The various strains of Scheffersomyces stipitis (Pichia stipitis) differ substantially with respect to their ability to ferment xylose into ethanol. Two P. stipitis strains CBS 5773 and CBS 6054 have been most often used in literature but comparison of their performance in xylose fermentation under identical conditions has not been reported so far. Conversion of xylose (22 g/L) by each of these P. stipitis strain was analyzed under anaerobic and microaerobic conditions. Ethanol yields of ∼0.41 g/g were independent of strain and conditions used. Glycerol and acetate were formed in constant yields of 0.006 g/g and 0.02 g/g, respectively. Xylitol formation decreased from ∼0.08 g/g to ∼0.05 g/g upon switch from anaerobic to microaerobic conditions. Specific activities of enzymes of the two-step oxidoreductive xylose conversion pathway (xylose reductase and xylitol dehydrogenase) matched for both strains within limits of error. When xylose was offered at 76 g/L under microaerobic reaction conditions, ethanol yields were still high (0.37–0.39 g/g) for both strains even though the xylitol yields (0.12–0.13 g/g) were increased as compared to the conditions of low xylose concentration. P. stipitis strains CBS 5773 and CBS 6054 are therefore identical by the criteria selected and show useful performance during conversion of xylose into ethanol, irrespective of the supply of oxygen.