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Seagate Game Drive for Xbox SSD review: Is premium speed worth a premium price?

Windows Central Recommended Award

Seagate and Microsoft have worked together extensively building Xbox-branded storage drives for the console. You can use any USB-based storage device with Xbox One, but the Seagate drives often come with designs that more closely match the console, complete with Xbox branding and often some additional perks.

The new Seagate Game Drive solid-state drives (SSDs) closely match the design conventions of the Xbox One X and tout speed as a signature selling point. Xbox One X games are crammed with 4K assets, with games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Gears of War 4 pushing 100GB installation sizes.

The SSD comes in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB flavors, and includes three months of Xbox Game Pass to sweeten the deal. However, they start at a beefy $140, running all the way up to $600 for the 2TB model, which is more expensive than the console.

So just how speedy is it? And does it shave enough time off those load speeds to be worth the price tag? Let's take a look.

Seagate Game Drive for Xbox SSD design and setup

Seagate SSD

Seagate SSD (Image credit: Seagate Game Drive SSD)

Like any standard USB storage device, set up on Xbox One is quick and easy. Once you plug it in, you're pretty much ready to go. You can assign the drive to be your default storage solution via the Xbox One settings, after which it will begin receiving game data from future installations.

Design-wise, as external storage devices go, the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox is rather nice looking. It sports a layered matte black finish matching standard Xbox One X consoles, complete with an Xbox logo with a mirror sheen. It's a nice touch, but I'm not sure how many people really consider the way an external storage device looks before they buy one.

The SSD also has some nice weight to it, which helps it sit still in your setup against the pull of the cable. It's also completely silent. As an SSD, it has no internal moving parts. If you keep your Xbox in your bedroom as I do, you'll no doubt have noticed a hard disk drive (HDD) clicking away as it downloads game updates overnight. No such problem here. It does have a soft white light that indicates when it's reading though, so you'll have some indication of when not to unplug it.

The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox SSD is sleek and small, with 94 cm by 79 cm by 9 cm dimensions. It's barely thicker than a cell phone, and it doesn't require any external power, unlike some of the larger standard HDDs out there. It's convenient and portable, but how fast is it?

Speed boost

When I initially set out to test this SSD, I wasn't particularly certain it would yield such significant gains to be worth the price point, but I was pleasantly surprised. Across some of the larger open-world titles out there with large amounts of assets, the benefits to load times were substantial. The Seagate SSD has a listed performance of up to 540MB/s, which is a substantial increase over the company's own external HDDs as you might expect, which get around 150MB/s.

I ran each test three times and averaged them out to give me the below results compared to the Xbox One X's internal HDD storage. The tests involved booting up the game from the dashboard and loading into the game world as fast as possible. The Xbox One X has a faster HDD than that of the Xbox One S and the 2013 Xbox One, so expect even bigger performance gains against those models.

GameXbox One XSeagate SSD
Assassin's Creed Odyssey2 minutes 32.5 seconds1 minute 37.25 seconds
Nier: Automata1 minute 37.46 seconds1 minute 7.75 seconds
Shadow of the Tomb Raider2 minutes 6.55 seconds1 minute 1.32 seconds
State of Decay 23 minutes 22.79 seconds1 minute 43.15 seconds

As you can see, the performance gains here are significant, particularly in the case of some less-optimized games like State of Decay 2. Over weeks or months, that could add up to a fairly large amount of time saving. It has other benefits like letting you get into an Overwatch or Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 game before others, allowing you to select a preferred class before other players in your squad have even loaded into the lobby.

Should you buy the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox SSD?

The 2TB model is $600, making it more expensive than the Xbox One X itself. However, the $135 500GB model is far more reasonable, and perhaps ideal for specific games that you're planning to play a lot of over the coming months. If you have a go-to multiplayer game, like me, having those sit on your SSD while keeping other games with faster load times on your internal HDD might be the best option.

This is a great drive, but it is a premium piece of kit. If you have the cash, you won't be disappointed with the speed, nor the way it complements your overall setup. The main issue is, really, that Seagate sells a significantly cheaper version of the same SSD, albeit without the Xbox branding and bundled Xbox One Game Pass. You'll have to ask yourself if that Xbox branding is worth the extra dough. If not, buy the cheaper version.

