PS4 PRO SSD Upgrade Guide—[Best Options Included]

A solid state drive (SSD) is a viable and very fast alternative to mechanical hard drivesSolid State Drives (aka SSD) are well-known to be the best and fastest data storage devices compared to its predecessor—the mechanical hard disk drive (HDD).

When we addressed the issue of equipping the standard PS4 console with an SSD, our major complaint, aside from the expensiveness, was that PS4 employs SATA-II (2nd gen.) interface to connect its host bus adapter (HBA) to its mass storage device, which imposes a serious bottleneck on data transfer rate between the mass storage device (featured usually by an HDD) and the PS4 processor, and that consequently results in a significant limitation on the high speed of SSD, which eventually means that users won’t benefit from most of the speed advantages an SSD offers.

But the situation with PS4 PRO is different. It has changed remarkably with the incorporation of a new and more powerful processor alongside with the SATA-III bus interface. That leads us to seriously consider an SSD for PS4 PRO storage upgrade.

We have decided to compose this comprehensive guide in order to provide a reliable reference and trustful resource for everyone who aims at upgrading their PS4 PRO stock hard drive with the blazing-fast solid-state drive (SSD). We’ve also enriched this guide with our top SSD recommendations so as to help our readers and save their time by making it handy to pick the best SSD brand for PS4 PRO console.

Our Top SSD recommendations for PS4 PRO

In this section we have followed special criteria for determining the best SSDs for PS4 PRO, based on several aspects including high performance, reliability, reasonability (adequacy) of price and more.

Note that we refrained from recommending top-notch and most expensive SSDs (such as Samsung 850 PRO ) due to a few reasons we disclose within this guide. One of these reasons is that this class of SSDs will not behave better than entry-level SSDs in mediocre systems, such as game consoles (even if the console is a PRO version, it’s still a mediocre system), because these SSDs are mainly designed for extremely-heavy workloads and deeply-complex multitasks which can exclusively occur in high-end power computers with multiple processors.

It’s also worth to state that we don’t recommend less than 1TB of data storage capacity for PS4 HDD upgrade, and if you find this option quite expensive, think about a regular high-end hard disk drive (click here to view our PS4 PRO HDD guide)

Best 1TB SSD for PS4 PRO

From the price perspective, this is the best option so far for PS4 PRO storage upgrade. Otherwise, you can go for a higher capacity (up to 4TB) if you are rich enough to pay a premium!

SanDisk Ultra II 960GB SSD SanDisk Ultra II 960GB SSD
Get accelerated performance from the brand trusted by pros. Featuring SanDisk’s nCache 2.0 technology, the SanDisk Ultra II SSD delivers enhanced speed and endurance with sequential read speeds of up to 550MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 500MB/s, for no-wait boot-up, shorter application load times, and quicker data transfer.
Available on Amazon

Crucial MX300 1TB SSD Crucial MX300 1TB SSD
Increase the speed, durability, and efficiency of your system for years to come with the Crucial MX300 SSD. Boot up in seconds and fly through the most demanding applications with an SSD that fuses the latest 3D NAND flash technology with the proven success of previous MX-series SSDs. Your storage drive isn’t just a container, it’s the engine that loads and saves everything you do and use. Get more out of your computer by boosting nearly every aspect of performance.
Available on Amazon

ADATA Premier SP550 960GB SSD ADATA Premier SP550 960GB SSD
ADATA Premier SP550 Solid State Drive (SSD) offers superior read/write performance and budget-friendly affordability. ADATA Premier SP550 offers excellent performance improvement conventional HDD does not have, including all solid-state construction, robust shock-resisting durability, energy-efficient low power consumption and virtually silent operation.
Available on Amazon

Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD
Jaws will barely have time to drop. The REACTOR SSD provides the extreme performance benefits of a solid-state drive, while enabling the big data capacity of mechanical hard drives.
Available on Amazon

Best 2TB SSD for PS4 PRO

We only recommend this option for power users who really cannot dispense with lower capacity than 2TB. Otherwise, this option is very expensive, and a 1TB SSD is supposed to suffice alongside with an external hard drive for backup purposes.

