There’s no denying that the new Xbox Series X and S are fast. The Xbox boots up almost instantly, and the games load just as fast. One factor that plays a huge role in that is the speed of the internal storage. With about 802GB of usable storage on the Xbox Series X after system files and just 364GB on the Series S, though, you might be looking at external storage options since the latest titles keep getting bigger and bigger. The fastest option for expanding storage on the new Xbox is hands down the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Series X|S, but there are other options if shelling out $220 isn’t possible at the time. Be sure to hit the video below to see more details.
Xbox Series X|S Storage
With games like Forza taking up around 100GB and Call of Duty Warzone coming in at 85 (or more), it’s easy to fill up the internal storage on the new consoles quickly. For the latest in performance, both the Xbox Series X and S are utilizing NVMe SSD drives. Utilizing a PCIe connection rather than SATA, NVMe SSD drives can deliver speeds up to 25 times faster than SATA drives. Expanding storage on the Xbox One was possible with external drives, but these USB drives don’t have nearly the performance of NVMe. And while you can still add more storage with USB drives on the Series X and S, for the fastest performance, there is a better and more expensive option.
In addition to three USB slots, on the back of the console is a dedicated slot for Storage Expansion. Currently, the only drive available is the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Series X|S, which comes in at a hefty $220. But, this “external” storage performs just as fast as the NVMe internal storage, instantly doubling the capacity on the Series X. So, when games are installed and ran from the external card, they’ll load and quick-resume just as fast as a title installed on the internal drive.
If $220 is too much for an already $500 console or 1TB isn’t enough for your library, there are other options for storage. The Series X and S also support external drives via USB 3.2. Depending on the speed of an external drive, they should benefit from the faster 3.2 transfer speeds, but it won’t be near the performance of the official Seagate NVMe external storage.
To test this, I took my WD Black P10 drive, which has most of my games from my Xbox One installed, plugged it in, and instantly, all of the titles I had installed there were available. With 5TB available on this drive, there is a lot more room to hold all of your games.
Seagate Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S: Video
Or, if you have another external drive lying around that you aren’t using anymore, you can also format and use that drive. This way, you can still download games to an external drive, and then, if you want to transfer them from the external to the internal to play, that will most likely be faster than just downloading the game again unless you have some super-fast internet. Bear in mind that any games that are optimized for the new consoles cannot be played from a USB drive and will need to be moved to the internal NVMe storage to be playable.
For some speed examples, transferring the 80.7GB Call of Duty: Warzone from the internal drive to the Seagate Expansion Card took 2 minutes and 27 seconds, while moving the same file from the internal drive to the WD Black external USB drive took about 26 minutes.
If you want the best performance, the choice is clear. The Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Series X|S is going to give the same speed as the internal drive and instantly double capacity. But, there are other options if you need more storage but don’t want to drop that much money right after purchasing a new console. As always, keep an eye on 9to5Toys.com to see when these storage options go on sale and make sure you’re getting the best deals.
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