The Sony PlayStation-4 (aka PS4) is one of the best game console out there, and to many experts, it’s absolutely the best game console of the whole century, for many advantages it acquired over other game consoles.
To the majority of gamers PS4 is great in all aspects, except that’s related to storage. Yes! PS4 has a limited storage capacity specified by either 500gb (in the initial version) or 1tb (in the newest version). But still, this HDD size is not enough to handle everything a regular user needs to store on that hard drive, let alone enthusiasts.
In our PS4 Hard Drive Upgrade Guide we have stated that the stock PS4 hard drive (hdd) size is not that impressive for the huge and continuous influx of data a PS4 user needs to deal with, which will eventually let them down whenever they need more space for their files.
The Maximum Possible PS4 Hard Drive Size for Upgrade
Like with the Xbox One, our foremost and perhaps only major gripe about the PlayStation 4 is that the 500GB hard drive of the entry model is hopelessly light on storage capacity, especially considering the mammoth file sizes of some of the best games out there. However, every PlayStation 4 owner who has downloaded or installed a few games already has no doubt realized that the 500GB hard drive seems rather limited. If you’re hoping to lock down your hard drive in an attempt to thwart freebooters (hey there, Xbox 360), you’d never make your internal drive swappable. Inside the supplied enclosure of both the 2014 and 2015 Seagate offerings, we find a Samsung Momentus Spinpoint ST2000LM003, rated at 5400rpm and featuring 32MB of cache. Running out of disk space on your PS4 with those monthly PlayStation Plus releases?
The limitation of stock PS4 HDD
Even bought disc games require installation onto the drive before being played, so you’ll find the storage that comes with the PS4 to be woefully inadequate if you’re a heavy consumer of titles. 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. So what’s the recommended size for PS4 hard drive upgrade? Well, we recommend for the majority of users to upgrade their PS4 internal hard drive to 2TB and have their old drive as an external storage using an external hard drive enclosure [Read more about this here]. Okay, so a transfer speed issue then? Bizarrely, it is often the case that bare laptop drives cost considerably more than their enclosed brethren. That tiny, slow drive that comes standard with the PS4 leads to nothing but heartbreak, but you do have options at your disposal.
- And we suspect it will only get worse as developers add more and more to their games in order to satisfy the new generation gamers and their raised expectations.
- When PlayStation 4 titles can take up as much as 50GB of space and have 15GB patches (Witcher 3), you start to realize that upgrading your PS4 hard drive sooner than later may seem like a good idea.
- And since Sony doesn’t sell PlayStation-branded hard drives priced upwards of twice what you’d pay for the same hard drive off whatever store shelf (hey again, Xbox 360), it’s also not a proprietary profit-making thing.
- It retails for around £85 when purchased as a standard 2.5-inch internal notebook drive, but the remarkable reality is that it costs £25 less in its Seagate Expansion portable guise – for exactly the same drive!
- Maybe those long load times are slowly eating away at your sanity.
And considering the prices of some in the recent sales, it needn’t even cost the Earth to accrue a healthy collection. Not to mention the smaller digital titles, patches, apps, music, videos, pictures, and DLC content that will also take up some storage space. When you look for the PS4 HDD specs of a compatible hard drive you don’t have to worry that much for anything but the thickness. You must make sure it is not thicker than 9.5mm. Probably not. It’s also worth pointing out that it’s possible to reuse the Seagate enclosure to house the stock PS4 drive after it has been removed from the console, thus repurposing it as a 500GB portable storage unit – it simply clips back together with the old drive inserted. It’s easy to swap out the default hard drive for something much better, but what about all the cool stuff already on your drive?
Yes, Sony introduced its own 1TB version last year, but what if you can’t afford it or have an older model? Fortunately you do have the ability to swap out the internal hard drive for another. I don’t know enough about the PS4’s developmental architecture to make a blanket assumption, but while an external hard drive standard like eSATA (which the PS4 doesn’t support) is faster than USB 2.0, USB 3.0 (which the PS4 does support) brings things at least up to par with eSATA, give or take nominal differences when performing different transfer functions. The PS4 hard drive specifications are significant to detect before thinking of any future upgrade of the stock drive. After formatting, it works perfectly well on PC, Mac and Xbox One. Today, we’ll walk through the process of backing up your files and how you can upgrade your console with little more than a screwdriver, a new internal drive, and an external backup.
Which sizes is bigger then?
