Xbox 360’s work much like computers with the way they process information and run media. As such, they contain several somewhat-hidden options and services that can help the console run smoother.
Putting Games on the Hard Drive
There are several ways to get optimum performance from your Xbox 360. The biggest difference you can make in the way your console runs is by downloading disc games onto your hard drive. You do this by inserting the game into your Xbox 360, and pressing the Y button to bring up the “Game Details” screen. From there just follow the instructions to place the game on your hard drive.
You will still need to the physical disc in your console to play it from the hard drive. This is an anti-piracy measure. But the benefits of having the game on your hard drive can be great. In general, it makes the console run quieter and causes it to use less energy, adding to its lifespan. It also makes most games load quicker and run smoother.
Most games only take up about 6 GB of hard drive space, with the largest taking up nearly 20 GB. Depending on the size of your hard drive and how much content you have on your hard drive, you will probably only be able to fit a few games on your hard drive at once.
That brings us to another way to make your console run smoother: cleaning up your memory. Every time you go to your console’s dashboard or open up the “Quick Launch” tab to play an arcade game, your Xbox 360 has to load up specific items from its memory. The fewer items you have stored on your console, the quicker different applications and tabs will load.
The most obvious way to clean up your Xbox 360’s memory is by deleting arcade games and downloadable content from your hard drive. If you finished a game recently and don’t think you’ll come back to play it again for several months, there’s no need to keep it on the hard drive.
This applies primarily to arcade games, as larger ones can take up to 2 GB of space. But if you’ve finished with a retail game(disc game), there’s no need to keep it on the hard drive, and you might as well delete any associated downloaded content for the game. Any content you’ve deleted can be re-downloaded for free at any time.
One part of your system’s memory that is a little more obscured, however, are system updates. Nearly every game receives updates to improve gameplay or add new options. These usually only take up a small amount of memory, but if you play a lot of games it really adds up.
To get rid of these updates, simply go to the “System Settings” tab, from there go to “Memory” and choose the storage device you want to clear of system updates. Once you’ve chosen the storage device, press the X Button to perform system maintenance.
All this does is clear all the system updates for that storage device. It clears every update for every game played on that storage device though, so you will be asked to re-download system updates for any games you want to play online again. But this is an excellent way to free up some memory and make the console run smoother.
A Note on Hard Drives
There are several different hard drives for the X-Box 360, ranging from 20 GB to 120 GB. Those with the larger hard drives will likely never need to delete items to make space for more content. But deleting unnecessary items from the hard drive makes for a quicker and smoother start-up experience.