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Microsoft Frees Up Xbox Series S Memory to Improve Graphics Performance

Microsoft Frees Up Xbox Series S Memory to Improve Graphics Performance - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 04 August 2022 / 3,195 Views

Microsoft in a new video spotted by The Verge announced a new Xbox software development kit has been released to developers. It frees up more memory for developers to use for Xbox Series S games and has the potential to boost performance.

"Hundreds of additional megabytes of memory are now available to Xbox Series S developers," said Microsoft's Game Dev team. "his gives developers more control over memory, which can improve graphics performance in memory-constrained conditions."

The Xbox Series S is designed to run games up to 1440p and up to 120 FPS. The lower end console has 10 GB of RAM, however, developers are allowed to use around 8 GB of it. The rest of the RAM is reserved for the OS.

Microsoft also "addressed an issue where graphics virtual addresses were being allocated considerably slower than non-graphics virtual addresses." This means games can now take better advantage of other recent memory enhancements Microsoft has made to its Xbox developer tools.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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39 Comments
SuperNintend0rk (on 04 August 2022)

The most common complaint about the Series S is its limited memory, so hopefully this helps devs get more out of it.

  • +9
darthv72 SuperNintend0rk (on 05 August 2022)

12gb would have been a better amount for it to have.

  • +1
gtotheunit91 darthv72 (on 05 August 2022)

That was an odd choice to not have 12gb of memory. One X had that much memory, but the CPU power was a bottleneck. They kinda reversed it with Series S lol

  • +4
SuperNintend0rk darthv72 (on 05 August 2022)

Agreed. Especially since only 8 GB is free for devs. That's the bare minimum for PC games these days.

  • 0
Pemalite SuperNintend0rk (on 05 August 2022)

Keep in mind that it's not unusual for a PC with 8GB of System Ram to also have a 4-8GB GPU bringing it's total to 12-16GB of memory.
Consoles have unified memory and only a single pool of DRAM.

I would have liked to have seen the Xbox Series S run with the full 16GB, just for developer sake as then every device has an expected 16GB for the entire generation.

  • +2
SuperNintend0rk Pemalite (on 05 August 2022)

Oh right, I forgot about the unified memory. That makes 10 GB seem even more limited.

  • +1
Mr Puggsly (on 04 August 2022)

Not surprising. I think most of us saw the weakest aspect of Series S is the memory.

  • +1
AkimboCurly (6 days ago)

Nice every little helps

  • 0
m0ney (on 07 August 2022)

Download more RAM

  • 0
halil23 (on 06 August 2022)

wowwee you don't say!
It would be newsworthy if hardware manufacture say they aren't looking to improve performance... -_-

  • 0
Manlytears (on 05 August 2022)

It will be interesting to see series S in the late stages of this gen. Will It hold, at least, 720p/30fps in the most demanding games?

  • 0
gtotheunit91 Manlytears (on 05 August 2022)

I think that's a huge reason as to why Xbox added FSR 2.0 into their dev kits. So that Series S has a chance to be competitive performance wise throughout the remainder of the generation.

  • 0
Pemalite Manlytears (on 05 August 2022)

The Series S has the fillrate to handle 1080P without much issue, I would expect that to be the general resolution for the console rather than 720P as that wouldn't be optimal for the hardwares efficiency curve.

  • +3
Mr Puggsly Manlytears (on 06 August 2022)

Well look how developers get games on Switch. They aim for tolerable resolution and performance, while making necessary compromises to the graphics settings (textures, lighting, shadow, AA, etc.).

We are already seeing that with Series S.

  • +1
darthv72 (on 05 August 2022)

Between the SS and the OX, the OX has the upper hand when it comes to memory [capacity]. The SS has the faster / more efficient memory but sadly many of the game that received One X enhancements (which made use of the extra memory) did not receive Optimized for Series X|S patches. Those games will run in One S mode on the SS even though it is more than capable of running them better. Those are the ones you see getting boost mode support to improve performance but still only being One S level of visuals.

Bottom line, I get that MS was trying to save on costs, but 12gb would have been a better amount to use than 10.

  • -1
Pemalite darthv72 (on 05 August 2022)

With the price of memory right now, they should have just dropped the entire 16GB in and called it a day.

The thing with the One X though is that, yes it has 12GB of Ram, which is 20% larger than the 10GB on the Series S.

However, the One X was less efficient and only had 9GB available for games, verses the Series S at 8GB. - But that gap is closing with this new update.

