The Chinese company Sintech has released a special adapter that allows using compact NVMe SSDs of M.2 2230 format as additional storage for Xbox Series X and Series S game consoles, according to Hermitage Akihabara. The device allows for relatively cheap expansion of the permanent memory of consoles and actually bypasses the monopoly of Seagate, which exclusively produces expensive drives for these consoles. However, not without certain restrictions.
Sintech’s CFexpress Card PA-CFEM2-C features a CFexpress Type-B interface, which is also used by Xbox Series X and Series S to connect external Seagate SSDs. The cost of the adapter-adapter is $ 30.
Despite the attractiveness of the offer, there are some limitations. Although any compact PCIe M.2 2230 NVMe drives can be used with the adapter, the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles themselves will only be able to work with selected drives equipped with certain software and using a certain file system format. For example, the WD Blue CH SN530 NVMe drive from Western Digital can work with set-top boxes, but the WD Blue PC SN530 model is not compatible with them. For the same reason, you cannot use, for example, conventional CFexpress 1.0 Type-B memory cards with Microsoft consoles. Unfortunately, at the moment it is not known exactly how many models of NVMe drives of the M.2 2230 format are suitable for the required compatibility specifications.
Recall that Xbox Series X and Series S support only proprietary expansion cards in the CFexpress 1.0 Type-B form factor and use two PCIe 4.0 lanes for connection. In turn, conventional CFexpress 1.0 Type-B cards also use two PCIe lanes, but of the 3.0 standard. Since these proprietary expansion cards for set-top boxes are produced by only one company, Seagate, they are very expensive. For a model with a volume of 1 TB, the buyer will be asked for a minimum of $ 220. Previously, enthusiasts proved that with an adapter from M.2 2230 to CFexpress, originally designed to expand the permanent memory of digital cameras, such homemade expansion cards based on compatible SSDs can also be used with the latest Microsoft consoles.