Which Xbox One Console Should You Buy? Xbox One X vs Xbox One S. 500GB vs. 1TB & 2TB models.

Updated December 3, 2020

When you are trying to purchase many types of electronics finding the model that meets your needs the best isn’t always a straightforward process. Too often there isn’t a one size fits all option, which leaves you having to sort through all the different available options and features as you figure out which ones are most important to you. Unfortunately, buying an Xbox One console isn’t much different, but we have you covered. Let us help simplify things and lead you through this technological wilderness of video game consoles.

Microsoft made the following versions of the Xbox One console:

Xbox One S 

The Xbox One S was the most popular version of the Xbox console and comes with a 1TB hard drive. Microsoft is still making the Xbox One S. However, you might see some older versions of this console still out there and available for purchase. Over the course of time, the hard drives on Xbox One S consoles came in 500GB, 1TB (current option), and 2TB sizes.

Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is an excellent option for people who prefer buying digital copies of their games and would rather not have a bunch of game discs cluttering up their home. With a 1TB hard drive the All-Digital Edition was priced less than the Xbox One S since it didn’t have an included optical drive.  However, Microsoft stopped producing the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition in 2020. You can still find it available for purchase in new, used, and refurbished options.

Xbox One X

 

The Xbox One X is the most powerful version of the Xbox One console that Microsoft released and comes with a 1TB hard drive. Unfortunately, Microsoft stopped production on the Xbox One X in 2020. However, the good news is that you can still find buy Xbox One X with new, used, and refurbished options available for purchase.

You will be able to find each of these consoles available for purchase both by itself or as part of a bundle. Other than a couple of extras that might come with some console bundles, each of these consoles come with the same basic accessories to get you up and running. So how can you decide which bundle and which version of the console are best for you or the person you are shopping for? To answer that question we need to cover a couple of the main differences between the different options you will have to choose from.

Bundles

As you just noticed most Xbox One consoles come as some sort of bundle. With a bundle, you get more than just the video game console. In addition to the console, you could also get a game, an extra controller, or other accessories. The price for everything that is included in a bundle is usually less than if you purchased everything separately.

The key to video game console bundles is to find one you like. The best part of a bundle is the fact that you are saving some money, but if you don’t like or want everything that is included in a bundle and won’t use it you are negating the money you saved by purchasing the bundle.

Xbox One S vs Xbox One S All-Digital Edition vs Xbox One X

The original Xbox One console came out in 2013. Since that time different versions have been released and the original version of the Xbox One is no longer being produced. As mentioned above, currently there is only one version of the console that is still being produced – the Xbox One S. That said, you can still find the Xbox One S, One X, and the All-Digital edition available for purchase either as new, used, or refurbished consoles.

Model
Xbox One S
Xbox One X
Microsoft Xbox One S 1Tb Console - White [Discontinued]
Microsoft Xbox One X 1Tb Console With Wireless Controller: Xbox One X Enhanced, Hdr, Native 4K, Ultra Hd (Discontinued)
CPU
8x Cores @ 1.75 GHz Custom Jaguar CPU
8 core x86 CPU @ 2.3GHz
GPU
1.4 TFLOPS 12 CUs @ 914 MHz Custom GCN GPU
6 TFLOPS 40 CUs @ 1.172 GHz Custom GCN GPU + Polaris
Die Size
227.1 mm**
366.94 mm**
Process
-
-
Memory
8GB DDR3, 32MB ESRAM
12GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth
68 GB/s 32 MB ESRAM @ 218 GB/s
326GB/s
Internal Storage
500GB, 1TB, 2TB HDD
1TB 2.5 inch HDD
I/O Throughput
120 MB/s
120 MB/s**
Expandable Storage
NA
NA
External Storage
USB 3.2 External HDD
USB 3.2 External HDD
Optical Drive
4K UHD Blu-ray
4K UHD Blu-ray
Performance Target
1080P @ 30 FPS, Up to 60 FPS
4K @ 30 FPS, Up to 60 FPS
Model
Xbox One S
Microsoft Xbox One S 1Tb Console - White [Discontinued]
CPU
8x Cores @ 1.75 GHz Custom Jaguar CPU
GPU
1.4 TFLOPS 12 CUs @ 914 MHz Custom GCN GPU
Die Size
227.1 mm**
Process
-
Memory
8GB DDR3, 32MB ESRAM
Memory Bandwidth
68 GB/s 32 MB ESRAM @ 218 GB/s
Internal Storage
500GB, 1TB, 2TB HDD
I/O Throughput
120 MB/s
Expandable Storage
NA
External Storage
USB 3.2 External HDD
Optical Drive
4K UHD Blu-ray
Performance Target
1080P @ 30 FPS, Up to 60 FPS
Model
Xbox One X
Microsoft Xbox One X 1Tb Console With Wireless Controller: Xbox One X Enhanced, Hdr, Native 4K, Ultra Hd (Discontinued)
CPU
8 core x86 CPU @ 2.3GHz
GPU
6 TFLOPS 40 CUs @ 1.172 GHz Custom GCN GPU + Polaris
Die Size
366.94 mm**
Process
-
Memory
12GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth
326GB/s
Internal Storage
1TB 2.5 inch HDD
I/O Throughput
120 MB/s**
Expandable Storage
NA
External Storage
USB 3.2 External HDD
Optical Drive
4K UHD Blu-ray
Performance Target
4K @ 30 FPS, Up to 60 FPS

