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Xbox Series X Hardware Images and NVMe Gen4 SSD Details Have Allegedly Leaked Online

Jan 22, 2020
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Xbox Series X hardware images and new details about the console’s ‘next-gen’ SSD have reportedly surfaced online.

Microsoft has already shown of the general design of the Series X, but the company has been somewhat secretive about the back of the console and its connection ports. During AMD’s CES 2020 keynote, it appeared that the chipmaker showed off the rear of Microsoft’s console, but AMD later confirmed that they used a fake render. The Xbox Series X imagery used during the AMD CES press conference was not sourced from Microsoft and does not accurately represent the design or features of the upcoming console,” AMD said in a statement to The Verge.

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Fast forward two weeks and we now have been provided a close look at the rear of the Xbox Series X. As posted on both the Neogaf and ResetEra forums and later picked up by Xbox insider Brad Sams, two images of the front and back of the Xbox Series X have now surfaced online. On the rear of the console, we can clearly discern an optical (digital) audio output port, a single HDMI port, two USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, and a power port. According to Sams, these images are authentic of the console’s hardware.

As you might expect, the holes on the left and right sides of the ports are ventilation holes. Due to the images appear to show a prototype unit of the Series X, the large rectangular port in the middle is said to be for debugging. As Sams notes, these ports could change ahead of the console’s release later this year.

An interesting tidbit is that serial number and barcode of this particular ‘prototype’ Xbox Series X unit haven’t been unidentifiable. As a matter of fact, one Xbox fan actually managed to successfully register this unit’s serial number to his Microsoft account, adding to the authenticity of these images.

NVMe Gen4 SSD

Aside from the console’s design and connection options, new details about Microsoft’s next-gen SSD have allegedly also found its way online. Earlier this month, Taiwan-based outlet Digitimes reported that the SSD inside the Series X will be powered by a Phison controller. Based on the performance goals of Microsoft’s next-gen console, Tom’s Hardware concluded that Microsoft is most likely opting for a PCIe 4.0 variant of this controller. According to a freshly surfaced Linkedin job description from an ex- Phison software engineer, the Series X will indeed be using a Phison controller for the console’s NVMe Gen4 SSD.

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Based on the Phison product number (PS5019-E19T) that has been provided and its datasheet, the NVMe SSD inside the Series X will be fast, very fast, with reading speeds up to 3.6GB/s and write speeds up to 2.2GB/s max. The maximum capacity for the controller appears to be limited to 2TB.

Phison announced the arrival of this particular controller, PS5019-E19T, back in August of last year.  “There is continued pressure in the industry to improve the performance of computing systems to support the applications that end users are most interested in. PCIe 4.0 offers manufacturers a way to meet these consumer demands,” said Chris Kilburn, corporate vice president, and general manager, Client Channel, AMD. “AMD is delighted to work with Phison to raise the bar by introducing first-to-market solutions. Through sound engineering and design, we are working together to deliver the experiences our customers demand.”

Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, recently talked about the capabilities of the new SSD’s, stating that they can basically act as virtual RAM with access times coming close to the memory access times of the current-gen consoles.

While the above mentioned ‘leaks’ haven’t been officially been confirmed, the details do match with recent reports. We’ll report once we learn more about the Xbox Series X and its main competitor, the PlayStation 5.

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