Xbox One console torn down by iFixit; repairability good

The Xbox One may only be officially on sale in two countries in the world at the moment (Australia and New Zealand) but the gadget repair site iFixit has already gotten their hands on Microsoft's next generation console and subjected it to its teardown procedure.

The final result? The Xbox One gets an 8 out of 10 repairability score. The site claims it only takes a few tools to tear down the console and its design allows for parts like the drives, fan, heat sink, wireless card, and front board to be replaced with little trouble.

The one really bad thing about the Xbox One, according to iFixit, is its hard drive. We knew already that the 500GB storage drive was made to be a permanent part of the console and iFixit confirms that it is "relatively difficult to access". While the Xbox One has a "standard 2.5 inch SATA II drive" iFixit says it may be formatted with a proprietary file system. Considering that Microsoft is not giving Xbox One users a way to manage their file storage on their own in favor of an "automatic" system, this should not come as a surprise.

By the way, the same website torn down an Xbox 360 E console and gave it an 8 out of 10 repairability rating as well.

Source: iFixit | Image via iFixit

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does anyone wonder why ifixit -didn't- remove the hard drive and confirm the file system?
I'm guessing that drive failure is handled by automatic-enterprise system quickly and effortlessly too.

Yeah I did. Fortunately if you read the article now, they mention the structure of the HDD.

For the lazy, it's an NTFS HDD with multiple partitions. Also keep in mind, instead of plugging it into a Windows machine, they used a mac, so the capacities are measured differently.

Romero said,
So can't the file system be replicated on a bigger off the shelf drive?

If you do a clone and only resize the user data partition, I don't see why not. I have no idea at all whether it'd work though.

There's a TON of empty space in that thing. I wonder why they didn't make the hard drive removable like on the 360 S and E models.

I can only speculate on their thinking, but it seems like they believe you won't need to with the hierarchical storage management and unlimited skydrive and making it removable adds to the price which is already the highest for a console.

Spicoli said,
I can only speculate on their thinking, but it seems like they believe you won't need to with the hierarchical storage management and unlimited skydrive and making it removable adds to the price which is already the highest for a console.

The hard drive is already remove-able; they intentionally locked down the file management option and put it in a hard to reach spot.

Spicoli said,
I can only speculate on their thinking, but it seems like they believe you won't need to with the hierarchical storage management and unlimited skydrive and making it removable adds to the price which is already the highest for a console.

But that's all crap anyways with the ****ty internet speed most people have. Assume you have 400GB free after formatting and what is reserved. That is only 13 30GB games. It'll be annoying if you suddenly want to play a game that is no longer on your hard drive, especially if you downloaded it instead of getting it on disc. They said they'll support installing games to USB storage in the future, but that is more of a hassle than just putting a 2TB drive into the Xbox.

Gerowen said,

The hard drive is already remove-able; they intentionally locked down the file management option and put it in a hard to reach spot.

Yeah it is technically removable if you open up the system and void your warranty. Obviously they won't be using a proprietary hard drive, there's no reason to waste money like that. I'm wondering why they didn't make it user-replaceable which is pretty obvious from context.

Gerowen said,

The hard drive is already remove-able; they intentionally locked down the file management option and put it in a hard to reach spot.


That's false. Automatic storage management is an upgrade to an enterprise class feature and not a "lock down" to anything. I understand many people aren't familiar with these type of features since they've been mostly on million dollar systems, but it will be the standard in just a few years. People will look at manual file management like they look at dial up modems and floppy disks now.

Spicoli said,

That's false. Automatic storage management is an upgrade to an enterprise class feature and not a "lock down" to anything. I understand many people aren't familiar with these type of features since they've been mostly on million dollar systems, but it will be the standard in just a few years. People will look at manual file management like they look at dial up modems and floppy disks now.

