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Customer Discussions > Xbox 360 4GB Console forum

4GB vs 250GB

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Showing 1-25 of 222 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 20, 2010 6:25:43 PM PDT
kimsk says:
Could you guys let me know what the 4GB can't do comparing to 250GB? I know the HDD size is different (4GB vs 250 GB).

But does it mean I can't do something like playing some games or using XBox Live?

Can I connect external USB HDD that I use with my PC to increase the space?


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2010 7:34:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2010 1:50:16 PM PDT
You can connect either an external HDD or USB thumb drive up to 16GB. The hard drive is not essential and can easily be replaced with a USB thumb drive. The HDD serves only a few purposes:

1.) Retail games (they sell full retail Xbox 360 games on Xbox Live). These are usually more expensive than the disc based copies and you can't resell them so I don't recommend it personally. Typical sizes are about 5GB-7GB

2.) Game Demos. Usually deleted right after playing. Ranges in size about 700MB-2GB.

3.) Game add-ons. These include extra maps for multiplayer games, additional campaign levels or missions, new songs for a music game or new in-game characters. These could range from a few megabytes to a couple of gigabytes depending upon the amount of content you are buying. Extra multiplayer levels or missions could use a lot of space.

4.) Xbox Live Arcade Games or Indie Games. These range from usually really small 40MB to the occasional big game 300MB. None of these games require a HDD, but they could add up over time. You will be fine with a USB thumb drive for these games though. And you can always delete and redownload later if you need to clear space.

5.) Installing disc based retail games to the HDD. This was much more useful with the old Xbox 360 because the DVD drive was so loud when it would spin. The new Xbox 360 is so quiet that there is very little advantage to installing games. Load times are only reduced by a few seconds by installing games to the HDD.

6.) Game videos. I expect this will eventually change, but for some reason unlike movies, movie trailers, tv shows, and music videos Microsoft still requires you to download game trailers to your hard drive. Microsoft clearly has the ability to stream 1080p video so there is no reason for this any longer. For now though you need storage space to watch game trailers.

You don't need a hard drive for Netflix, Zune video, Zune music, Last.FM, Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, or Hulu. All of this content streams off the internet and is not stored locally on the system.

Basically the only thing you NEED a hard drive for is if you expect to download a lot of extra content (DLC) like multiplayer map packs for Call of Duty or Halo or if you expect to buy a ton of songs for music games.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2010 7:43:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2010 7:43:23 PM PDT
kimsk says:
Thanks! That really answer everything I want to know. I already pre-order the 4GB and Kinect bundle, so I don't think I need 250 GB for now.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 7:53:10 PM PDT
semore butts says:
Well you wont be able to install full games to the HD, since its only 4 gigs. But you can play every 360 game off the disk so you can still play all the games. If your 4 gigs got full with arcade games or DLC you would have to delete them and re-DL them later(free for stuff you bought already) if you want to install something else. Live will work on it fine.

You can use your external HD or a USB Flash drive for extra storage, but only 16GB of it. You can use 16GB of TWO devices, so you can add up to 32GBs without having to buy the HD from microsoft.

You can do everything with it, except install full games that are more than 4gb. But you can use you external HD for extra 16 gigs. And you could add another device for up to 32 gigs.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 9:58:13 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 8, 2016 12:02:22 AM PST]

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 11:52:50 PM PDT
Mau says:
Sounds to me like the 4 GB is a good choice. Ya it sucks they don't give you a choice, matte finish is always the way to go (In my opinion it makes it more appealing and attractive). I'm guessing they'll start selling the new HDD. They'll probably come out with a 120 GB or something close but jack up the price to like $60+, but who really needs that much space?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2010 9:58:19 AM PDT
I had a 120 GB HDD and used EVERY SINGLE GB in it....I always install the games I'm playing to the HDD and never got a red ring because of it. I also have several movies and tons of DLC on the HDD. I just bought the 250 GB console and only have about 60 GB left on it.

