One of the Xbox One's nicer features is its support for external hard drives. Launch consoles didn't include all that much storage space, and even the 1TB internal drives on newer consoles are bound to fill up with games eventually. When storage space gets low, you don't stop buying games – you get an external hard drive. Pairing an internal hard drive with an external enclosure like the Nyko Data Bank is another option.
The Nyko Data Bank is an enclosure that turns any 3.5-inch hard drive into an external drive for Xbox One. It sits right on top of the Xbox and even matches the looks of the console. Read our detailed review with video installation guide to find out whether Nyko's Data Bank will meet your Xbox One storage needs!
Package contents and power
Inside the box, you'll find three components:
- Nyko Data Bank enclosure
- AC Adapter
- Foam Spacer
This product does not include a hard drive! You must supply your own 3.5-inch hard drive to make use of the Data Bank.
The Data Bank is a large enclosure measuring approximately 10 x6.5 x 1.25 inches – pretty much the same size as the Nyko Intercooler. The enclosure consists of two pieces: the top and the base. Vents along the sides allow heat to escape from an installed hard drive.
The top is made of glossy translucent plastic. The plastic isn't especially translucent, but you can see the side vents and perhaps the outline of the hard drive when viewed at certain angles and lighting conditions. The downside to the glossiness of the plastic is that it shows fingerprints and dust like crazy. Hardware manufacturers should use glossy plastic sparingly if at all.
The top of the Data Bank can be removed by pressing in both of the silver buttons located on the front sides of the unit simultaneously. Inside, you'll find a large space specially designed for full-size 3.5-inch hard drives.
The Data Bank does not have screw holes or dividers to accommodate smaller 2.5-inch drives, which seems like a minor oversight. You couldn't use a faster SSD (Solid State Drive) with the Data Bank without purchasing a separate adapter.
Installing a 3.5-inch hard drive in the Data Bank couldn't be easier. The process requires no tools at all, not even a screwdriver. Just insert the drive, push it firmly into the enclosure's SATA connector, and then insert the foam spacer between the drive and the front of the Data Bank. The spacer keeps the drive securely in place – an ingenious design.
After snapping the top piece back in place, you'll then set the Data Bank on top of the Xbox One. It goes on the left side of the console so that it won't block any vents. Four rubber feet beneath the Data Bank prevent it from scratching the system.
Two cables protrude from the back of the Data Bank: a short USB-3.0 cable and a power connector. As you'd expect, the USB cable plugs into one of the Xbox One's rear USB ports (I recommend using the bottom one to allow easy access to the top port). The Data Bank communicates with the console and sends data back and forth via USB, but it still requires a separate power supply.
Although the Data Bank includes an external AC Adapter, the adapter doesn't plug into a standard AC adapter port. Rather, the adapter plugs into a short cord that dangles from the rear of the Data Bank. That end of adapter cable has rubber notches that lock it in place when connected to the Data Bank's short cord. This design prevents the cord from falling out of the unit accidentally.
Using the Nyko Bank
Having connected the Data Bank to the Xbox One and power supply, the next step is to turn on the Xbox One. If everything has been installed correctly, the Xbox One will detect the hard drive inside of the data bank and treat it just like it would any other external hard drive. You'll be able to install, move, or copy games to the Data Bank's drive and enjoy the benefits of increased storage space. See our guide How to choose and use an external hard drive for your Xbox One for more details on the advantages and uses of an external drive.
The Nyko Data Bank is a specialized hard drive enclosure that presents a few advantages and disadvantages over a generic hard drive enclosure. The main advantage is that the hard drive can be stored directly on top of the Xbox One rather than having to sit off to the side somewhere. This saves shelf space.
The Data Bank also does a good job of matching the Xbox One's appearance, although it clearly stands out more on a white or colored Xbox than with a black console. But some users won't find the Data Bank aesthetically pleasing due to its large size. True, any enclosure for a 3.5-inch drive will be somewhat bulky, but at least you have the choice of hiding other enclosures or external drives from the eye.
Speaking of aesthetics, the Data Bank's box lists an LED light as a feature. Presumably, this light would indicate when the console accesses data from the enclosed hard drive. I see what looks like an LED on the front of the unit's base, a spot covered by the translucent shell during use. This LED on my Nyko Data Bank does not light up, however, even when the drive is clearly in use. I'm not really upset by that, though — an access indicator is such a trivial thing on a console hard drive.
Note that the Data Bank does not incorporate any noise dampening technology. The spinning of the hard drive inside is more audible than that of external drives I've used. It's not noisy enough to bother me, but your mileage may vary. It's worth noting that the hard drive you select to install will make a difference with noise as well.
Taking it to the (Data) Bank
The real crux of buying a Data Bank or not is that of value. The Data Bank retails for $39.99. Typical USB 3.0 3.5-inch hard drive enclosures sell for around $20-25. These products do the same thing as the Data Bank but cost a decent chunk of change less. Again, it comes down to where you want to keep the enclosure and whether you want it to look similar to your Xbox One.
If you don't already own a 3.5-inch hard drive to use with the Data Bank or another enclosure, buying an external hard drive is a far more affordable option. The Western Digital 2 TB MyBook – a 3.5-inch external drive – currently sells for under $100 on Amazon. An equivalent Western Digital internal drive sells for $90. Paying $130 for a Data Bank and a hard drive doesn't seem like a great deal when you can get the same benefits from a $100 external drive.
That said, an enclosure like the Data Bank allows you to select just the right 3.5-inch hard drive for your needs. The Western Digital Black 2TB Performance drive I chose for my Data Bank is a faster, better drive than you'd get in the MyBook or other non-SSD external drives. You could take it a step further and put a hybrid drive inside the Data Bank to get even faster speeds, which reportedly provides substantial benefits in open-world games like Fallout 4 and Grand Theft Auto V.
On the whole, simply buying an external hard drive outright will suit most gamers' needs better than a Nyko Data Bank + 3.5-inch hard drive combo. However, the Data Bank and other enclosures make a lot of sense if you already have a 3.5-inch hard drive to spare. Suppose you have a 1TB or 2TB hard drive sitting around. Dropping forty bucks or less so that you can use the existing drive with your Xbox One will actually save you some money over buying a brand new external drive.
If you have a spare full-sized hard drive or want an external drive to sit on and match your Xbox One aesthetically, the Nyko Data Bank should help meet your storage needs. Otherwise, just pick up an external drive like my external of choice, the WD MyBook.
Has your Xbox One started to run low on storage space yet, awesome readers?