Uh. What? It doesn't let you choose what is on your hard drive. I don't think any enterprise data management solution doesn't let you choose what to keep and what not to.

mrp04 said,

Uh. What? It doesn't let you choose what is on your hard drive. I don't think any enterprise data management solution doesn't let you choose what to keep and what not to.

You'll understand once you use it.

Spicoli said,

You'll understand once you use it.

I don't think I will. I'll be upset if it dumps the least recently used game off the drive and then I decide I want to play it and then have to wait an hour or two for it to download enough to start up.

The worst repair for Xbox One will be when someone's VHS tape gets eaten up inside and someone has to clean the heads.

cleverclogs said,
Is it really? Oh my!
I get the feeling most next gen wifi chipsets support miracast. I'd be very excited to hear MS say XBox could be a target.

How relevant is I fixit giving repairability ratings on devices that should go back to the supplier for repair? It's like giving a reparability rating on a fridge. Devices these days are more like appliances than computers.

Load of baloney, after the warranty goes (and assuming it's even a warranty problem) why should it *have* to go back to the OEM? If you have the right knowledge, skills and know how there's nothing to stop you from replacing the right components.

iFixit isn't saying to your average Joe, hey bud! You and grandma can fix the XB1! They're saying, for those with the right skill and trade applications, it's not massively challenging to take it apart, and importantly, it's built in a way that means faulty components are easy to get to and replace. It also means Microsoft built it with servicing in mine (eg, long service life) not as a sealed unit that's disposable. For me that's a big deal.

It means greater longevity for the device and of course as Spicoli says, it gives good opportunity for mods. There are some awesome case and embedded designs implemented on the 360, the XB1 is much more streamlined and open so many awesome opportunities.

flinchböt said,
Sadly Microsoft chose the exact opposite approach with the Surface line and it's repair-ability.

How else are you going to make a tablet so small and compact? There is no other way.

derekaw said,
How relevant is I fixit giving repairability ratings on devices that should go back to the supplier for repair? It's like giving a reparability rating on a fridge. Devices these days are more like appliances than computers.

Uhh. Fridges are serviceable in-home. As are most other major appliances. Bad analogy.

mrp04 said,

Uhh. Fridges are serviceable in-home. As are most other major appliances. Bad analogy.

Only if you're trained on how to do it and have the equipment. The only end user serviceable parts in my fridge is the water filter.

flinchböt said,
Sadly Microsoft chose the exact opposite approach with the Surface line and it's repair-ability.

There is a massive difference between a device that's made to be powerful, sit under your TV and be quiet and a device that's designed primarily to be mobile, thin and strong. You simply cant pack in all the tech of a surface while also making it strong, durable AND avoid the hard to repair issues.

Its a compromise based on the highest needs and design constraints of each device.

Spicoli said,

Only if you're trained on how to do it and have the equipment. The only end user serviceable parts in my fridge is the water filter.

Depends on the part, some parts you can replace yourself if you want to. Same thing with consoles. Fan die or start making grinding noise? Go ahead and replace it yourself, no need to pay $100. CPU dead? Well obviously it's not something people can replace at home.

Spicoli said,

Only if you're trained on how to do it and have the equipment. The only end user serviceable parts in my fridge is the water filter.

What, you can't even change the light bulb without a service call? LOL

USB 3.0 is OK.

But isn't everything going to the cloud with this thing? So speed seems to not be a major requirement looking forward.

still_rookie said,
Because USB is slower... Thought this was fairly obvious.

In the case of the Xbox One and PS4 it's not actually. MS and Sony stupidly used SATA2 interfaces which is limited 300MBps theoretical sustained throughput (more like 250MBps actual), while USB 3.0 is limited to 625 MBps.

If they had SATA3 interfaces it would be a different story.

