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Seagate Game Drive Xbox One 2TB hard drive review

Seagate Game Drive
Seagate Game Drive (Image credit: Windows Central)

There are dozens and dozens of external USB hard drives on the market, and if you own hundreds of digital games on your Xbox One, having an external drive is practically essential.

Seagate has a line of Xbox-branded hard drives on the market, which often clocks in a little pricier than non-branded counterparts, including Seagate's own equivalent drives.

We recently reviewed Seagate's 512 GB Xbox-branded SSD (opens in new tab) and found that while there were performance gains, the premium price point probably won't be worth the trade-off for most given the existence of cheaper alternatives. That's pretty much the case with Seagate's Xbox-branded HDD as well.

Design and set-up

Xbox One remains incredibly simple when it comes to setting up external storage. Like other external storage drives out there, setting up the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox One is a simple case of plug-and-play. The Xbox One will prompt you to format the drive if necessary, and you can even name it.

If you're digital-heavy like me, having an external drive is supremely handy for moving your games between Xboxes, visiting friends, and so on. And the Seagate Game Drive facilitates this perfectly well.

Design-wise, you're paying a little extra for the Xbox logo and a Xbox-green shell. The HDD sits inside the casing, and sports a standard USB 3.0 interface. Thankfully, it doesn't require any external power, unlike other solutions, which adds to its convenience.

It weighs just 168g, making it extremely portable, and with 11.7 x 8 x 1.5 cm dimensions it's perfectly possible to slot this into a pocket to take your games on th go.

The Game Drive has a green light which flashes, presumably to indicate whether it's writing/reading data. When the Xbox One is in standby mode, it can still send updates to games, so the light is handy to prevent removal while in use. The Xbox One continuously verifies the integrity of game installations, though, so its usefulness as a "safe to unplug" warning light might be compromised.

If your Xbox One is set up in your bedroom, you might find yourself annoyed by the Game Drive's mechanical clicking sounds it makes while working too, but unless your room is particularly quiet, you'll never hear it.

The Game Drive feels solid in the hand, although I'd fall short of calling it premium feeling. That extra cash really is just for the Xbox branding. Considering you're paying extra for that, Seagate could have worked a little harder to match the plastic's texturing and aesthetics to match the Xbox One, but it's a minor gripe.

Storage

With the Xbox One, you have the option of improving loading and texture streaming speeds by running games from faster external storage than that available inside the console. If you're looking specifically to improve your console's load speeds, this drive won't offer a significant boost.

This HDD has a read speed up to 140MB/s, but in reality, it will sit slightly below that. Here's how load times compared from the internal Xbox hard drive to the Seagate Game Drive, tested three times then averaged out.

GameXbox OneXbox One SSeagate HDD
Final Fantasy XV1:01s0:59s0:57s
Halo Wars0:13s0:12s0:11s

As you can see, the gains are fairly trivial. Larger games like Halo 5 or The Witcher 3 will see bigger improvements than the likes of Halo Wars DE, but you shouldn't look to this drive as a performance enhancer — it's purely for expanding your existing storage, and 2TB of storage will net you space for dozens of games.

Should you buy this drive?

In a word: no. Seagate sells an equivalent 2TB USB 3.0 hard drive (opens in new tab) that not only sports nearly identical specs and physical features, but it's also $20 cheaper.

Seagate HDD

Seagate HDD (Image credit: Windows Central)

Seagate's non-Xbox branded hard drive actually more closely matches the original Xbox One's black design, too. The only reason you should consider the Seagate Game Drive over cheaper alternatives is if you're a particularly large fan of the color or a collector of Xbox-branded merchandise.

What external drive do you use with your Xbox One? Let us know in the comments!

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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!

