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Business Hardware Platform Seagate partnering with Microsoft for memory storage for new Xbox Series X

IbizaPocholo

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Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza


“Seagate is thrilled to be a key player in next-generation gaming. With a new standard in performance, games will be more dynamic, visually stunning, and immersive than ever. Seagate's Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card technology delivers additional game storage at peak speeds, replicating the console’s internal SSD experience. We are proud to join forces with Xbox and can’t wait to help gamers immerse themselves in the high-fidelity experience.”

Xbox Series X is Xbox’s most powerful console ever—and we created the Seagate Storage Expansion Card right alongside them. This partnership means that when you plug this storage card into any Xbox Series X console, you’re getting all the speed and power Xbox has dreamed up, with no compromise.


Capacity1TB
Flash MemoryCustom PCIe Gen4x2 NVMe
Form FactorXbox Series X Storage Expansion Card
Limited Warranty3 years
 

Gamernyc78

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Jun 11, 2018
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“Seagate is thrilled to be a key player in next-generation gaming. With a new standard in performance, games will be more dynamic, visually stunning, and immersive than ever. Seagate's Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card technology delivers additional game storage at peak speeds, replicating the console’s internal SSD experience. We are proud to join forces with Xbox and can’t wait to help gamers immerse themselves in the high-fidelity experience.”

Xbox Series X is Xbox’s most powerful console ever—and we created the Seagate Storage Expansion Card right alongside them. This partnership means that when you plug this storage card into any Xbox Series X console, you’re getting all the speed and power Xbox has dreamed up, with no compromise.


Capacity1TB
Flash MemoryCustom PCIe Gen4x2 NVMe
Form FactorXbox Series X Storage Expansion Card
Limited Warranty3 years

Thts good, I've bought Seagate in the past.
 

splattered

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Interesting.. didn't know it includes a 3 year warranty? Seems like most console hardware these days only include 90 days.
 
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Oct 26, 2018
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That’s why ya gotta shop at Costco
Amen.

I'm always surprised when people don't buy their main gear like electronics, appliances and other important stuff at Costco. Game consoles I believe are an indefinitely return policy.

For PCs, TVs and other major stuff you get awesome return and warranties. Not forever return policy, but way better than a Walmart or Best Buy.
 

NickFire

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Mar 12, 2014
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I recall the sticker shock at what my 360 storage upgrades cost. Based on those margins, Seagate stock should be booming right now.
 

DJ Shalad

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Dec 10, 2018
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wait... why a thread about a months old news?

❓❓❓❓

To counter Sony. Ghost of Thusima goes live (IGN promo video about SFS and stuff), PS5 DualSense "Reveal", Phil Spenser says "Muuuu" and now we get this SFS will close the gap and Seagate will be partnering with Microsoft.

We all had this 30 days ago already.
 
Last edited:
Aug 28, 2019
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Custom engineered memory to expand the storage of the Xbox Velocity Architecture.

hmmm....I know it's marketing speak the way they present it on the page (for obvious reasons), but still....

Just gonna link this post from B3D user 'function' again because I like the sound of it plus it seems extremely sensible for what's going on with XvA:

Now I'm assuming that the "virtual memory" is storing data as if it were already in, well, memory. So the setup, initialisation and all that is already done and that saves you some time and overhead when accessing from storage compared to, say, loading assets for an SSD on PC. But this virtual memory will need to be accessed via a page table, that then has to go through a Flash Translation Layer. Normally this FTL is handled by the flash controller on the SSD, accessing, if I've got this right, a FTL stored in either an area of flash memory, or in dram on the SSD or on the host system.

XSX has a middling flash controller, and no dram on the SSD. So that should be relatively slow. But apparently it's not (if we optimistically run with the comments so far).

My hypothesis is that for the "100 GB of virtual ram" the main SoC is handling the FTL, doing so more quickly than the middling flash controller with no dram of its own, and storing a 100GB snapshot of the FTL for the current game in an area of system reserved / protected memory to make the process secure for the system and transparent to the game. Because this is a proprietary drive with a custom firmware, MS can access the drive in "raw mode" like way bypassing all kinds of checks and driver overhead that simply couldn't be done on PC, and because it's mostly or totally read access other than during install / patching, data coherency shouldn't be a worry either.

My thought is that this map of physical addresses for the system managed FTL would be created at install time, updated when wear levelling operations or patching take place, and stored perhaps in some kind of meta data file for the install. So you just load it in with the game.

And as for the "100GB" number, well, the amount of reserved memory allocated to the task might be responsible for the arbitrary seeming 100GB figure too.

They could be using a HBCC for this...in fact I think Ascend Ascend has mentioned this in the past too and even described how it would work as a hierarchy along with the RAM, basically seamlessly handling data shifting between RAM and storage similar to cache levels in a CPU/GPU IIRC (I might be mincing some of their words here :p).

Anyway, that card does look pretty damn sexy 👍
 
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Ascend

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Gen4 x2? Does that mean it's basically Gen3 x4?

Yes it does. Which makes sense, because you don't want to alienate the majority of the PC audience by requiring Gen4 NVMe SSDs for PC for the games to run. That immediately puts all Intel players out of the loop, and also everyone that does not have a B550 or X570 motherboard.
 

DaGwaphics

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Gen4 x2? Does that mean it's basically Gen3 x4?

Yes it does. Which makes sense, because you don't want to alienate the majority of the PC audience by requiring Gen4 NVMe SSDs for PC for the games to run. That immediately puts all Intel players out of the loop, and also everyone that does not have a B550 or X570 motherboard.

Good point.

You get that good sustained performance too. I was stuck in the PC way of thinking and was thinking Gen4X4 which would result in one drive sharing with the chipset like happens so often on PC or both sharing the same 4x lanes. This was smarter, by a mile.
 

Ascend

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Good point.

You get that good sustained performance too. I was stuck in the PC way of thinking and was thinking Gen4X4 which would result in one drive sharing with the chipset like happens so often on PC or both sharing the same 4x lanes. This was smarter, by a mile.
I think they do have Gen4x4, but it's split between the internal SSD and the external one, meaning it basically works as two Gen3 x4 connections.
 

Bernkastel

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Mar 8, 2018
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Keep in mind that Seagate is only the exclusive launch partner, there will be more providers later
Seagate will be the exclusive launch partner for these expansion cards, too. “At launch, the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X will be the only Expansion Card available,” reveals a Microsoft spokesperson to The Verge. “We look forward to sharing more details in the future.” It’s not clear whether Microsoft will have its own branded expansion cards or just how many other third-party drive makers will be able to create expansion cards. More providers will increase competition and drive prices down for consumers, so it would be surprising if Seagate is the only manufacturer after launch.
Seagate also does not really make the expansion card but just the enclosure, which contains the exact same SSD as inside XSX. So, there will be more "enclosure providers" later.
 
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