Graphic Cards

The Next Generation of Gaming

There has never been a much better time to shop for a brand-new game console or PC. While consoles have typically been held back by weaker CPUs, spinning hard drives. Average GPU performance, the next-generation PS5, and Xbox Series S / X are promising some giant leaps in performance, which will put them beyond even average gaming PC. Meanwhile, Nvidia says it will deliver the “biggest breakthrough in PC gaming since 1999” with its new RTX 3000 series of graphics cards.

Microsoft

Xbox X

Release date
November 10, 2020

Media
Ultra HD Blu-ray
Blu-ray
DVD
CD
Digital distribution

CPU
Custom AMD
8-core
Zen 2
8 GHz
6 GHz with SMT

Removable storage
Storage Expansion Card (up to 2 TB)

Graphics
Custom AMD Radeon
RDNA 2 architecture
825 GHz

Sound
Custom Project Acoustics 3D Audio
1 surround sound
Dolby Atmos
DTS:X

Controller input
4th-generation Xbox Controller
Xbox One controllers and accessories

Connectivity
Gigabit Ethernet
3x USB 3.1
Wi-Fi
IEEE 802.11ac
HDMI 2.1 out

Dimensions
1 cm × 15.1 cm × 30.1 cm (5.9 in × 5.9 in × 11.9 in)

Backward compatibility
Xbox One
select Xbox 360 and
original Xbox games

Xbox S

Release date
November 10, 2020

CPU
Custom AMD
8-core
Zen 2
6 GHz
4 GHz with SMT

Removable storage
Storage Expansion Card (up to 2 TB)

Graphics
Custom AMD Radeon
RDNA 2 architecture
565 GHz

Sound
Custom Project Acoustics 3D Audio
1 surround sound
Dolby Atmos
DTS:X

Controller input
4th-generation Xbox Controller
Xbox One controllers and accessories

Connectivity
Gigabit Ethernet
3x USB 3.1
Wi-Fi
IEEE 802.11ac
HDMI 2.1 out

Dimensions
1 cm × 6.5 cm × 27.5 cm (5.9 in × 2.6 in × 11 in)

Backward compatibility
Xbox One
select Xbox 360 and
original Xbox games

Xbox Series X and Series S are upcoming home gaming consoles developed by Microsoft. They are both scheduled to be released on November 10, 2020, as the fourth generation of the Xbox console family, succeeding Xbox One. Rumors regarding the consoles first emerged in early-2019, with the codenamed “Scarlett” and consisting of high-end and low-end models codenamed “Anaconda” and “Lockhart,” respectively. The high-end model was first teased during E3 2019 under the title “Project Scarlett.” Its name and style, as Xbox Series X, was unveiled during the Game Awards later in December. In September 2020, Microsoft unveiled the low-end model as Xbox Series S. Microsoft is prioritizing hardware performance, including support for higher display resolutions (up to 8K resolution) and frame rates, real-time ray tracing, and use of high-speed solid-state drive to cut back loading times, on the Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series S uses a similar CPU and reduced GPU, memory, and internal storage and lacks an optical drive. Microsoft is promoting a gamer-centric approach to their new hardware, including free upgrades of enhanced versions of Xbox One games via their “Smart Delivery” initiative, games optimized for the Series X hardware, and backward compatibility with previous-generation Xbox games, controllers, and accessories. The console will take advantage of their game subscription service Xbox Game Pass and remote cloud gaming on mobile devices via their cloud game-streaming platform xCloud.

PlayStation

Release date
November 12, 2020

Base and Digital

Media
Ultra HD Blu-ray
Blu-ray
DVD
Digital distribution

CPU
8-core AMD Zen 2
variable frequency
up to 3.5 GHz

Removable storage
Internal (user upgradeable)
NVMe M.2 SSD
external USB-based HDD

Display
HDMI
480p
720p
1080i
1080p
4K UHD
8K UHD

Graphics
Custom AMD RDNA 2
variable frequency
up to 2.23 GHz

Sound
Custom Tempest Engine 3D Audio

Controller input
DualSense
DualShock 4
PlayStation Move

Connectivity
Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.1
Gigabit Ethernet
3x USB 3.1
1x USB-C
HDMI 2.1 out

Dimensions
Base: 390 mm × 260 mm × 104 mm (15.4 in × 10.2 in × 4.1 in)
Digital: 390 mm × 260 mm × 92 mm (15.4 in × 10.2 in × 3.6 in)

