Do you really want to use a SSD in an Xbox One?

I keep coming across responses to my Xbox One research about how obvious it is that of course a SSD is faster than the OEM drive.

Sure, it’s faster… but only 10-20%.  In a typical PC, a SSD will often perform twice as fast as a mechanical 2.5″ disk in the same real-world scenarios.  So would I keep a SSD in my Xbox One?  Nope.  I pulled out the EVO and it’s now sitting in a cheap USB 3.0 enclosure.

Do I think it’s worth modding the Xbox One?  That depends.  Ask yourself this first… 11.5 months from now, when your Xbox One dies for whatever reason, especially if it’s not disk-related, who are you going to blame?  If you can’t blame yourself, then don’t do it.  If you can’t afford to go out and buy a replacement, don’t do the mod.

Did I do this because I thought I needed the extra speed or storage?  Nope.  I did this because no one had publicly proven that you could swap the drive, at the point I started.  I was craving a project for the weekend, and being an engineer who loves to optimize for performance, I thought it would be fun, and a potential giant waste of money.  There were a couple of times I was worried I was out half a grand.

This sort of stuff isn’t for the typical gamer.  Actually, Sony did a much better job to address that kind of user by giving easy access to the storage bay, and blessing the modification.

By the way, would I do this again?  Yeah… I loved the challenge, even though I didn’t get much sleep and still haven’t had time to play a single game on the system.


That’s me on IGN…

Yes, it’s really me participating in the IGN discussion about my project.


I just finished watching “Artifact”, an interesting movie about 30 Seconds to Mars’ legal battle with EMI in the midst of major industry upheaval. Was EMI really the villain in all of this, the fans who pirate music, or the entire industry who chose not to evolve?

Who remembers when CDs came out, and they explained that there was no reason that the cost of the Disc should remain $15-$20, that over time, it should drop as low as a few bucks? Was it this greed which spurred the technological revolution?

Located next to the Little Boo Boo HoHo’s


Why is this in a tech blog?  These were located in the Fry’s check-out isle.

News Spreads…

I bet everyone wonders if the video they post on YouTube will get views.  I’m surprised to see it approach 60 thousand, already.  Given the link tracking to the blog, I thought it was all due to the articles on Engadget and Kotaku.  If I was surprised to see the view count going up sharply, I was shocked to find all of the tech sites that have reported on the benchmarks… some of my favorites, too…

I think it’s interesting, though… the more savvy sites agree with my personal findings, don’t upgrade the drive for performance reasons.  Personally, I think an SSD is overkill – a waste of money… if it wasn’t a great Black Friday deal, the 500GB EVO would be going back 🙂

It wasn’t until I found Juvenal1’s scripts, right after publishing the video, that I gained more hope about the project.  I think having access to 880GB of game storage changes the equation, especially if Microsoft makes you buy a branded drive, like the Xbox 360.

I’m still hoping Microsoft is going to release a Cable Card DVR option for that USB 3.0 port.  They have had the technology for Windows Media Center for some time, I think it’s more a matter of getting CableLabs approval.  That would make the XB1 a real game changer!


20% off on iTunes digital gift cards through PayPal

PayPal has a special iTunes store deal going on, buy $25 digital gift cards for just $20… only the $25 denomination, and there doesn’t seem to be a limit. I stocked up on $200 worth. It’s an invitation-only deal, so if you are a PayPal member, check your in-boxes.

New Xbox One Drive Formatting Tutorial

This is a beginner’s guide on how to use Juvenal1’s scripts to properly format a drive for the Xbox One.

Thoughts about what’s next…

The formatting tutorial video is encoding.  It should be up shortly.

I can’t believe the extra-long weekend is almost over.  I still have a few more things to do to finish this project, namely the entertainment system side of the project.  I have to get the Xbox wired into the cabinet and swap the front cabinet doors out for a pair of modded doors to allow further ventilation.


I haven’t even had time to play one game.  I’ve seen the COD Ghosts game load intro a half dozen times, though.



I feel relieved now that I have everything put back together.

The trick?  Well, it wasn’t so much a trick.  I missed an important step in disassembling the Xbox, in the first place.  The top actually detaches from the front!  I didn’t catch on until I saw this video, the first I have seen actually demonstrate disassembling the front of the device.  Now that I know this, I can probably do a complete drive swap in under an hour!


But it’s soooo close!


Damn you iFixit for showing the tear down but not mentioning there is some sort of Rubik’s Cube-like twist in assembling the cover.  I figured out the capacitive touch sensor problem (I will add photos later), but there is cover has to go back on in just the right way.  It seems like it needs to hinge on from the front, while the left-hand front corner seems to be tricky… this should be the home stretch for finishing this upgrade!

By the way, I know this is probably child’s play to a mechanical or industrial engineer!