Xbox One teardown reveals standard PC hardware components

By on November 21, 2013, 4:30 PM

Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One recently found its way to the operating table of teardown specialist iFixit. The team discovered the next generation console uses a number of off-the-shelf hardware components including a standard 2.5-inch hard drive.

Hobbyists, modders and the DIY crowd will be happy to learn that only a few tools are required to fully disassemble the console. The opening procedure is similar to the Xbox 360 albeit much easier and once inside, a no-nonsense modular design allows components like the drives, fan and heatsink to be easily replaced… although I can’t really think of a reason you’d need to replace the heatsink, unless maybe you wanted to watercool the system.

Specifically, the Xbox One ships with a 500GB, SATA II Samsung Spinpoint ST500LM012 hard drive with 8MB of cache. This is in contrast to the proprietary hard drive casing used on the Xbox 360 although replacing the Xbox One’s storage drive could prove difficult as one must open the case and remove the Wi-Fi adapter and system speaker assembly to get to it.

What’s more, the team was unable to determine if the system will recognize an unformatted replacement drive. As such, it might be best to wait until Microsoft enables USB storage support before trying to tinker with the new console.

Overall the Xbox One earned a repairability score of 8 out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair). The system was docked for having clips instead of screws that make the case more difficult to open and the fact that the HDD is tough to access.




User Comments: 29

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m4a4 m4a4 said:

Hmmm... lets hop MS acknowledges that the HDD is easily replaceable and supports it in the near future...

I also expect that the reason that they don't right now is to dissuade small time hackers from trying to hack it (and hopefully they'll feel confident enough to reverse that stance eventually).

1 person liked this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Earned a 8 out of 10 for being easy to repair? I think you used the wrong word here. Maybe easy to take apart, but not easy to repair. What happens when the power light turns red, the HD stops spinning and/or the GPU displays rainbows/lines in games?

Just gonna pop another GPU in there? Nope, your not. You ain't repairing sh!t. Your sending it back to Big M for their special OS, with special parameters, or if its hardware your definitely screwed trying to fix a console using specific unchangeable soldered hardware.

4 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Earned a 10 out of 10 for being easy to repair?
I'm reading 8 out of 10.

Sunny87 said:

Reminds me of the actual original Xbox one inside, standard PC box basically.

JC713 JC713 said:

That is quite a hefty heatsink for a console (seems larger than a standard one that comes with every CPU). Very interesting indeed.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That is quite a hefty heatsink for a console (seems larger than a standard one that comes with every CPU). Very interesting indeed.

The Graphics card is built into the same silicon, so it probably gets quite hot xD

Reminds me of the actual original Xbox one inside, standard PC box basically.

It's just a shame (unlike the original Xbox) it's not pushing any specification boundaries.

Hmmm... lets hope MS acknowledges that the HDD is easily replaceable and supports it in the near future...

This was one of my biggest bug bears with the past two Xboxs, I found the PS3 loaded substantially faster with a better HDD in, on these new consoles relying so much on the HDD's now it's even more important the HDD is big and fast, I do hope MS allows users to change the Hard Drive for a bigger, faster one.

bexwhitt said:

That is quite a hefty heatsink for a console (seems larger than a standard one that comes with every CPU). Very interesting indeed.

as MS are going living room centric they have over sized the heatsink so the fan runs quiet

cmbjive said:

Hmmm... lets hop MS acknowledges that the HDD is easily replaceable and supports it in the near future...

I also expect that the reason that they don't right now is to dissuade small time hackers from trying to hack it (and hopefully they'll feel confident enough to reverse that stance eventually).

I doubt it. Since there is no external way of removing the HDD without opening up the chassis it stands to reason that opening up your Xbox One to replace the HDD will void the warranty. I don't know why they did this as the HDD on the 360 was easy to replace even if it was a proprietary drive.

Also, as iFixit said, it is unknown if the Xbox One will even format the new hard drive.

Guest said:

My Smart phone is superior to this crap.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My Smart phone is superior to this crap.

Prove it!

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That is quite a hefty heatsink for a console (seems larger than a standard one that comes with every CPU). Very interesting indeed.

It is, isn't it? I'm curious if they ever check the thermals and audio noise from these boxes. I'm curious if this is as quiet as Microsoft claimed it would be.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"...although I can?t really think of a reason you?d need to replace the heatsink, unless maybe you wanted to watercool the system."

Real gamers cool their XBone with moisture!

drjekel_mrhyde drjekel_mrhyde said:

If you look at ifixit 14th step it shows 3 SATA connectors

drjekel_mrhyde drjekel_mrhyde said:

If you look at ifixit 14th step it shows 3 SATA connectors

Jumped too fast it's only two, it looks like 3 because of how the HDD cable is resting

Guest said:

My Smart phone is superior to this crap.

yeah, but can your smartphone run Crysis?

can your smartphone show BSOD?

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

With the CPU fan "reversed" it doubles as an exhaust, so hopefully no RROD's this time around, but the PS4 definitely wins in the internal design department.

Guest said:

So Xbox One have an external PSU ?

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

So Xbox One have an external PSU ?

Yes, just like the Xbox 360.

Guest said:

Actually this is an endorsement of SteamOs. Why locking yourself in into the walled garden of either Microsoft or Sony and be forced to follow their upgrade cycle. SteamOs may well prove to do to MS what MS did to IBM with DOS in creating an open true market for the hardware. SteamOS runs on standard PC hardware which can be tailored to both the games to be played as well as your budget. So instead of a proprietary console supplier locking you in there are a host of component suppliers competing for your dollars. Having open upgradeable hardware and a free OS will cut consolemakers and their DRM protected profit streams out of the loop. Game developers will have one portal less cutting their profit to pass through.

BTW this captcha is f*&king!

Capaill said:

Where is the RAM? Is it the black squares around the CPU on the motherboard?

1 person liked this | Capaill said:

I just checked the iFixit article and it is:

16x SK Hynix H5TQ4G63AFR 4 Gb (512 MB) DDR3 SDRAM (total of 16 x 512 MB = 8 GB)

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I'm reading 8 out of 10.

Thanks typo police! Such a useful comment deserves a like! Your welcome!

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thanks typo police! Such a useful comment deserves a like! Your welcome!

Sarcasm after being corrected. That is so funny. Not the sarcasm but the need to use it after being corrected. I will be the better man and stop the name calling here where we are now.

Guest said:

No kidding, right?

Camikazi said:

Earned a 8 out of 10 for being easy to repair? I think you used the wrong word here. Maybe easy to take apart, but not easy to repair. What happens when the power light turns red, the HD stops spinning and/or the GPU displays rainbows/lines in games?

Just gonna pop another GPU in there? Nope, your not. You ain't repairing sh!t. Your sending it back to Big M for their special OS, with special parameters, or if its hardware your definitely screwed trying to fix a console using specific unchangeable soldered hardware.

Repair to iFixit means taking apart and getting to the inside it doesn't mean repair as in fix.

Puiu Puiu said:

It seems like people started posting about bricked xbox one consoles and other problems with them from day one.

JC713 JC713 said:

The Graphics card is built into the same silicon, so it probably gets quite hot xD

Probably.

Guest said:

So technically, PC is not dead

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I see they use a lot of electrolytic caps. I wonder if they'll last until the next XB release (if there is one).

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