How Xbox One 'Scorpio' Stacks Up to PCs and PlayStation 4 Pro

Microsoft took the wraps off its next big console leap today, and it's quite a powerhouse of a machine.

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We've finally gotten our first glimpse of what to expect from Xbox One's upcoming 'Scorpio' model, and it appears to be an impressive amount of tech stuffed into a console box. The reveal, as given by Digital Foundry, shows comparisons that are a big jump from the standard Xbox One and outpaces many of Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro specs.

By the numbers, it runs on eight custom x86 cores, clocked at 2.3 GHz as compared to 1.75GHz for the original model and 2.1GHz for the PS4 Pro. The much larger jump comes to the GPU, with 40 compute units at 1172MHz as compared to just 12 units (853MHz) in the original XBO and 36 (911MHz) in the PS Pro. It also sees a significant memory bump at 12GB GDDR5, over 8GB on both XBO and PS4 Pro. Memory Bandwidth is another significant bump, at 326GB/s versus the Xbox One and PS4 which both hovered at a max between 204-219GB/s.

The real technical prowess seems to be in the amount of customization and optimization behind the new machine. Microsoft made a custom GPU engineered specifically for high-performance, and it shows in the stress test with Forza Motorsport put together by Turn 10. Microsoft has used Forza to show off its hardware before, and in this case it hit native 4K at 60 FPS. The team also remarked that it could push ForzaTech to PC ultra settings and still only hit 88% of  GPU utilization. 

In a separate piece, Digital Foundry explored its comparisons to PC architecture, and concluded that the various efficiency optimizations make it compare well against equivalent PC parts. Ultimately it suggested that PC games will need to learn to more efficiently run at 4K to bring down GPU costs, and it expects Scorpio to help push the industry in that direction.

On the whole it stacks up very favorably to other consoles, and even well against high-end PCs thanks to all the work that went into optimizing it as a gaming performance machine. That leaves the question of its price tag. Microsoft called it a "premium" system, so we can expect that to be reflected in the price tag. It will very likely come in above the PlayStation Pro's MSRP of $399, and could even be nearer to $500.

We're sure to see more from Scorpio, including its price tag and how Microsoft plans to take advantage of its power for this fall's line-up, at E3.

Editor-In-Chief

From The Chatty

  • reply
    April 6, 2017 6:55 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, How Xbox One 'Scorpio' Stacks Up to PCs and PlayStation 4 Pro

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      April 6, 2017 7:05 AM

      The Pro's msrp is not $299

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      April 6, 2017 7:08 AM

      where is the comparison with PC's? how does this gauge against a 1080ti?

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        April 6, 2017 7:22 AM

        Poorly, but it crushes Intel Graphics.

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        April 6, 2017 7:27 AM

        how does a $400-500 console compare to a $700 GPU?

        well for one the GPU needs a whole computer around it to work :)

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        April 6, 2017 7:28 AM

        From what I read, based on comparisons running Forza 6, It comps to a 1070 and fares favorably with a 1080. Blows PS4 Pro out of the water.

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          April 6, 2017 11:57 AM

          It's ps4pro + 40%, it's just like xb1/ps4, but reversed.

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          April 6, 2017 1:30 PM

          Well, a 970 can run Forza 6 Apex at 4k60....

          Horizon 3 is a whole other ballgame, though.

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            April 6, 2017 1:51 PM

            Also, if Digital Foundry is to be believed, the Xbox One version of Forza 6 runs at settings that are considerably lower than the lowest possible PC settings of Apex, including shadow resolution, reflection resolution, reflection update rate, and mirror update rate. The Xbox version also ran the lower quality AMD EQAA instead of the MSAA from the PC version. I noticed in the screenshot from the scorpion video that the 4k Forza 6 demo was using the EQAA.

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              April 6, 2017 5:00 PM

              Is that a big deal (scorpio using EQAA)? I mean, at 4k how much f'n AA do you need?

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                April 7, 2017 8:56 AM

                It really depends on what they consider the average screen size and viewing distance. Cleaning up the aliasing through AA will still improve the overall picture. I am sure that you will be able to notice aliasing on a TV larger than 40 or 50 in or notice it sitting 2ft from a PC monitor. Its likely good enough in this case.

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        April 6, 2017 7:39 AM

        Why do you want a probably $500 console gauged around a $1000+ desktop system?

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          April 6, 2017 8:05 AM

          to gauge performance?

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            April 6, 2017 8:15 AM

            Here you go: It will keep up with and beat many PCs, except high end, for some time. The price to perf ratio is insanely high. Ultra PCs will be better.

            (same can be said for any console release)

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      April 6, 2017 8:07 AM

      Sounds like some impressive, intelligent engineering work has gone into it.

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      April 6, 2017 9:16 AM

      I still kinda think. MS will blow past 4K and push this straight to AR/VR with some kind of headset piece. No clue if it'll be their Lens prototype or we'll finally get something from the VR buddy-buddy deal they did last year. Hopefully we'll more details at E3.

      But, really, it'll all be about the games more than the specs. If this will really push every game to hit 60p regardless of res, (and by that I mean 1080p or higher, not 700-900 scaled up) that'll be a huge win.

      But, ugh ya, this is going to be $499 for sure.

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        April 6, 2017 10:03 AM

        That's more CPU bound IIRC, the customizations done there will have tob excellent to make up for the clock speed deficit to double fps.

