Hardware Comparison of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Updated October 6, 2023

Gamers have endlessly argued about the merits and demerits of the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation ever since they were pitted against each other in the market. Both the systems have their own sets of pros and cons and have found takers in the market and received positive feedback. This article will attempt to pit the two capable gaming systems against each other in terms of their hardware capabilities.


The Xbox features a 3.2GHz Xenon processor compared to the PS3’s 3.2GHz Cell Processor. The Xbox’s processor has 3 dual threaded cores whereas the PS3’s processor has 7 single-threaded cores plus a backup core.

The numbers clearly show that each processor performs well in its own right. Theoretically, the PS3’s single cores beat the Xbox’s dual cores but when we look at the overall performance of the systems, they are neck to neck.


The GPU is one of the most important hardware components of a gaming console. The Xbox comes with the ATI Xenos graphics card with up to 51MB of GDDR3 RAM. The PS3 comes with the NVIDIA RSX ‘Reality Synthesizer’ with 256MB of GDDR3 RAM.

These numbers show that both the systems are dependent on the graphics cards that are exclusively designed for the consoles by the provider (NVIDIA for PS3 and Xenos for Xbox). Owing to the ability of the NVIDIA’s card in sharing system memory, it offers a slightly better performance than the Xenos chip. This means that the GPU round goes to PS3.


The Xbox 360 features 512MB of GDDR3 RAM which is shared with the GPU. It has a speed of 700MHz and a bandwidth of 22.4Gbps. The PS3      has 256MB XDR RAM with a speed of 3.2GHz and a bandwidth of 25.6Gbps.

The Xbox has to share its RAM with its system whereas the PS3’s RAM is faster and more efficient as the numbers on speed and bandwidth indicate. In terms of RAM, the PS3 emerges as the clear winner.

Hard Disk

The Xbox’s hard disk has a capacity of 250GB at 5200rpm compared to the PS3, which has an option of 160GB or 320GB at 5200 rpm.

Here the numbers are similar to each other giving the impression that both are evenly matched. However, we have not considered the PS3’s compatibility with SATA hard drives. This will enable the users to easily upgrade their memories by connecting their notebooks to their gaming consoles. This tips the scales in favor of PS3 again!

Video Support

The video capabilities of both the consoles are similar with the PS3 offering a higher resolution. The Xbox offers a native 720p resolution compared to the PS3’s 1080p. The Xbox is provided with composite, component, HDMI and VGA ports. The PS3 is also provided with the same ports set with the exception of VGA.

The display capabilities of both the consoles are similar with similar ports provided. When you connect the consoles to displays of higher resolutions, the PS3 emerges as the winner because of its higher pixel density.


The Xbox 360 comes with 5 USB ports and Kinect Port. The PS3 has 2 USB ports and 2.0 Bluetooth capabilities. Even here, the numbers are misleading. You might be impressed by the number of USB ports on Xbox but Bluetooth ensures that the PS3 has an upper hand over the Xbox even in this aspect.

The Verdict

In all the hardware specifications, the PS3 edged out the Xbox 360. So, it emerges as the clear winner in this hardware showdown. Nevertheless, the choice of the gaming console is up to the discretion of the buyer. You should try both the systems in a store before deciding the one that is suitable for you, both in terms of value for money and satisfaction.

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