Xbox One: +53 mhz Is a Safe Upclock, But It Might be Way Too Little to Compete with PS4

According to a report by Gamespot the GPU of the Xbox One has been upclocked from 800 to 853 mhz. To those unfamiliar with overclocking that may sound like a big deal, but is it?

About three weeks ago I expressed concerns about the safety of a possible upclock for the Xbox One. Luckily +53 mhz is just a 6.625% increase, and while it’s not under the 5% threshold that most overclockers consider the most safe value, it’s still near enough to be reasonably safe. Most likely Microsoft didn’t even need to raise the voltage of the card to achieve it, meaning that the risk of a second Red Ring of Death is probably negligible.

Of course more heat will still be generated, and this will cause additional wear and tear, whether it’ll be on the GPU itself or on the cooling solution, but it should not be anywhere near fatal. I would say it’s safe to shelve the worries about an impending meltdown of the machine.

That said, an upclock of 53 mhz will unfortunately look impressive only to those that aren’t familiar with overclocking, as the actual influence of that kind of relatively conservative increase on the performance of games is almost negligible.

Just to give you an example, I tried overclocking the Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 I currently use on my gaming PC by exactly 53 Mhz, and then ran the newly released Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn benchmark. That kind of benchmark is perfect for this kind of test, as it’s coded to put the machine in conditions very similar to a game instead of just stress testing it.

The result, as you can see below, is unfortunately pretty underwhelming. Only a 2% increase on the overall score, and the difference in frames per seconds was between 2 and 4 across the board.


Even considering that the GTX 660 is quite a bit more powerful than the GPU of the Xbox One (the base clock of mine is 1033 mhz), the difference between the Xbox One’s GPU running at the original 800 mhz and upclocked at 853 is not going to be anywhere groundbreaking.

Just to cover all the bases I also tried an overclock of 69 mhz (which is about a 6.625% increase on my GPU’s base clock, in order to simulate the same rate of improvement) and the result was still a very slight improvement that you can see below, with increased FPS between 2 and 5.


Considering that just a few days ago Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry ran a series of test and estimated that the PS4’s graphical capabilities should be about 20% higher than those of the Xbox One, the newly announced upclock is most certainly a nice have, but it’s nothing that should allow the console to run even nearly on par with the competitor in terms of sheer horsepower.

Of course sheer horsepower is not all that matters in a console, but one thing is for sure: 53 mhz won’t do much in terms of competitive edge.

Join the Discussion

  • Krakn3dfx

    So much for specs don’t matter.

  • Maggard

    It sure would of been nice if next gen consoles had been able to put a GPU on par to the GTX 660 in and still meet their price point.

    • Krakn3dfx

      If the GPU in the PS4 is really comparable to a Radeon 7950, it would indeed be on par with a GTX 660 Ti in most things, and noticably better at things like pixel rate and proper memory bandwidth allocation.

  • orangpelupa

    and theres no stoppong for sony to overcolock 53 Mhz too. Both of them use the same GPU (but more CU on PS4).

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      I’m not sure they’ll really bother honestly. Such a conservative upclock has really a minimum effect on games.

    • Krakn3dfx

      True, but I doubt they would bother. This is very small bump in performance, the ‘mono driver’ update they talked about would potentially offer a more substantial boost than what a 6% GPU bump would.

      Sony suddenly coming out and saying “well, we’ve got 54Mhz more out of our GPU!” would just be seen as reactionary, and I really don’t think that’s something they’d want to do.

  • gabriel

    desperate action sorry wins

  • redavutstuvader

    Another brain dead article. Tabloids are strong with this one. M$’s upclocking has nothing to do with PS4, it was an internal fine tune. And the XB1 is not in a situation to need to worry about Sony’s GPU.
    AMD’s Kaveri APU is the base roadmap for M$ Chipset NOT BONAIRE.
    It’s AMD’ next gen APU
    It uses DDR3 still
    It’s 768sp at the specialty high end range
    It’s in the 100 watt range
    It’s capable of fulfilling Kinects 2.0 feature set.
    It uses steamroller dual thread cores
    Its over 1 tflop
    are you still looking at this as possible





    • orangpelupa

      May i get your source that says PS4 did not use HSA?

      • redavutstuvader

        You didn’t look at the PS4 memory architecture did you. Did you notice my link. Kaveri is going to be the first HSA APU, HUMA APU, AND GCN 2.0 APU.


        The PC version of Kaveri comes out the begenning of 2014.

