Microsoft’s E3 reveal of the Xbox came to no surprise to gamers, but what about audiovisual buffs like ourselves?
The new Xbox One X isn’t just a tongue-twister, but also a powerful little device. The 8-core CPU frequency got a bump up to 2.3 GHz, the 8GB of DDR3 RAM is now 12GB of GDDR5, and an incredible 6 Teraflops of compute performance from a measly-sounding 1.3 TFOLPS (terabytes of floating point operations per second). There are some new technical specs as well. It now supports AMD freesync variable refresh rate for buttery smooth pixel transitions and HDR10 for extremely vibrant and accurate colors. With all this additional power (245W compared to the Xbox One S’s 120W) to cool it off was no easy feat, which is why Microsoft decided it was time to strap it with liquid cooling! “Acoustics are always important as well, so as you shrink, you gotta have somewhere for that heat to go,” Mike Ybarra, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Xbox and Windows gaming platform. The newly engineered vapor chamber keeps the Xbox One X cool as well as quiet under load.
“True 4K” they say. Well this time, they’re right.
Microsoft is no slouch when it comes to creating a wonderfully easy to use media center device. Even though Windows Vista was more-or-less a disaster, it perfected the Media Center that originally came out with Windows XP Media Center Edition. Large capacity consumer hard drives, USB infrared remote controls, coaxial tuner expansion cards, and hi-fidelity sound cards started hitting the market. November of 2002 marked the first time a consumer could build a box to live and feel like it belongs, in the entertainment center with the rest of the components in the audio rack. It’s a computer, but also a DVR, DVD player, TV tuner, and Music Player.
Since the launch of every new console from as far back as the Super Nintendo, console manufacturers have pursued larger numbers on their spec sheets. Does anyone remember the bit wars? Nintendo and Sega battled it out during the late 1980’s and into the 90’s. Achieving higher “bits” was considered bragging rights then, but we don’t care about bits anymore. It’s all about the resolution, or total pixel count. Right now, there are only a few devices that can play media at the full 4K UHD resolution (3840x2160). Comparing the new Xbox to the PS4 Pro’s 4K upscaling tricks, the Xbox One X is the only device that can play truly native 4K content!
For the ultimate 2017 experience with a no-compromise machine, the Xbox One X should land a nice spot on your entertainment rack or Home Theater. May it provide homage to the memorable, yet extinct, Windows Media Center experience.