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Gamers — no matter whether they play on PC or consoles — want the best performance. One issue that hinders both experiences are loading times. Have you ever wished for Destiny 2 or Monster Hunter: World to start faster? While the easiest solution to fix this is to purchase a solid state drive, they are quite expensive. Even if you were to invest in one, certain consoles present limitations. For example, on Xbox One, you can’t just open the case and replace it without voiding your console’s warranty because you’re adding third-party parts. Apart from that, you risk damaging the internal components during the process.
The solution to this is to use the Xbox One’s support for external hard drives. However, instead of buying a traditional rotating hard drive, you can choose to get an external solid state drive. Unlike mechanical drives, solid state drives have no moving parts. They’re completely silent, more durable, don’t generate as much heat, and consume less power.
Many companies offer these devices but they come with less storage when compared to the price of a mechanical hard drive. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the ADATA SD600 External Solid State Drive (SSD) and how it handles games on Xbox One. Are the improvements worth it? Let’s take a look.
The ADATA SD600 is currently priced at $145 for the 512 GB model. You can also get the 256 GB version for $75 but we tested the 512 GB model over the past week. The design is very compact and rather stylish. The whole body is black with a textured pattern on the front. While it’s unlikely you’ll subject the device to multiple drops and other abuse, it’s still reassuring to know it’s rugged. The specially-designed edges seem to protect it from drops.
The ADATA SD600 features an array of innovative features and technologies which give it 440 MB/s read and write speeds. The Xbox One supports USB 3.0 and this drive is fully compatible. A regular hard drive can only do around 100 MB/s. This means that games load much faster.
The ADATA SD600 uses 3D NAND technology, also known as stacked TLC Flash. According to the makers, 3D NAND offers higher density, increased reliability, and better power efficiency compared to previous drives. This also means that the drive is incredibly light. Let’s say you want to take a few games over to your friend’s house. You can just save them on the drive and slip it into your pocket. You won’t believe just how portable it is.
Just how much faster is the ADATA SD600? We tested it out with an original Xbox One and on average games loaded in half the time. Destiny 2 launched in 15 seconds compared to 34 seconds using the console’s internal hard drive. Not only that, but in-game menus loaded in a few seconds. Star Wars Battlefront II loaded in 19 seconds when compared to 36 seconds with the Xbox One alone. Even applications opened in 2 seconds compared to the 7 seconds it takes using the internal hard drive.
Overall, it’s up to you if you consider the speed improvements worth spending $75 or more depending on your model. We believe that the decrease in loading times is that significant. You can also opt to purchase one with less capacity if you only use it to store games you’re currently playing. For example, we installed Destiny 2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Monster Hunter: World, and Overwatch on it. Those are the games we’re currently playing and want them to load faster. Other titles are on the internal hard drive. It’s up to you to decide how you want to use it. However, if you wanted to know if the speed improvements are that noticeable, the answer is that they are. The ADATA SD600 might not be the fastest external SSD on the market, but it’s definitely one of the cheapest. Keep in mind that the Xbox One only supports external drives that are 256 GB or larger for game storage. If you don’t own an Xbox One, you’ll be happy to know that it works great with PlayStation 4 too.