User Mods Custom Xbox Series X & S Adapter Card That Supports Virtually Any SSD
A user on Chinese Bilibili forums has shown a custom modded SSD which acts as a non-proprietary storage solution for Microsoft's Xbox Series X & Series S consoles.
This Custom CFE Adapter Card For Microsoft Xbox Series X & Series S Will Let You Use Any SSD On Your Console
Microsoft's Xbox Series X & Xbox Series S launched with proprietary SSD solutions that let you expand the storage capacity of your consoles. These proprietary storage expansion cards are manufactured by Seagate and offer 1 TB expansion at a price of $219.99 US. That could be a bit expensive compared to standard 1 TB SSDs which come in at a cheaper price.
A workaround to this has been discovered by Chinese forum members in the form of the CFE adapter card. The Seagate expansion cards feature a modified CFE link that has been converted from Gen 3 to Gen 4 so technically, you need to modify the adapter link to convert virtually any NVMe drive to become compatible with the new consoles. Users on Reddit have been talking about this for months but this is the first time we have seen one in action!
The user bought the CFE adapter card from a DSLR/Camera shop since these adapter cards are not available widely in the tech market. A Western Digital CH SN530 SSD that features an NVMe M.2 (2230) protocol was used and equipped to the rear end of the adapter card. You can see that while the adapter card may not have enough space for a full-length SSD since the mounting holes end up short but you could still equip them & use them without issues.
1. A PCIe 4.0 X2 NVMe hard drive. I chose the CH SN530 m.2 2230 which was disassembled by XSX (note that it is not PC SN530, PC SN530 is PCIe3.0 ). This hard drive is an original hard drive built into XSX. If XSS needs to be disassembled and expanded, this hard drive can be said to be a must.
2. CFe to NVMe adapters are not sold online by many people, mainly in photography accessories stores. Of course, there is also a DIY CFe card solution, but you need to polish the m.2 solid state. If you need it, please search in the orange software. Polishing solid-state hard drives will have certain risks, so be cautious if you have poor hands-on ability!
The adapter board is limited to Read speeds of up to 1700 MB/s and Write speeds of up to 1480 MB/s so it's pointless to invest in a high-end SSD. This is due to the CFE card cutting down the lanes in half from x4 to x2.
Just grab one that features similar speeds with the capacity of your choice and enjoy a non-proprietary storage solution. There are several PCIe Gen 3 NVMe 1 TB SSDs that cost under $100 US while Gen 4 SSDs that are compatible with XSX & XSS hover around the $150 US bracket, almost half the price of Microsoft's own expansion SSD solution, and will work just perfectly with the adapter card. You can also technically use capacities beyond 1 TB though this has not been confirmed.
The mounting procedure is very simple as all you need to do is to equip the drive to the adapter card and then plug the adapter card within your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console. The drive has been shown to operate normally but there are some issues related to formatting the drive as once it's used, the drive may no longer operate as intended, even after formatting so it's wise to just use the drive on your Xbox console and be done with it afterward. The full installation guide is provided here.
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