XBOX OneOne of the greatest disappointments I had after playing my XBOX One for a couple of hours was that in this day and age we still have loading screens and transition content that’s only there to mask slow media load times.

After upgrading my work rig to an SSD and going from 16 megabyte per second sustained reads to 300 megabyte p/s sustained reads I decided this was something I wanted to do with the One since, well, I’m a geek and it was now possible.

I did it the easy way – USB 3 enclosure and a busted SSD I have (there’s nothing wrong with it, it just has been reporting it’s failing for three years now and it still refuses to fail.) After plugging it in it took about 15 seconds for it to register with the XBOX One, which seemed pretty long to me, but it did eventually and then I set about the process of naming the drive and formatting it.

Formatting took about two seconds, but the naming took considerably longer because it was late and I kept messing up what I was wanting to call it. I was asked next whether I wanted to change the default install location of new games. Sure. It’s going to be attached for a while.

Sabrent 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0 Tool-free External Hard Drive Enclosure [Optimized For SSD, Support UASP SATA III] Black (EC-UASP)To get the old games moved, I just found them in games and apps, chose manage, and there were two options to either copy or move the games. I chose move because even if the drive dies I’m not particularly worried about re-downloading a few games.

It’s significantly faster, how much so I don’t know, but not what I’d consider full blown SSD speeds. My guess is the USB 3 data transfer, while significantly better than the XBOX One’s internal 5400 RPM drive, is being bogged down somewhere. I don’t get the crazy feel that it’s blowing my doors off, however I do lose the complaint of “good grief, it’s been 30 seconds loading already.”

My bet is if they tweak the USB 3 code a bit it’ll blow the doors off the internal. I don’t think it’s a processor holdup.

So, what you’ll need is an external enclosure. If you’re going with an SSD, I went with this one because it was $12 and rated well (also comes with a cable that works.)  You’ll also need an SSD. What I read was that it needed to be over 250GB, but whether that’s the case or not, let me know.

My “busted” SSD was 500gb. I did note that the XBOX One did not complain that it was reporting it was failing, which is nice as getting that window popping up over and over again that the drive is dying was why we retired the thing.

I’d say if you’re looking for just a speed improvement, you could probably get a powered 3.5″ SATA to USB 3 drive enclosure and a 7200RPM+ hard drive with some caching. You’ll probably save a hundred bucks or so.