I am going to assume that the few hundred megabytes in usable DRAM is what is holding the Series S from running One X enhanced titles.

Which is also why I still use the One X over the Series S in the bedroom... Enhanced titles look better on the One X.
The Series X however... That is another step up, been a great console for me.

  • +2
KratosLives (on 05 August 2022)

That's good. Hopefully I'll be able to play starfield at 1080p 60fps.

  • -3
Azzanation KratosLives (on 06 August 2022)

60fps? Lol you are joking right? No console will be running SF at 60fps

  • 0
KratosLives Azzanation (on 06 August 2022)

Then I definitely won't be playing lol

  • -2
Azzanation KratosLives (on 06 August 2022)

Well.. if you have a decent PC you can get it to 60fps but don't expect a console 60fps

  • 0
zero129 KratosLives (on 06 August 2022)

How do you ever play the 30fps games on PS5.

  • -1
KratosLives zero129 (on 06 August 2022)

I don't . Everything on ps5 has been minimum 60 fps so far. The only game I revisited was fallout but only did one mission and not going to touch it till they release a frame rate patch.

  • 0
Azzanation KratosLives (on 06 August 2022)

I had trouble going back to the Outerworlds which was 30fps across all consoles until they released a stealth update making it 60fps.
Starfield unfortunately will be too demanding for current gen consoles unless they half the visusls.

  • 0

The visuals aren't that impressive. I'd be sad to see it run under 60.

  • -1

For the type of game it is, the visuals are quite impressive.

  • +1
zero129 KratosLives (6 days ago)

Cant wait to see how you will deal with them proper curent gen 30fps games on PS5, or how you even played any game on PS4...

  • +1
zero129 KratosLives (6 days ago)

And what games have you played on PS5 so far?.

  • -1
KratosLives zero129 (5 days ago)

Are you trolling ? Almost every game is 60 fps.

  • -1
zero129 KratosLives (4 days ago)

Well look on Xbox Series X i guess the could be a 60fps 1080P option, but to expect that on Series S is asking a bit much.

  • 0
KratosLives zero129 (3 days ago)

Series s is designed for 4k 60fps, and 1080 at 120 fps. So it would be a joke if they can't get the minimum 1080 at 60fps.

  • -1

Thats false. Series S is a 1440p /120 fps at its peak. The Series X is the 4k / 120 fps machine.

  • +1
zero129 Azzanation (3 days ago)

Now i want to know what nextgen games (Not old gen ports) he is playing on his PS5 on 4K@60FPS.. We all know he was mad for Gow and Horizon etc, none of them games work in 4K@60FPS, hell i dont even know if they have a 1080P option@ 60FPS..

  • +1
Pemalite Azzanation (2 days ago)

There are a few 4k/60 games on the Xbox Series S like Ori and the Will of the wisps.

So we know it's capable of 4k.

Microsoft hasn't introduced any caps to limit anything, it's entirely down to the developer.

But most developers will be targeting the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 and backporting/downgrading titles to the Series S, so there will be a lot of cuts, probably first to resolution and/or framerate.

  • 0
zero129 KratosLives (3 days ago)

I think you mean the Series X, and the is no PS5 next gen game such as GoW etc that you are playing on the PS5 in 4K@60FPS, so why your making such a big deal out of this game i dont know. it will most likely play at 1080P@60FPS on the Series X
so what is the problem?.
Seires X will most likely have an option of 4K@30FPS or 1080P@60FPS, just like them PS5 games your loving so much.

  • +1
KratosLives zero129 (2 days ago)

I never said I was gaming at 4k 60fps. 1080p at 60fps should be the minimum entry for all current gen systems.

  • 0
zero129 KratosLives (2 days ago)

Well then you picked the wrong console with the Series S as it was never Advertised as what you want. Both most games do have 60FPS@1080P on it too, but how you can expect Proper nextgen games to do it is beyond me and even more so when it comes to bethesda. You should just swap it in and get a Series X. Or like what was pointed out to you a good gaming PC. Otherwise the is lots of games your going to be missing out on this gen on Both PS5 and Xbox.

  • +1
KratosLives zero129 (2 days ago)

The series s is designed and advertised for 1440p and 120 fps. You are delusional if you think the series s isn't capable of the bare minimum 1080 at 60fps. There are barely any games using the full extent of next gen features and tech that's posible on series s /x.

  • -1
zero129 KratosLives (2 days ago)

Well now you found one in Starfield.

  • 0
KratosLives zero129 (2 days ago)

We don't know yet since it hasn't released

  • 0