Xbox One X’s relatively weaker CPU can create problems for CPU bound games.
The Xbox One X is the most powerful home console ever made, with some impressive advances in the RAM and GPU over the base system- however, given that it is meant to be iterative on the original Xbox One console, it is still bound to be using the same hardware as that system to maintain compatibility- which often leads to weaknesses the console would otherwise not have.
The biggest of these is the console’s CPU- using a (admittedly souped up) Jaguar CPU, the Xbox One’s CPU is disproportionately weaker than the GPU or memory in comparison. This can often lead to issues in development for game developers- such as Little Green Men Games with Starpoint Gemini Warlords. Speaking to GamingBolt, and responding to a question about the relative weakness of the console’s CPU, they admitted that the weakness in this area was the biggest shortcoming they ran into during development.
“[The CPU] is a biggest shortcoming for us,” Zeljko Kos, CTO of Little Green Men Games, said. “Starpoint Gemini Warlords is an optimized game in contrast to Starpoint Gemini 2, but the sheer number of ships and the gameplay scope can make a massive load on the CPU. We didn’t want to cut the gameplay on Xbox One, so we had to use some tricks and heavy optimizations in order to reduce CPU load. Additionally, our main thread is overloaded, which brings issues in big fights; i.e. when you have 100 ships fighting each other. That’s why we are still working on optimizations.”
It does make sense- and indeed, consoles this generation in general have been CPU bound, from PS4 and PS4 Pro to Xbox One, Xbox One X, and even the Wii U and Nintendo Switch. It’s a shame that this is the area they are all lagging behind in, especially since stronger CPUs do lead to more possibilities for gameplay than stronger GPUs, as an example- hopefully, the next generation machines from all three console manufacturers address these deficiencies.