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

33 Comments
  • Hmm, for an 8tb SSD you'll have to be paying at least $1800.
  • It is expensive compared to what is available. Here you're paying more just to get that xbox logo.
    ofc it would have been even better if MS/XB allowed gamers to change their drive.
    At the time MS/XB fans were more vocal about PS4 needing to allow external drives than XB1 allowing changing internal drive. Result is that PS4 can do both and XB1 don't have this option.
    Moral of the story: be a consumer and not a company fanboy.
  • Says he person that sounds like a sony fanboy.
  • Really? Did I tell you to buy a PS4? LOL
    No, it sounds like you are upset because I was taking a shot at fanboys and you probably felt targeted.
    Since you didn't have any gaming argument to defend fanboys you decided to try to make it personal... It's ok though. That's a common way to deflect attention or do damage control while trying to defend fanboys and the art of worshipping a company..
  • Change the drive? What do you do with the old drive? Not like I have any use for those... I prefer plug and play and easier migration. Same thing I prefer to hot-swap-battery (eneloop) than have it built-in.
  • You know what you're doing? You are doing damage control. Having the OPTION to add a 8TB disk is good for the consumer. Just because YOU don't need it, it doesn't mean it is bad for the consumer. LOL This is like saying "just because I don't need games I don't want the gaming company I worship to make games". No you're saying that just to defend the company you worship. That's the same as BC. Personally I don't care about BC but I understand that it's a nice feature to have for some gamers and I will always say MS has one up on Sony for that feature.
    Unlike fanboys, gaming and gamers are more important to me than companies, I'll always ask Sony to add that feature.
  • Damaging controls... is that why you say PSV is all alive, viable for doing cross play and things? I don't worship. I do if-else. Being a fan to a company, director, product, someone makes no meaning / benefit to me. I only care about my research and people who's into the same kinda research (still, I don't worship. I understand their approach then improve mine).
  • Once again, you're just changing topics to not talk about the feature that's missing on the XB1. Even now you don't want to even acknowledge that it's a feature missing and that having the option could be useful for gamers. But that's typical. What's funny is I've never ever see you criticise MS. Praising and doing damage control, yes but never criticise ONCE. lol
    Enough said...
  • ps: Games are important to me too. That is why I don't buy most of my games from PsStore. Not because of BC, because of FC.
    I collect'em (adapting digital while... old physical copies are laying in the warehouse in other country) but I don't care to finish'em, I jump between games (normally I get bored mid way through the game). Knowing what tech's implemented is the main purpose. * 50+ games in 2017. 29 (including the pre-orders) in 2018 so far.
  • Lol You sound like a salesman.
    What's funny about FC and MS is that they do it only when it suits them. How about having games work on the previous OS? Aoe DE can only be played from a certain version of Windows 10. I'll have to see if the new gen games will be playable on the original XB1. But you're doing it again. Changing topic to avoid the missing feature on XB1 all while selling a feature. Typical... LOL
  • But what's your problem with just plugging an external hdd/ssd to your console? I have an external ssd connected to my xbox. I'm happy with it and have no issues. It's fast and easy.
  • Once again, you're talking about YOUR experience. Having an internal ssd is 1) cheaper, 2) it's faster and 3) It takes less physical space and you won't have wire hanging around. It's an added feature that could be good for gamers. What's your problem here? Isn't having more feature for gamers a good thing for gamers? Is your priority MS or gamers/gaming?
  • But what's wrong with just plugging in an external drive? It's easy and quick for the consumer. If you get a usb enclosure it's only about $5-10 max added cost. So cheaper is not really a good argument. Neither is the speed argument. Do you have any data to back up your claim? Why are features all of a sudden a priority for you?
  • See, Your post is exactly what I'm talking about.
    That's what company "fans" do.
    Instead of saying: "yes, XB1 doesn't have this feature" and moving on, you are here doing crazy damage control trying to compare two features.
    The competition does BOTH. You have both features, here XB1 is missing one. Like I said, it's not about letting external drive it's about not allowing internal drives.
    You can try to give to say it's just 10 bucks but it's still cheaper. It still takes more space and you still have a wire hanging around. Personally I'd rather have it inside the console, but in this case one console doesn't allow it.
    And about the speed, it's slower because the data will need to go through the usb cable so it is always going to be slower to access data. Just look around the internet. lol it's just common sense... LOL It's not a priority for me. My post was mainly to expose company "fans" and your reply help me a lot because it was a nice example. There I've answered your question, unlike you who avoided my questions and who always avoid criticising MS/XB.
  • See that's what company "fans" do.
    Instead of saying: "yes, Sony doesn't have this feature" and moving on, you are here doing crazy damage control trying. Lol If cost is more of a concern to you, you can use an existing ssd/hdd from an old system and just buy a external enclosure. So that argument of yours fails. You didn't provide any proof or data that an internal HDD/SSD on the Xbox/PS4 is faster than an external HDD/SSD on the Xbox/PS4. Any proof that games load faster? I can show you data that states otherwise. See I replied to your question unlike you who avoid my questions and who always avoid criticizing Sony/PS4. And features are all of a sudden important to you? Features like Dolby Vision/HDR support, Dolby Atmos, 4K blu-ray movies, native 4k, backwards compatibility, cross-console play. Non of which are offered on the PS4. When Sony is critisiced for that you bend over backwards defending them and continue worshiping the ground they walk on. Not to mention you end up deflecting the blame to another company(EA) for Sony's policies on cross-console play
  • HAHAHA Typical fanboy doing damage control and lying making stuff to defend the company he worships.
    It's funny how you want to make me sound like a Sony fanboy when I clearly criticised them on stuff like BC.
    Unlike you who I've never seen criticise MS/XB, EVER. You so much into them that you can't even admit that they don't have a feature less than the PS4 that could be useful for some gamers... It's funny that two of the biggest MS "fans" came and defend fanboys when I criticised them.
    Anyway thanks for proving my points with your post.
    I'm done with you.
  • Company fan boy? Hahaha.
    Says by someone who defended Sony's cross-play stance, blamed Epic, implied programmers working in Epic are dumber than the dumpiest programmer you can find on this planet.
  • Ah I just knew that my comments against fanboys will attract people like you to defend them.
    Here, you're making things up. I never defended their stand. I said I understood it and explained why they are doing it. Also I made fun of MS fanboys asking for crossplay when the company they worship hardly does crossplay. I made fun of fanboys and that's probably why you got upset.
    Oh and another thing, I never blamed Epic for Sony's stance on crossplay. Please stop lying.
  • You said "Epic locking PS4 away from others" is on Epic, not Sony. Sony is fine with allowing cross play. Want me to write a crawler to dig?
  • Already did.
    https://i.postimg.cc/Y06x90Qv/ev.png ************** 1 *******************
    if( !epic ){
      return getOrCreate( others )
    } else {
      return getEpic()
    } ************** 2 *******************
    if( !epic ){
      if( sony ) {
        return getOrCreate( others )
      } else {
        if( getEpic( sony ) != null ) {
          return error
        } else {
          return getOrCreate( others )
        }
      }
      
