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GPU Equivalent to the Xbox Series S (PC Comparison)

Xbox Series S

GPU Equivalent to the Xbox Series S (PC Comparison)

Key Points

  • The NVIDIA GPU equivalent to the Xbox Series S is somewhere between the GTX 1060 and GTX 1660.
  • The closest GPU competitor to the Xbox Series S is the RX 6500 XT 8GB, which tends to outperform the Xbox Series S on most games.
  • The Xbox Series S has 10GB of GDDR6 memory, with 8GB remaining for games.
  • Comparing PCs to consoles is never a fair comparison as they use separate technologies and operating systems that affect performance.
  • A PC offers uncapped framerates and more control over graphics settings, while a console like the Xbox Series S offers features like Quick Resume and instant game launching.
  • It’s practically impossible to build or buy a PC with the same processing power as the Xbox Series S for the same price.

If you’re looking to buy or build a PC that has the GPU equivalent of the Xbox Series S, then you came to the right place. The Xbox Series S is an entry-level console released in November 2020 that targets 1080p and 1440p. It’s one of the best value consoles on the market today because it delivers surprising performance for the price point. In this article, we will compare the Xbox Series S to entry-level GPUs. You can decide which option is best for you.

What’s the GPU Equivalent to the Xbox Series S?

GPUBase Clock SpeedMemory/Type
Xbox Series S1,550MHzUnified 8GB GDDR6
AMD RX 6500 XT2,650MHz4/8GB GDDR6
NVIDIA GTX 16601,530MHz6GB/GDDR5
NVIDIA GTX 10601,506MHz6GB/GDDR5
GPUTeraflopsTechnology
Xbox Series S4.4RDNA 2.0
AMD RX 6500 XT5.5RDNA 2.0
NVIDIA GTX 16604Turing Architecture
NVIDIA GTX 10604.4Pascal Architecture

In terms of raw processing power, the NVIDIA GPU equivalent to the Xbox Series S is somewhere between the GTX 1060 and GTX 1660. The AMD GPU equivalent of the Xbox Series S is the RX 6500 XT. The Xbox Series S has around four Teraflops of processing power and 10GB of unified memory.

AMD RX 6500 XT 8GB

PowerColor Fighter AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT Gaming Graphics Card
$154.44
  • Memory Clock: 18.0 Gbps
  • Stream Processor: 1024
  • Game Clock: 2650 MHz
  • Boost Clock: 2820 MHz
  • 4GB GDDR6 (Card also available in 8GB option)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 12:35 am GMT

The closest GPU competitor to the Xbox Series S is the RX 6500 XT 8GB because it uses similar technology as the GPU in the Xbox Series S. It has a much faster base clock speed at 2,650MHz and it has 5.5 Teraflops of processing power. The RX 6500 XT uses RDNA 2.0 and the VRAM is GDDR6. It tends to outperform the Xbox Series S on most games, but it uses much more power. The card is also available with 4GB GDDR6 VRAM, but you can expect lower frame rates at 1080p.

NVIDIA GTX 1660 6GB

Best for Affordability
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1660 6GB
$229.60
  • Turing architecture 
  • 6GB GDDR5
  • 192-bit
  • 1785MHz boost clock speed
  • Play games in 1080p at 60fps
  • 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 12:06 am GMT

The GTX 1660 was released in 2019. It has 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM and a base clock speed of 1,530MHz. The GTX 1660 is very close to the Xbox in terms of base clock speed, but it can deliver about 5.4 Teraflops of processing power, which is more power than the Series S’s four Teraflops.

NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB

High Capacity
MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics Card
$174.00
  • Pascal architecture
  • 1506MHz clock speed
  • 6GB GDDR5 RAM
  • VR Ready
  • 7680 x 4320 maximum supported resolution
  • Consumes 120W power on an 8 pin PCIe connector
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 12:09 am GMT

The GTX 1060 6GB is a rather dated card that was launched back in 2016. However, it was the most popular mid-range graphics card at that time. The GTX 1060 6GB has about 4.4 Teraflops and 6GB of GDDR5 memory. The base clock speeds are very similar too, with the GTX 1060 having 1,506MHz and the Xbox Series S having 1,550 MHz.

