What’s Inside The Xbox One S

What’s Inside The Xbox One S

As they do with most shiny new gaming tech, the brave folks at iFixit have taken apart Microsoft’s smaller, slightly faster Xbox One S to see how repairable it is (very) and answer questions like, “Is the hard drive easier to upgrade?” (hahahaha no).

It’s surprising how few things go into assembling a system capable of doing whatever it is the Xbox One does while occupying a much smaller space. That final breakdown up there shows what, 13 things? Motherboard, cooling fan, heatsink dealie, HDD drive, Wi-Fi board, optical drive and several bits that make up the system’s best new feature, the internal power supply.

It’s a much smaller brick that fits in the case. Hell, the entire system isn’t much bigger than the original’s power brick. It’s what I find most tempting about the idea of swapping one of my Xbox Ones out for the newer model.

And here’s the hard drive. Good news, it’s a type III SATA drive, an upgrade from the older model’s type II.

Bad news, still not getting at that puppy without tossing your warranty out the window and performing fancy formatting tricks. At least it comes in 2TB sizes, and it’s so small that a clip-on external drive assembly wouldn’t be too obnoxious.

Checkout iFixit’s full teardown for a comprehensive look at what’s inside the Xbox One S, from case to controllers.


  • Microsoft had an opportunity to simplify its product lines by making the HDD accessible. But not today it seems :\.

    • With external HDD’s supported (up to two) – I’ve never figured out why people would want to replace the internal HDD when it’s so easy to add storage.

      I mean – options are good – but given the choice of being able to switch around the internal HDD, or to use external, portable, easily replaceable external HDDs , even multiples (I use a 7200rpm to give a loading time boost to currently played titles , and a 4tb 4800rpm for a “vault”) – I’d choose the external option.

      But each to their own.

      • Some people, myself included, like to put SSDs in place of the mechanical drives.

        And yes, I know it doesn’t improve the read times but it certainly takes care of the seek times than can sometime add up and bloat out the load time.

        Found this out first hand with Rage on the PS3. Before, the texture pop-in was pretty bad and just turning left or right would show me the low LoD version before the details kicked in a few seconds later.

        Once I put an SSD in virtually all pop-in disappeared.

        It would be nice to know why consoles don’t just use SSDs from the get go anyways because (at least for me) it doesn’t make logical sense given the price is coming down for SSDs.

        • Price isn’t dropping fast enough and certainly not at the sizes required. $549 for an Xbox One S with a 2TB HDD. 2TB of SSD is still going to set you back about $800 for the drive(s) alone. While I’m sure they’d sell a few consoles at $1100 I can’t imagine they’d sell enough to justify it.

          That said, maybe they should be investigating the possibility of hybrid SSD/HDD for consoles. That might be enough to improve performance while keeping costs low enough to be viable.

          • Um, you guys are probably aware that there is an Xbox One Elite console on the market that uses a hybrid SSD/Hdd as standard? It’s a bit pricier than a standard XBO – but comes with an Elite controller as standard.

            And also – external SSDs work fine as universal storage on XBO as well. External cases to convert an internal SSD to an external usb3.0 model are cheap.

            Digital Foundry ran some interesting speed tests/load time comparisons a year or two back.

          • A 2tb hybrid SSD maybe. I baulk to think what a 2tb SSD would cost alone, sans console.

            Like I said, the option is there to use an external SSD, and the benefits are well documented – but in this day and age of 50-100gb games – there’s a few reasons, besides cost alone – that a 256-512gb SSD as standard would adversely affect some users. I have over 3tb of games installed across my multiple hdds.

            But the option is there – use any SSD (minimum 256gb though) and external casing you want, it works. Freedom of choice. I like choice.

          • Nice. I hadn’t seen the Elite with the hybrid drive. That was exactly what I was thinking about. There’s a premium but it’s not wallet crushing.

            A 2TB Samsung 850 Evo is about $830. Taking into account bulk purchasing it’d be cheaper but I can’t see it being *hugely* cheaper for MS. Of course they could also buy a cheaper, slower brand but even so they’d still be likely adding between $600-700 to the price of a console. XBox One Ultimate 🙂

            I have several of the cheap external USB 3.0 cases for SSDs. I rotate the older, smaller drives out of my PCs after a couple years and they make excellent transfer drives. I wouldn’t use them for archival though. I’m a fan of the Kingston HyperX enclosure. I tried a couple others and had problems, but three Kingstons – no dramas.

  • Wonder what the operating temps are like, not very often you see an exhaust fan on the CPU block but with internal volume and dimensions it makes sense.

    Very cool stuff, hopefully their next console will come with an internal power supply already, thats always been my biggest gripe (apart from operating sounds)

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