Xbox One S

Released in 2016 the Xbox One S is more affordable than the Xbox One X. You will also notice the Xbox One S is also smaller than the Xbox One X. However, don’t let the size of the consoles determine your buying decision because you can always buy a vertical stand for either console to save space.

If you are playing your Xbox on a 1080p television you will probably be very happy with the Xbox One S. Plus, saving money by purchasing this more budget-friendly console will help you free up money to buy some extra games or accessories right away.

In addition to streaming 4K videos on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Microsoft Movies & TV you can also watch 4K Blu-ray movies on the One S thanks to its optical drive, which also allows you the opportunity to play the huge library of backward compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.

Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

In 2019 Microsoft released the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. This version of the Xbox One console is pretty much identical to the Xbox One S. The only difference is that the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition doesn’t have an optical drive.

Getting rid of the optical drive allowed the All-Digital Edition to have an even lower price than the standard Xbox One S. However, getting rid of the optical drive means that you can only buy/use digital game copies. If you are unfamiliar with the differences between digital video game copies and digital copies you might want to read our article that discusses the pros and cons of each.

Another thing you will be missing by not having an optical drive will be the Blu-ray player, which could be an inconvenience if you like to watch movies at home. However, if you already have a Blu-ray player or stream movies instead of watching them on a physical disc you probably won’t miss the Blu-ray player.

Lastly, without the optical drive, you won’t be able to take advantage of the backward compatibility that the Xbox One S offers. That said if you like the All-Digital Edition you probably aren’t the type of person who keeps piles of old games around. However, if you do want to play some classic games there is always the Xbox Game Pass Membership that will give you unlimited access to over 100 games. You can see the games that are available through game pass here.

In the end, if you are thinking that the Xbox One S is a good choice for you, are fine with digital game copies, and don’t need a Blu-ray player the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition could be a great choice for you.

Xbox One X

As you can see from the specs shown above the most powerful version of the Xbox One console is the Xbox One X. This high-end version of the popular video game console came out in 2017. While it is a little bigger in size than its Xbox One S counterpart the Xbox One X does have a lot more under the hood.

The Xbox One X has a faster processor as well as the ability to display more detailed graphics. So not only will games load faster and have less lag, but if you are playing them on a 4K television the graphics will be noticeably better.

These improved graphics are the main reason to consider buying an Xbox One X. When playing on a 4K television you will notice that the image looks crisper with increased detail for objects in the background.

As you probably expected the Xbox One X will allow you to stream 4K videos, in addition to watching 4K Blu-ray movies – thanks to its Blu-ray drive. This optical drive also allows you to take advantage of playing all of the backward compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.

The downside of this version of the console is that it is significantly more expensive than the Xbox One S and the One S All-Digital Edition.

Which One is Best For You?

This really comes down to what type of television you plan on playing your games on. If you have a 4K television or plan on buying one in the next year or two you probably want to purchase the Xbox One X.

All games will play on both devices, but an ever-increasing number of games are being enhanced to take advantage of the improved graphics capabilities of the Xbox One X.

While you might notice some slight performance improvements, especially on newer games, when playing an Xbox One X on a 1080p television. However, not being able to take advantage of the improved graphics makes the additional money spent on this console less worthwhile – especially if you are budget conscious.

500 GB vs. 1 TB vs. 2 TB

At this time Microsoft is only making Xbox One consoles with  1TB hard drives. Nonetheless, you still might find some consoles for sale with 500GB or 2TB hard drives at different retailers including Amazon These 500 GB  and 2TB consoles and bundles are older models. Several of these older consoles are collector editions or part of limited edition bundles and might come with a higher price tag. If you like one of these older versions or limited/collector edition bundles there really isn’t anything the matter with them – especially if you find a good deal. However, from a price perspective, you are probably going to be better of going with one of the newer consoles. This is especially true if you have a 4K television and are considering an Xbox One X. That being said, let’s talk about the differences between the 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB consoles.

If you are thinking about buying a Xbox One console you are probably wondering if you should buy the Xbox One 500 GB console, the Xbox One 1 TB console, or one of the Xbox One 2 TB consoles. The first difference you will notice between the two consoles is price. The 500 GB version is usually around $50 more than the 1 TB version and the 2 TB version will usually you another $50 depending on what bundles you are comparing.