If either of those are true, you are best advised to take matters into your own hands and upgrade the drive yourself. The PS4 Hard Drive (HDD) size used for upgrade varies from 1TB and 2TB, that’s if you need an upgrade without any additional accessory. Otherwise you can upgrade up to 4TB with the new software update from Sony in version 3.5. Making one of the following on our list of best hard drives for PS4 a wise upgrade if you think 500GB won’t cut it down the road– and trust us, it won’t! In theory, there’s no reason the PS4 shouldn’t be able to play games running off a speedy external hard drive tethered with a USB 3.0 cable. The ST2000LM003 is also very useful in that it’s a 9.5mm 2.5-inch drive. And if you’re worried about losing your copy of P.T., this process will keep your game installations safe even if you suffer a drive failure.
It’s not too expensive to do so, especially if you’re just looking to double the capacity, and that’s exactly what we decided to do in order to give you a handy guide if you fancy following suit. So it’s best to invest in one of these PS4 compatible hard drives now, especially a 2TB hard drive for adequate storage. Indeed, computer-based gamers do as much today via external hard drives, playing Steam-based games without incident. While we’ve found that the thicker 12mm drives will physically fit into the PS4, it’s a tight fit that could transmit noise, vibration and heat through the chassis – so it’s best to stick to the recommended 9.5mm and 7mm standards. To get the ball rolling, you’ll need to plug in your external drive over USB.
2TB hard drive size is most preferred for PS4
We have always been against replacing the internal hard drive of PS4 with an SSD due to a few valid reasons, including the high cost of SSD compared with other storage options. You can read more elaboration on that issue in our PS4 SSD Guide. And those who own 1TB models can even use the following steps to upgrade their machines to 2TB or more. This will save yourself the trouble of having to re-download everything again later. Or take Nintendo’s Wii U, which employs USB 2.0: the console supports running games off external hard drives — indeed, the top-end Deluxe model only comes with 32GB of internal storage, so plugging in an external hard drive is mandatory if you’re scarfing from the full-downloads trough. You can try extracting a 2TB drive from another chassis, but you may well end up with a thicker, more undesirable unit. It needs to be formatted using FAT32 or exFAT, and if you want to back up a full drive, the external drive should have at least the same capacity as the internal drive.
Firmware update 3.50 increased the allowed maximum storage size to a whopping 4TB. The reason is pretty simple if you haven’t guessed it by now. It’s perplexing, to me anyway, that Sony wouldn’t support gaming off an external drive [This has changed with software update v 3. Now PS4 supports external hard drive addition]. Alternatively, you may well end up with a unit that’s virtually impossible to access without taking a hacksaw to the enclosure – the Toshiba drive we used in our Xbox One upgrade guide was impervious to all of our flat-headed screwdrivers, knives and scalpels. Launch the Settings app from the PS4’s main menu.
How to determine the size of PS4 hard drive
Not day one. We used a SATA-2 connection in order to get a closer match to the hardware inside the PS4 (there’s no real need for SATA-3 in the console’s use-case scenarios). In this case we were particularly interested to see if the higher density platters of this 2TB drive would help to offset the slower speed rotation compared to the 7200rpm unit. At this point, you may be notified that your trophies can’t be backed up.
The easy part though is choosing a drive. If you need instructions on how to replace your PS4 hard drive, we have a video for you at the bottom of the page. Maybe not even year one. Right off the bat the results are promising and represent an improvement over the stock PS4 hard drive. Of course, trophies sync over PSN, so that’s not a problem.
- Unlike the Xbox One which can be upgraded very simply through the addition of an external USB 3.0 hard drive, the PS4 requires you to take at least part of the console apart.
- In order to swap out your current internal PS4 hard drive, you need an essential component.
- Not that Microsoft‘s doing much better: Speaking at PAX a few days ago, Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) confirmed that while the Xbox One will eventually support external storage, the feature won’t be present at launch because “the team is working on some other things.”And yes, you’ll need a lot more than 500GB if you’re going all-digital.
- Before delving into any PS4-based testing we benchmarked the drive using CrystalDiskMark and HD Tune in our PC to give us some raw performance data.
- Select the System option, go down to Back Up and Restore, and then go into the Back Up PS4 sub-menu.
- Sony makes it very simple for you, but you will still find the process a little long-winded.
- You need a USB flash drive in order to install the latest PS4 update file on to the new hard drive you’re going to put in your PS4.
