The Best SSDs if You Are Planning on Getting the New Disc-less Xbox Series X

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The Best SSDs if You Are Planning on Getting the New Disc-less Xbox Series X

Microsoft has announced a new disc-less Xbox Series X console called the Xbox Series X 1TB Digital Edition. It has pretty much the same design as the original Xbox Series X console, but there is no disc drive for you to play your physical games. Even though all Xbox console games, regardless of being on a disc or a digital download, need to be installed on the internal storage, the disc-less Xbox Series X completely eliminates the use of a physical disc. You will definitely need an SSD to expand the total storage and get all your games installed for easy access.

Microsoft also announced a 2 TB variant of the Xbox Series X, but it will be much more expensive than the base configuration and, for some, it would make more sense to invest in a compatible SSD. It is known that not all external SSDs allow you to play native Xbox Series X titles and that those games can only be stored on the external SSDs. That said, there are a few external SSD options that can run games that are optimized for the Xbox Series X.

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Game Rants Picks for the Best SSDs to Use With Xbox Series X Digital Edition

Best Overall SSD for Xbox Series X

Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S 1TB

$150 $160 Save $10

The Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S is a proprietary add-on storage slot. It clips on the back of both current-generation consoles using a connector that resembles aCF Express card but supports PCI-E 4.0 Speeds for data transfer to the Xbox.

Storage capacity 512G/1TB/2TBHardware Interface ProprietaryCompatible Devices Xbox Series S, Xbox Series XBrand Seagate/XboxTransfer rate Not SpecifiedWarranty 3 yearsController Phison E19T PCIe Gen 4 controller Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Quick Resume support
  • Can play native Xbox Series X/S games

Cons

  • On the pricier side

$150 at Amazon$158 at Newegg$150 at Best Buy

Available in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB options, the Seagate Storage Expansion Card is the officially licensed external SSD that can deliver the same speeds as the internal Xbox Series X storage drive and offers plug-and-play operation. The 1TB variant stands as the sweet spot as you can double the storage of your Xbox console. The expansion card is compatible with the Xbox Series S as well, and you can store and play all your older Xbox titles and newer Xbox Series-optimized titles without having to copy them over to the internal SSD.

The Seagate Storage Expansion Card also allows you to use the Quick Resume feature to switch between multiple running games, just like the internal storage drive. You can even move files over to the expansion card in no time to make space on your internal drive. The drive comes with a convenient case that goes on top when the drive is unplugged, so you can take your games with you wherever you go.

Because of the “official license” and the same performance as the internal storage drive, the Seagate Storage Expansion Card is among the more expensive options on the market. To save some money but get the same speed, you can go with the 512GB option. If the budget is of no concern, go for the 2TB option and forget about running out of space.

Best Value SSD for Xbox Series X

WD Black P40 SSD (2TB)

$200 $330 Save $130

Players can dominate in style with the powerful WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive SSD. The downloadable WD_BLACK dashboard gives PC users full control over the LED light display for a personalized experience. Also compatible with Xbox, PlayStation, and Mac, gamers can expand their storage space with ease, no matter what platform they're on. This high-performance SSD storage offers lightning speed in a compact and shock-resistant design, making it a good choice for traveling gamers too.

Storage capacity 2TBHardware Interface USB 3.2 Gen2x2Compatible Devices Playstation, Xbox, PC, MacBrand Western Digital TechnologiesTransfer rate 2000 MB/sWarranty 5 YearsController Proprietary ControllerTBW 360 TBWMTBF UnstatedDRAM DRAM-Less Pros

  • 2TB storage capacity
  • RGB lighting

Cons

  • RGB lighting customization required Windows PC

$200 at Amazon$220 at Newegg$200 at Best Buy

The Western Digital P40 Game Drive SSD 2TB is an external SSD that is compatible with all your devices, including your game consoles. While Microsoft does not officially license it for the Xbox Series consoles, it still allows you to store all your games outside your internal storage drive. The Western Digital P40 comes with a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a Type-C to Type-A adapter. Once you connect the drive to your Xbox Series console, it will need to be formatted, after which you can use it as an external game drive.

