Here’s the reason why the PS5 frequently performs games more efficiently than the supposedly stronger Xbox Series X.

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In the ongoing discussion about why Sony’s PS5 consistently outshines Microsoft’s Xbox Series X in game performance, several factors have come to light. Despite the Xbox Series X boasting more impressive specs on paper, such as in Resident Evil 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Grand Theft Auto V after receiving next-gen updates, the PS5 seems to edge out its rival.

Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X run on customized AMD hardware featuring Zen 2 and RDNA 2 CPU/GPU architectures. The Xbox Series X sports an eight-core CPU clocked at 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz with simultaneous multithreading), a GPU powered by 52 Compute Units at 1.825 GHz totaling around 12.16 TeraFLOPS, and 16GB of GDDR6 SDRAM with a divided design. On the other hand, the PS5 features an eight-core CPU with a variable frequency capped at 3.5 GHz, a GPU with 36 Compute Units reaching up to 2.23 GHz and around 10.13 TeraFLOPS, and 16GB of GDDR6 SDRAM with a 256-bit bus and 448 GB/s bandwidth.

Recently, Digital Foundry’s DF Direct weekly episode shed light on the situation. Developer feedback suggested that the shader compiler and API speed on the PS5 side played a significant role in its enhanced performance. The faster and optimized shader compiler utilized by Sony better leverages the hardware, resulting in improved performance. Additionally, developers seem to prefer Sony’s implementation over Microsoft’s due to the PS5’s faster main API, which outpaces DirectX on the Xbox side.

Although the Xbox Series X excels in Unreal Engine 5-powered games thanks to its high Compute Units count, other engines may favor the PS5 due to its higher clock rate, according to Alex Battaglia. It’s also essential to note that while the Xbox Series X leads in variable refresh rate (VRR) implementation, providing a smoother experience in games like Elden Ring, PS5 often offers faster rendering speeds.

Ultimately, the differences between the two consoles are minor in most games, providing a comparable gaming experience. Microsoft’s strategic API choices and Sony’s optimizations contribute to the unique strengths and weaknesses of each console in the ongoing console war.

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