Xbox Series S: Update frees up more RAM and improves graphics performance

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After game developers complained about the Xbox Series S memory limitations, Microsoft has started distributing an update to the game console's software development kit that can improve graphics performance because developers now have access to more memory in the console.

More memory helps in critical situations

With more memory accessible to games, graphics performance could improve in games that have hitherto been hitting the console's memory limits. Microsoft speaks of “hundreds of additional megabytes of memory” that are now available to developers on the Xbox Series S. A general improvement in graphics performance in all games is therefore not to be expected as a result of the update. In addition, a problem with the assignment of virtual addresses has been fixed, which should now also be faster for the graphic, which further improves performance.

RAM is the most limiting of the Series S

Digital Foundry had highlighted the storage limitations of the Xbox Series X, which should cause some difficulties for developers to optimize games for the less powerful gaming console. Instead of the CPU, which is identical to the Xbox Series X anyway, and the significantly weaker GPU of the Series S, it is primarily the memory that limits the console. If the Xbox Series X can access 16 gigabytes of RAM, the Xbox Series S only has 10 gigabytes, which can not be fully used by the games. Microsoft reserves around 2 gigabytes for operating system services, leaving developers with just under 8 gigabytes.

Microsoft is aiming for 1440p gaming at up to 120 FPS with the Xbox Series S, while the Xbox Series X is aimed at gaming in 4K. In practice, however, many games on the Xbox Series S do not achieve the desired resolution of 2,560 × 1,440, but are only calculated in Full HD with 1,920 × 1,080 and sometimes only 60 frames per second.