The Xbox Series S, aka the Xbox Lockhart, may be less powerful than an Xbox One X and may struggle with next-generation games.
That’s what we can extrapolate from a somewhat vague tweet by The Verge journalist Tom Warren, who posted “just drop in to say 20 CUs” on Twitter. This may be a reference to the 20 computer units that the Xbox Series S graphics accelerator may have, given that he has been tweeting about the rumor console in recent days.
As a major follower of Microsoft and its machinations, Warren seems to have insider information on the rough specification of the Xbox Series S, which is set to be a fully digital lower version of the Xbox Series X. This console would be a next-generation machine at the boot level that is coming to cost less than Series X and appeal to people who don̵
▬▬▬.◙.▬▬▬═▂▄▄▓▄▄▂ ◢◤ █▀▀████▄▄▄▄◢◤ █▄ █ █▄ ███▀▀▀▀▀▀▀╬ ◥█ ████◤══╩══╩═╬═╬╬═╬╬═╬╬═╬ dropped only to say ╬═╬ ╬═╬ 20 CUs╬═╬ ╬═╬☻ / ╬═╬ / ▌ 1 / July 1, 2020
By taking a deeper look at 20 CU’s specs, we can extrapolate that the Xbox Series S can use AMD’s RDNA graphics architecture on what underlies the GPU for Xbox Series X. These 20 CUs can translate to 1,280 shader cores for the Xbox Series S GPU.
Such a graphics specification is around the level of an AMD Radeon RX 5500XT, which has 22 CU. The Radeon RX 5500XT provides a highly capable graphics card that can run games at solid frame rates with Full HD resolutions. But it is hardly the next generation of graphics cards.
As such, it is difficult to imagine that a GPU with slightly fewer cores than the RX 5500XT will provide better performance than current gene consoles. And that could mean that the Xbox Series S can actually struggle to run upcoming games with fast 1080p frame rates.
Given that the Xbox One X comes with 40 CU, there is a chance that the Xbox Series S may be slower than Microsoft’s current highest end system. But it is worth noting that the Xbox One X uses older AMD graphics architecture, so the CUs in the Lockhart machine can be more efficient and provide better performance.
This makes us scratch our heads, as it seems very strange for Microsoft to release a next-generation gaming console that could be less powerful than the Xbox One X and potentially struggle to run solemn future games. For context, the Xbox One X could only run Red Dead Redemption 2 at 4K 30fps and it is a current generation title.
However, the RDNA graphics architecture is much more efficient than the Graphics Core Next architecture that underlies the GPUs for both the Xbox One consoles and PS4. So there is potential for the Xbox Series S to have what may appear to be a low specification on paper but deliver solid 1080p real performance.
Of course, all this speculation and extrapolation is based on the leaks we have seen so far. We’ll probably have to wait until at least August when the Xbox Series S is tipped for a reveal before we get a clearer idea of what a second next-gen Xbox might be capable of.