It's well worth it to simply buy the 250 GB console for $299 and then if you buy Kinnect for $150. You're only going to save $150 by buying the 4GB when a 250 HDD is going to cost on the upside of $ if saving $10+ is worth getting robbed 244 GB HDD from Microsoft then go right ahead and preorder the 4GB console.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2010 11:38:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2010 11:39:00 AM PDT
plob218 says:
James, I think if the OP intended to install games, purchase DLC, etc., then s/he wouldn't even be considering the 4GB option. I believe the question is, "Will 4GB be enough, or will I get shafted later and have to buy an external HDD?" I think you'll be OK with the 4GB model if all you keep on it is game saves, XBLA games, and a few pieces of DLC. If you'd prefer to install games on your system (slightly reducing load times), buy lots of DLC, or download lots of movies, trailers, and music, then obviously you will need more storage.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2010 6:58:16 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2010 7:16:30 PM PDT
kimsk says:
plob218, yes, you are right. I am more of a casual gamer type. I plan to get 4GB and Kinect bundle which will save some money. I still hope Microsoft will release the 250GB even though after I ready everyone's comment, I think I might not need it. And I can still buy the extra HDD later if needed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2010 4:18:08 AM PDT
Can YOU count? 250-4=256??? If you are going to correct someone, at least get your correction correct. And that isn't even the point of the discussion here. This is about people wondering if 4GB is a reasonable amount of storage space for an Xbox 360 system. I think James made a valid point. If you are going to end up buying a 250GB HDD eventually for the new Xbox 360 system, then the better choice is buying a 250GB system outright as you will end up spending a lot more in the end piecing together a new 360. If you are content with just the 4GB of space for game saves and using USB drives for extra storage space, then the new Xbox 360 4GB model looks pretty attractive, especially considering the low price with up to N WiFi built in. My only concern is that 4GB is a rather small amount of space and anyone who has an Xbox 360 HDD knows that you never get the full amount of disc capacity to use. Taking that into consideration along with the updates that keep coming along that seem to keep getting bigger and bigger, not forgetting to allocate more space that Kinect will almost certainly require, it seems that the 4GB is going to be cutting it awfully close. Maybe that is why they added more USB ports. Maybe they will finally allow more than the 32GB limit.
Bottom line is, if you are a casual Xbox 360 user, then this new version is a steal. If you are an avid Live user who downloads demos and add ons, and likes to install games, then obviously this new version is not for you.

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 2:34:41 PM PDT
Don says:
I don't understand the difficulty in choosing 4GB vs 250GB. The X360 can store movies, music, DLC, XBLA, demos, photos and 4GB is just not enough to get adequate use out of the console. The 4GB storage on the X360 is less than the size of a single layer DVD at 4.5GB and Kinect will surely add more DLC, Demos and XBLA Games. I used all of my 60GB HDD and my original 20GB HDD. The money you save when you buy the 4GB version will definitely be spent later when you buy additional USB storage and upgraded X360 HDD's.

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 2:59:16 PM PDT
plob218 says:
Do you really not understand? Because we already listed a bunch of reasons why the 4GB console makes sense. You don't have to use your 360 for music, movies, and photos. Demos you usually delete after you play. XBLA games are typically _very_ small, and even if that's all you played you could fit loads of them on 4GB. Game saves also take up very little room. DLC is the only real reason to splurge on a bigger hard drive, and I personally find most DLC to be a ripoff anyway. So for me (and lots of other people) the 250GB drive is completely unnecessary and not worth the $100 price difference.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2010 5:51:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2010 5:52:35 PM PDT
kimsk says:
Of course, you will always want the best one you can get. For me, I buy XBox 360 mainly because of Kinect, so the difficulty is the price difference. Right now, you have to choose $299 for 4GB-Kinect bundle or $299 + $150 for 250GB and Kinect. If Microsoft releases the 250GB-Kinect bundle, I might rethink again.

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 2:02:48 PM PDT
T. Alexander says:
I'm assuming that your totally new to the gaming console experience. Otherwise you would know the answer to this question. First, the Xbox 360 doesn't use standard HDD, its HDD are proprietary. You have to use "official Xbox 360 HDD" for which they overcharge. $100 for 120gb!?! Seriously, a Western Digital 2.5 500gb which works for the PS3 is only $60. Which ask the question with HDDs space costing so little nowadays why is Microsoft charging so much? Simple greed. Even a casual gamer will see games on XBL that they want for purchase. And if you truly enjoy a game and DLC comes out your going to want to play it too. What's the point of getting a system if your not going to fully enjoy it. You'll need more space, trust me.
Sure you might not load pictures, music, movies and TV shows. But do you really want to limit the fun of the system on that chance. Only to find out later that you want more?

]Second, the current Xbox 360 HDD on sale on Amazon don't fit inside the new Xbox slim console. Microsoft hasn't announced when or how much they are going to charge for an actual hard disc drive. So if you do get this and later decide "I want a HDD" you'll have to wait.