Crucial MX300 2TB SSD Crucial MX300 2TB SSD
Increase the speed, durability, and efficiency of your system for years to come with the Crucial MX300 SSD. Boot up in seconds and fly through the most demanding applications with an SSD that fuses the latest 3D NAND flash technology with the proven success of previous MX-series SSDs. Your storage drive isn’t just a container, it’s the engine that loads and saves everything you do and use. Get more out of your computer by boosting nearly every aspect of performance.
Available on Amazon

Samsung 850 EVO 2TB SSD Samsung 850 EVO 2TB SSD
ADATA Premier SP550 Solid State Drive (SSD) offers superior read/write performance and budget-friendly affordability. ADATA Premier SP550 offers excellent performance improvement conventional HDD does not have, including all solid-state construction, robust shock-resisting durability, energy-efficient low power consumption and virtually silent operation.
Available on Amazon


Our Criteria for Making Our SSD Recommendations

There are so many SSD brands in the market, and all claim high speed and consistent performance, which leaves the consumer confused about which one to pick for their PS4 PRO console.

You have to be aware that consumer-level SSDs are classified into two categories: Enthusiast/Professional and Mainstream/Standard.

The Enthusiast-grade SSDs are designed for highly-intensive workloads and extremely-complex multitasks that feature an environment that can never occur except in power high-end computers equipped with multiple processors. Systems used for professional heavy video editing, complex 3D animation graphics design, network-shared gaming server, and small company data server, are the systems that really need that type of SSD.

Otherwise, game consoles, individual gamers/video editors, they are strongly recommended to go for mainstream SSDs instead.

This leads us to another fact that a mainstream SSD is way cheaper than enthusiast SSD. Check for example the price of Samsung 850 PRO 1TB SSD and Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD, you’ll see more than $100 price difference!

Based on this perspective, we have made our own criteria with varied factors for picking the best SSDs for PS4 PRO:

  1. The compatibility with the standards of PS4 PRO storage upgrade. We make sure the SSD is a SATA-based drive (only SATA III are picked) and not thicker than 9.5mm (as the PS4 PRO drive bay doesn’t accept bigger ones).
  2. The SSD manufacturer must be highly reputable in the industry. We only listed the trusted SSD brands in the market to reassure the quality of the drive.
  3. Reasonable price below $300. PS4 PRO console costs currently almost $400, and it doesn’t seem reasonable to many that an SSD is at a closer price tag than the console itself. Therefore we tried our best to select the cheapest SSDs without compromising the quality.
  4. The item’s model is not more than 3 years old. This to ensure that the SSD is meeting the latest performance specifications.
  5. Not less than 1TB of storage capacity. It doesn’t make since if the drive is less than that whereas the factory hard drive of PS4 PRO is already 1TB.
  6. Not less than 3-year limited warranty. This is to guarantee the peace of mind of the user, bearing in consideration that the standard life of a game console is 3-4 years only.

Choosing the best PS4 PRO SSD

After implementing the above criteria, we ended up with the following drives as our top SSD recommendations for PS4 PRO.

↓↓ Brand Name ↓↓ Model # Capacity Warranty
SanDisk Ultra II SDSSDHII-960G-G25 960 GB 3 Years
Crucial MX300 CT1050MX300SSD1 1 TB 3 Years
ADATA Premier SP550 ASP550SS3-960GM-C 960 GB 3 Years
Mushkin Reactor MKNSSDRE1TB 1 TB 3 Years
Crucial MX300 CT2050MX300SSD1 2 TB 3 Years
Samsung 850 EVO MZ-75E2T0B/AM 2 TB 5 Years

These drives are considered the best value SSDs as well. We tried our best to gather them all into one list.

What Will an SSD Do to PS4 PRO

Solid state drive (SSD) is a much faster and more viable storage solution than traditional hard drive the PS4 PRO is equipped with. In case you don’t know what a solid-state drive (SSD) is, here’s a short quote from wikipedia that outlines it briefly:

A solid-state drive (SSD, also known as a solid-state disk) is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. SSD technology primarily uses electronic interfaces compatible with traditional block input/output (I/O) hard disk drives (HDDs), which permit simple replacements in common applications. Additionally, new mass storage device interfaces, like SATA Express and M.2 have been designed to address the solid state characteristics of the SSD technology.

SSDs have no moving mechanical components. This distinguishes them from traditional electromechanical magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disks, which contain spinning disks and movable read/write heads. Compared with electromechanical disks, SSDs are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, have lower access time, and lower latency. However, while the price of SSDs has continued to decline over time, consumer-grade SSDs are (as of 2016) still roughly four times more expensive per unit of storage than consumer-grade HDDs.

Bearing this in mind, PS4 PRO overall performance must be significantly improved when booting up the operating system and launching/loading the games. We’ll not go deep into literature on this point, so let the numbers speak instead.

After running a bunch of heavy games on PS4 PRO with the stock hard drive in the first round then with an SSD in the second round, the results appeared as seen below:

↓↓ Game Title ↓↓ PS4 PRO Stock HDD PS4 PRO Replacement SSD
Battlefield 1: Through Mud and Blood 95.3 sec. 41.2 sec.
Battlefield 1: The Runner 60.0 sec. 27.8 sec.
Fallout 4: Exiting Vault 101 24.2 sec. 15.9 sec.
Fallout 4: Concord Town (Initial Load) 48.9 sec. 26.6 sec.
Just Cause 3: New Game 76.6 sec. 42.4 sec.
Just Cause 3: Mission Respawn 33.4 sec. 17.8 sec.

PS4 PRO hard drive replacement with an SSDIt’s worth to state that some games won’t get significant speed boost on a PS4 PRO with an SSD, and an SSD will only make them a little faster. That’s due to the fact that these games were already designed with their special algorithm to run at the highest possible speed, by coding small, lightweight and easy-processed files, and transferring these files to the processor (CPU) in order to display them eventually on the screen. These files don’t pose any real burden on the mechanical hard drive due to their light weight.

The whole responsibility for PS4 PRO speed is not entirely exclusive to the data storage device, as the processor (CPU) bears a big part of it. Some games don’t have any remarkable issue with their program files, but their real crisis is with processing these files!

Additionally, the PS4 PRO’s processor (CPU) hasn’t been thoroughly improved in all aspects, as some of them remain on the same strength level as the standard PS4’s processor. This explains why some games hardly make any advantages from shifting from the standard PS4 to PS4 PRO.

Let’s see some of these games that don’t significantly benefit from an SSD in their launch process:

↓↓ Game Title ↓↓ PS4 PRO Stock HDD PS4 PRO Replacement SSD
Project Cars: Azure Coast (31 Cars) 43.9 sec. 41.0 sec.
Project Cars: Quit To Menu 21.6 sec. 20.5 sec.
Skyrim: New Game 19.0 sec. 13.7 sec.
Skyrim: Helgen Save Game 24.5 sec. 16.9 sec.

Is It Worth to Upgrade PS4 PRO to an SSD?

Our quick answer is YES, and here’s why.

PS4 PRO is still a new release, and the games used in the tests were primarily designed for the standard PS4 considering its capabilities and limitations.

Now that PS4 PRO has new advanced features, it’s expected that the game developers will improve their algorithms in order to go with these advanced features of PS4 PRO and make them as compatible as possible.

What about SATA III Implementation?

PS4 PRO will benefit remarkably from an SSDA few websites have claimed that the implementation of SATA III bus interface in PS4 PRO is of no avail, and won’t make any real improvement to the performance of the game console. Therefore they deemed this step “useless”.

As for us, we don’t think the same way!

We think that Sony isn’t a stupid boy with no experience who doesn’t know what he is doing! Rather we think Sony has a long foresight and has taken a new step to the future. Yes, the current games don’t remarkably benefit from the power of SATA III, but soon there will be released new games that take this feature into consideration and make the best use of it.

Moreover, and aside from the system performance, SATA III technology helps significantly with data transfer process. Now the backup process is supposed to be magnitudes faster than that with PS4, especially if an external SSD is used for this purpose, and this will explicitly impress enthusiasts who frequently keep taking a backup for their data.

Conclusion

An SSD is a great storage upgrade for PS4 PRO, it offers a promising future for the gaming experience on that high-end game console.

We strongly recommend it if you feel speed matters a lot to you, and you’re ready to pay around $250 for this purpose.