Which CPU is equivalent to the Xbox Series X? Let’s figure it out
Updated: January 24, 2023 11:29 am
The Xbox Series X is the latest and greatest from Microsoft. A flagship console, it has some pretty impressive specs and is capable of providing high-end gaming performance.
Read now: Which CPU is equal to the PS5?
Let’s see what CPU the Xbox Series X uses and whether or not we have a similar option available for PCs.
What CPU does the Xbox Series X use?
The Xbox Series X uses a custom Zen 2 CPU from AMD. The CPU is based on a 7nm improved process and has the following specifications:
- 8 cores
- 16 threads
- Maximum clock speed of 3.8 GHz
When the CPU is under an intensive multi-core workload, all cores can run at 3.66 GHz simultaneously.
In general, the specs of the CPU are very respectable. 8 cores and 16 threads match the current industry standard and is more than most games could ever use.
The clock speed of 3.8 GHz is slightly lower than what you would expect from a high-end CPU, especially considering that most high-end PC processors today have a boost clock of 5 GHz+.
However, the Series X’s CPU cores utilize the available clock speeds of 3.8 GHz very efficiently, resulting in the top-notch gaming performance we experience on screen.
Which CPU is equivalent to the Xbox Series X CPU?
Comparing CPUs of consoles and PCs is not that easy. It’s important to note that games are generally better optimized on consoles due to the single hardware configuration developers have to work around.
On PC, there are many more hardware combinations. It’s impractical to optimize a game’s code for every piece of hardware out there.
The point is: a PC needs a CPU with better specs to deliver the same performance as on consoles.
Ryzen 7 3700X
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
With that in mind, we think the Ryzen 7 3700X is the closest thing to the Xbox Series X CPU.
The 3700X is built on the same Zen 2 architecture as the Series X CPU. It features an identical number of cores and threads of 8 multithreaded cores, for a total of 16 threads.
However, the 3700X has a moderately higher clock speed, with a boost of 4.4 GHz, compared to the Xbox’s 3.8 GHz. However, as we discussed earlier, this is offset by the optimization differences between the console and PC platforms.
So practically speaking, the Ryzen 7 3700X ultimately gives you almost identical performance to Microsoft’s flagship console.
But that’s only in CPU-bound scenarios. You also need to pair the 3700X with an equally powerful GPU to really match the Xbox in terms of performance.
CPU alternatives for the Xbox Series X
While the Ryzen 7 3700X is the closest match in this case, it’s an older Zen 2 processor, so it doesn’t have the best availability. Here are alternatives that will serve you just as well.
Ryzen 7 5700X
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
The Ryzen 7 5700X is a direct upgrade to the 3700X. The specifications are largely identical to its predecessor, except for a higher clock speed.
The 5700X has a boost clock of 4.6 GHz compared to the 3700X’s 4.4 GHz. A difference of 200 MHz is felt, mostly in single-threaded applications, but also somewhat in multicore applications, as all cores will run at a moderately higher clock speed.
Overall, the Ryzen 7 5700X is an excellent option in the Zen 3 range. Let’s also look at an option from Intel.
Intel core i5 12600
Intel Core i5-12600KF
Increase clock speed (single core)
The Alder Lake 12600 has 6 cores and 12 threads, but a higher 4.8 GHz clock speed, which makes up for the difference. It offers the same performance as the other processors on this page, but you will probably be able to find it cheaper.
The processor’s fast boost clock also provides slightly superior gaming performance.