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The 2TB capacity should be more than enough for your game library and, with its USB 3.2 Gen2x2 interface, it can reach speeds of up to 2,000MB/s, and not only is it fast but also fairly rugged. The drive has a shock-resistant structure that can protect the drive in case of drops of up to two meters. Furthermore, it also has customizable RGB lighting through the WD_BLACK Dashboard software, but you will need a PC for that. Western Digital also offers a 5-year limited warranty for this external game drive.

Do note that you will not get features like Quick Resume and the ability to play Xbox Series X/S optimized games straight from the drive, but you can store whatever you want on it. In case you need to play an optimized game that is stored on the Western Digital P40 Game Drive SSD, just copy it over to the internal drive, which should be done in no time, depending on the size of the game.

Best Budget Official SSD for Xbox Series X

WD_BLACK C50 Storage Expansion Card for Xbox

The WD_BLACK C50 Storage Expansion Card for Xbox presents excellent value for those looking for an SSD that can run games optimized for the Xbox Series X|S. It's slightly more affordable than the Seagate expansion card and comes in a 512GB capacity option.

Storage capacity 1TBHardware Interface ProprietaryCompatible Devices Xbox Series S, Xbox Series XBrand Western DigitalWarranty 5 years Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Officially licensed
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • A bit slower than the internal SSD

$80 at Amazon$80 at Newegg

The WD_Black 1TB C50 Expansion Card has the same features and almost the same performance for a lower price than the Seagate Storage Expansion Card. It works with the Xbox Velocity Architecture and delivers performance that is very close to the internal storage drive. Since it is officially licensed, you can play your Xbox Series-optimized games right from the external drive and even use Quick Resume.

The WD_Black C50 Expansion Card comes in 512GB and 1TB options. It probably makes more sense to invest in the 1TB option, but you can always go with the 512GB option to save some money. It should be noted that while this external SSD is incapable of reaching the exact speeds of the internal Xbox Series X drive, it comes very close, so overall gaming performance is not sacrificed, but you experience slightly slower loading times.

The drive also has a rugged design with industrial aesthetics and has a hole to hang it with your keys or just have it in a sling of some kind. You will find the WD_Black logo on the side, which makes it easier to grab onto. And like with many other WD storage drives, you get a 5-year limited warranty.

Best Budget SSD for Xbox Series X

WD_BLACK D30 Game Drive 1TB

$79 $170 Save $91

TheWD_BLACK D30 Game Drive 1TB external SSD is a budget-friendly storage expansion option withup to 900MBps speeds. It uses aUSB 3.2 Gen 2 connection and has a rugged industrial appearance. The drive can be used with consoles, PCs, Mac, and Android devices.

Storage capacity 1TBHardware Interface USB 3.2 Gen 2Compatible Devices Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, Mac, AndroidBrand Western DigitalTransfer rate 900MBps Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Much slower than internal SSD

$79 at Amazon$110 at Newegg

Compatible with the Xbox Series X/S and even Xbox One consoles, the WD_BLACK 1TB D30 for Xbox is a budget-friendly option to expand your game storage without digging too deep into your pockets. The external game drive comes with up to 2TB of storage. For under $100, you can get 1TB of storage. However, don’t expect blazing fast speeds from this external SSD as it can only reach up to 900MBps.

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While the WD_BLACK 1TB D30 Game Drive SSD is Xbox-certified, it is not fast enough to support the latest features and speeds of the Xbox Series consoles. You cannot play your optimized games from the drive itself, but you can store everything. Just copy over the files you need to the internal drive before you start playing. Besides performance, the design and aesthetics of the WD_BLACK 1TB D30 Game Drive SSD give it a tough and rugged feel.

The drive comes with a stand that keeps it standing vertically on your desk or next to your console. It is an all-black drive with Xbox and WD branding, and it uses a USB 3.2 Gen 2 connection. WD offers a three-year limited warranty with this game drive.

Best Versatile SSD for Xbox Series X

Crucial X10 Pro

$105 $121 Save $16

TheCrucial X10 Pro is a high-performing and well-built portable external SSD that is capable of2100MB/s read speeds and 2000MB/s write speeds. The drive is water and dust resistant, and can survivedrops of up to 2 meters.

