If you game on console, storage space is at a premium. Even high-end models like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro only include 1 TB hard drives, and with some AAA games pushing 100 GB installs, external storage is something to look into if you want more than a handful of games on your system. The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox Gears 5 Special Edition released in the wake of the game’s launch (which is a hefty 60 GB) and comes in 2 TB and 5 TB variants to help allay your storage woes.
Seagate sent over the 5 TB version of the Gears 5 Game Drive to review, and I put it through the paces. It turned out to be a fantastic solution for my poor Xbox One X whose hard drive is continuously bloated with the large filesize that is becoming the norm for most blockbuster games.
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox Gears 5 Special Edition Review | Design
Most external hard drives are pretty dull in design. There’s only so much you can do with a small cuboid after all. However, Seagate’s Game Drive lineup tends to include cues that make them match the system you’re pairing them with. In the case of the Gears 5 Game Drive for Xbox, you get a cool cog with a skull in it with a cracked granite motif and the Xbox logo. The design gives this product a more first-party feel and makes an excellent companion to an Xbox, especially if you keep your console out in the open where an external drive could be an eyesore.
The Gears 5 Game Drive has solid build quality and feels substantial when holding it. I wouldn’t pitch it at concrete or anything, but it seems like it could take a small tumble and survive without splintering into pieces. Since you’ll have to connect the drive to your console via cable, there’s always the risk that it could get accidentally knocked onto the floor, so it’s nice to have a bit of confidence in its survival.
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox Gears 5 Special Edition Review | Connectivity and Performance
The Gears 5 Game Drive connects to your console via a Micro-B to USB-A cord, like most 2.5-inch external hard drives. The included cable is braided, which is a nice touch. The drive requires no external power source, and I never ran into any issues with the Xbox One X not supplying enough electricity. Some older consoles (looking at your Wii U) had some issues with powering external hard drives, but none of that here.
This is a USB 3.0 hard drive, and as such, the connection between it and an Xbox One has a theoretical max throughput of around 400 MB/s. In practice, you’re not going to get that with the Game Drive. I didn’t crack it open, but I assume it’s a 7,200 RPM SHR drive. CrystalDiskMark put the max read at 134 MB/s and the max write at 40 MB/s, which isn’t too shabby. In fact, it seems to be a bit speedier than my Xbox One X’s internal SATA 3 drive, which makes sense as the stock HDD runs at only 5,400 RPM.
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox Gears 5 Special Edition Review | Installation
Hooking up the Gears 5 Game Drive is a snap, at least the physical part of it. You just plug one end of the included cord into the hard drive, and the other into the Xbox. The hard part comes with getting your Xbox to format the drive and recognize it as external storage for games.
This part isn’t Seagate’s deal at all, but I want to relay my experience in case you decide to pick up this or any external hard drive. As far as I can tell, there’s no way to manually scan for and install the drive via the Xbox dashboard. Instead, you have to plug an HDD in and hope the Xbox recognizes it and prompts you to use it as secondary storage.
In my case, I had an update notification which must take priority over displaying a storage prompt. I eventually figured out that I needed to install the update, let the Xbox One restart and plug in the drive again. However, the lack of an option to manually find and install an external HDD is a shortcoming for the Xbox One.
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox Gears 5 Special Edition Review | Price
The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox Gears 5 Special Edition retails for $149.99. For comparison, you can get a similar external HDD without the Gears 5 design for $129.99. So, what do you get for $20 extra besides a cool design? Well, there is Gears 5 DLC included with the drive that unlocks some exclusive skins as well as a free month of Xbox Game Pass so you can jump in and play the game immediately.
Between the cool design, month of Xbox Game Pass, and Gears 5 DLC, I think there’s $20 of extra value here. Whether or not this Game Drive is worth it over another model comes down to whether those extras are appealing to you or not.
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox Gears 5 Special Edition Review | Bottom Line
I’ve got to say; it feels way better having 6 TB total of storage for my Xbox One X than just being stuck with the stock HDD. Being able to install games with impunity takes a load off my mind and has led me to play some games I usually wouldn’t. Especially with Xbox Game Pass offering a ton of free games, space has been at a premium for me, and the extra 5 TB the Gears 5 Game Drive offers is fantastic.
The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox Gears 5 Special Edition might be a bit more expensive than similar models, but the design is cool, and there are some extras to make it a bit more appealing. I think it’s worth it and if I didn’t already have it, I’d buy it myself.