Xbox Series X dev kit teardown reveals 40GB of GDDR6 RAM

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Players Nexus recently purchased one of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X Development Kits (XDKs) while looking for a juicy topic for a tech video. Following a reader tip, the TechTuber acquired the hardware through eBay for around $1,500. Unfortunately, Microsoft banned the console before Gamers Nexus could perform software testing. Nonetheless, Gamers Nexus continued to explore the hardware side of the mysterious XDK and among the things discovered noted that it comes with 40GB of GDDR6 installed. For reference, the consumer console has 16 GB of GDDR6.

Gamers Nexus editor Steve Burke introduced Microsoft’s XDK hardware. After revealing that there would be no game/software testing due to Microsoft’s unfortunate ban on the machine, we took a tour of the machine’s exterior.

The XDK resembles the Xbox One X Development Kit and, therefore, nothing to do with the Xbox Series X “tower” that ships to consumers. Burke highlighted a front panel display that can show the status of various internal hardware components and do things like configure shortcuts or the array of five buttons above the display.

The teardown finally revealed the motherboard about 9 minutes and 20 seconds into the video. After that, however, the host spent some time looking at thermals and other aspects of the build before moving on to performance component checks.

About 16 minutes and 50 seconds into the video, Burke examined both sides of the XDK motherboard, confirming that 40GB of 14Gbps GDDR6 is onboard. Additionally, research has revealed that the 20 memory modules (10 on each side of the PCB, surrounding the APU socket) have a capacity of 16 GB (2 GB each) and thus add up to 40 GB of GDDR6 on-board RAM .

The XDK takes up so much memory when developers run debugging software in the background, work with unoptimized code, and unpack builds to the console. Interestingly, Burke felt that this dev kit’s memory quota is one of the reasons early leaks for the Xbox Series X consumer console suggested it would come with a very high memory capacity. Instead, Microsoft’s console ended up with 16GB of GDDR6.

You can watch the video for more information about the build and the thermal solution in the XDK. However, since the hardware can’t run anything more complicated than a menu screen, thermals will never be under any stress.

To wrap up the video, Burke appealed to his audience for any ideas on how to play games on this banned device. Unfortunately, if this cry for help is unsuccessful, this material will end up becoming a sad deconstructed wall-mounted, framed exhibit.

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