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Old 09-28-2020, 04:43 PM   #61
Mavrick Mavrick is offline
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Total usable storage is 920GB.
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:43 PM   #62
Tony208 Tony208 is offline
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Target circle has a 10% offer so I cancelled and re-ordered. Down for $204 for me.
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:51 AM   #63
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Thanks, just did the same. $199 shipped.
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Old 10-15-2020, 05:44 PM   #64
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Xbox Series X Seagate Expansion Card teardown




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Microsoft sent me a Seagate Expansion Card with the preview version of the Xbox Series X hardware. And the tiny add-on is reminiscent of memory cards that you might have used on your PlayStation or Nintendo 64. But it does have a few notable and telling differences.



The card has a plastic sheath that wraps around a metal chassis. And while the metal starts off looking attractive, it has a tendency to look somewhat greasy or lubricated. But Microsoft and Seagate didn’t use the metal for show. That exists for spreading and routing heat out of the storage device.

The superfast NAND storage in modern SSDs can run hot, and so can a PCIe 4.0 controller chip. Microsoft’s engineers designed this to shift heat out of those components and into the Xbox for dissipation.

As one of the first people in the world with an Xbox Series X, I felt a responsibility to share as much info as possible about the device and its add-ons. And since I’m a grown man with an iFixit kit, I took charge of the situation and opened up the Expansion Card.



I started by removing the plastic sheath, which clips around the metal. I then was able to pry apart the two pieces of the metal casing. This revealed the PCB screwed into one of the slabs.

After removing those screws, I found the heart of the Xbox Series X expansion storage.



That is a cluster of SK Hynix NAND Flash memory alongside a Phison PCIe 4.0 controller. Each of those components has a dab of thermal paste to create a strong connection to the surrounding metal.

So yes, the metal is definitely acting as part of the cooling for the Seagate Expansion Card. Expect this part of the card to get pretty hot — that’s normal. By getting hot, the metal is helping to vent the heat from the chips into the Xbox, and the Xbox can then push that heat up through its vent.

As for the chips themselves, the Phison controller is a welcome sight. This is its E19T PCIe Gen 4 controller, which is an early industry leader in reliable and speedy performance.



The memory itself is an SK Hynix 1TB chip. I’m not an expert on NAND, but I believe this is SK Hynix’s new 4D NAND, which stacks its memory cells in 128 layers. This is how Seagate was able to get 1TB of storage space onto a single chip inside such a tiny form factor.



And all of this sits on a printed circuit board that uses the CFexpress connection standard. You can see that in the picture below:



See how that matches up with a typical CFexpress card:



Standard CFexpress can transfer data at up to 4GB per second, but it’s possible that Microsoft’s custom implementation is faster. But 4GB per second would give enough room for the Phison E19T controller, which maxes out at about 3.75GB per second for read/write speeds.

After this teardown, the price of the 1TB Seagate Expansion Card seems fair. SK Hynix is selling a 1TB NVME SSD with read/writes of 3,500/3,200 MB per second for $135 that uses its 128-layer NAND. But that is in a larger form-factor PCIe 3.0 NVME. So it’s likely using two 500GB chips, and it definitely isn’t using the PCIe 4.0 Phison controller.

The Seagate’s $220 price makes sense when you factor in the increased performance and what is likely a custom implementation of CFexpress.

But fair price or not, $220 is a lot of money. Is it going to get more affordable in the future? It should. One of the major benefits of SK Hynix’s 128-layer NAND is that it significantly brings down productions costs. As manufacturing continues, the price of that Flash should come down quickly.

It’s also in Microsoft’s own interest to ensure you have enough storage. It wants you to subscribe to Game Pass, which has over 100 games. It doesn’t want you worrying about storage — it just wants you downloading the next game. So expect prices to come down.

I think we’ll see a 2TB option in the next year or so. The PCB seems like it may have room on the other side for another cluster of NAND. Maybe that launches at $220, and the 1TB option drops to something closer to $170.

So I would wait to buy expansion until you are sure you need it.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:24 AM   #65
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Sigh...I caved. I had convinced myself to wait on it but I couldn't pass up the Target deal, especially since my hubby also got a 5% off for his Birthday month that stacks with it.

So 10% Circle + 5% RedCard + 5% Bday, and I got it for $180+ tax.

I kept going back and forth all weekend trying to decide if I was going to do this, or get another Elite Controller. I ended up on this. I loved, loved my original Elite Controller, until it went to hell with drifting sticks (unplayable, can't even use it to navigate menus it is so bad). I had hoped the II version would fix that, but apparently - it doesn't (review after review just as bad on the build quality front). I had decided against it awhile back when it first came out, but when MS upped the warranty recently to 1-year, I started to consider it again. I loved that controller...until it stopped working.