PC CPU Equivalent to the Xbox Series S

As for the CPU, the Xbox Series S uses a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores and clocked at 3.6GHz. It’s the same CPU as the Xbox Series X but slightly underclocked. For a full comparison of the Xbox Series X and Series S, read this article.

Since these custom CPUs are not available to the public, it’s not easy to find a PC equivalent. However, the Xbox’s closest PC CPU comparison, in terms of processing power, would be the Ryzen 5 3600, the Ryzen 5 5600, or the Ryzen 7 2700X. The Intel i5 12400F offers pretty similar performance too.

VRAM and Memory

When it comes to PCs, there are two “types” of memory that PCs use: RAM and VRAM. RAM is also called system memory, the chips that slot into the motherboard. The RAM is used to store temporary files to make programs and games run smoother. VRAM is used for processing graphics, and it’s separate from the system RAM. It’s integrated into the graphics card and cannot be upgraded or removed. The amount of VRAM is essential because it allows you to load high-definition textures in games, as well as other assets.

Consoles are a little different. The Xbox Series consoles share the VRAM with the CPU and graphics card, leaving a little bit for the operating system. In other words, on consoles, the RAM is also the VRAM. For example, the Xbox Series S has 10GB of GDDR6 memory, and around 2GB is reserved, so there’s 8GB remaining for games. Knowing these limitations, game developers will reduce the size of in-game assets to provide a smooth gaming performance for the less powerful consoles.

Xbox Series S Specifications

  • CPU: AMD Zen 2, 8-Core, 3.6GHz.
  • GPU: 4 Teraflops, 1.55GHz, 20 Compute Units, RDNA2
  • Memory: 10GB GDDR6
  • Storage: 512GB NVME SSD

PC GPU vs. Xbox Series S: Key Differences

It’s essential to keep in mind that comparing PCs to consoles is never going to be a fair comparison. They’re completely different machines and consoles use a variety of “tricks” to squeeze out more performance from games. Comparing hardware specifications and raw processing power is one thing, but each machine uses separate technologies and operating systems that affect performance.

Graphics and Framerates

Generally, with PCs, you have full control over in-game graphics settings and framerates. Your computer will push out as many frames as the hardware can process unless the specific game you are playing has a built-in framerate limiter. Most PC games have uncapped framerates.

So, if you have a relatively powerful computer, you can play games at 100 or 200+ frames per second. Even with an older GPU, you can achieve higher frame rates than on the Xbox Series S. When combined with a high-refresh-rate monitor, your games will be incredibly smooth and responsive. Not to mention you can also control the resolution and utilize GPU technologies such as DLSS or FSR to squeeze out more performance.

Preset Graphics Settings

Consoles on the other hand, often only have two graphic settings: performance and fidelity. These are preset video settings designed by the developers and you can’t customize them as you can on a PC. Many Xbox games are still limited to 30 frames per second. With consoles, the performance mode targets 1080p at 60 frames per second, and fidelity targets 1440p at 30 frames per second for the Xbox Series S. It targets 4K at 30FPS for the Xbox Series X. Additionally, consoles use adaptive resolution, which automatically lowers the resolution to maintain the target framerate.

Adaptive resolution is also available on some PC games but most people don’t use it. In many cases, the performance mode on Xbox renders the scene at a sub-1080p resolution, depending on the capabilities of the hardware. On the Xbox Series S, most games that run in performance mode tone down the native resolution to 900p or even 720p, which makes the game look quite blurry.

Either way, if you want uncapped framerates and more control over your graphics settings, then a PC is a better choice. On the other hand, with consoles, you can jump right into a game and you don’t need to tweak settings.

top games from 2021
Performance mode on the Xbox series S is 1080p at 60 frames per second.

Software and Features

Naturally, a PC with the GPU equivalent to the Xbox Series S exceeds it in performance and productivity. You can use a PC for a much wider range of tasks than an Xbox Series S because the Windows operating system is designed to do so. Each machine is designed for a different purpose. So, if you need a machine for work, in addition to games, then a PC is a good choice.

