How To Choose The Best Hard Drive Upgrade For Your PS4

Swapping in a new hard drive into the PS4 is relatively easy — the question is what sort of hard drive should you swap in? You’ve got SSDs, which are speedy — but also expensive. And then you have hybrid drives to consider too.

This video by Tested runs speed tests between all three drives, from boot up times to game loading and more. It also breaks down what the pros and cons of the different drives are — an SSD might not be the best choice for you, even if it’s faster in some cases.

What type of hard drive will you go with?

Tested: PlayStation 4 Hard Drive vs. SSD vs. Hybrid Drive [Tested]


    • Both consoles have various amazing features… imagine the dual rumbling triggers, the trackpad… the stick layout of the Xbone, the button layout of the ps3, the sleek design of the ps4, the interface of the Xbone crossed with the best parts of the PS4 media bar… it’d be a beast of a console.

        • I know heaps, including myself that disagree. However I know plenty that agree. Time to possibly come out with Modular controllers maybe? It’s not an impossible thing to do at all.

          • That’s because you all enjoy being wrong and less attractive.

            Seriously, though, modular would be nice – or V1 and V2 controllers, allowing users to pick.

            First to do it gains significant market share, I’d wager.

          • One of the third party companies does modular X360 style controllers, can’t recall which one.

          • Yeah my mate has one with the vented cooling fans, really cool (pun not intended 🙂 ) Im gonna pick up one soon for my ps3.

        • My thumbs are in the same place on both of my hands… I dont see why they shouldnt operate from the same area… It’s strange when people say they prefer offset sticks because it seems so alien to us naturally! It’s going to take a bit for me to get used to this Friday!!!

          • Ergonomically your thumbs don’t naturally sit in the exact same position as each other, it’s got to do with dominance of one side of the body over the other, it’s why when you rest your hands together one thumb sits over the other, otherwise your thumbs would always sit side by side when you laced your fingers.

          • Are you sure you like the Xbox controller layout better? could just be that you do not like the ergonomics of the Playstation 3 controller, I’ve heard many reviewers say something similar.

          • Are you sure you like the Xbox controller layout better? could just be that you do not like the ergonomics of the Playstation 3 controller

            How is that not the same thing? I do like the 360 controller more. It fits in my hand, it’s larger, more comfortable…

          • I think he’s trying to suggest that it’s not that the X360 controller did things right, but that the PS3 controller did things wrong. I don’t agree though.

          • Being double jointed in my thumbs I’ve always found the PS controller better. It does seem to restrict thumb movement more than the Xbox which maybe why the PS controller suits me better and others don’t like it.

          • I certainly prefer it. The sticks not being aligned has never once bothered me, although I do have one friend who has used a similar argument against the XBox controller. For me, having the sticks higher up on the controllers face is more comfortable, so the left stick in particular is better located on an XBox 360 controller and I can look past the right one due to the need to have buttons on the control face as well.

          • It also has to come into conversation that the right thumb needs to move up to the right, whereas your left thumb barely moves at all. I find your thumb bent in to be more exhausting, but also give higher accuracy. The left stick is 95% of the time used in games for movement of the character. That isn’t a precise movement, rather its engine restricted, whereas the right stick (especially in shooters), is how you aim, which is needed to be as precise as possible.

            Both of these things are great reasons as to why offset sticks are benefitial. And that not everyone is the same. PS controllers hurt my hands *very* quickly, while Xbox controllers do not. Its preference, and as mentioned above, when someone notices that and makes it a choice between controllers on *each* console, they will get a lot of market share. Afterall, its not like the game-breaking advantageous differences exist like they do when moving between controller and mouse.

          • PS controllers hurt my hand because they’re cramped and have crap triggers. Besides being a tad too close to each the sticks aren’t a problem at all.

          • Very similar to my opinion. It hurts my hand to use, and feels cramped. That gives me less precision and control (plus the domed sticks of Dualshock 3 are horrible imo). Some would say the same about the Xbox and would preach the PS. Its all preferential, and really, its one of the most important things that sway my decision to buy a console.

            Everyone boasts how good the Dualshock 4 is, but thats because it has *needed* to improve for so long. They say the XB1 controller is nothing special, because it changed so little on something that was already tested and loved. The PS4 controller looks to a be a huge improvement in most of the areas I had a problem with, so hopefully that makes it overall a better experience 🙂

          • To be honest I think this is a lot of the hype behind the PS4. The PS3 wasn’t as good as Xbox for Online, it wasn’t as good as the Xbox for gaming, and the controller wasn’t as good. The 360 wasn’t as good as the PS3 for media.