Storage

The thing to remember about the Xbox One (as well as the PlayStation 4) is that it downloads a HUGE amount of data. Large amounts of data gets downloaded and stored on the hard drive for both games that were purchased online as well as for games that were purchased in a store and have physical discs. This is also true as it relates to the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games.

Wikipedia reported that as of 2013 the 500 GB console only has approximately 362 GB of usable storage space on the hard drive. The remaining space is taken up by the operating system and pre-installed software, which is similar to how it would work on your home computer.

This 500 GB version of the console is ideal for people who don’t buy a lot of games or don’t have a big library of Xbox 360 titles. If you plan on playing more than 10 games (knowing that each game downloads a different amount of data) or have several Xbox 360 backward compatible games that you plan on continuing to play it is possible that you will run out of storage space and will need to purchase an external hard drive. These hard drives can be $100 or more. So if you know prior to buying your Xbox One that the 500 GB version won’t give you sufficient storage you will probably be better served by spending the additional $50 and purchasing the 1 TB model.

Using the information Wikipedia provided from extremetech.com  we are able to calculate that we should have approximately 862 GB of usable storage with the 1 TB console, which is more than twice the storage that is available on the 500 GB console. This makes the 1 TB model is ideal for people who will be anticipating more download activity.

With the release of the Xbox One S we started seeing 2 TB consoles. Users are reporting that these 2 TB consoles have approximately 1.6 TB of usable space. If you plan on getting a lot of games for your Xbox One or downloading/playing a ton of backwards compatible Xbox 360 games onto your console getting one with a 2 TB drive can be an excellent choice.

Even with these larger amounts of available storage, it is still possible to run out of space if you download enough games to your console.  In those situations, you will eventually need to look at some of the external hard drive options.

What Happens If Your Xbox One Runs Out of Storage Space (Your Hard Drive Gets Full)?

The good news is that Microsoft will allow you to add an external hard drive to the Xbox One to expand your storage space as mentioned above.

The Xbox One’s basic requirements for storing games and apps on an external drive are:

  • Has a capacity of 128 GB or more, and
    • Note: This was reduced from 256 GB
  • Uses USB 3.0.

Here are some  external hard drives the would work for the Xbox One:

However, if you don’t want to pay money to add an external hard drive, or want to avoid the extra clutter that an external hard drive represents, your other option would be to delete a few games from your hard drive to free up some storage space. Then when you want to play the game again later you can download the files again, but this can take a long time. The good news is that the progress that you previously made in the game will still be saved with your user account. The only inconvenience is the fact that you will have to wait for the files to download again, which depending on the size of the game can take a long time. This inconvenience will only increase the more often you have to do this.

Final Thoughts

When you are deciding on which Xbox One bundle to purchase you need to buy something that you like. It makes no sense to buy a bundle with game(s) you will never play or accessories that you will never use. You simply will not be getting as much value for your dollar in those situations.

That being said most people will be better served by buying one of the current Xbox One 1 TB bundles. Because the 500GB and 2TB versions are not currently being made those versions are in limited supply and are sometimes sold for a higher price than the current bundles.

The fact that you can add additional storage means that you will be fine no matter what, but if you find two bundles that you like equally and they have different sized hard drives you should think seriously about going with the larger hard drive.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, remember that when choosing between the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X consoles you need to consider what type of television you will be playing the games on. Yes, the more powerful Xbox One X will show some improved performance even when being played on a 1080p television, but you won’t be able to fully appreciate its’ ability to display improved graphics unless you are playing it on a 4K television. For many people, the ability to play games in 4K is the main reason they consider paying the extra money to purchase the Xbox One X.

Shown below are the current best selling Xbox One consoles and bundles. You can see even more options here:

