The Xbox Series X SSD is not a PCIe 4.0, but...

Xbox Series X test devices apparently use a common Western Digital M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD, not a hugely customized storage solution.


For the longest time we believed that the Xbox Series X would have a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD to reach the advertised speeds of 2.4 GB / s. Finally, the Navi 2 CPU and RDNA GPU technology were developed by AMD with the PCIe 4.0 standard in mind. Microsoft has also said that the external SSD memory card, a beefy PCIe 4.0 SSD with a Phison E19 storage controllerwould be the same as the internal drive that comes with the X series. Now it appears that the X Series is actually using an inexpensive PCIe 3.0 drive instead of a high-end custom solution.

Xbox Series X SSD is not PCIe 4.0, uses PCIe 3.0 x4 WD SN530 SSD 54 |

According to a

An Xbox Series X test unit console has a Western Digital SN530 SSD with 96-layer DC NAND on an M.2 2230 form factor. This drive is a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.4 SSD with speeds of up to 2.4 GB / s at both 512 GB (the exact same drive is used in the S series) and 1024 GB can deliver. It is a low-power drive that consumes an average of 75 mW and has a mean time-to-failure (MTTF) rating of 1.75 million hours.

The drive has four PCIe 3.0 lanes (designated PCIe Gen3 x4) that offer a bandwidth of up to 3.9 GB / s, which is sufficient for the specified speeds of the X series. The reality is that Series X (and Series S) aren’t necessarily need Transferring data over PCIe 4.0 to achieve these speeds.

Xbox Series X SSD is not PCIe 4.0, uses PCIe 3.0 x4 WD SN530 SSD 22 |

Conversely, the Seagate X and S Series expansion card is a premium drive. Used the $ 217 expansion card 128-layer 4D NAND TLC flash from SK Hynix over PCIe 4.0 achieve similar performance as the built-in drive. We could see OEMs like Western Digital launch cheaper 1TB memory cards with the SN530.

This confirms that the built-in DirectX 12 APIs of the X series are a significant advantage to adapt data transfer / streaming to the high-end NVMe hardware. The Velocity architecture will use advanced new tools and APIs to enable features like sampler feedback streaming that give developers tons of more control over how textures are fed into the GPU and processed, as well as new decompression techniques via a new hardware-based decompression block, Reduce the CPU overhead costs are massive.

But there are some other interesting news: The X Series has a simple M.2 slot that allows for easy SSD swapping. Well, not easy considering how much it takes to go through to get to the X Series SSD, but just like plugging in a new drive. The SSD is not soldered to the motherboard.

As a reference for the performance of the SN530, Western Digital just released this animal WD Black SN580 1TB SSD this can achieve transfer speeds of 7 GB / s.

Below is a full data sheet on the Western Digital SN530 M.2 SSD series:

Xbox Series X SSD is not PCIe 4.0, uses PCIe 3.0 x4 WD SN530 SSD 25 |

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