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Load times on the Xbox One are often painfully long. Even if you plunked down $500 for an Xbox One X, you’ll often have to wait more than a minute for certain games to load. But what if you could improve those speeds by using a quicker storage drive? Well, that’s what storage manufacturer Seagate is promising with its new Game Drive For Xbox One SSD. This slick-looking device is available now, and it’s pricey.

The Game Drive SSD comes in a 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB variations. For 500GB model has a suggested price of $155. The 1TB is $310, and the 2TB is a whopping $650 — although Amazon only has the 2TB variation at $470 right now.

So the drives are expensive. Seagate itself sells traditional 2TB HDDs for $110. By comparison, $155 is a lot of money for just 500GB. But you’re not paying for capacity when it comes to an external SSD; you’re paying for speed. And that’s where the Game Drive SSD delivers.

How to cut loading times in half

The Game Drive makes an immediate and noticeable difference for load times. This is especially true for the initial loads on large, open-world games.

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I did some testing on a few games. Using an Xbox One X, I loaded each game on the internal HDD that comes with the console. I repeated that test three times. After migrating the data to the SSD, I then repeated the same test. The below results are in minutes and seconds, and they are the average of three test runs.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

  • Loading from internal Xbox One X HDD: 1 minute, 11.21 seconds
  • Loading from Game Drive SSD USB 3.0: 31.81 seconds

The latest Tomb Raider game has some lengthy load times, but you can more than cut those in half with the Game Drive SSD.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

  • Loading from internal Xbox One X HDD: 46.30
  • Loading from Game Drive SSD USB 3.0: 25.55

Compared to a lot of open-world games, modern Assassin’s Creed releases have decent loading times. But the SSD still leads to drastic improvements in speed.

Hitman 2

  • Loading from internal Xbox One X HDD: 45.23
  • Loading from Game Drive SSD USB 3.0: 24.84

These are the load times for the last level of the new Hitman game. Like Assassin’s Creed, loading is more than 20 seconds faster.

Is the Game Drive SSD worth it?

Look, right now, the Seagate SSD is difficult to find. If you can find it, I probably wouldn’t get anything more than the 500GB drive. If you do that — especially if you have a lot of games or Game Pass — you’ll have to begin managing your games a lot more. Anything you play a lot or that has a lot of long loading screens should go on the SSD. If you’re willing to do that, the Game Drive SSD is a serious quality-of-life improvement.

But this is not the only external SSD. Samsung has its 500GB T5 for $130, but it is selling at just $100 at the moment. I have not tested the T5, but it should provide similar improvements to the Seagate Game Drive.

So to answer the question, I think that an SSD is worth for the Xbox One. But only if you are playing most of your games on the device. If you have a powerful PC, just get your games on that and buy an even faster NVME M.2 SSD that reduces load times even further.

The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox SSD is available now starting at $155. Seagate provided a sample unit for the purpose of this review.

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