With the PlayStation hard drive being easily replaceable, for those who want extra speed or more storage, it makes sense to replace it. But with what?
Which Drive Type?
With the PS4 coming with either 500GB or 1TB hard drives it doesn’t take long to fill them. 2TB is probably a good compromise and has been tested by many owners and known to work without issue.
The PS4 was designed to work with a mechanical drive – indeed, it specifically stores files at particular positions on the drive to take advantage of the different speeds at different points of the platter. None-the-less, SSDs will work and will give you the biggest speed advantage. Of course, they’re expensive.
This leaves us with two practical options – a hybrid drive (a mechanical drive with a small SSD attached – the latter is used automatically for caching regularly used files) or a bigger mechanical drive. A hybrid drive will be the quickest. Any drive has to be a 2.5″ model with a height of 9.5mm.
As to whether there’s an advantage in buying a SATA 3 drive, the PS4 only supports SATA 2 so, no. However, the PlayStation Pro does support SATA 3 so you will get a blistering speed boost in drives that support it – usually hybrid or SSD.
For bangs-for-buck, a hybrid hard drive is your best solution.
If you’re after a hybrid drive then there’s currently only one good option – the Seagate Firecuda. It has a 2TB mechanical drive, SATA 3 connection and a 5 year warranty. This currently costs a smidge over £100.
Now, if you’re after a 2TB purely mechanical drive then the Seagate BarraCuda is a good one to go for. Costing about £80 it has a large 128MB cache and is also SATA 3.
I replaced my drive a few years ago, and then with the Samsung M9T hard drive, a previously recommended hard drive.
I benchmarked both the M9T and the stock drive that comes with the PS4. The M9T offers a 13% increase in sequential read speed and 22% in writing. Large random file reading is about the same but writing large files gets a 38% speed increase. Small random file reading is actually 6% slower but writing is 27% quicker.
Overall, reading is 3% quicker on average and writing is 29% quicker. So, yes, better – not tremendously so but quicker none-the-less. What this was more about was increased storage. If it’s speed you’re after I’d definitely recommend the SSHD solution – it’s not much more, cost wise, but should really give your PS4 (which flavour you have) a real performance boost. If you have a PS4 Pro, however, switching to a SATA 3 drive is certainly going to make a world of difference.
How Do I Replace It?
Thankfully, I have guides for each of the 3 main PS4 models…