Gamers Nexus recently bought one of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X Developer Kits (XDK) while looking for a juicy topic for a tech video. Following a reader tip, the TechTuber acquired the hardware via eBay for a sum in the region of $1,500. Unfortunately, however, Microsoft banned the console before Gamers Nexus could conduct any software testing. Nevertheless, Gamers Nexus soldiered on 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 16GB of GDDR6.
Gamers Nexus editor-in-chief Steve Burke showcased Microsoft’s XDK hardware. After revealing there would be no gaming/software tests due to the unfortunate machine ban from Microsoft, we got a tour of the outside of the machine.
The XDK looks like the Xbox One X dev kit and, therefore, nothing like the Xbox Series X ‘tower’ that shipped 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 at around 9 minutes and 20 seconds into the video. After that, however, the host spent quite some time looking at the thermals and other aspects of the construction before getting down to performance component checks.
At around 16 minutes and 50 seconds into the video, Burke examined both sides of the XDK motherboard, confirming that 40GB of 14 Gbps GDDR6 is onboard. In addition, research revealed that the 20 memory modules (10 on each side of the PCB, surrounding the APU socket) are 16Gb in capacity (2GB each) and thus add up to 40GB GDDR6 of onboard RAM.
The XDK packing so much memory is for when the developers run debug software in the background, work with non-optimized code, and decompress builds onto the console. Interestingly, Burke reckoned that this dev kit’s memory quota is one of the reasons that early leaks about the Xbox Series X consumer console suggested it would ship with a super-high memory capacity. Instead, Microsoft’s console ended up with 16GB of GDDR6.
You can watch the video for more insights into the construction and the thermal solution in the XDK. However, due to the hardware not being able to run anything more complicated than a menu screen, the thermals will never be under any stress.
To wrap up the video, Burke appealed to his viewership for any ideas about how to play games on this banned device. Unfortunately, if that cry for help is fruitless, this hardware will end up as a sad deconstructed framed and wall-mounted exhibit piece.