Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Advertisement

The Xbox One (XBO) is nearly two years old, and those who chose the One over the PlayStation 4 (PS4) PS4 vs Xbox One: 5 Reasons To Buy The Xbox One PS4 vs Xbox One: 5 Reasons To Buy The Xbox One This year's E3 felt almost like it was over before it began. Though the conference lasts for days, both Microsoft and Sony made their announcements before the doors opened, showing not just hardware but also... Read More are having a great time with Microsoft’s latest offering. Between games with easy Achievements 6 Xbox One Games with Easy Achievements You Can Get Now 6 Xbox One Games with Easy Achievements You Can Get Now Looking to earn some easy Gamerscore? These Xbox One games will send you shooting up the leaderboards. Read More and blockbusters like Halo 5, if you bought your Xbox at launch your hard drive is likely close to full.

Thankfully, Microsoft updated the system to let you connect external hard drives and gain additional space. Here are some reasons why buying an external hard disk drive (HDD) is worth the investment, as well as some advice on which to get.

Xbox One 1TB Console - Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians Bundle Xbox One 1TB Console - Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians Bundle This product includes: a 1TB hard drive custom Halo designed console, a uniquely designed Spartan themed Steel Book containing a full game digital download of Halo 5: Guardians, matching Spartan Locke wireless controller, Chat Headset, Warzone REQ Pack which includes 14 Premium Requisition packs, FOTUS-class armor, a multiplayer emblem, 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold, HDMI Cord, and an AC Power Cable. Buy Now At Amazon $305.00

You’ll Have More Space for Games

This is the obvious reason for adding an external drive to your system, but it bears explanation. Both the XBO and PS4 require you to install games onto your hard drive before playing them, and the space requirements are hefty. Taking a look at a list of game install sizes, we can see that Grand Theft Auto V clocks in at 49 GB, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is 63 GB, and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (our review Assassin's Creed Syndicate Is Here - Should You Buy It? Assassin's Creed Syndicate Is Here - Should You Buy It? Syndicate runs with what's made the series great (rather than adding in pirate ships to cover the cracks), makes some much needed improvements to areas that needed them, and cuts out a lot of the... Read More ) takes up 40 GB.

Remember that even though the Xbox One comes with a 500 GB hard drive installed (though you can get a one terabyte model nowadays), you’ll only have about 360 GB of that space to use for yourself. That means if you installed the three games above on your system, you’d be looking at around 208 GB left – and those numbers don’t even include mandatory game updates (which can be several gigabytes, such as Destiny‘s 18 GB 2.0 update) or DLC.

Advertisement

Finally, with Xbox Live Gold Xbox Live Versus PlayStation Plus: What Do You Get With Each? Xbox Live Versus PlayStation Plus: What Do You Get With Each? Let’s see which provides the best bang for your buck. Read More , you get free titles to download every month via the Games with Gold program. So, even if you’re not buying many full retail games, you’ll still be doing a lot of installing to check out what you got for free. Nobody likes to have to juggle games around because they don’t have enough space; adding an external hard drive will fix this.

You Can’t Replace the Internal Drive

We’ve shown how to upgrade the internal hard drive on the PS4 How To Upgrade Your PS4's Hard Drive How To Upgrade Your PS4's Hard Drive The PS4 makes it easy to add more storage space. Let's look at what drives you can choose between and how the process works. Read More , but you can’t do this easily (or aren’t technically supposed to) with the Xbox One. Instead, connecting an external HDD to the system serves as your way to upgrade.

People who want a no-fuss solution to storage space will appreciate this, because replacing an internal hard drive necessitates backing up and restoring your content 5 Ways Gamers Can Save Game Progress To The Cloud 5 Ways Gamers Can Save Game Progress To The Cloud What would happen if your game console or PC died? Would you have to restart all the games you're playing from scratch? Read More , removing some tight screws, and ensuring you get a drive that works with the system and doesn’t cause problems. With an external drive, you simply plug it in, format the drive, and start using it. It’s much simpler.

The New DVR Functionality Requires One

Cord-cutting to get away from ridiculous cable costs Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord When you add everything up, do you really save money by cutting the cord? We do the math involved with cancelling cable in favor of Internet services. Read More is becoming more popular. With support for services like Netflix and Hulu, along with the ability to watch live TV, using your Xbox One as a media center Which Game Consoles Can You Use as a Media Center? Which Game Consoles Can You Use as a Media Center? Looking at Microsoft and Sony's next generation offerings, it seems that bringing video, TV, music and your photo collection (and probably social networking) into the mix of games and achievement unlocking is now part and... Read More is a great way to break away from traditional TV. In 2016, you’ll be able to do even more when the XBO gets support for digital video recording (DVR).

To keep recorded shows, you’ll have to have an external hard drive; even the new 1 TB internal drive won’t work. This won’t be a draw for everyone, of course, but if you want to get the most out of your Xbox One’s functionality, an external HDD is a necessity for DVR.

Games Load Faster on External Drives

It may seem counter-intuitive, but running your Xbox One games from an external drive will actually increase their performance. There are a few reasons (check this GameFAQs thread for more info):

  • USB 3.0 used Why You Should Upgrade To USB 3.0 Why You Should Upgrade To USB 3.0 It’s been quite a while since USB 3.0 has been included in motherboards, but now we've come to the point where most devices and computers come with the new and improved ports. We all know... Read More by the external drive is a faster connection than the SATA II used by the internal drive.
  • The external drive probably has better specs (the stock XBO HDD is mediocre).
  • The external drive doesn’t have to handle all the other system functionality, like running multiple applications or other Xbox features, and thus has more resources to dedicate to running games.

