If you don’t play a lot of console video games, you may have missed the news: Microsoft launched a new mid-generation upgrade for its Xbox One console called the Xbox One S yesterday.
We got a chance to play with it briefly. In short, it’s everything the original Xbox One should have been.
iFixit, everyone’s favourite teardown website, got their hands on the device as well. In their usual style, the company’s teardown crew took apart the device piece-by-piece and took a variety of great shots of its innards.
In the process, iFixit discovered some interesting things hidden within the console’s new, smaller outer shell.
First of all, the website was able to confirm the Xbox One S features a more powerful GPU. According to Eurogamer, which did extensive testing, the Xbox One S’s upgraded hardware improves in-game framerates by approximately 10 percent.
Once inside, iFixit was pleasantly surprised to find the Xbox One S features a clean modular design. With the exception of the console’s hard drive (more on it later), important components like the heat sink, power supply unit and front motherboard are easy to identify and separate from the rest of the device.
Most notable is the Xbox One S’s BD-UHD drive, which features a cute caricature of Master Chief on top of its casing. It’s almost like Microsoft wants users to take apart its new device to discover tidbits like this.
Moving to the hard drive, it’s still not as easy to replace as the one found in the PlayStation 4. However, the good news is that there’s now hardware support for SATA III, and the included Seagate hard drive has a bigger cache than the hard drive found in the original Xbox One — though it still only spins at a slow 5,400 rotations per minute.
In the end, iFixit saw fit to award the Xbox One S an eight out of 10 repairability score, the same score it gave the original Xbox One. As was the issue with Microsoft’s first stab at an eighth generation console, a tricky to replace hard drive drove down the overall score.
Image credit: iFixit
Related reading: An in-depth look at Microsoft’s slimmer, 4K-capable Xbox One S