PS5 Outperforms Xbox Series X? Experts Explain Why (It's Not Just Teraflops)

Despite lower teraflops, the PS5 beats the Xbox Series X in some games. Digital Foundry experts reveal the surprising reasons why.

Why Does PS5 Outperform Xbox Series X in Some Games Despite Being Weaker on Paper? DF Experts Explain

When the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X were announced, their hardware specs seemed nearly identical, though the Microsoft console boasted slightly higher teraflops. However, some games end up running smoother on the Sony console. Experts from Digital Foundry investigated this curious phenomenon.

PS5 vs Series X

PS5 vs Series X: Unveiling the Discrepancy

To unravel this mystery, DF analysts consulted with developers from major studios. They identified three key reasons why PlayStation 5 might deliver better performance in certain games, despite its seemingly less powerful hardware:

  1. A More Efficient GPU Compiler: According to developers, Sony's compiler significantly outperforms Microsoft's solution, leading to faster task execution.
  2. Lower-Level API Access: Sony offers studios deeper access to the console's hardware, allowing for more efficient utilization of its resources.
  3. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Frequency: The PS5's GPU operates at 2.23 GHz compared to the Xbox Series X's 1.82 GHz. Although the Xbox has more compute units, the higher clock speed on the PS5 allows its fewer units to process some tasks quicker, which can be crucial for specific game engines.
PS5 vs Series X

It's Not a One-Sided Story:

The DF experts emphasized that the Xbox Series X possesses its own set of advantages, including full DirectX Raytracing support and a more robust Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) implementation compared to the PS5's limited version. Technically, the Xbox Series X remains the more powerful console on paper. However, rumors suggest Sony might announce a PS5 Pro as early as this fall, while whispers indicate Microsoft has no immediate plans for an upgraded Series X console.

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