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Review: Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S

by Parm Mann on 20 October 2021, 14:01

Tags: Seagate (NASDAQ:STX), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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Performance and Summary

Cursory tests reveal the obvious advantage of using the Storage Expansion Card over a traditional USB SSD. Whereas the latter are limited to 5Gbps, the NVMe Expansion Card is able to stretch its legs and completes a ~70GB transfer of Forza Motorsport 7 in less than half the time. Transferring back to the internal storage is a fraction slower, but still far superior to any USB solution.

It is interesting to note that load times are similar across the board. We measure from the moment of launch to the start of a race and the Expansion Card is practically as quick as Microsoft's custom internal NVMe storage.

Repeating what we already know, the major advantage of the Seagate Expansion Card is that it remains the only external storage solution to support Xbox Series S|X-optimised titles. We expect load times to improve further as developers begin to better utilise the Velocity Architecture, but at no point will such games be playable direct from third-party USB drives.

Think of the Seagate Storage Expansion Card as a compact 1TB CFExpress memory card designed exclusively for Xbox Series S and X.

A plug-and-play solution, the pre-formatted card takes seconds to install and instantly offers 920GB of usable space. Enough to increase the Series S storage capacity by a whopping 253 per cent, or Series X by 115 per cent, and by mirroring the NVMe performance characteristics of internal storage, there's full compatibility with the entire catalogue of current and upcoming Xbox games.

There's not a lot to fault in terms of integration - build quality, performance and ease of use are all excellent - but the drive does feel pricey at £200, and given the rate at which games are growing, a 2TB model must surely be on the horizon.

The Good
 
The Bad
Tiny form factor
Super simple installation
Practically as fast as internal storage
 
Pricey at RRP
Only available in 1TB capacity



Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S

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The Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S is available to order from Scan Computers.

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At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through the SCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Any chance of taking it apart to see what all the extra bucks get you, aside from the price of vendor lock in? The very similar load times on older titles makes you feel like it's a very artificial block…

And I wonder how locked down these are? Will there be an unofficial adapter for standard drives?
These devices have been a disaster so far, I'm not sure why they haven't attracted more negative publicity.

The underlying tech is a good move, but locking it down like this is something I'd expect of Sony, especially at the cost sold at.
jimbouk
Any chance of taking it apart to see what all the extra bucks get you, aside from the price of vendor lock in? The very similar load times on older titles makes you feel like it's a very artificial block…

And I wonder how locked down these are? Will there be an unofficial adapter for standard drives?

See - https://venturebeat.com/2020/10/15/xbox-series-x-seagate-expansion-card-teardown/

I believe someone got a CFExpress adaptor to work when using one of the NVMe drives from another xbox but its not currently a good idea IMO. Personally I'm waiting for Seagates 1 year exclusive deal with Microsoft to end so we can get some competition and other models available. Game pass puts massive demands on storage. (I've seen these cards hit £150 occasionally and that feels fair for a custom 1tb NVMe - £220 does not)

Edit: A 500Mb model has been long rumoured too.
It has one flaw… it is the brand Seagate… never had any positive with those.
cheesemp
Personally I'm waiting for Seagates 1 year exclusive deal with Microsoft to end so we can get some competition and other models available.

Well that explains everything!