Ars’ review of the latest Xbox hardware revision, the Xbox One S, took a long look at the console’s updated exterior (along with the 4K and HDR-related upgrades). To get to the bottom of its guts, though, we turn to the teardown experts at iFixit, who went on a warranty void dive Wednesday to find out how Microsoft shrunk the system by 42 percent.
In doing so, the site’s teardown team confirmed the myriad of parts that make up the entire system, and as expected, we’re getting the sort of change in parts suppliers and component sizes we expected from a hardware overhaul three years later. For starters, iFixit shows off the Xbox One S’s updated, shrunken power supply, which is now fanless, embedded into the system, and nicely wedged in next to the updated cooling setup – a custom molded 120mm fan, an aluminum heatsink, and a copper heatpipe. set.
The launch edition’s 2 TB hard drive is also on display, and good news: the interface has been upgraded from SATA II to SATA III. Our tests didn’t reveal any specific speed improvements as a result, which is likely due to the included Seagate drive running at 5400RPM (with a 32MB cache), but we’re curious to see if system load times are boosted when a solid-state drive is loaded. state drive connects to that SATA III interface; if the Xbox One S’s SATA controller is SATA III capable, the difference may be noticeable. However, anyone testing this risks voiding Xbox’s hardware warranty.
Other interesting tidbits: The four main components mounted on top of the motherboard are numbered and capitalized (PWR, FAN, DISC, HDD); the disk drive mounting component, attached to the system’s new BD-UHD drive, features a new Master Chief logo; the outer casing eschews screws in favor of rigid security clips; the weird speaker built into the first Xbox One has been removed; and the system still relies on as many as 16 built-in DDR3 SDRAM chips to achieve its full 8 GB memory.
As already mentioned, the system still uses a combined CPU+GPU chip from AMD, and iFixit has confirmed that the part number has changed. That’s because the GPU’s clock speed has been increased to 914 MHz, which has recently been confirmed to contribute to the boosts in the upcoming and older games. Otherwise, the CPU part is still AMD’s 8-core, 1.75 GHz Jaguar part.
While iFixit complained quite a bit about the security clips, the teardown guide otherwise gave the system a surprisingly high repairability rating of 8/10. That rating is supported by a “modular” system design, but hampered by the fact that a hard drive replacement effectively voids the warranty.