This is an instant performance bonus without any overhead. PS4 owners would have to install a solid-state drive (SSD) 5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD 5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD The world of home computing is moving towards solid state drives for storage. Should you buy one? Read More to get these performance gains, and they’re much more expensive than an external drive.

The System Integrates Them Nicely

You might think of having an external HDD as a chore How to Care for Your Hard Drives and Make Them Last Longer How to Care for Your Hard Drives and Make Them Last Longer Sometimes an early death is the fault of the manufacturer, but more often than not, hard drives fail earlier than they should because we don't take care of them. Read More , figuring it entails juggling games back and forth or having to explicitly enable it. In reality, using one with your Xbox couldn’t be simpler. Just plug in your drive, format it (you’ll only be able to use this drive with your XBO), and it essentially adds to your available storage.

When you manage your game data, you’ll be able to filter by games on the internal/external drive, and can even set the external as your default for new games (a good idea, per the performance benefits above). The system will roll everything into one and let you know how much total space is left. There really aren’t any drawbacks!

How to Choose a Drive

Hopefully now you’re convinced that buying an external drive The 8 Best Portable Hard Drives You Can Buy Right Now The 8 Best Portable Hard Drives You Can Buy Right Now Read More for your Xbox One is a worthwhile purchase. Let’s look at a few options to consider when shopping for one, as well as a few potential models. This isn’t an exhaustive look, but should get you on the right path.

A few notes on requirements for the external HDD:

  • The minimum size is 256 GB, but you’ll want to go larger than this. Not only is it tough to find a model smaller than 500 GB these days, you want to add a lot of storage, so why buy a drive that’s half the size of the stock HDD? Note that there are no upper limits on size.
  • The drive must support USB 3.0. This standard has been around for several years, so finding a 3.0 model should be no problem.
  • You can choose between drives that are powered over USB or models that need a separate power cord. This will be up to you, but unless you’re really crunched for outlet space 5 Ways To Clean Up Computer Cable Clutter Under Your Desk 5 Ways To Clean Up Computer Cable Clutter Under Your Desk Cable clutter is one of technology's biggest annoyances. While it's easy to conceal your messy cable collection in a closed box, the cables that catch dust under your table are a completely different story. Try... Read More , you might as well get a model that plugs into the wall, as it’s likely to be a bit faster.

Now, let’s talk about a few other points. First, while you could use an SSD as your external drive for increased speed, the price just isn’t going to be worth it. You’ll see only slight speed increases with an external SSD versus an HDD, you’re already speeding up your games in the first place, and it’s better to get a large drive now so you don’t have to buy another one in a year or so. Unless you have tons of money to blow, stick with an HDD for your external.

The other big factor is the drive’s rotations per minute (RPM) 5 Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Hard Drive 5 Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Hard Drive Buying a hard drive? It's not that difficult if you know a few basic tips. We've assembled the most important features of a modern storage drive and what you should buy. Read More . The stock internal drive is a 5,400 RPM drive, so you can either match this or go for a faster 7,200 RPM drive. Though there’s nothing wrong with a 5,400 RPM drive, if you can spend a little extra cash a 7,200 RPM model is worth the upcharge. Don’t bother with a 10,000 RPM model, though, as it won’t noticeably increase your speeds.

Finally, you’ll have to pick a manufacturer and buy a drive. The three biggest makers are Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital. The name doesn’t mean a whole lot, but since Seagate drives have high failure rates, it’s wise to avoid buying one. Thankfully, your best choices aren’t Seagate.

Here are some of the best choices for different needs:

  • The best value for the money is the $130 Western Digital My Book 4 TB external HDD. 4 TB of storage means you won’t run out for a long time, it works out to just $32/TB, is AC-powered, and isn’t a Seagate. It’s a bit large, but that’s typical for a drive this size.
  • If you don’t need 4 TB, want to cut costs, or don’t want to deal with an AC adapter, the $87 Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2 TB is probably your best choice. It’s more costly per terabyte than the above model, but it’s much smaller if space is a concern and 4 TB might be overkill for some people. This drive lets you future-proof your console without breaking the bank. A 1 TB model is also available for $60.
  • For those looking to spend the least money possible, the $67 Toshiba Canvio Basics 1 TB Drive is a good option. As you can tell, the smaller the drive the higher the cost per terabyte, but you’re still tripling your space with this option. If you plan on playing lots of games, it may be worth spending the extra $20 to get the 2 TB model above so you don’t have to buy another one in the future.
  • If you only need 1 TB but want 7,200 RPM, check out the $70 HGST Touro S 1 TB.

Of course, there are dozens of other drives that work with the Xbox One. If you have one already, try it out! Bear in mind when buying one, however, that the system will format it for XBO use, so dedicate the HDD you buy to your Xbox. It isn’t meant for also using on your computer.

Storage: Upgraded!

Now you know what to look for when adding more space to your Xbox One. With a bit of time, you can get the drive that’s right for you, then set and forget it while enjoying your favorite games. With the added speed, there’s no reason not to upgrade!

Not sure if an Xbox One is right for you? Check out our review Microsoft Xbox One Review And Giveaway Microsoft Xbox One Review And Giveaway The console wars are officially raging, and we've had sufficient time with both of them. That begs the question: how does the Xbox One compare? Read More from when the system launched.

Which external hard drive will you get for your Xbox One? How much free space does your console have right now? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to leave your drive recommendations, too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *