The standard internal hard drive in PlayStation 4 (PS4) usually comes with a 500 GB limited capacity which is not deemed suitable for many enthusiasts who are fond of downloading and playing lots of games every month, let alone UHD movies. This consequently results in the hard drive running out of capacity which will prevent from adding any new game/movie without sacrificing some of them.
When titles like Killzone: Shadow Fall can take up as much as 50GB of space, you start to realize that upgrading your PS4 internal hard drive sooner than later may seem like a good idea.
In this article we have presented some valuable pieces of advice that you may carefully consider before upgrading your PS4 internal hard drive to a larger one (1TB or 2TB) or even to another type (SSD or SSHD). We have spent lots of time compiling this guide for you, so we believe it’s worth your interest. But, if you’re in hurry to find the best 1TB or 2TB hard drive for PS4, here we lay out out top picks of [December 2016]:
Our PS4 Hard Drive Top Picks for Year 2016
Best Hard Drive Solution for Upgrading PS4 Storage
When thinking of upgrading the internal hard drive of PS4, there are three options you can go with for this purposes:
- Traditional hard disk drive (HDD), the same type as the one found inside PS4
- Solid State Drive (SSD), which is way much faster than the former option
- Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive (SSHD), which features a compromise between the speed of SSD and the huge and cheap storage capacity of HDD.
We have discussed all these three options in this guide in some detail that will help you make a quick decision on what suits you best. But here, in this section, we’ll address the best brands available for the first category only, because we think that a storage upgrade for PS4 should not be other than a hard drive, and we have our valid reasons for that which we have outlined in our different guides on this matter, including this one.
So the question that we have to answer is:
What’s the best hard drive brand for PS4?
Just until recently, Samsung SpinPoint M9T hard drive [ST2000LM003] was the best hard drive option for PS4 in terms of capacity (2TB) and price. But now we have picked the newest and highly improved Seagate 2TB Barracuda [ST2000LM015] to be the best PS4 replacement hard drive since October 2016.
Our reasons for that are:
- It has a huge cache memory (128MB) which is not found in any other 2.5-inch HDD brand except its predecessor [ST2000LM007]
- It’s the successor of what was known as the “fastest laptop hard drive”—Seagate’s Mobile HDD [ST2000LM007], and that intuitively means it’s more improved.
- Unlike its predecessor, it doesn’t provide data encryption (which is not needed in PS4 systems anyway), and that’s supposed to have a good impact on the overall performance of the drive.
- It comes with a very reasonable and affordable price (less than $100) as of the time of writing.
For more information on Seagate 2TB Barracuda [ST2000LM015], click here to view the product page on Amazon.
Options to Expand PS4 Storage Capacity
We’ve already briefly addressed the available options to expand the storage capacity of PS4 console in our PS4 External HDD Guide. Here we’ll dive into more details about this issue to give you a clearer picture about what best suit your needs and conditions.
There are basically only two methods/procedures you can carry out in order to give your PS4 more storage capability, and other suggested methods are just subsumed under these two big titles.
These two major methods are:
- Upgrade the current PS4 internal hard drive to a bigger one.
- Get an external storage device as a storage expansion to the internal drive.
Each particular method has its own advantages and disadvantages which we will thoroughly discuss within the lines of this article.
First Method: Upgrading PS4 Internal Hard Drive
This is the most preferred method for PS4 fanboys who need more storage space inside their PS4 box for the heaps of games they downloaded and want them often accessible on the fly. Make sure to read also our post on the best PS4 hard drive in order to get a good drive for your PS4 storage upgrade process.
This method benefits mostly from the fact that PS4 console critically requires that any game you need to play MUST be installed/stored on the internal hard drive of PS4 in order to give the operating system a full control over it.
So if we go count the advantages and disadvantages of this method accordingly, we can deduce the following:
- It keeps all files within the PS4 operating system which makes them more accessible and easier to run/launch. That’s because PS4 needs to render files first before launching, and if the file is not stored within the operating system, it will not run at all.
- If you use the extra space for backup/archive, and unlike external storage solution, you don’t need to wait about 15 or more minutes for a 50gb game file to transfer and be ready for installation/playing. This, for many, is a frustrating moment, especially if the file you specify is important and you cannot wait for it.
- It doesn’t engage any extra space outside the box, which will benefit mostly those who have limited room for PS4 box.
- It’s a more tidy option because it keeps everything organized in one place without adding any extra visible peripheral/gadget which looks somewhat messy.
- You don’t have to take care of two storage devices (the internal and external). It’s just one device that you have to focus on.
- The new internal hard drive upgrade procedure for PS4 takes a much longer time than just hooking an external hard drive directly to your PS4 USB port in a minute. It can literally take a few hours in case your old hard drive is full or close-to-be, because you need then to transfer all the old hard drive content to the new drive.
- It happens that sometimes the transfer process will not go flawlessly and seamlessly, and errors my occur, which will compel you to reinstall/repair the PS4 operating system, which is an extra work and effort.
- Mostly, if you do a simple calculation and gauge your needs you’ll conclude that, in all cases, you need an external storage solution in order to take a backup of all your files for the sake of precaution. Yes, you can make your old internal hard drive an external storage device for that purpose using a USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure, but then think about it—do you really need the heaps of your files always accessible on your internal hard drive or you can save most of them externally until later? This all depends on your preference and needs.
You may want more elaboration on this topic, therefore we suggest you read our PS4 External Hard Drive guide.
- The largest internal hard drive capacity for PS4 doesn’t exceed the 2TB limit that may not satisfy the greed of extreme enthusiasts. There’s a workaround though on this problem that allows you to upgrade the PS4 hard drive to 4TB using a special PS4 accessory. [Click here for more details].
Second Method: Use an External Storage Device
With this method you have the chance to add up to 8TB or even 10TB of external storage capacity to expand the capability of PS4. This is preferred to many users who don’t want to go through the mess and hassle of upgrading the internal hard drive of their PS4.
Although we’ve already discussed this issue in detail in our PS4 External Hard Drive Guide, and manifested the available varied options in the external storage space, we would quickly lay out the major advantages and disadvantages of this method.
- Quick and easy setup and installation that just takes around 1 minute and doesn’t require all the complications of internal hard drive upgrade procedure.
- Helps you to dispense with upgrading your internal hard drive where you keep the frequently used files and save the rest externally.
- Can be used for other purposes than just saving PS4 files (i.e. storing files from other devices like PC) and that makes it a more flexible storage option.
- Being portable gives you the ability to share the stored files with family and friends on different PS4 console or just other computers.
- Unlike xbox, PS4 doesn’t allow you to run/play the game/movie on an external hard drive. You have rather to transfer the whole file to the internal drive and install/store it to allow the operating system to render it. Then, and only then, you can play that particular game/movie.
- Takes additional room outside the PS4 box which may not suit some users.
- Being a removable device that connects externally makes it vulnerable to theft or loss, especially if you choose a portable model.
Other PS4 Internal Storage Options
There are other options than a mechanical hard drive that may intrigue you, and have been adopted by a wide variety of PS4 users. They are: A Solid State Drive (SSD) and a Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive (SSHD).
We will not be delving into deep details about these two technologies, but rather we’ll learn the essential basics about them for the sake of education.
Solid State Drive (SSD)
As for Solid State Drive (SSD), and as far as a PC or MAC is concerned, it’s the best viable alternative to the traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD), and it offers a speed that can be up to 20x higher than a regular hard drive. The following two articles will help you get a good overview on this technology:
- Is Solid State Drive (SSD) Eventually Worth It?
- The Advantages and Benefits of Solid State Drives (SSD)
Is SSD recommended for PS4?
Honestly I would say NO. Although it has been reported that you’ll gain only 34% of speed when using an SSD inside PS4, especially in online gaming, this small gain of speed doesn’t justify the steep price of SSDs. (e.g. as of the time of writing, a 1TB SSD costs almost $350 whereas a 1TB laptop HDD costs almost $70).
Yes, an SSD can be a great addition to computer systems, but certainly they are not made for PS4. This is my personal opinion anyway. You can read more on this topic in our PS4 Solid State Drive (SSD) Guide
Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD)
I can’t find better than Wikipedia to explain what an SSHD is. So here’s a quote from their article on SSHD.
Is SSHD recommended for PS4?
Personally I prefer it the most for PS4 if you can settle for 1TB storage capacity. I would rather do the following: Obtain an SSHD for my PS4 and use the old stock hard drive as an external storage device with the help of a USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure. Or, if you need more external storage for your files, you can get a larger external hard drive capacity ranging from 1TB up to 8TB. (Check our PS4 External Hard Drive Guide)
About Our Internal HDD Picks for PS4
It doesn’t take a college math professor to understand that you’re looking at around less than a dozen AAA game installs before you fill up your stock drive. Not to mention the smaller digital titles, patches, apps, and DLC content that will also take up some storage space. In order to work around this trouble the best solution you have in hand is to replace the current standard hard drive that comes with PS4 once you first bought it with a larger and faster one to guarantee the peak performance of your new hard drive with a much sufficient capacity that can serve you a few more years.
Unfortunately the PS4 doesn’t have the same external hard drive options like Xbox One, although you can add one for backup/archive purpose only. [For more details on this issue, check our PS4 external hard drive (HDD) guide] Fortunately you have the ability to swap out the internal hard drive for another, making one of our internal hard drive picks for PS4 a wise upgrade if you think 500GB won’t cut it down the road—and trust us, it probably won’t! Especially with such a huge list of RPGs and incredible first-person shooters coming to PS4 so soon.
Either 1TB or 2TB Hard Drive Capacity Upgrade
A PS4 system only accepts a 2.5-inch hard drive replacement and this is something that may limit the potentiality of expanding the storage capacity to more than 2TB, taking into consideration that the largest 2.5-inch hard drive available on the market that fits into PS4 drive bay (i.e. not more than 9.5mm thick) comes in 2TB capacity only, whereas 3.5-inch hard drive already hit the 8TB limit and soon will reach 10TB. You may want to add a larger internal hard drive capacity to your PS4, this is possible using a special gadget. [Read this article for more details] So it’s best to invest in one of these hard drives for PS4 now, especially a 2TB hard drive for adequate storage. This will save yourself the trouble of having to re-download everything again later.
For the overwhelming majority of PS4 users, a 2TB of hard drive capacity is pretty much enough, at least for their current requirements and the near future (say 2-3 years in my estimation). As for the minority of exceptional extraordinary users, I’m sorry to disappoint them and say that there’s currently no special solution that can meet their insatiable needs, so either they join the majority and settle for what they can afford or just keep swimming against the tides with no avail.
On the other hand, a 1TB hard drive for PS4 seems though to be currently the most popular PS4 hard drive upgrade but we strongly recommend the 2TB HDD capacity for the sake of precaution if you download and play lots of games.
The HDD Specs of Our Chosen Hard Drives
If you’re going to upgrade your PS4 internal hard drive, you need to be carefully aware that not all hard drives fit into the drive bay of PS4 where the hard drive is located. The drives we recommend here strictly meet these standards and more, which are:
|Thickness||Not higher than 9.5mm according to PS4 standards.|
|Hard Drive Brand||Seagate, Western Digital (WD) and Hitachi (HGST)|
|Spindle Speed||Not less than 5400 RPM.||All 2TB hard drives in our list spin at this speed only, whereas there is, on our list, only one 1TB 2.5-inch hard drive that spins at 7200RPM, which is: HGST Travelstar 7K1000.|
|Interface||Serial ATA 6Gbps (SATA Revision 3.x)|
Top PS4-Compatible HDD Recommendations
Taking into consideration the above standards, there are not many compatible hard drives with PS4, especially in the 2TB capacity. Most compatible hard drives are either 1TB or 500GB or even less. Try to visit our best hard drive for PS4 post to read about our top selection of hard drives for PS4 in some details.
In the chart below we have picked 5 drives that we found to be the best hard drives for PS4 in 2.5-inch form factor, in terms of compatibility and performance. Two of them is a 2TB capacity, while the rest four are 1TB.
|Brand Name||Model NO.||Capacity||SATA Gen.||Spin. Speed|
|Seagate Mobile HDD||ST2000LM007||2TB||SATA III||5400 RPM|
|Samsung M9T SpinPoint||ST2000LM003||2TB||SATA III||5400 RPM|
|Seagate Gaming SSHD||ST1000LM014||1TB||SATA III||5400 RPM|
|HGST Travelstar 7K1000||0J22423||1TB||SATA III||7200 RPM|
|WD Scorpio Blue||WD10SPCX||1TB||SATA III||5400 RPM|
|WD Mobile HDD||WD7500BPKX||750GB||SATA III||7200 RPM|
|Toshiba Laptop HDD||MQ01ABD100||1TB||SATA III||5400 RPM|
How to Upgrade Your PS4 HDD
PS4 makes upgrading the internal hard drive an easy procedure. We’ll not discuss it theoretically here, rather I prefer that you watch the following how-to video.
You can find more details and information on upgrading your PS4 hard drive on PS4 official website on this page.
Leave you now with the video:
At the end of the day, upgrading the internal hard drive of PS4 is obligatory to enthusiasts who don’t settle for the limited capacity of the stock drive and have piles of files to store and frequently access on a monthly basis.
You have other options to go with instead of upgrading the internal hard drive. Ever thought of just acquiring an external hard drive to support your PS4 hard drive? It can be the best solution for your problem. Just think rightly and gauge your needs wisely then you’ll surely determine which storage solution suits you best.