Report Claims Microsoft's Project Scarlett Could Be 4 to 5 Times More Powerful than Xbox One X

By Sam Rutherford on at

Over the summer we were told the next generation of consoles would have the “greatest compute jump in any console” and, last week, a report from Kotaku claimed Microsoft’s plan to make two versions of Project Scarlett, including a cheaper disc-less model. Now some new info has specific numbers on how powerful Microsoft’s next-gen consoles might be.

According to sources close to the project who spoke to Windows Central, the more powerful version of Project Scarlett – codenamed “Anaconda” – is looking to deliver 12 teraflops of computing power, which is nearly ten times what you get from the Xbox One S (1.4 teraflops) and double what’s available from the Xbox One X (6 teraflops).

However, reports indicate that Anaconda will be the more premium version of Microsoft’s next-gen console, while Lockhart – which is the codename for the cheaper, more affordable model – will top out at around 4 teraflops, or around 3 times as powerful as the Xbox One S.

That said, teraflops are just a simplistic way of representing the total computing power of a given system and don’t necessarily represent Scarlett’s full capabilities. In other words, big numbers are nice, but don’t get too hung up on them.

More importantly, it seems both Lockhart and Anaconda will feature eight-core CPUs with clockspeeds of around 3.5GHz, with Microsoft planning on giving Anaconda at least 13GB of RAM reserved for games, up from a 9GB max on the Xbox One X. All told, when you combine the increased number of CPUs cores with faster cache and more modern architecture, the sources who spoke to Windows Central claim Anaconda could “perform anywhere up to four to five times better than the Xbox One X, if targets are met”.

Furthermore, expanding on what Microsoft touched briefly on in its Project Scarlett teaser video from E3 (seen above), the report says Microsoft is really banking on proprietary NVMe SSDs as a way of potentially eliminating load times, with waits of around a minute getting reduced to just a few seconds on Project Scarlett. And thanks to support for Project XCloud, users will be able to start playing games more quickly while the rest of the game downloads locally in the background. (This is a similar tactic to what Blizzard does with games in the Battle.net launcher.)

Close to what we’re seeing from modern PC GPUs, Project Scarlett is expected to support ray tracing, while still being backwards compatible with current Xbox One games and Microsoft’s library of older backwards compatible Xbox games.

However, a lot could change between now and the 2020 holiday season when Project Scarlett is expected to launch, so it’s still a bit early to get too excited. But if Microsoft can hit its targets, Project Scarlett is shaping up to be a worthy successor to the Xbox One.

If you have information about Project Scarlett you may contact me anonymously via SecureDrop or email at sam.rutherford@gizmodo.com.

Featured photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)