Bestseller No. 1
Microsoft Xbox One X 1Tb Console With Wireless Controller: Xbox One X Enhanced, Hdr, Native 4K, Ultra Hd (Discontinued)
  • Games play better on Xbox 1X. Experience 40 percent more power than any other console
  • 6 teraflops of graphical processing power and a 4K Blu ray player provides more immersive gaming and entertainment
  • Play with the greatest community of gamers on the most advanced multiplayer network
  • Works with all your Xbox 1 games and accessories. See every frame with 326 GB/sec memory bandwidth
  • Great for 1080p screens games run smoothly, look great, and load quickly
Bestseller No. 2
Microsoft Xbox One S 1Tb Console - White [Discontinued]
  • Watch 4K Blue ray movies and stream 4K content on Netflix and Amazon video
  • Experience richer, more luminous colors in games and video with high dynamic range
  • Play over 100 console exclusives and a growing library of Xbox 360 games on Xbox 1
Bestseller No. 3
Xbox One S 500GB Console (Renewed)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
  • Bundle includes: Xbox One S 500GB Console, 1 Xbox Wireless Controller (with 3.5mm headset jack), HDMI cable (4K Capable), AC Power cable
  • With Xbox One S, watch 4k Blu-ray Movies, stream 4K content on Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and Microsoft Movies apps.
  • Experience richer, more luminous colors and video with High Dynamic Range technology
  • Play over 100 console exclusives and a growing library of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One
Bestseller No. 4
Xbox One S 1TB Console - Fortnite Battle Royale Special Edition Bundle (Discontinued)
  • Bundle includes: Gradient purple 1TB Xbox One S console, matching purple Xbox Wireless Controller, download of the free to play Fortnite Battle Royale mode, Dark Vertex Cosmetic Set which includes a Legendary Outfit, an Epic Glider, a Rare Pick Axe, 2000 V bucks, a 1 Month Xbox Game Pass trial, and 1 Month Xbox Live Gold trial
  • Battle to be the last one standing in the worldwide Fortnite phenomenon; Fight in 100 player Battle Royale PVP mode on a giant map, building and destroying the environment as you go
  • Enjoy instant access to over 100 games out of the box with the included 1 Month trial of Xbox Game Pass
  • Xbox One family settings let you choose privacy, screen time, and content limits for each member of your family
  • Watch 4K Blu ray movies; Stream 4K video on Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, among others; and listen to music with Spotify
SaleBestseller No. 6
Xbox One X 1TB Console With Wireless Controller
  • Includes Xbox One X 1TB Console, Xbox Wireless Controller, HDMI cable, and AC Power cable
  • Great for 1080p screens games run smoothly, look great, and load quickly
  • Works with all your Xbox One games and accessories. See every frame with 326 GB/sec memory bandwidth
  • Play 4K games like Forza Motorsport 7, Cuphead, Halo, Sea of Thieves, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the way they’re meant to be played on Xbox One X.
  • The only console with built-in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
Bestseller No. 7
Microsoft Xbox One 500GB Console System With Kinect (Renewed)
  • In the box:Microsoft 7UV-00077 Microsoft Xbox One Gaming Console with 500GB HDD,Kinect Sensor,Power Adapter,Controller and Xbox Chat Headset
  • 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet
Bestseller No. 8
Microsoft - Xbox One S 1TB All-Digital Edition Console with Xbox One Wireless Controller (Renewed)
214 Reviews
Microsoft - Xbox One S 1TB All-Digital Edition Console with Xbox One Wireless Controller (Renewed)
  • Bundle includes: 1TB Xbox One S All-Digital Edition Console (Disc-free Gaming), wireless controller, a 1-Month Xbox Live Gold subscription.
  • Pick up where you left off on another Xbox One or Windows 10 PC with Xbox Play Anywhere titles.
  • Your games and saves travel with you: just sign in on any Xbox One with your Microsoft Account and you're ready to go.
  • Stream your gameplay on Mixer with the touch of a button.
  • Does not play physical discs. Games are downloaded and ready to play when you are; no need to worry about discs.
Bestseller No. 9
Xbox One X 1Tb Console - Gears 5 Limited Edition Bundle (Renewed) (2017 Model)
110 Reviews
Xbox One X 1Tb Console - Gears 5 Limited Edition Bundle (Renewed) (2017 Model)
  • Continue the challenge with additional brutal, action packed game modes including escape, versus, and horde
  • Immerse yourself in campaign following kait diaz on a journey to discover her family connection to the enemy and the true danger to sera herself
  • Own this limited edition console featuring a dark translucent casing that makes the Crimson Omen appear submerged in snow and ice, designed by gears co creator rod fergusson and the Xbox team
  • Bring the gears universe to life: Laser etched cracks appear across the console's icy top surface and snow drifts across a golden locust symbol on the back
Bestseller No. 10
Xbox One S 1Tb Console - Minecraft Creators Bundle (Discontinued)
  • Includes: 1TB memory capacity Xbox One S console, wireless controller, full game download of Minecraft, Minecraft Starter, and Creators Pack, 1,000 Minecoins, 14 day Xbox Live Gold and 1 month Xbox Game Pass trial
  • 1,000 MINECOINS: Use them to get maps, skins, textures packs and more from the in game Marketplace
  • STARTER PACK: Greek Mythology Mash up, Plastic Texture Pack, Skin Pack 1, and Villains Skin Pack
  • CREATORS: Adventurer's Dream & Winter Mini Games Festival by Noxcrew, Relics of the Privateers by Imagiverse, PureBDcraft Texture Pack, Pastel Skin Pack by Eneija, & Wildlife Savanna by PixelHeads
  • Play Minecraft with friends who are on Windows 10, mobile, and console

Last update on 2022-06-13 at 00:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API