memory. Microsoft says that 9GB of it is allocated for games with the rest of the 3GB going to the operating system.

While the Xbox One X still uses a hard drive as opposed to an SSD, its HDD is faster than its Xbox One equivalent and can load games more quickly.

What are some of Xbox One X's advantages?

The Xbox One X has specialized hardware that will allow every game to run with anisotropic filtering, which will allow textures off in the distance to look cleaner and sharper.

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Games that carry the Xbox One X Enhanced label have been tweaked to take advantage of the console's superior hardware. These improvements may take the form of native 4K rendering, added HDR support, or an FPS boost.

While the Xbox One X works best with 4K HDR TVs, 1080p TVs can also benefit by using the extra processing power to bolster frame rate or add extra graphical features like improved lighting and textures. 1080p TVs can also benefit from the Xbox One X's ability to enable supersampling, which is a potent form of anti-aliasing that mitigates unwanted jaggies.

Which Xbox One consoles support HDR?

Both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X support HDR. The original Xbox One does not.

Are there any user interface differences among the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X?

No. All versions of the Xbox One use the same operating system and user interface.

Which Xbox One console should you get?

If you don't already have an Xbox One and have a 1080p TV and just want an affordable option to play Xbox One games, the Xbox One S is a sensible choice. We wouldn't suggest upgrading to an Xbox One S if you already have an Xbox One, however, considering you won't get a significant performance boost. If you have a 4K TV, or are interested in getting one in the near future and have the extra cash to spare, the Xbox One X is a better long-term investment. It's the most powerful console out today and can potentially provide sharper visuals, more vibrant colors, better performance, and added graphical bells and whistles. Should you upgrade to an Xbox One X if you already own an Xbox One? We would generally only recommend upgrading if you have a 4K TV and the disposable income to spare.

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jimmythang

Jimmy Thang

Hi! I'm Jimmy Thang and I'm GameSpot's Tech Editor!
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