Use An SSD Instead Of HDD With Xbox One For Improved Game Loading Speeds


For most us, the in-built HDD that comes with Xbox One is never enough. We usually connect a external HDD to expand the storage for game installs. How about using an SSD instead of a HDD in Xbox One? It improves game loading speeds significantly. A Reddit user tried it and posted a detailed comparison of SSD and HDD game loading performance on Xbox One.

The Equipment:

  • Xbox One Day One Console with Preview Dashboard
  • Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD
  • Sabrent EC-UASP USB 3.0 External 2.5″ Enclosure

The Method:

  • Each game was already installed to the internal HDD, tested, then transferred to the external SSD and tested again.
  • Each test was run 3 times. The average is shown. Individual results never varied more than 1.5s.
  • The first test for each game was done after a cold boot, and the subsequent 2 tests were done after quitting the game from the Home screen.
  • Each test is comprised of loading times only; menu navigation, logos, intros were not measured.
  • Halo MCC, DR3, and F5 are originally disc-based installs (key check?), the others are pure digital.

The results:

  • Halo MCC, launch game from home screen till logo start

Internal HDD – 17.94s

External SSD – 10.32s

Difference – 7.62s or -42.47%

  • Sunset Overdrive, load saved game till playable

Internal HDD – 26.98s

External SSD – 9.34s

Difference – 17.64s or -65.38%

  • Forza Horizon 2, load saved game till playable

Internal HDD – 49.72s

External SSD – 21.49s

Difference – 28.23s or -56.78%

  • Dead Rising 3, continue story mode till playable

Internal HDD – 38.90s

External SSD – 24.27s

Difference – 14.63s or -37.61%

  • Forza 5, load hyper-car challenge in Prague till playable

Internal HDD – 47.07s

External SSD – 33.31s

Difference – 13.76s or -29.23%

  • Ryse, main menu, continue campaign (Trial by Fire, first checkpoint) till playable

Internal HDD – 54.92s

External SSD – 40.69s

Difference – 14.23s or -25.91%


The Samsung 850 Pro is probably the best bang for the buck SSD out there. The 256GB can be had for about $130-ish judging by recent deal alerts from Stay clear of the cheaper 850 Evo 250GB, as it falls short of the minimum required drive size. Evo 500GB should be OK (in theory).

256GB is NOT a lot of space. I ran out after only 5 games being installed, and was swapping games back and forth between the HDD and SSD.

You have to decide for yourself if adding a tiny SSD for a decent speed boost is worth the money, but personally, I’m glad I did.

If it is, choose an external enclosure that supports UASP, as it’s optimized for SSD. This Sabrent performs well, and is not bad looking (but not great either). It’s cheap as hell, though. $13 on Amazon.

Source: Reddit