45 Comments
  • Seagate's 512 GB* :)
  • Fixed!
  • Second paragraph under "Design and set-up" - " Drive facilities this perfectly" - facilitates ;)
  • Fixed! Sorry about that.
  • Seagate 3tb 3.5" for $75 this past holidays. :-)
  • Full price 3.5" FireCuda at 100 recently and love it. Power to the enclosure does suck, but I'm not moving it anyway.
  • I have the non Xbox branded version of this drive and love it. It truly is as small and thin as a portable mechanical drive can get. It really is easy to slip into a pocket, while others I tried aren't, despite only being a little bit bigger. Portability is the real strength of this drive. I'd probably pay the premium for Xbox branded drive just because it looks cool, but my non branded version is just fine. Ironically, when I opened the drive up, it was a Samsung hd inside lol. Go fig.
  • Same here! It's a good product.
  • I still prefer my media hub (creative minds) side attachment with 3 extra usb ports and a slot for an ssd hard drive. It looks cleaner Imo.
  • Yeah I have two of them. Work and look great. But doesn't play too nice with guitar hero. Usually have to do a full restart for the usb dongles to be detected when plugged into he hub
  • Im stuck using a portable hdd again since i upgraded to the Xbox One S. Wonder if they will create one for the Xbox One S, i really liked my Creative Minds Media Hub as well.
  • I was going to get one, but read the Amazon reviews how many of them shorted out the Xbox
  • Is this 5400 or 7200 RPM?   I imagine it is 5400 RPM. I haven't been able to find a hard drive in this form/size factor in the 2TB range with 7200 RPM (not sure if it is a hardware limitation that can't be avoided because of power). I found the HGST Touro S but that one is only 1TB. I am happy with it though.
  • I think it's a lack of improvement. I heard something about cache levels being higher on bigger drives so the rpms didn't matter much. I can't remember off the top of my head.
  • It is 5400 aye.
  • From what I read about 6 months ago, it is the power consumed by 7200RPM drives that prevents 2.5" drives without an ac adapter (there are a couple, but expensive). That's probably the reason why the lower storage space with them.
  • Good looking device, and really portable. In my case though, my Xboxes are generally hidden away from view, so I'll rather just get a 4TB generic external drive (that requires a separate power supply) for about the same price. Once hooked up, I'll just tuck it away behind some cabinet anyways. But I wouldn't mind getting this if I had some spare cash :-)
  • Seeing the bright green color on the drive's shell makes me kinda want special Xbox shells for phones if Microsoft doesn't want to have very many colors on their phones anymore. It kinda looks like the Lumia 830's green backplate.
  • Got a 3TB WD MyBook connected to my living room xb one which is the old 512GB version. Bedroom xbox is the 1TB Forza 6 version so haven't had the need to add extra storage yet.
  • ...
  • Ohh double post. Please remove one.
  • You can delete your comments via the WC app
  • Really? In the W10M app?
  • i use a western digital 500gb external harddrive    
  • WD is the only brand of spinning hard drive I'll buy because of how Seagate is built.
  • Agreed. The only drives I've ever had fail, or hear of failing from others are Seagate's. They are cheaper for a reason.
  • I had some Hitachi "Death"stars die on me while some Seagate's are decades old and can still boot. I do see trends that Seagate's fail more, but WD apparently is also starting to trend up. Every brand is sure to have drives that fail in the end. You have to consider what is happening on the inside the drive. It's amazing they can last as long as they do sometimes.
  • I have had many, many drives over the years. I have had many Seagate's AND Wds fail. However, I have never had any of my 2.5" drive fail. Nor SSD.
  • I have a dead OCZ Vertex 2 SSD. It just stopped working one day. It's quite frustrating, as it's not like bad sectors on a traditional drive. It died completely, and there's no way to recover any data.
  • I bought the official drive you reviewed in May 2016. I got it for £49.99. Off Amazon. The equivalent Seagate non Xbox HDD was £59.99 at the time. So I got a bargain. But then again, my friend has the non branded Drive and he wishes he got the official one because it looks nicer. Lol. The non branded one is pretty ugly in comparison. O display mine in open view. While he hides his behind his Xbox. For the sake of a few quid having the nicer aesthetics is peanuts if you ask me.
