An enterprising module developer found a way to insert a standard NVMe SSD into the Xbox Series X|S storage expansion slot—not only increased the storage capacity of the console, but it was also possible to turn it on to use the NVMe SSD. Further unofficial extensions, such as those found in modern gaming PCs.
Xbox Series X|S comes with a 1TB built-in drive as standard. This may sound like a lot, but as we all know, gaming is becoming a truly powerful storage pig. Therefore, in order to cope with the ever-increasing file size, the latest Xbox provides expandable storage by using officially certified Seagate expansion drives.
This is the only guaranteed way to expand the storage space of the Xbox Series S|X without any problems, but we now hear that it is possible unofficial Use more standard NVMe SSD options.
They explained the switch like this: Xbox Series X|S uses two PCIe 4.0 x2 connections for storage, one for the internal drive and the other for the expansion slot. This is the same standard used by the latest gaming PCs to connect NVMe SSDs and add-on cards (such as graphics cards) to the system’s CPU and memory.
In addition, both Xbox and PC use the NVMe protocol for fast storage access, connected via PCIe.
Therefore, you have actually unified the protocols used for NVMe and PCIe storage between Xbox and PC. This is not particularly surprising, because the Xbox Series S|X game console is essentially just a compact PC with AMD technology.
In theory, all that is needed to build an NVMe SSD for a PC using Xbox Series S|X is to convert its M.2 key connection to the CFe connection used by Xbox and Seagate’s official expansion drives.
this CFe connection It is most common in high-end camera storage and uses the NVMe protocol on the PCIe channel to obtain high bandwidth. The latest CFe specification achieves the highest speed on PCIe Gen3 x4, with a maximum speed of 4GB/s, which is actually slightly different from Xbox Series S|X, but this does not seem to be a big problem because they provide the same bandwidth.
M.2 to CFe adapter is Easy to find on Ebay or AliExpress, Although you must bear the purchase risk yourself, because we have not tested any products ourselves. These all have M.2 keyways, the screws support various sizes of M.2 (make sure you choose the correct one), extending to the CFe slot, such as the slot on the official Seagate drive.
After installing the NVMe SSD into the adapter and installing it in the storage expansion slot of the console, you can find the drive in the console’s settings menu and access the additional capacity.
Although there are still some question marks, such as whether it supports a wide range of SSDs and which ones can actually work through adapters.
The author of the guide pointed out that so far, they have only tested the process using the same Western Digital NVMe SSD WD SN530 M.2 2230 as in the Xbox Series X|S. According to PC standards, this is a fairly small NVMe drive, and is actually physically limited by the capacity it can provide. Larger drives, such as those more common in gaming PCs, may be able to provide greater capacity, but so far, they have been largely untested.
At least one camera CFe memory card has been proven to be unsuitable for this system, but this does not rule out other NVMe SSDs. Similarly, who can say that Microsoft will not take a lot of offense to this workaround and fix the feature.
As the user pointed out: “It should be a necessary condition for the hard disk to support PCIe 4.0. It is not clear whether there is a limit on the size of the hard disk and whether PCIe 4.0 x4 is possible. If possible, one can use a large number of hard disks, such as PM9A1.”
Finally, you must weigh the price of the NVMe SSD and CFe adapter combination and determine whether this provides you with more than the simplicity of buying the official Seagate expansion card for $200.
It’s a bit risky to say the least, but if you can use one of the best PCIe 4.0 SSDs to expand the console’s internal storage with a higher capacity, then the officially available content may just free up some storage issues for all digital users. Game hoarders there.