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          April 6, 2017 10:34 AM

          Vive min spec is a i5-4590. It's possible you might not need that much if a console didn't have to deal with a hardware abstraction layer like a PC has to.

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      April 6, 2017 9:34 AM

      The video is really impressive from Eurogamer ... Forza running 4k 60FPS and using at most 70% of the GPU.

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      April 6, 2017 9:56 AM

      I wish they'd named each of the talking heads in the video. Pretty sure I recognize at least 4 of them but I can't place them.

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        April 6, 2017 10:34 AM

        That and the black I think was meant to give a bit of an Apple feel.

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      April 6, 2017 10:36 AM

      Have they released a picture of what the final console will look like?

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      April 6, 2017 11:44 AM

      Awesome! I will be getting one for sure, everything looks epic.

      Its pretty cool what they are doing by default for the old Xbox One games in terms of backwards compatibility. 16X AF for old games will go a long way and all the other enhancements.

      Also I like that they said all 1080p users will have a Ultra mode, 60FPS etc they will have decked out games as well its not juts for 4K I am not sure why so many think that its odd.

      Man with the Scorpio and the PS4 Pro both out things are going to be crazy.

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        April 6, 2017 11:49 AM

        Bro, your PC is gonna smoke both of these consoles. Why such excite?

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          April 6, 2017 11:51 AM

          Higher tide raises all ships and the like.

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            April 6, 2017 11:52 AM

            That is cool, but I think it is dumb to release 3 consoles in 4 years.

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              April 6, 2017 12:55 PM

              It's a bit much, but it might also be the only Xbox console I'll have owned. As I've said elsewhere, there are some dependencies on that statement. I think the depreciation and high performance of lower cost hardware (hello Switch!) and the lack of easily available hardware upgrade paths all are adding up to every console being like Nintendo's handhelds, with multiple iterations and long lifetimes of the "base" hardware before true upgrades.

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              April 6, 2017 1:38 PM

              Is the S considered a new console? The PS3 had 2 revisions and multiples SKUs and did just fine.

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                April 6, 2017 1:44 PM

                It's just a bit more than a regular revision. It's like if the New 3DS just added better screens and the eye tracking instead of also faster processing.

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          April 6, 2017 12:45 PM

          :) this is true for sure, but there are a lot of reason to be super happy about it.

          First it means my own game and others will easily run on Ultra setting on the Scorpio. To not be limited by hardware when you create a game or game engine's max features is a huge deal.

          Secondly both the PS4 Pro and Scorpio have massively raised the new third party software base target. Since both new hardware from MS and Sony are close now, game companies will target the PS4 Pro specs for all the new games at a minimum spec target. This is huge since it removes the old Xbox One base target for multi platform development.

          Thirdly PC ports are going to get way better Ultra settings and games in general since the new target is the PS4 Pro. This is really massive for PC gamers.

          Fourthly any Scorpio cross platform game with Win 10 will provide massively better PC ports and we will get way better games on the PC since Scorpio games are uwp.

          Lastly you are going to see a huge boost in DX12 games because of the new hardware. This again will be huge for games and the PC.

          So its a really big deal that the Scorpio is releasing for the game world in general as a whole, I am really excited its a big deal. The Xbox One was really under powered(since they had the Kinect in the original design) and was holding things back now that is no longer the case.

          Set our games to warp 10 engage!!!!! :) Its like the gaming world just massively did a Level Up! x10

          I can already taste the Legendary loot I can use with the new level up.

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            April 6, 2017 12:52 PM

            Sony's not letting the OG PS4 not be the base target, so that's not really true, although it stays that the PS4 Pro is a required target which means we should see higher fidelity PC ports.

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              April 6, 2017 1:28 PM

              Your right both the original PS4 and Xbox One have to be compatible for every new game made, you can not target the Pro or the Scorpio alone.

              If a company are doing a multi platform game you would most likely target the PS4 Pro since its the lowest high end target. This is assuming you are a good developer and are going to do a PC port and target the new console hardware. It would save you a lot of effort if you don't want to max out each high end platform.

              It is possible that a company may take the easy/least cost route and just target the regular PS4 or Xbox One and call it a day and not even care about the pro hardware etc. Since 1080p native and locked 60FPS alone would still be cool on the pro hardware as a extra effort.

              I like to think AAA companies and the majority doing multi-platform games will target the pro grade hardware and make ultra modes and then just scale down to the old gear. The practice is what we have to do on the PC anyways so its not something new for companies to grasp.

              I think your also right both companies are enforcing that a developer has to make a PS4 Pro and Scorpio version of their game just like you have to make a base PS4 and Xbox One version. It goes both ways, this is a good thing.

              Will see what happens, I think its going to be really positive for everyone.

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                April 6, 2017 1:43 PM

                Yup, in fact we might see PC settings be ULTRA = Scorpio, High = PS4 Pro, Medium = Xbone and Low = Switch approximately just to make devs lives easier all around.

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            April 6, 2017 2:02 PM

            So far, DX12 and cross platform has only given us 1 amazing port.....

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          April 6, 2017 4:56 PM

          Good competition is better for all of us.

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      April 11, 2017 12:15 AM

      "we can render at 60 hertz"

      ...

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      April 12, 2017 10:31 AM

      "it doesnt"

      could have just said that