  • True, unless your setup is full of black equipment, black glass table, black Xboxs, black cable box, black controllers, black speakers / sound bar, black tv, and then a green drive, would just stick out like a sore thumb
  • Ive got the WD 2TB My Passport. Black glossy to better match the Xbox. Works great and no issues.
  • You could always go the DIY route... http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=USB+3.30+case&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR3.TRC1.A0.H0.XUSB+3.0+case.TRS0&_nkw=USB+3.0+case&_sacat=0   Find a USB 3.0 drive case, 2.5 or 3.5 (2.5 goes to about 2tb, 3.5 goes up to 8tb), then buy a drive off the shelf and pick your size, anywhere between 2tb and 8tb. Note: 3.5 drives will need POWER, so keep that in mind but, if you want a larger drive than 2tb, it's your only real option. It's what I did, I had a old (a year old), USB 3.0 case, I picked up a 5tb drive a while ago and needed it for something, so I had the case and picked up a 2tb drive for $36 on sale, dropped it in and now I have a 2.5tb to use with my Xbox one S (500gb model). The cables are about 6 foot long for it, as it's a 3.5 case, so it fits below everything where you cant even see it unless you move game cases.
  • I bought a 5 terabyte Samsung external USB 3.0 HD for under $100.00 a few years ago and I am currently using that with my original Xbox One.  Load times are significantly lower than they were on the internal HD which makes all the difference when waiting to load a game and it provides me plenty of space to store all of my Xbox 360 backwards compatible games with gold games as well as any digital titles I happen to own like Witcher 3.  It's definitely a good thing to go out and look for the lowest price you can find for the most storage possible. 
  • I picked up a Western Digital 4TB HDD for $105 on Amazon right after the holidays. It's been perfect and super easy to set up. I went with the color Red.
  • I would like to see external hard drives with USB Type C pets on them rather than the Micro B.
  • The Western Digital actually looks like a mini Xbox One. If I were more interested in looks than price/function, I'd be love that. If Seagate keep making these xbox external drives, a 'mini Xbox One S' style would be neat to see :P
  • I use a Seagate 3tb and 8tb external hard drives along with my 512 on my original Xbox 🎮 one. The 8tb was on sail for 220 and had 70 gift card. 3tb was on sale at best buy for 100.
  • I had a Sony fanboy tell me how **** and slow an external hard disk would be on the Xbox One, and that the PS4 internal replacement was oh so superior, and much faster... turns out usb3 is much faster than the sata2 connection the PS4 stupidly uses :') Also adding a drive to the Xbox One is much easier, you don't need setup your console and download all your stuff again, you're not losing storage, you're not having to open your console, and you can take your entire game collection with you.
  • I have a WD 2TB Passport USB3.0 drive I had laying around plugged in. I didn't realize I was out of space (I am not the primary gamer on my console). So when I was told, I plugged up the Passport and was good to go.  The kids don't notice the load times and the game play seems otherwise unaffected.  I'm just glad it is as easy as plugging in a drive. I recently found out that PS4 does not offer this feature (which is why we use XBO more over our PS4 - which was a gift - space is all used up and I haven't bothered to install a new hard drive internally).
  • I use a 2TB Western Digital Elements Portable drive on my Xbox One S. USB 3, no external power, and works like a charm. I avoid Seagate like the plague
  • Me too and got another one 4TB for a $120
  • Seagate 4TB recommended by Major Nelson. Got it for $80 on Amazon about a year ago. Makes the Xbox run faster and smoother since i put all games and apps on the drive! Thanks Major. And you can connect up to 2 HDD if you choose
  • Still find it funny that they charge people more for the privilege of sticking the name xbox on the packaging than their normal drives which are exactly the same
  • I have 2 Toshiba 1Tb drives. I'd like to move to one 3Tb at some point just to free up a USB slot.