Mechanical hard drives can't saturate SATA3 let alone even get close to saturating SATA2 so it was smart of them to save costs by implementing only SATA2 at all. The only console that would of benefited from SATA3 would of been the PS4 and then only if the user installed an SSD (which I hear some are).

shinji257 said,
Mechanical hard drives can't saturate SATA3 let alone even get close to saturating SATA2 so it was smart of them to save costs by implementing only SATA2 at all. The only console that would of benefited from SATA3 would of been the PS4 and then only if the user installed an SSD (which I hear some are).

You saved me typing out exactly the same. They made the right move with SATA2. HDD's are primitive pathetically slow tech, and these consoles use 5400rpm HDD's which is even worse, SATA2 is more than enough for this.

hardquest said,
why would you want to change internal hdd if you can plug in external hdd??

Keyword there being "if". Right now, it's simply a feature slated for 2014 as it stands.

hardquest said,
why would you want to change internal hdd if you can plug in external hdd??

Moar space without having to hang an unsightly external drive off your shiny new console

shinji257 said,
Mechanical hard drives can't saturate SATA3 let alone even get close to saturating SATA2 so it was smart of them to save costs by implementing only SATA2 at all. The only console that would of benefited from SATA3 would of been the PS4 and then only if the user installed an SSD (which I hear some are).

Yes I'm aware of this. However if they made the interface SATA3 then we could upgrade to an SSD and get its full benefits (you can still upgrade, but half the speed is wasted). The Xbox One's HDD is not meant to be replaced but i'm willing to bet it's possible.

Shadowzz said,
How do you know its SATA2 and not 3? then its the same as previous gen.

The HDD of both the PS4 and X1 are both SATA2 as confirmed by iFixit, however we still don't know about the interface. I'm willing to bet though that it isn't SATA3.

why are the headlines different when the scores are the same? "good" makes it sound like "ok" but "high" sounds like "wow"...guys really?

Xbox
"Xbox One console torn down by iFixit; repairability good"

PS4
"PS4 gets the iFixit teardown treatment and a high repairability rating"

in other words, same score = same high rating....well, unless you write headlines apparently...

biggest difference is the xb1 is unlikely to suffer from the PS4's red line of death due to overheating caused by the constrained space of the PS4. notice that FAN!!! I guess they really wanted no RRODs this time.

neonspark said,
why are the headlines different when the scores are the same? "good" makes it sound like "ok" but "high" sounds like "wow"...guys really?

Xbox
"Xbox One console torn down by iFixit; repairability good"

PS4
"PS4 gets the iFixit teardown treatment and a high repairability rating"

in other words, same score = same high rating....well, unless you write headlines apparently...

biggest difference is the xb1 is unlikely to suffer from the PS4's red line of death due to overheating caused by the constrained space of the PS4. notice that FAN!!! I guess they really wanted no RRODs this time.


EXACTLY. I think these stories are lacking maturity...

Constrained space? Take a look at a PC GPU, they can easily handle 80c+ with tiny ass fans/space. The shroud focuses the air flow through the heat sink and out the exhaust, same with the slim PS3/PS4 design.

X1's design is based on a CPU heat sink. I can't even see an exhaust fan in the X1, air flow will be pretty minimal.

The fan draws air in right over the heatsink, giving it fresh cool air, and that is really the only part that needs active cooling, and the fins are aligned in such a way that most of the heat will leave the case immediately via the adjacent vents

Sly_Ripper said,
Take a look at a PC GPU, they can easily handle 80c+ with tiny ass fans/space.

Yeah, that kinda conveniently overlooks all the other fans in a pc case which provide the majority of airflow - why else would a gaming pc case need space for 4/6/8 extra fans up to 120mm, on top of the oversized cpu cooler, plus the couple of fans in the PSU? The tiny ass gpu cooler isn't doing the donkey work.

Sly_Ripper said,
Constrained space? Take a look at a PC GPU, they can easily handle 80c+ with tiny ass fans/space.

"Tiny ass fans" must spin faster than bigger fans to achieve the same airflow. That means they're also way louder. Also, any device running at 80C will warm up a room in no time at all.

Were you actually trying to make an argument in favor of this?