The new Xbox One S is faster than the original

Microsoft’s newly launched Xbox One S hardware isn’t just smaller than first-generation Xbox One consoles – it’s also noticeably faster, with many games seeing increased performance and improved framerates, according to a recent Digital Foundry study.

In testing the new hardware, Digital Foundry discovered that the Xbox One S boasts a GPU clock speed of 914MHz, compared to the original hardware’s 853MHz. Despite Microsoft’s pre-release claims to the contrary, the revised GPU delivers in-game performance boosts for select titles that employ dynamic resolutions and unlocked framerates.

Digital Foundry’s side-by-side comparisons reveal that titles like Hitman, Project Cars, and Rise of the Tomb Raider achieve more consistent performance on the Xbox One S. Backward compatible releases like Alan Wake’s American Nightmare also benefit from the Xbox One S GPU, with Digital Foundry noting significantly fewer framerate dips on Microsoft’s revised hardware.

The Xbox One S GPU’s 7.1 percent increase in clock speed also has the potential to bridge the performance gap between multiplatform titles. One especially demanding Hitman level actually achieves a slightly faster framerate on the Xbox One S than it does on Sony’s PlayStation 4. In this particular case, Digital Foundry reports that the performance difference between the Xbox One S and the PlayStation 4 is  “a margin of around nine percent” in the Xbox’s favor.

Players hoping for noticeably faster framerates across the entire Xbox One library will be disappointed, however. Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter reports that Batman: Arkham Knight simply runs “a touch smoother” on the Xbox One, while Fallout 4‘s performance is “an uncanny match between the two iterations of Xbox One hardware.”

“The bottom line is that even your standard 30fps capped title will see improvement if the original Xbox One hardware can’t meet the performance target,” Leadbetter writes.

The 2TB launch edition of the Xbox One S is now available at retailers across North America for $400. A limited edition Xbox One S featuring Gears of War 4 branding will be available exclusively at GameStop and the Microsoft Store on October 7.

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