First of all, this is without a doubt the most popular hard drive replacement for the PS4 currently that we’ve seen. But we’re talking, at least in some instances, 50GB per game; do the math and that’s less than a dozen games before you’re forced to play the “which do I play least” game. When using ST2000LM003 for PS4 it would read data at speeds closer to the Hitachi Z7K1000 and also features slightly quicker access times when seeking between different files. If you’re sure that everything is already synced, just select “OK.” If you want to make sure that all of your trophies are properly synced, you should back out, launch the Trophies app, and make sure that everything is copacetic before continuing. This beast of a hard drive is one of the few (if not the only) 2TB drives that will work on your PlayStation 4 and offers the most amount of storage possible.
The use of an external hard drive to expands PS4 storage capacity
On the other hand, you can expand the storage capacity of PS4 without the need of replacing the internal hard drive anymore. With Software update v. 3 that was released last year, PS4 now supports adding an external storage for backup purposes only. You can read more about this on our PS4 External Hard Drive Guide. I hope, as I’m sure most do, that Sony eventually comes around and supports playing games off external hard drives (Microsoft, too, if it’s planning the same, though Engadget claimed back in May that the company’s senior director of product planning had said the Xbox One would ultimately support installing games to an external device). That, or Sony ought to explain, candidly and in some detail, why this feature’s a no-go. Meanwhile, write speeds are slower than the Hitachi but the ST2000LM003 still beats out the stock PS4 drive across virtually all of the tests, meaning that we should see this hopefully translate into shorter load times and better texture streaming when gaming. And NO, we don’t support the idea of using a portable external SSD for PS4. An external hard drive is always preferred for this purpose. Once you get to this menu, you’ll likely have to wait a few minutes while the total data usage is tallied. Almost all of the review comments have praised the improved loading speeds and shorter time it takes to boot up the PS4 system. Indeed, the boost in speed we see in the benchmarks translates into tangible decreases in loading times across a few games, although the results are quite variable, suggesting that some titles benefit more from running off faster hard drives than others.
Once it’s done scrutinizing your drives, you’ll see how much space is being taken up by captures, saved data, settings, and installed applications. And all you have to do is look at the incredibly impressive 1000+ customer reviews (as of this writing) that give this internal hard drive for PS4 an almost perfect 5 star rating on Amazon. In this case, boot and loading times are indeed shorter when using the Seagate Expansion drive over the PS4’s stock HDD in Thief and Trials Fusion, with similar performance to that of the Hitachi Z7K1000 and the Hybrid SSHD. On the right-hand side, you’ll see how much space you’ll have left on the external drive after the back up is finished. The Seagate Momentus is one of the more expensive HDs on our list.
See that checkbox next to the applications section? But this 2TB drive is really worth it if you plan to not only download/install tons of games but you also use your system to keep a vast library of TV shows, movies, and music that can also take up plenty of space. Unchecking it will skip the back up process for your game installations. The last generation of consoles lasted an extremely long time. Since almost all apps and games can be downloaded again from PSN at any point, you can skip this part of the back up if you’d like.
So if the PS4’s lifespan will follow the same 10-year promise like the PS2 and PS3, you’re going to need a lot of storage. However, it’s possible that some titles will eventually become inaccessible (like P.T.), so you’re better off safe than sorry. If you’re going to upgrade your PlayStation 4 hard drive then you might as well double it. After you’ve chosen what you want to back up, hit the “Next” button. The HGST Travelstar does just that for a very affordable price on Amazon.
Different sizes of PS4 HDD
Once finished, the screen will go blank, and your PS4 will reboot. There’s probably the chance you’ll be keeping entire TV series or collections of movies on your PS4 as well. After a small wait, you’ll be told that you’re in the process of backing up your data, and that you shouldn’t turn off your PS4. So it would be wise to upgrade as soon as possible.
This part of the process will most certainly take up the most amount of time. Depending on the size of your back up, and the speed of your external drive, it could even take hours to finish. Once it’s done backing up your data, the screen will say “Backup complete. The PS4 will restart.” Make sure your controller is on by pressing the “PS” button on your DualShock 4, and then select “OK” on the screen. Once the reboot is finished, you’re all set.
- From here, you’ll be able to give the back up a descriptive name.
- It currently holds an impressive Amazon rating out of nearly 1000 customer reviews (as of this writing). The included 3-year limited warranty is also welcoming, while the easy installation and noticeably faster load times when compared to the stock hard drive in the PS4 only serve to make this a no-brainer purchase.
- When you’re ready to proceed, press the “Back Up” button.
- This is by far one the best hard drive choices for your PlayStation 4.
- You’ll be greeted with a screen that says “Preparing to back up,” and you’ll see a progress bar.
- Even if you only plan on installing and downloading several games a year.
You can use your PS4 as normal, or follow the rest of this guide to upgrade your drive, and restore your data.