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 2:58:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 23, 2010 2:58:56 PM PDT
plob218 says:
T. Alexander: I was only asking rhetorically why the 250GB drive cost so much to emphasize how little you're getting for the extra $100 between this model and the upgrade. The 250GB machine is great, no doubt. If you enjoy downloading movies and game trailers and DLC and all that, then it's clearly the better choice, because upgrading the storage on this machine later will cost more than simply going with the more expensive model now.

Also, I assure you I'm not totally new to "the gaming console experience." I have had every major console since the NES, including all three current-gen systems (although I did recently sell my 360, I'm considering picking up one of these beauties in the near future). But I also recognize that different people have different habits, needs, and budgets. Many people simply don't use much storage space on their hard drive. Game saves and XBLA games take up VERY little room--4GB is more than enough for these purposes. I trust that people know their own gaming (and spending!) habits enough to know whether they'll want to get lots of DLC or not. If so, then get the bigger hard drive. If not, then save the $100--or spend it on something else :)

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 8:02:39 PM PDT
Malexander says:
People, people, people, you can take the hard drive out of your old 360 hard drive enclosure and put it in the 360 S's hard drive enclosure and it will work fine, BUT!!!!!, IT WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY!!!!, which is kind of a biggie when your consider xbox's failure rates.

Posted on Jul 24, 2010 8:02:16 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 16, 2011 7:51:55 AM PST]

Posted on Jul 25, 2010 1:37:41 PM PDT
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Posted on Jul 26, 2010 9:35:25 PM PDT
Alan W. says:
The only attractive feature of the 4GB console is the matte finish. 4GB is way too small. I really wish they offered a black 250GB matte Xbox 360 console.

Posted on Jul 27, 2010 11:50:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2010 1:40:24 PM PDT
John Doe says:
A strange choice of size IMO considering the original xbox (in 2001) had 8GB, I guess it beats having a white 256MB arcade system though. (I would've made it 20 GB- equaling the first "pro" model) It sucks microsoft chooses to make their hard drives proprietary - they should follow the PS3 model. I agree w/ others, the matte blk is better than the glossy one- surprising MS doesnt realize that smudges & fingerprints are lame. I wish they introduced "super speed" USB 3.0 here. I sure would like to see made in the USA on them too

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2010 3:00:17 PM PDT
dymo34 says:
I myself thought installing the games will prevent my system from getting red ring of death. My elite was about 15 months old and was playing RE5 off the hdd last year when it crapped out and got the rrod. It will happen to anyone no matter how they use the system; hdd or disc. Hopefully these new xboxs will not rrod even close to the % of the fat models.

About the 4gb vs 250gb version, i myself am caught in this dilemma of which one to get. I am a hard core gamer. I do like ripping the games to the hdd for faster load times and will download the occasional demo. My Elite is full but i dont delete my games from the hdd or demos. I easily could just stay on top of my hdd and delete what is not needed. i thought about just getting a 16gb usb thumb drive, which here on amazon runs about $30. So I am looking at a savings of $70, plus the not so dealbreaking matte finish which is a plus but not going to drive my decision.

I'm sorta leaning towards just saying f it, it may not be worth the hassle of the usb thumb drive and just spring for the 250gb. Still on the fence. M$ sure thought about this one and its people like me who may just spring for the extra 70 and get the 250gb version. Or just not be lazy and make sure I am still using what is on my hdd. This is very possible to do. Sony definitely got that part right with allowing to use your own hdd peripheral.

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 1:55:56 PM PDT
Merkader says:
Here's my take. I preordered an xbox 360 s arcade today. I currently have a pro 60 gig model, and after deleting everything i don't need, it only takes up 14 gigs. I'm going to pair the 4 gig internal with a flash drive and get myself 20 gigs, the same as my original pro model, which worked out fine. Since most things are streamed, including my pictures and music which are steamed from my computer, 20 gigs will be plenty. I'm going to save the 70 bucks (after buying a 16 gig flash drive) and buy halo reach.

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 8:21:26 PM PDT
D. Rock says:
QUESTION: If i get the 4gb, and get a 16gb usb flash drive.... i can download content (extra maps, demos, etc) and still play them off the usb drive, right? Or wrong?
If so... then i agree with Brian and i think i'll follow his advice. An extra $70 is quite a few used games for those of us on a budget.

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 10:49:50 PM PDT
Usni says:
If I play just play Madden is 4GB going to be enough for saved games + roster patches. Yes? Great. Don't need 250 GB for just Madden.
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Initial post:  Jul 20, 2010
Latest post:  Dec 9, 2014

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