Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are powerful consoles that are incapable of scaling down to the task of video streaming. PS5 consumes 12-20x more energy than Apple TV and Chromecast during streaming.
Extreme energy consumption
PlayStation 5 consumes 70-80W during 4K video streaming from Netflix or a similar service. That is 12-13 times higher than Apple TV 4K (roughly 6W) and more than 20 times higher than Chromecast Ultra (3.4W), according to FlatpanelsHD's tests.
There is no proviso; it is the same movie, same experience. If anything, you are getting better video/audio format support with Apple TV 4K or Chromecast Ultra.
The reasons relate to the hardware inside the new console, mainly the components supplied by AMD. PS5 and Xbox Series X are both equipped with AMD's Ryzen 'Zen 2' CPU and an RDNA 2-based GPU. These are essentially PC components. It is a foundation built on x86 architecture as opposed to the leaner ARM architecture of the CPU in Apple's SoC (A10X) in Apple TV 4K and Marvell's Armada SoC in Chromecast Ultra.
PlayStation 5 is a PC in disguise
Xbox Series X has similar hardware but Microsoft has managed to reduce energy consumption during video streaming more than Sony has with PS5. Xbox Series X consumes 46W (57W if set to 120Hz output), which is still very high for a relatively simple task like video streaming/decoding but not as extreme as PS5's.
The figures point to the mismatch between performance and energy consumption – in other words energy efficiency – of modern game consoles that sell in quantities of hundreds of millions worldwide, and continue to put a heavy burden on our environment.
Sony has not responded to FlatpanelsHD's request for comment.
Energy consumption during 4K video streaming
Annually at 4 hours per day
PlayStation 4 (1st revision)
Xbox Series X
Xbox One S
Apple TV 4K
Claim your "free" streaming box
The responsible consumer should consider using a dedicated streaming box or the apps built into Smart TVs for video streaming rather than a game console.
Or you can view it from an economic perspective: The annual cost of electricity, if PS5 is used for an average of 4 hours daily for video streaming, can in many countries pay for a Roku, FireTV, Chromecast or Apple TV after 2-5 years, depending on the cost of the device – console standby / controller charging not included.
Many households already own one or more streaming boxes so often it is a simple matter of picking up the right remote.
What about energy consumption during console gaming? FlatpanelsHD will explore the subject in more detail later.
- Source: PS5, Xbox Series X, Apple TV 4K, PS4, Xbox One S, Chromecast Ultra