Review: Seagate Game Drive Hub for Xbox (8TB)

Among the handful of hard drive manufacturers, Seagate remains as one of the more recognized brand names for consumers and professionals. While there’s still a fierce battle over the PC space, Seagate seems to have a dominance on consoles. You can buy any hard drive to use as extra storage on your Xbox One, but Seagate is packaging drives specifically for Microsoft’s console. We’ve already seen a handful of these over the last couple of years, going as high as 4TB, alongside an impressive Solid State Drive, but now Seagate is upping their game with an extensive 8TB hub. Not only will you have an incredible amount of storage at your disposal, but an extra USB connection, as well.

Firstly, this drive resembles that of Seagate’s Backup Plus Hub. This isn’t like Seagate’s standard mobile 2.5” external hard drive as it’s a bulky 3.5” device that requires its own power source to function. You will need to connect it to an outlet via the AC adapter, and surprisingly, Seagate has supplied buyers with a full range of connectors depending on your region. The 8TB drive is also surprisingly heavy, weighing in over a kilogram (2.2lbs), but its design is very sleek. It’s not just a simple box, but one with a large beveled edge and a glowing Seagate logo. It has rubberized grips on the bottom of it to stand up vertically, and hive-like ventilation.

Unfortunately, while the hard drive never gets too hot thanks to the ventilation, it is fairly loud and will cause quite a bit of vibration. It’s to be expected considering how much horsepower it comes with, but it would have been nice to have an quiet mode when nothing is being loaded off of it as, as long as it’s connected to the Xbox One, it’s always running. It’s not like most will notice it while playing a game, but it’s louder than the Xbox One idling or playing a game digitally (loading a game off a disc still has it beat). Outside of that, this is just a typical Hard Drive with a USB 3.0 connector.

Now for what everyone is waiting for: speed tests. Transferring data from the Xbox One’s standard hard drive can vary between 59MBps and 85MBps, averaging around 76MBps. Connecting an external drive through the Hub or even connecting it through a secondary USB connector on the Xbox One nets very similar results, although the highest peak we received was over 100MBps. In comparison, the standard (and special edition) Seagate Game Drives for Xbox averaged at 65MBps, whereas the Seagate SSD for Xbox clocked in at 118MBps. It’s a little faster than the Seagate Game Drives but still much lower than the SSD, and our load tests below pretty much show this to be true. All values are in seconds; lower is obviously better.

Battlefield 1

StockSeagate 2TB HDDSeagate 8TB HDDSeagate SSD
Boot Time39.8729.80 31.5123.97
Single Player Load 87.1461.333 51.7228.33

 

Loading into the actual game does take a little bit extra time compared to the 2TB Seagate Game Drive, but still is much faster than the stock hard drive. With that said, loading into a campaign mission does shave off a good ten seconds, but still is nowhere near what the SSD can produce.

 

Gears of War 4

StockSeagate 2TB HDDSeagate 8TB HDDSeagate SSD
Boot Time61.9757.60 52.3051.60
Act 3 Chapter 3 Load 28.8725.6423.3316.57
Act 4 Chapter 5 Load 31.6733.47 29.0021.03

 

Once again, Gears of War 4 is a strange entity. The 2TB mainly bested the stock Xbox One hard drive, but one mission was unable to keep up. Fortunately, the 8TB Hub is able to load missions a little bit faster, even coming in close to what the boot time is for the SSD.

 

Halo 5: Guardians

StockSeagate 2TB HDDSeagate 8TB HDDSeagate SSD
Boot Time42.2031.03 27.3025.74
Mission “Osiris” Load20.3713.66 11.157.00
Mission “Blue Team” Load20.4713.60 6.097.87

 

This one actually baffled us. While it’s pretty standard for the boot and mission load times filling in the gap between the 2TB drive and the SSD, the second mission actually loads almost two seconds faster than the SSD. We tested this twice and both times it resulted in similar results. Suffice to say, the 8TB Hub is actually more bang for your buck than the SSD.

 

Forza Horizon 3

StockSeagate 2TB HDDSeagate 8TB HDDSeagate SSD
Boot Time40.1034.5038.1232.24
Load into Game81.8041.90 37.2125.97
Fast Travel20.5013.80 9.335.94

 

With the exception of the Boot time taking a few seconds longer than the 2TB drive, the load times for Forza Horizon 3 is pretty typical. It shaves a couple seconds off, with the comparison to the stock drive being a wide gap. The SSD is far more valued here with the fast traveling being 33% faster than the 8TB Hub, more than 100% than the 2TB drive and nearly 300% that of the stock drive.

 

 

Sunset Overdrive

StockSeagate 2TB HDDSeagate 8TB HDDSeagate SSD
Boot Time42.8736.57 35.0629.27
Load into Game19.3316.03 16.338.80
Fast Travel9.177.77 6.274.97

 

The 8TB drive more or less stays on par with the Seagate 2TB Game Drive, with a second or two in its favor.

 

EA Sports UFC 2

StockSeagate 2TB HDDSeagate 8TB HDDSeagate SSD
Boot Time49.9739.60 36.6934.87
Load Main Menu31.6924.60 26.6323.06
Load into a Fight31.9319.87 18.3017.70

 

EA Sports UFC 2 does take a couple seconds longer to load into the main menu, but this is counteracted by the three second gap boot time and the shaved second getting into a fight. It actually makes the 8TB Hub a better value, especially compared to the SSD.

 

Lost Odyssey (Xbox 360 Game)

StockSeagate 2TB HDDSeagate 8TB HDDSeagate SSD
Boot Time35.4732.30 29.2727.30
Load into Game12.4011.76 10.06 9.70
Load Battle6.135.92 6.096.27

 

Finally, Lost Odyssey barely benefits from the 8TB Hub. It does shave a couple seconds off the bottom time, but other than that, a second or two from the both the 2TB drive and the stock Xbox One drive.

Closing Comments:

If you really need 8TB worth of space for your Xbox One, then Seagate has you covered, and at $199.99, it’s a steal. It helps that the Hub is able to generate significantly better load times in games, at least the ones we tested, even besting its 2TB Game Drive older brother most of the time. It’s still nowhere near what you’ll get if you pick up the Seagate SSD Game Drive, especially considering the two share the same price point, but this is to be expected as one is designed for speed whereas the other is designed for convenience and space. The Game Drive Hub does become a bit loud, and it doesn’t help it will always run whilst connected to the Xbox One, but you’ll only hear it when idling. In the end, with games like the upcoming Forza Motorsport 7 requiring more than 100GB of hard drive space, larger hard drives like this are becoming more in demand, and based on the results, the Seagate Game Drive Hub for Xbox is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an upgrade.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Seagate SSD Game Drive