Xbox Series X Backward-Compatibility Tests Show Dramatic Leaps In Performance

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Digital Foundry has shared a look at how older games run on the Xbox Series X, and the performance gains are pretty darn impressive. While the Xbox One X struggles to maintain 30-40 FPS in demanding titles, Microsoft’s new flagship console appears to consistently hit 60 FPS in games such as Dead or Alive 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XIV, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Benefits of the shift from Jaguar to Ryzen CPUs are clearly illustrated in older titles with performance modes that dial down the resolution for increased frame rates, which is generally harder on the processor.

“…Series X blitzed every single CPU-limited gaming scenario I could come up with,” Leadbetter wrote. “Rise of the Tomb Raider’s 60fps performance mode is fairly lamentable on Xbox One X – developer Nixxes drops back resolution to 1080p, leaving the AMD Jaguar cores brutally exposed with wobbly performance from the mid 30s upwards. Even in the benchmarking crucible that is the Geothermal Valley, Series X locks doggedly to 60 frames per second.”

On the GPU side, the Xbox Series X has no issue powering through 4K modes at 60 FPS. That’s not really a surprise, since it features an RDNA 2 GPU with 12 TFLOPS of graphics power.

“Another eye-opening example of sheer GPU brute force comes from Dead of Alive 6,” Leadbetter noted. “Its 4K graphics mode performs terribly on Xbox One X – operating mostly in the mid-30s. It’s precisely what you don’t want from a precision fighting game, and so the only real choice is to drop back to a lower resolution mode, even on the what is still currently the most powerful games console on the market. I used matched replays to compare One X and Series X. In all three of my test scenarios, Series X hit full frame-rate.”

The Xbox Series X also brings Auto HDR and faster load times to backward-compatible titles. While Auto HDR may introduce strange effects (e.g., Digital Foundry found that white-colored objects could be blown out in GTA IV), the feature can definitely improve visuals, which is particularly impressive because no developer involvement is required.

As for loading times, Digital Foundry discovered that the Xbox Series X reduced loading times in Final Fantasy XIV from 63 seconds to 12 seconds.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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