Mass
Base: 4.5 kilograms (9.9 lb)
Digital: 3.9 kilograms (8.6 lb)

Backward compatibility
Most PlayStation 4
PlayStation VR games

The PlayStation 5 (officially abbreviated as PS5) is an upcoming home gaming console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced in 2019 as the successor to the PlayStation 4, it is scheduled to launch on November 12, 2020, in North America, Oceania, Japan, and South Korea. On November 19, 2020, for other regions. The platform is anticipated to launch in two varieties, as a base PlayStation 5 system incorporating an Ultra HD Blu-ray compatible optical disk drive for retail game support alongside digital distribution via the PlayStation Store, and a lower-cost Digital variant lacking the disk drive while retaining digital download support. The PlayStation 5 features a customized solid-state drive designed for high-speed data streaming to enable significant graphical performance improvements. The hardware also features a custom AMD GPU capable of ray tracing, support for 4K resolution displays and high framerates, new audio hardware for real-time 3D audio effects, and backward compatibility with most PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR games.

Nvidia’s RTX

GPU Engine Specs:
NVIDIA CUDA® Cores
8704

Boost Clock (GHz)
1.71

Base Clock (GHz)
1.44

Memory Specs:
Standard Memory Config
10 GB GDDR6X

Memory Interface Width
320-bit

Technology Support:
Ray Tracing Cores
2nd Generation

Tensor Cores
3rd Generation

NVIDIA Architecture
Ampere

Microsoft DirectX® 12 Ultimate
Yes

NVIDIA DLSS
Yes

PCI Express Gen 4
Yes

NVIDIA® GeForce Experience™
Yes

NVIDIA Ansel
Yes

NVIDIA FreeStyle
Yes

NVIDIA ShadowPlay
Yes

NVIDIA Highlights
Yes

NVIDIA G-SYNC®
Yes

Game Ready Drivers
Yes

NVIDIA Studio Drivers
Yes

NVIDIA GPU Boost™
Yes

NVIDIA NVLink™ (SLI-Ready)

Vulkan RT API, OpenGL 4.6
Yes

HDMI 2.1
Yes

DisplayPort 1.4a
Yes

NVIDIA Encoder
7th Generation

NVIDIA Decoder
5th Generation

VR Ready
Yes

Display Support:
Maximum Digital Resolution (1)
7680×4320

Standard Display Connectors
HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

Multi Monitor
4

HDCP
2.3

Founders Edition Card Dimensions:
Length
11.2″ (285 mm)

Width
4.4″ (112 mm)

Slot
2-Slot

Founders Edition Thermal Power Specs:
Maximum GPU Temperature (in C)
93

Graphics Card Power (W)
320

Required System Power (W) (2)
750

Supplementary Power Connectors
2x PCIe 8-pin
(adapter to 1x 12-pin included)

Nvidia pushed this two years ago with its RTX 2000 line of graphics cards. Still, game developers were not ready, consoles were not prepared, and pricing was a giant issue. All three next-gen consoles are promising ray-tracing support, and we have begun to see more and more games support it. Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, and Minecraft are many additions, and there is sure to be tons more throughout 2021. While console gaming is getting the hardware boost it desperately needed, PC gaming is by no means being left behind. Nvidia’s RTX 3080 promises twice the performance of the RTX 2080 for $699, all while delivering 29.7 teraflops of GPU performance. If Nvidia’s numbers show a major performance jump — which has been demonstrated in Doom Eternal thus far — then 4K gaming could become cheaper within the PC world. Nvidia is even trying to maneuver beyond 4K, with its monster RTX 3090 graphics card promising 8K gaming for PCs. AMD is also preparing to launch its next Radeon line of cards, supported with the RDNA 2 architecture that features hardware-accelerated ray tracing and variable-rate shading.

This next-generation hardware is an exciting end to a challenging year for the gaming industry and, therefore, the world. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has reshaped how we all work and socialize. Games have provided a meaningful way to stay connected to friends, family, and associates and honest escape from the stresses of an unusual year. We are just a couple of days from the future generation of PC graphics cards and exactly two months until the Xbox Series X / S launch. It is now up to Nintendo to steer the Switch toward 4K. Welcome to the next generation of gaming.

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