        “Daniel Seth Loeb – Third Point LLC
        Okay. So were it not for this onetime event, the Picture business would have — would not have been profitable. I have one other question, if you don’t mind. How do you see profitability of the PlayStation4 product cycle versus the PlayStation3 cycle? And any comments on a consumer response to the PlayStation4, any further comments with respect to timing and ability to meet demand?

        Masaru Kato – Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Director, Member of Compensation Committee and Member of Nominating Committee
        Okay. The comparison between the 2 platforms, PlayStation3 and PlayStation4, I think they are — one big difference is in the amount of investment that we are making in the platform. PS3 was, at that time, the leading-edge product. We developed the LFIs, the CPU and the GPU, from the ground up, working together with our partners in Toshiba and IBM. We spent millions — hundreds of millions of dollars in designing the chipset. We spent billions of dollars in semiconductor fabrication technology as well as fabrication capacity, building plants, acquiring equipment to fabricate semiconductor. The reason why we did this was there was no chipset around to meet our requirements. There were no manufacturing capacity or technology to manufacture the chipset. So the amount of investment that went into PS3 was quite big. Now PS4, in contrast, is a much more lighter platform in terms of investment because as for the chipset, at the core, we are taking off-the-shelf technology available and we are putting our proprietary technology around that core chipset. So the amount of investment is much, much smaller. I cannot give you absolute amounts. In terms of manufacturing, this time, we are totally fabless, meaning that we are relying on our foundries or semiconductor manufacturing companies to supply it for us. So we do not have CapEx related to having the chipset ready for us. So on the software side, well, the PS4 is obviously more advanced than PS3 but here, the cost depends on how the development community works to create good titles for us. So I cannot comment further than this. Now as you to your question, our capacity to meet demand, at the moment, we have not disclosed how many units we will prepare for the launch and for the fiscal year. This, I think, Sony Computer Entertainment will inform you when the time comes, but we are very much, I would say, encouraged by the response that we received in E3. Some polls indicate that about 80% of potential customers prefer PS4 over our competition’s new platform. This is very encouraging, and we are doing our best to secure enough chipset and capacity to meet whatever demand that is there for us. So that is as far as I can say at the moment, but we are very encouraged with the development so far.


        Our next question comes from James Brelsford [ph] from Eco Research [ph].

        Unknown Analyst

        A couple of questions? First, about Games. Although, I listened your answer to the last question, you may not be able to answer this. I was just wondering, could you let me know how much the R&D increase is expected to be this year in Games and what the year-on-year increase was in quarter 1? And as a second quarter question, I wonder, you’ve mentioned you changed your profit forecast for that division this year, cut it. Was all the change in profit forecast just down to the yen or did you change some of the other factors, specifically the R&D spend?

        Masaru Kato – Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Director, Member of Compensation Committee and Member of Nominating Committee
        Okay. Let me answer this way. I’ll answer the second part, the last part of your question. Now we said at the beginning of the year, the profit projections for the Game segment will be about the same as the previous year, in which year we didn’t make much profit. It was a small amount of operating profit that we made. So basically, our projections at the beginning of the year was breakeven for this segment. Now as we have been explaining, the impact of the weakening yen will have an adverse effect to the bottom line in this section. Again, I will repeat what I said previously. In terms of manufacturing of the hardware, it is almost — most of it is done offshore, not in Japan, but in other parts of the countries, like — the world, like in China. And the costs here are more linked to the dollar than other currencies. So this is the only factor that we have factored into when we did our projection for the Gaming division. We have not changed other assumptions in terms of unit sales or software assumptions or anything. Now as for the first part of your question, I think it’s a good question but, I’m sorry to say, we have not disclosed our R&D cost in detail. But having said that, the amount of investment in R&D will increase over time up until launch and then start to decline. This is because on the hardware side, the peak of investment will reach — will peak out by launch and then go down. On the software side, the more that — the more successful we become, we will be investing in our first-party studio. So here, I cannot say whether it rises or holds, but software is a very, I would say, profitable business for us first party. So we will keep a certain amount of capacity or teams in the studios to work on PS4 titles. I hope this answers part of your question. ”


  • dave mcnair

    They’d be better off doing this stuff in the background for all the real world differences it will make. It just makes them look even more scared & desperate.

  • datdude

    Microsoft=fail. Sony for the win.

  • Jed ‘Papa Doc’ Arain

    EXCELLENT article! Clear, straightforward, easy to read (and understand)… just great, lol! You got right to the point and broke it down for many people that are not as tech savvy as other hardcore gamers and PC enthusiasts are. By far, this is the BEST article that breaks down the pros/cons and weighs out the issues regarding this recent “+53 MHz Xbox One issue!” ^^ Excellent job/shouts out to Giuseppe Nelva!