For once, Microsoft breaking a promise turned out for the better. Despite claiming that the Xbox One S wouldn’t improve performance following its announcement at E3 this year, it seems that it does, in fact, make a difference.
The deep diving investigators over at Eurogamer‘s Digital Foundry checked the system out and found performance enhancements in a number of scenarios. They’re not going to blow your mind, but they’re big enough to measure and sometimes big enough to notice.
The system’s GPU jumped from 853MHz to 914 – a 7 percent increase. The ESRAM bandwidth jumps to 218GB/s from 204GB/s as well. These increases were needed for certain rendering situations, and have bled over into the games themselves. Microsoft’s Albert Penello said that the difference is minor enough and inconsistent enough (meaning that it doesn’t show up in all games) that they “didn’t want to make it a selling point for the new console.”
In testing, Digital Foundry found that games like Project CARS, Batman: Arkham Knight and Rise of the Tomb Raider showed more consistent framerates and less visual tearing, with the former showing improvement of as much as 9 frames per second. Even some backwards compatible games ran more smoothly. Other games didn’t show a change – Hitman‘s frame rate issues are tied to the number of NPCs on screen and the amount of AI running, so the upclocked GPU didn’t make a difference.
Like I said: No one is going to lose their mind over this. But it’s another notable, if minor, notch in the new system’s belt for those looking to jump into the Xbox world for the first time and for those upgrading to 4K.