To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Which Xbox One is the right Xbox for you?

Thinking of getting an Xbox but not sure whether to go for the Xbox One X or the Xbox One S? Our guide is here to help

Deal alert: Microsoft is currently offering half-price Xbox Live Gold membership – it’s just £12.49 for six months and includes Xbox Games with Gold. This deal is available for a limited time from the Microsoft Store. The offer stacks, so it is possible to buy this multiple times (to cover a year, say) but you will need to buy each one separately.

Our original article continues below

The Xbox One X may be Microsoft’s newest Xbox One console, but that doesn’t mean the Xbox One S is obsolete – far from it, actually.

While the Xbox One X is touted as the more powerful, better-looking brother – thanks to being the first fully 4K-capable gaming console – the Xbox One S still packs a lot of punch. In fact, you might find yourself struggling to pick between the two, and that’s why we’re here to help you decide which Xbox is the best for you. Here’s our comparison of the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S consoles.

Which Xbox One is best?

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Design

The first thing you notice about the Xbox One X compared to the Xbox One S is its colour. Currently the Xbox One X is only available in black. While you can pick up light grey or themed Xbox One S liveries, the stock Xbox One S has a lighter, white finish.

Another design difference is that the Xbox One X is very slightly slimmer than the Xbox One S, measuring 300 x 240 x 60mm, to the Xbox One S’s 295 x 230 x 64mm.

However, even though the One X is only slightly slimmer, the console is far denser than even the original Xbox One. While the Xbox One S only weighs 2.9kg, the Xbox One X is almost a whole kilogram heavier, weighing 3.8kg – the original Xbox One clocked in at 3.5kg.

One major design shift tips the scales in favour of the Xbox One X, however. Unlike the Xbox One S, which channels heat from both the top and the back of the console, the Xbox One X’s heat extraction is done solely at the back, meaning you can stack things on top of it if you so desire.

READ NEXT: Xbox One X Review

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Specifications

In terms of raw specifications, the Xbox One X is in a league of its own. While both the Xbox One X and Xbox One S are similar in almost every other regard, nothing comes close to the Xbox One X’s internal specifications and performance output.

The biggest selling point of the Xbox One X is that sweet, sweet native 4K goodness. The Xbox One S can output Blu-ray at 4K, and upscale games to 4K, but only the Xbox One X can run them natively with high-resolution textures.

READ NEXT: Best Xbox One X deals 2018

At its core, the Xbox One X has a custom eight-core AMD CPU clocked to 2.3GHz, and a custom GPU at 1.172GHz. It has an output of 6 TFLOPS and 12GB of GDDR5 RAM running at 326GB/sec. You can see why it’s such a powerhouse – it’s basically a desktop PC at this point.

It’s clear to see that the Xbox One S is not in the same league as the Xbox One X. The One S has a less impressive eight-core 1.75GHz CPU and a 914MHz custom GPU, meaning it’s only capable of a 1.4 TFLOPS output. However, it does have 8GB of DDR3 RAM running at 68GB/sec.

Both consoles still use internal power supplies – an issue that dogged the original Xbox One – and both have three USB 3 ports and a HDMI 2 output. You’ll also get a HDMI input for connecting a set-top box through the Xbox One and an Ethernet port alongside Bluetooth 4 compatibility, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and an IR blaster.

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Features

Except for the Xbox One X’s 4K capabilities, both devices are near identical on the features front.

Just like the Xbox One S, the Xbox One X has support for HDR content and utilises an Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray drive and support for Dolby Atmos. As both consoles also have support for an IR blaster, you can use your Xbox One with any home cinema setup, allowing you some added convenience when sorting your audio or watching content on your Xbox One.

READ NEXT: Xbox One S Review

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Price

Here’s the Xbox One X’s downfall – it may be extremely powerful, but it’s eye-wateringly expensive. The Xbox One S has almost all of the same features for around half the price, so it’s likely only the most dedicated gamers will shell out for sheer power.

READ NEXT: Best Xbox One S deals 2018

A 1TB Xbox One X console will currently set you back at least £450 – and many retailers are selling it for even more. On the other hand, the Xbox One S costs around £200 for the 500GB model and £275 for the 1TB model. During the Black Friday sales, Microsoft slashed these prices to less than £180 for a 500GB model and £220 for a 1TB, so it’s possible to get a great deal on the Xbox One S for even less.

That massive disparity in price makes all the difference.

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Final verdict

Ultimately, the decision always ends with you. We see it boiling down to three factors: price, your need for 4K and your desire for a powerful machine.

The Xbox One X’s high price tag is purely down to the performance gains. It’s an absolute beast and, even though the PS4 Pro offers up visually comparable experiences, many want pure power and are willing to pay.

If you don’t need all that power, however, there’s not much point in opting for the Xbox One X. The Xbox One S boasts all the same features and, if you don’t own a 4K TV and simply enjoy playing games in your downtime, the Xbox One S will be more than enough for you. The Xbox One S may be less powerful, but it’s a darn sight cheaper and plays all the same games – so it’s hard to recommend anything else.

Read more