Microsoft has made no secret of the Xbox Series X’s insanely good performance in the build-up to the console’s launch, especially when pointing out its 12 teraflop performance figure as compared to the PlayStation 5’s 10.28 teraflops. However, as real-world tests show, the latest Xbox is only more powerful on paper; the PS5 still surpasses its console rival in terms of performance.
In a side-by-side comparison of Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition by Digital Foundry, technology editor Richard Leadbetter and staff writer John Linneman found that while both games run almost identically, there are many instances in which the PS5 outperforms the Xbox.
When Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is running at a full 4K resolution with an uncapped framerate, both systems run at parity, with the Xbox jumping up at points, besting PlayStation by a good 20fps. But at high framerate mode, which lowers the resolution and upscales it to 4K, the PlayStation grabs a sudden huge lead, where in some instances it’s ahead by 40fps.
“The dips look really strange to me. And it kind of suggests to me possibly some kind of API limitation on the Xbox side, where the GPU is being held back by something,” Leadbetter said. “Now I don’t think it’s the CPU. And if it’s not the CPU and it’s not the GPU, where do you go from there? It’s not memory bandwidth. So it does suggest something at the system level, something at the API level.”
The PS5 is also slightly faster in loading times, beating the Xbox Series X by 1 second. Interestingly, according to Leadbetter, PlayStation should have a 2:1 advantage in memory speed over Xbox, but even then, in the real-world, it only translates to a second or two.
Not all is lost for Xbox fans, however. The Xbox Series X does have an edge when it comes to running things in ray tracing mode (1080p resolution). Moreover, Microsoft’s latest console possesses Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), a technology that allows for smoother gaming and little to no screen stuttering. The PS5, notably, does not support VRR yet.