Most people assume the Xbox Series S is best used for gaming, but it can also be used for productivity. The Xbox Series S supports a mouse and keyboard, and you can use browser-based word processing services such as Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365 in the Edge browser. Some games also support a mouse and keyboard. Granted, when compared to a PC, the productivity features on the Xbox Series S are very limited.

Xbox Quick Resume

When it comes to gaming, while a PC can deliver uncapped framerates, an Xbox Series S offers a few advantages too. For example, the Xbox Series S has a feature called Quick Resume that allows you to instantly jump into games, without waiting for loading screens. If a game uses Quick Resume, the game state will be saved, so you don’t need to worry about saving your game.

You can have up to three games pinned in Quick Resume and many others that aren’t pinned. Quick Resume is not available on PCs at this time. When you want to launch a game on a PC you have to launch it from scratch.

Another feature worth mentioning is the Xbox’s ability to be turned on from your controller. You can also configure your Xbox Series S to turn on your TV when your Xbox powers on. With those features enabled, with one press of a button, you can be gaming. On PC, you have to wait for the boot process, the game’s logos, main menu, and loading screens.

PCs that Match the Performance of the Xbox Series S

It’s practically impossible to build or buy a PC that has the same processing power as the Xbox Series S for the same price. Most Xbox Series S consoles are being sold for around $299, with frequent sales. For $299 you can only buy a couple of components for a PC. To build a PC that can match the performance of the Xbox Series S, you’re looking to spend between $500 and $700.

Here’s an example PC build:

  • CPU – AMD Ryzen 5 3600 $100
  • GPU – RX 6500 8GB – $230
  • PC Case – $100
  • Power Supply – $70
  • Motherboard – $100
  • 512GB NVMe Storage – $30
  • Total: $630.

The total comes to about $630, which is almost double the price of the Xbox Series S. You can likely lower the costs by going with older or second-hand hardware. Not to mention other expenses such as a Windows 10 license key, monitor, keyboard, Xbox controller, and mouse. We don’t recommend building a new PC with a GPU equivalent to the Xbox Series S because there are better options available.

Which One is Better? Which One Should You Use?

Ultimately, it depends on your needs. If you need a machine for productivity as well as games, then a PC is the better option. However, if you want a pick-up-and-play machine that doesn’t require any customization, the Xbox Series S is the better choice. Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t own both machines. In our opinion, the best option is to have a console for the living room and a separate PC for your other needs.

  1. PowerColor Fighter AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT Gaming Graphics Card
    $154.44
    • Memory Clock: 18.0 Gbps
    • Stream Processor: 1024
    • Game Clock: 2650 MHz
    • Boost Clock: 2820 MHz
    • 4GB GDDR6 (Card also available in 8GB option)
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/17/2024 12:35 am GMT
  2. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1660 6GB
    $229.60
    • Turing architecture 
    • 6GB GDDR5
    • 192-bit
    • 1785MHz boost clock speed
    • Play games in 1080p at 60fps
    • 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b
    Buy Now On Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/17/2024 12:06 am GMT
  3. MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics Card
    $174.00
    • Pascal architecture
    • 1506MHz clock speed
    • 6GB GDDR5 RAM
    • VR Ready
    • 7680 x 4320 maximum supported resolution
    • Consumes 120W power on an 8 pin PCIe connector
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/17/2024 12:09 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What GPU is the Xbox Series S equivalent to?

The PC GPU equivalent to the Xbox Series S is the GTX 1060, GTX 1660, and the RX 6500 XT.

How powerful is Xbox Series S CPU?

The Xbox Series S CPU is relatively powerful with 8 cores and a clock speed of 3.6GHz.

Can the Xbox Series S do 4K at 120Hz?

No. The Xbox Series S cannot run games at a native 4K at 120Hz. It’s a 1080p machine that can push 1440p on some games.

Why is the Xbox Series S so cheap?

Microsoft actually sells the Xbox Series S at a loss because they want more people to subscribe to Gamepass and buy more digital games.

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