Seagate Storage Expansion Card review - A must for Xbox Series X owners
Seagate Storage Expansion Card review
Sure, it’s pricey, but PAT PILCHER explains why Seagate’s Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X console is a nifty no-brainer.
One of the killer features of Microsoft’s latest Xbox Series X console is its blisteringly fast game load times via its solid-state drive. Where games on my Xbox 360 often took an eternity to load, with the Series X games literally spring to life as fast as I can launch them.
As fantastic as this is, storage expansion with an internal SSD drive is tricky. Offering the same or similar performance levels to what was available with the Xbox’s internal SSD is a difficult task.
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This saw Microsoft’s Xbox team involving storage experts, Seagate, who developed the Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X/S.
The card is a 1TB SSD that resembles a shrunken-down old-school PCMCIA card. It slots into an expansion card slot on the back of the Xbox to add storage that’s about as fast as the internal SSD. It’s tiny, being about the size of half a credit card. Its metal connector strip is topped by a black plastic assembly that sports an Xbox logo and a label stating ‘1TB’. It uses Microsoft’s Xbox Velocity Architecture, which offers theoretical speeds of up to 40 times that of a conventional hard drive.
Priced At $399, it isn’t super affordable. Still, it is similar price-wise to what you’d expect to pay for a similar capacity external SSD. While you could try to save a few bucks by hooking up a large external USB hard drive to your console, titles designed for the new consoles won’t support USB drives because their transfer speeds are just that much slower, which will impact the overall performance gameplay of the Xbox.
It turned out that Installation was as easy as falling off a log. It involved simply inserting the card into the expansion slot around the back of the Xbox XS. After powering up the console, the SSD is automatically detected. Its capacity (930GB of free storage) is added.
By virtue of it a) being an SSD, and b) using a proprietary high-speed connection, it is fast. It took just under a minute to copy Ace Combat from the internal storage to the card and just over a 1 minute to move the game title back to internal storage.
All told, game-loading speeds felt quick and games seemed to snap to attention in what felt many times quicker than with the Xbox One.
Other reviewers have compared the Storage Expansion Card’s performance with USB-based SSDs. Transferring most titles between a USB connected SSD and internal storage is typically about 3-4 times slower than with the Storage Expansion Card. In most cases, reviewers also noted that their consoles couldn’t run the game from the USB SSD drive. It simply wasn’t fast enough.
For hardcore gamers with a pile of games installed or a GamePass subscription, the Seagate Storage Expansion Card is a complete no brainer. It might be pricey, but it adds a whopping 1TB of storage to the Xbox Series S/X. Even better, it’s almost as quick as the internal SSD. That, and the sheer simplicity of installing, it sees it earning a well-deserved 10/10.