Microsoft has unleashed a ton of information on Xbox Series X hardware specifications and performance capabilities today but that’s not all. Two demo videos have also been released, showing off the traditional performance boost enabled by the custom 1TB NVMe SSD, including much faster load times and near-instant suspension and re-loading of multiple games.
If you saw our larger piece this afternoon, you will know that the Xbox Series X packs an 8-core Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2 GPU with hardware accelerated ray-tracing, 52 Compute Units, 16GB of GDDR6 memory and a 1.8GHz clock speed. One of the most important upgrades, however, is the SSD, which enables faster loading times and new features like ‘Quick Resume’, allowing you to suspend multiple games and swap between them quickly, something that can be particularly useful for families with multiple people sharing a console.
The tech demo going over loading times shows a dramatic improvement for State of Decay 2 running on an Xbox Series X versus an Xbox One X. The Series X is able to load the game within 20 seconds, while the One X takes over a full minute due to the limited speed of the HDD.
The next demo video shows off quick resume in action. Notably, all the games shown here are Xbox One titles, so we don’t know how well this feature will work with multiple, larger Series X games. However, being able to suspend and swap between around 5 games at once is still quite impressive.
Microsoft’s NVMe SSD for the Series X is proprietary and built in partnership with Seagate to offer a guaranteed 2.4GB/s speeds regardless of system load and heat. It is designed to ensure consistent performance, unlike traditional PC M.2 SSDs, which will often thermal throttle.
Of course, the use of a proprietary SSD design will also have its drawbacks, as you can’t buy any off-the-shelf upgrade. Instead, you’ll need an ‘official’ memory-card esque SSD and we have no idea how much those might cost, particularly for those looking to upgrade to 2TB or 4TB storage.
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KitGuru Says: There is still much to learn, but there are lots of interesting technologies at play under the hood of the Series X. What do you all think of Microsoft’s next-gen offering so far?