Storage capacity 1TBHardware Interface USB 3.2Compatible Devices Consoles, PC, Mac, Android, iOSBrand CrucialRead/Write Speeds 2100MB/s, 2000MB/s Pros

  • Impressive speeds
  • iPhone 15 ready
  • IP55 water and dust resistance

Cons

  • No official license or certification

$105 at Amazon$105 at Newegg$105 at Best Buy

The Crucial X10 Pro is a fast external SSD that works with all platforms, including game consoles. Microsoft does not officially license it for the Xbox, so you cannot get the Quick Resume feature or play the Xbox Series X/S optimized titles from this drive. That being said, this drive is impressively fast at up to 2100MB/s read and 2000MB/s write speeds. This makes the drive ideal for most scenarios, be it gaming or just storing all kinds of data.

It has an anodized aluminum chassis with a rubberized base that is soft to the touch and also keeps the drive in place. It comes in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB options, but it is on the expensive side, so be prepared to invest close to $300 if you want the full 4TB storage. Not only is it a fast performer, but its design and build quality ensure that your data will remain safe even under less-than-ideal conditions. The Crucial X10 Pro is IP55 water and dust-resistant. It is drop-proof up to 2 meters, and it offers plug-and-play functionality with Windows, Mac, Android, and consoles. Speaking of compatibility, the Crucial X10 Pro can also store pro res video directly shot from the iPhone 15.

It uses a USB 3.2 Gen-2 Type-C connection for power and data transfer and, like most other Crucial storage drives, it gets a five-year limited warranty.

Best Rugged SSD for Xbox Series X

SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD 1TB

$125 $150 Save $25

TheSanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD 1TB is a solid external storage option that can reach2000MB/s speeds. It comes with IP65 water and dust resistance and can survive drops from up to 3 meters. It has a built-in carabiner hole and a silicone shell for even more protection.

Storage capacity 1TBHardware Interface USB 3.2 Gen 2x2Compatible Devices Consoles, PC, Mac, AndroidBrand SanDiskRead/Write Speeds 2000MBps Pros

  • Built-in carabiner hole
  • IP65 water and dust resistance

Cons

  • No official Xbox certification or license

$125 at Amazon$149 at Newegg

Even though most of the external SSDs on the list are portable and well-built, the SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD takes the cake because of its compact design, integrated carabiner loop, and rugged properties. With up to 4TB of storage, the SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD can reach up to 2000MB/s read and write speeds, making it a great external storage drive for Xbox Series X/S and even older consoles.

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It uses a USB 3.2 Gen 2 x2 interface and comes with both a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a USB Type-C to Type-A cable. The compact SSD has a forged aluminum chassis-silicon shell combo that makes it highly rugged and resistant to less-than-ideal environments. It is rated for up to three-meter drop protection and comes with IP65 water and dust resistance. There is also an integrated carabiner loop that can be used to attach to your belt, keys, backpack, or anywhere else.

Because there is no official certification or license with the SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD, you will not get features like Quick Resume or the ability to play Xbox Series X/S optimized games right from the external SSD. However, you can still play older Xbox games from the SSD and quickly transfer over optimized titles to the internal drive before you play.

How to Find the Best SSDs for Xbox Series X

Official Licensing: The SSDs that are officially licensed for Xbox Series consoles allow for the two most important features; playing optimized games from the SSD itself and Quick Resume. They also deliver similar or the same speeds as the internal storage drive but, they are relatively more expensive than non-certified or licensed SSDs.

Capacity: You can find Xbox Series X compatible SSDs in many different capacities, starting from 512GB and going up to 5TB and even more. Depending on your use case, you may be fine going with a cheaper 512GB option rather than investing much more in a high-capacity drive.

Connectivity: Xbox Series X/S support what Microsoft calls expansion cards, which are essentially small form factor SSDs that plug into the back of the console and deliver performance levels at par with the internal storage drive. The other connectivity option is a USB Type-C or Type-A connection, and all external SSDs and HDDs can be used this way.

Budget: There are Xbox Series X/S compatible SSDs at all price ranges and gamers can find something in almost every budget. Typically, the lower the price, the slower the performance and capacity. These SSDs can start as low as $50 and go upwards of $300.

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FAQ

Q: What SSD can be used for Xbox Series X?

While most external SSDs will work with the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, the ones that come with official licensing and certifications for Xbox can be used as expansion cards and two examples of these drives are Seagate Storage Expansion Card 1TB and the WD_Black 1TB C50 Expansion Card.

Q: How fast is the Xbox Series X SSD?

The internal SSD in the Xbox Series X is a custom 1TB NVME SSD that is capable of up to 2.4GB/s.

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