Xbox One X Review: Serious Gamers Should Upgrade

The Xbox One X has been a long time coming, and now that it has finally arrived, is it worth paying a premium over the Xbox One S? If you’re a serious gamer – absolutely.

Under the hood the Xbox One X packs in 12GB of GDDR5 memory at 326GB/s, a 50 percent faster hard drive, a 2.3GHz CPU, and a 6 Teraflop GPU, all designed to support a 4K HDR TV at its finest. Those specs make the Xbox One X the most powerful console on the market – it’s even more powerful than the PS4 Pro.

Xbox One X Review: Serious Gamers Should Upgrade

But before we get into its performance, it’s worth noting that the design of the Xbox One X is a pretty impressive feat of engineering in itself. Microsoft has managed to pack all of the Xbox One X’s components, and a 4K Blu-ray player, inside of a matte black box that is practically the size of the Xbox One S. The Xbox One X itself is quite heavy, but that doesn’t matter much since it’s not designed to be a portable device. Overall, the design of the Xbox One X itself is very minimalist and clean, and it certainly won’t become an eyesore in your living room.

We tested the Xbox One X with a TCL 65C807 4K TV that has HDR support. We spent a lot of time playing Assassin’s Creeds Origins, which looked absolutely brilliant on our TCL TV. To that effect, the game is full of rich detail and vibrant colors that are complemented by impressive levels of contrast. If this is what true 4K HDR gaming is like, then we’re smitten.

Xbox One X Review: Serious Gamers Should Upgrade

Of course, it’s up to game developers to take advantage of the Xbox One X’s power. Fortunately many already have, and even older games are rolling out updates that take advantage of the Xbox One X. That said, each game can be different in how it takes advantage of the Xbox One X. Some games take advantage of just 4K alone, some have implemented HDR support, while others are taking advantage of 4K at 60fps with HDR and so on. So you might say that the current state of how games take advantage of the Xbox One X’s prowess is a bit all over the place, but this should continue to improve with time. You can check out the list of Xbox One X Enhanced games here.

Quantum Break is an example of an older game that has been updated to become an Xbox One X enhanced game, however, it hasn’t been updated with 4K and HDR support. We tested Quantum Break on an old Xbox One and compared it to gameplay on the Xbox One X. On the Xbox One X, there is a bit more clarity in scenes, but it’s not a drastic improvement for this title. Of course, the Xbox One X does offer a noticeably significant performance boost – to that effect, loading our saved game in Quantum Break on the original Xbox One took 2 minutes and 27 seconds, while it took just 1 minute and 32 seconds to load on the Xbox One X. That minute gained is pretty significant, especially for a serious gamer.

Fortunately, even if you don’t have a 4K HDR ready TV, the Xbox One X will still improve your gaming experience. This is because the Xbox One X performs supersampling for 1080P TVs which improves picture clarity and smoothness, so even if you don’t have a 4K HDR TV, you’ll still notice improved visuals.

But players beware because the 4K games on Xbox One X are beasts, with a typical 4K game averaging around 100GB. You will likely quickly run out of space on its built-in 1TB hard drive pretty quickly.

As for the Xbox One X’s 4K HDR Blu-ray drive, we tested it by playing Planet Earth II. The results were absolutely stunning – with incredible amounts of detail that are complemented by beautiful vibrant colors.

$499 for the Xbox One X might initially seem like a lot of money – until you take into consideration that you’re pretty much getting a 4K 60 fps capable gaming PC which would ordinarily cost you more than $499 to purchase. Another argument for the Xbox One X is that buying the Xbox One X means you’ll have the most future-proofed console on the market – a console that manages to beat out the PS4 Pro in terms of raw power.

Meanwhile, the Xbox One S is plenty good enough for someone who is perhaps getting their first game console or is just a casual gamer. Microsoft will be selling the Xbox One S for just $189 on Black Friday weekend. The Xbox One X, on the other hand, is for serious, passionate gamers that value performance, visuals, and having a future-proof console.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit

What I Like: Great value for the amount of performance you’re getting, Xbox One X enhanced games look and play brilliantly on a 4K HDR TV, comes with a 4K HDR Blu-ray drive, backward compatibility game catalog is quite large, sleek and compact design, improves the gaming experience on a 1080p TV too

What Needs Improvement: Game files are large and you’ll quickly fill up your hard drive

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About the Author

Helena Stone
Noticing that there was a void of female influence in the technology blogosphere, Helena started Chip Chick in 2004. The site grew to become the no 1. tech site for women, which she ran as Editor-in-Chief until 2017. A native New Yorker, Helena holds a Masters in Digital Imaging and Design from NYU. Helena has been featured on MSNBC, Wired, ABC News, People Style & Watch, Time Magazine, Woman’s Day magazine, and other major news outlets. And when she is not busy testing out new gear, she can be found trotting the globe, looking for the next hot gadget.