    } else {
      return getEpic()
    } You said Epic choose to do the 2nd, ON THEIR OWN. Meaning? You are saying Epic programmers are dumber than the dumbest.
    Why would Epic chose to do this "nonsense" if it's not because of Sony?
  • "You said "Epic locking PS4 away from others" is on Epic, not Sony. Sony is fine with allowing cross play."
    You are lying once again. Just post the link where I said that.
    I don't want to read more of your bs until you post the exact link where I said exactly what you posted.
  • It's Seagate, so no.
  • Seagate = automatic no, now if it was a Western Digital drive then yeah but need at least 8tb
  • Never had an issue with Seagate. This feels more like a meme lol.
  • Because the test of this article compares the speed of a seagate ssd with the HDD of a XB1x.
    How about comparing it with other SSD?
    We got to take into account the speeds and failure rate. How reliable it is.
    Seagate has one of the highest failure rate in the industry. It is well documented how unreliable their drive can be.
    The only meme I see is when you say "Never had an issue with [...]".
  • I can't test the failure rate without having like 10000 units.
  • No one is telling to test failure rate. These numbers are available on the net. But why compare this to a HDD and say "Significant load speed improvements" as a pro.
    Any SSD would have "Significant load speed improvements". The guy was making a statement based on Seagate's reputation (probably due to high failure rate of their drives) and you mocked him saying it felt like a meme, all that while saying that YOU never had a problem with Seagate.
  • It'd be dumb as fuck for me to not talk about speed as a pro in an SSD review. Just because techies know the difference doesn't mean everybody does. Go troll somewhere else.
  • lol so now you're going to accuse me of trolling? Looks more like you don't like that someone criticise your review or a brand you're promoting.
    Usually when I read reviews I see the writer comparing products with the competition. I don't see this comparing it to previous generation products and say "Oh it's faster than older hard disk".
    That's like a reviewer of a XB1 game comparing it to a 360 game and say: "Oh it looks better". Well, duh... And about you accusing me of trolling.
    Your original comment:
    "Never had an issue with Seagate. This feels more like a meme lol."
    Enough said.
  • Just get samsung T5 external ssd they have more endurance than this ans one more thing samsung ssd controllers are far more advanced than those of other ssd manufacturers plus samsung makes their own nand flash cells(they probably supplied the cells for seagate too, lol). Buy, T5 it has been around for years as no newer versions are announced so they would be cheaper than this.
  • $600 for a 2 tb ssd.... jeez that's just insane.... You can buy a 2tb samsung 860 evo and go on holiday 🤣. Heck, depending on the destination you can pick up a xbox one s too.
  • Ye, 2TB evo + enclosure would be way better value too, even vs. the non-branded Seagate SSD.
  • Would you get the same speeds though, the seagate has usb c. An enclosure as far as I’m aware doesn’t so would it not bottle neck? Also is the drive that’s unbranded exactly the same as if it is that’s crazy to increase the price just because it has Xbox on it