In the end, I went with this...mainly because I'll be getting a brand-spanking new controller with my Series X, and I'm going to be less irritated in a year if this gets a price drop than I am if I bought an Elite II controller and they come out with an Elite III, LOL.
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:30 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillieCassin View Post
Sigh...I caved. I had convinced myself to wait on it but I couldn't pass up the Target deal, especially since my hubby also got a 5% off for his Birthday month that stacks with it.

So 10% Circle + 5% RedCard + 5% Bday, and I got it for $180+ tax.

I kept going back and forth all weekend trying to decide if I was going to do this, or get another Elite Controller. I ended up on this. I loved, loved my original Elite Controller, until it went to hell with drifting sticks (unplayable, can't even use it to navigate menus it is so bad). I had hoped the II version would fix that, but apparently - it doesn't (review after review just as bad on the build quality front). I had decided against it awhile back when it first came out, but when MS upped the warranty recently to 1-year, I started to consider it again. I loved that controller...until it stopped working.

In the end, I went with this...mainly because I'll be getting a brand-spanking new controller with my Series X, and I'm going to be less irritated in a year if this gets a price drop than I am if I bought an Elite II controller and they come out with an Elite III, LOL.
Well you got a good stack of discounts so that is pretty great. And really, when the price inevitably drops next holiday season, the convenience of not worrying about managing your internal storage for a year will probably outweigh saving a few bucks.

Also, happy b-day (plus or minus one month).
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Old 11-08-2020, 06:40 PM   #67
Tony208 Tony208 is offline
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Wow this thing is small


Last edited by Tony208; 11-08-2020 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 11-08-2020, 07:01 PM   #68
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Old 11-08-2020, 11:13 PM   #69
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Got the email from Target on Friday that my order shipped but wouldn't arrive until the 16th, it was on my porch this morning. Added bonus, after working 27 days in a row I finally have a day off: November 10th! Now watch FedEx not show up until 8pm w/ my new toy
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Old 11-09-2020, 04:35 PM   #70
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The price will come down. Right now there no reason to get one. There's very few titles at launch and only Xbox Series X games need to be installed on a SSD. Everything else works on the regular drives.
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Old 11-13-2020, 09:40 PM   #71
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Got mine this afternoon. Hot takes:

* Wow...so this is TINY, LOL. Pics don't do it justice.

* The quick start guide shows someone just sticking it in and that's it - there were no instructions about to have it shut down or anything, and since they confirmed hot swapping previously, I just went ahead and inserted it. It went in pretty easily but I could feel it connect securely.

* Series X didn't even flinch - I was surprised there wasn't even a pop up saying it had been inserted (may be because I was streaming video?).

* Went to storage, it was right there, ready to go. You can custom name it.

* Copied over a bunch of games I had downloaded and it is pretty fast going from one drive to the other. Just rough guesstimating from watching it transfer in action, about 500MB/second, give or take. A 25-30GB game seems to take just less than a minute.

All in all, shock over the price vs. the tiny little thing it is aside, I'm super glad I bit the bullet and did it. Just so many games I want to play now, and the quick swapping so easy, I just don't want to have to worry about it.
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Old 11-14-2020, 04:18 AM   #72
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Granted you would get a pop-up when you plugged one in, but otherwise it seems like it's basically the same as if you plugged in an external drive. The whole it just combining with the internal memory within the UI that is. A feature I've always liked over PlayStation regardless of which platform I prefer.
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Old 11-15-2020, 05:42 PM   #73
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Old 12-06-2020, 03:45 PM   #74
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My series x is rocking 3tb of additional ssd storage- picked up the Seagate expansion card + 2TB seagate barracuda Fast External ssd. Got the barracuda for a bargain price on black Friday. it matches the series x perfectly, you would think it was an officially licensed accessory (like the xbox branded version from a few years ago))-it even has a green led strip that lights up when powered on just like the x.

Last edited by X-rayvision; 12-06-2020 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:50 PM   #75
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Is this the only game in town for storage expansion? Does it have the same fast loading capabilities as the internal hard drive?

Do I have to decide which games go on which drive or does the Xbox figure that out? I assume both Series X and XBox One games can go on it? Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:12 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emailking View Post
Is this the only game in town for storage expansion? Does it have the same fast loading capabilities as the internal hard drive?

Do I have to decide which games go on which drive or does the Xbox figure that out? I assume both Series X and XBox One games can go on it? Thanks.
It is indeed the only option to increase the internal storage at the the same speeds as the built in SSD.

It should be a simple plug and play and merge with the storage already in the internal system.

Happy New Year Everyone!
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