What types of hard drives or SSDs can be used on Xbox?
The new game consoles of the Seattle company have at their disposal two types of interfaces to expand your storage space:
- ESATA connector: in this port you can put the Storage expansion card which currently only offers the Seagate brand. Although they are advertised with 1TB, the reality is that they offer 920GB of actual space. They have a transfer rate of 2.4 Gigabit per second. Its price is 239 dollars, although it is possible, on certain occasions with an offer, to find them up to 180 dollars.
- USB connectors compatible up to version 3.1: can be connected from hard drives (HDD) up to Conventional SSD, but depending on the type of each, some features or others can be used. They can be used from capacities of 128 GB, costing the most suitable for the price-size, those of 2 TB, or around 80 dollars on average.
What can be done with a storage expansion card on an Xbox Series?
If we choose to expand the storage with a card for ESATA port, we will reach the increased functionality compatibility with an external storage device in one of the new machines of the American brand. It is possible both to make backup copies of the system and to back up multimedia content in addition to playing from this unit the video games of previous generations (Xbox One, 360 and the first console of the system) as well as those that come out exclusive or with functions that are only executable in the X and S series.
What are the limits for SSDs and hard drives on Microsoft consoles?
If we use the memory expansion of these new generation consoles through the USB connectors, both rear and front, we must know that there are limits to the use of these devices.
- Multimedia storage and playback (photos and videos)
- Run games from previous generations: Available on both media, as long as they are USB 3.0 or higher, but there will be a big difference in performance – especially when charging – in favor of SSDs over traditional mechanical hard drives, which are slower and prone to damage. errors.
- System backups: the system only allows them to be done with a Solid State Drive and only with certain compatible ones, which are also formatted in a special way when we use this option. This allows us, when starting a new Xbox, to configure it exactly like the previous one and it is very useful to do this if we are going to buy a new one.
- Play next-gen titles or improved versions: this is not possible, we can only use them as a storage medium, but to run them we will have to transfer them to the internal memory of the console.
Compatibility Is a “special” disc, card, or solid state drive required for Xbox?
Although in the images you can see accompanying the report there is a custom SSD unit with the logos and a character as charismatic as the Halo Master Chief – for those interested, this is the model. 2TB Seagate Game Drive for Xbox – In the case of memory extensions via USB connectors, they do not need to have any particular “configuration” or specific design to use them.
Note also that if you already have an SSD or a hard drive on your Xbox One (or on your PC) – and that the one in the image, was launched in the previous generation for example – you can use without problem on the new X-Series and S-Series. Just look USB 3.0, or preferably USB 3.1, and we could use any of them (even custom versions “for” or with PS5 designs that also have that same mark, for example). Any type of label or tag “specially designed”, “for Xbox” or similar, is only aesthetic since the compatibility is universal …
The case with storage expansion cards is very different. This is a Unique and proprietary NVMA drive design. And right now, the only officials are those from Seagate that you can see portrayed in this report. Although information has emerged and there are brands preparing the strange product, there is currently no other option if you want to add more GB to Microsoft consoles with the same properties as the internal SSD.
It is a closed ecosystem compared to the PS5 which will use conventional units and has an expansion port on which, a priori, any SSD in NVMA format can be installed – you can see it on the picture -. What’s the problem? This until Sony does not activate the feature, the port is decorated. For now, beyond external cable drives (and in the case of the Sony console, a USB-C port must be added), in the Japanese machine we cannot increase the capacity of the internal SSD in the same way. that yes we can on the xbox.
How external storage is managed on Xbox
The use is quite simple and straightforward. It’s almost a bit absurd – but in case anyone gets it or anything new to these issues comes up – to say that just plug the cards into the rear port and the drives or SSDs into n ‘ any USB, something logical and it’s usually called “Plug & Play”.
When it comes to format, storage expansion cards are ready for use from the first moment and the extended space appears on the screen. For its part, and this is already the case in most cases, hard disks or SSDs must be formatted as NTFS (you will only have problems if you use a disk formatted for MacOS for example). But even so, the console would take care of removing them and leaving them ready to use.
How many units can we have connected? Then as far as the ports of the machines allow us, ie an expansion card and 3 drives in the respective USBs. The sum of the space that we have accumulated between all of us is shown when we access, for example, the game manager that we have installed, in the lower left corner.
Now, as we have already commented, this is a “false” reality since the console does not use this space in a unitary way. If we go to the configuration settings and enter the option “Manage storage devices”, we can check the space we have occupied in each of them and with what elements.
There is only one detail to take into account and that is that the games are always saved by default in the main storage – if we do not change anything – and, in the event that we want to free up space, we will have to manually move to the secondary, either this card, or an SSD or hard drive. This option can be customized
If we want to transfer the games from one to another, they also give us information about the capacity of the source unit, and this gives us information about the free space in which we have connected externally. Just select the elements you want, and choose if you want copy or move them to one of the available destinations.
On which console is it most necessary to expand memory? In the S series or the X?
Internally, as we move forward, newer Xboxes have an “official” internal capacity, but in reality the actual and usable free space in each case is less:
- Xbox Series X: available space 910 GB (approximately), actual capacity for approximately 22/23 games (average 40 GB)
- Xbox Series S: available space 364 GB (approximately), actual capacity for approximately 9/10 games (average 40 GB)
Although in the X series, due to the amount of free space in its storage, expanding its memory is not so necessary, for the S series it is highly recommended – and almost mandatory – when we talk about of this the average of the games with a certain tree already exceed 40 GB and some, like the Gears 5, approach 100 GB with all the additions. And that’s a trend that shouldn’t change. If we’re Xbox Gamepass Ultimate users, Microsoft’s subscription service that has a full catalog of over 400 games to download, chances are we’ll fill it up soon.
The price difference between the two consoles is 200 dollars (X Series – 599 dollars vs S Series – 299 dollars). But, buying less capacity and wattage, it is likely that we will have to consider that we will almost certainly have to invest in a memory expansion, which will bring the price of both closer to have the same capacities. As mentioned previously, a Storage Expansion Card costs 239 dollars to have a total capacity (internal + card) of just over 1.2 GB (around 30 games) against the 910 GB offered by the X Series without add-ons.
It is true that until the launch of truly exclusive games of the new generation, that is to say games which are no longer compatible with Xbox One and earlier, there will be no “real” need to opt for the cards. It will be from 2022 that the card will become more necessary than the SSD, that is to say that it will then be necessary to “park” more on the SSD and transfer them to the internal storage to play them since they cannot. not be launched from the outside.