            Nek Minnit, PS4 has improved all its shortfalls as a gaming device. Does this make it better than the One? Probably not, it brings it inline more likely, but the vast improvements are getting them all the good PR. On the flipside the PS4 has shitcanned some of the media features which made the PS3 better.

            Xbox One on the other hand didn’t have as high to climb to improve gaming, so it’s almost like the gaming public and media are bored of how well Xbox does games. On the other hand though they’ve smashed it out of the park with media features, but gamers don’t tend to give a crap.

          • Really good analysis – As someone who has only played Sony for 10 years I started getting really bad crampy shitty annoying gamer claw last year and have since adapted how i was holding the DS3 to reduce straining.

            After playing a few hours on my XBone in the wee hours of this morning – with a sprained thumb from BJJ – I have definitely come around to the controller. My hands BOTH felt very relaxed and it becomes quite natural the point you mention about accuracy with the right stick is important because its not that much different to the DS3’s right stick apart from the distance you have to stretch!!!

            I picked up my DS3 after a couple of hours and just tried to use the right stick and it hurt instantly. I fell in love with the xbox controller… lol

            On another controller related note – My left trigger seemes a bit springy – the right trigger has no spring feeling in it at all but on the left when i press it all the way it sounds and feels like theres a spring or something stuck there… Really annoying and instead of the satisfying “thud” the right trigger gives me it makes an annoying click… Anyone had any issues like this?

      • My dream console would be the opposite in so many ways lol. No trackpad, stick layout of the ps, Xbox controller shape and buttons, metro interface only with xmb kicked to the curb.

    • I’ll do it day 1 just because of the size of some of the downloads. I’ve got Battlefield 4 on PS3 and will take the cheap upgrade to the PS4 version. But that means downloading something like 40GB. If you change the HDD after that then you’d have to download it all again. Either that or backup / restore to USB first but I’m not sure if PS4 actually supports that? And if it’s anything like the PS3 backup / restore it’ll probably be quicker to download again anyway 😛

  • In my experience with the SSD in my PC, there is a small but not particularly noticeable advantage over a traditional HDD in booting the system, as they observed here in booting the PS4, but that’s not really worth the additional money. There is a huge speed advantage in waking from hibernate, however: my PC is usually awake within two or three seconds. So yeah, this would definitely be worth looking into again when the ability to suspend is added to the firmware.

    In general though I’d think that capacity would be far more valuable than the small speed advantages of an SSD.

    • When I go back to a machine without an SSD I feel like i’m using an Amiga all over again.

      The latest SSD’s are even more crazy, Windows 8.1 on a Haswell Macbook with an SSD boots in about 8 seconds from power button to desktop.

    • Comes down to your hardware. No point having a faster drive if you can’t run it. My desktop had a huge improvement from ssd to HDD yet my laptop seemed almost no difference.

  • In my experience with the SSD in my PC, there is a small but not particularly noticeable advantage over a traditional HDD in booting the system

    What kind of SSD and how old???

    I would say that Windows 7 boot times have been almost halved!
    This is even more noticeable when the system has been used for a few months

    • I have an SSHD and the boot time is seven is around 20 seconds. Its just not work the additonal to get that under 10!

    • Only problem is that it’s a 7200RPM that you’re recommending. The basic HDD is 5400RPM. If you go higher RPMs, the more heat the system will draw. Given the article on Kotaku showing how much heat the PS4 produces, it’s not advisable to take the risk with a faster RPM speed.

      • I have had the 750GB 7200RPM version in my PS3 for ages.
        The heat increase over 5400rpm is about 1-2 degrees.
        There was a full test report about HDD for PS3 that measured the heat increase. It was a non issue for PS3, it will be less of an issue for PS4.

    • You do it for a PC, so why not a console. Would you rather Sony/Microsoft add more dollars to the price for higher HDD sizes or spend a few bucks extra and do it yourself?

    • You dont HAVE to but the option is there – It’s great and mostly if you want to upgrade the HDD you’re going to want to do it straight away otherwise you might procrastinate for 2 years likle i did!

    • I agree it would be nice if these consoles came with more generous HDD options, but you don’t *have* to upgrade it for the console to be acceptable. All hardware configurations are a balanced compromise between cost and features/performance. Somewhere there has to be a line drawn in the sand.

      I love tinkering with my gadgets, and upgrading the HDD is really for the geekier among us. I imagine 99% of owners will never mod their machines…

  • Do NOT put an SSD in your PS4 until Sony either confirm or add TRIM support to the PS4’s OS…..

    Without TRIM, the drive will grind to a near halt as time goes on after continual use. And with the size of game installs, these drives will get used up quite fast.

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