Why you shouldn’t upgrade the PS4 Hard Drive to SSD

The Playstation 4 comes pre-installed with a 500GB hard drive. Many folks out there were wondering how performance would (or wouldn’t) improve if the hard drive were replaced with a Solid State Drive (SSD), which would typically offer much better performance. The folks at Tested decided to put the mystery to res and installed each in an attempt to determine if it’s worth upgrading your PS4 to SSD.

The first tested boot times:

  • SSD boots in 19.5 seconds
  • Hybrid boots in 20.3 seconds
  • Default boots in 25.7 seconds

So with an SSD, you’ll save 6 seconds every time you boot your PS4 up. Worth the upgrade? Don’t decide just yet.

Time it takes to launch disc based game (Knack):

  • SSD: 34 seconds
  • Hybrid: 33.7 seconds
  • Default: 39.7 seconds

So you save another 5 seconds when you load a game (in this case, Knack) from a disc.

Time it takes to launch download based game from hard drive (Killzone):

  • SSD: 39 seconds
  • Hybrid: 42 seconds
  • Default: 60 seconds

So you save another 21 seconds when launching a download game from the hard drive, without needing to authorize via disc.

So is it worth buying and installing an SSD into your Playstation 4?

I would argue no, it isn’t.

For one, an SSD of equal size (500GB) you’re looking at an additional $300 or so. You could settle for a smaller, 250GB SSD or so, but you’re still looking at an additional $150 investment. In my opinion, if you’re getting anything more than light usage out of your PS4, you’re going to want at least the 500GB drive that comes default.

Now if you need MORE than the 500GB default storage, your decision changes a bit. You’ve already committed to making an additional purchase, so the question becomes where do you get the biggest bang for your buck? APS4 SSDccording to these tests, you’re best off spending an extra 10% on a Hybrid Drive where you’ll get performance improvements without the huge costs.

Conclusion:

Save your money. Stick with the PS4’s default 500 GB Hard Drive. If you’re running out of space and want to upgrade to a larger drive, go with a 1TB Hybrid Drive.

Continue reading:




  • YogiGRB

    Sounds like best thing to do is start off with a 1TB, I had the original 60GB play3 (play2 compatibility) and ran out of space real quickly. Back then install for most games was around 5GB to 7GB and owning lots of games meant deleting some other game within the first 6-7 mnds of ownership.
    I know what i’m gonna do this time around :D ……. upgrade a.s.a.p.

    P.S. the Play4 is not available in Holland yet, 10 more day’s

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  • Chad Guerrero

    The small hard drives may encourage consumers to buy E versions of their games which will increase cloud storage and dependence. When the cloud gets popular next will be the slow implementation of DRM. (Just Wait and see)

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  • PS4,WIIU,XBOXONE

    As well as the fact that SSD’s are not AS reliable as HDD to pay 300 dollars isnt worth it. I’ll just be getting a 1TB HDD

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    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wesley-Fick/184346154999538 Wesley Fick

      This is a fallacy. SSDs passed the reliability and MTBF rates for hard drives a long time ago. Today’s SSDs are more durable than many hard drive families, barring anything from the server markets. If there isn’t a hardware fault or a power issue from the system it’s installed in, you can expect a modern SSD to last ten years or more.

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      • edward hicks

        Indeed, the way SSDs do garbage collection tricks, handle block erasures, and come with ample overprovisioned space, they have actually leapfrogged magnetic disc hard drive technology in terms of reliability. Less moving parts(none?) is always good. Think of NAND storage as a weird cousin of RAM.

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  • Gameonfool

    Don’t upgrade to ps4 at all upgrade to Xbox one. You can thank me later

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • SwayzeGhost

      Lol, easily spotted troll. On yesterday’s article, you were all about Wii U. At least be consistent!

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      • Gameonfool

        xbox is the best choice between ps4 and the one. nintendo are diferent so not in direct competition, a worthy second console

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        • SwayzeGhost

          Sure.

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          • DeewekomsNY

            He does make a true, valid point.

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        • Suraj Alexander

          i am just stuck between xbox one and ps4. all my friends are getting ps4 and i have missed out on online gaming with them because i had a wii last gen but the xbox one looks better to me. i just wish i had the money to buy both of them

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    • AnonymUce

      with 720p games? yeah that would be a downgrade FOOL!

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    • Mikey Styles

      This fool here thinks like this obviously:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Gameonfool

        How did you get my picture, have you been stalking me

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        • Pucker

          I found it on your Facebook page and gave it to him.

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    • Andreas Sunde

      What makes the One better than the 4?

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      • edward hicks

        You can lay a VHS tape on top of it and pretend it’s 1992.

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  • Mikey Styles

    Got my Hybrid SSHD coming in a day or 2. Worth the Hundo imo & now I have a TB of space.

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    • alibaba

      noob

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  • jfelts

    I installed a 1TB Hybrid before I even turned the console on. It is extremely fast and was a much cheaper option than SSD.

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  • Florence Smith

    I upgrade my Hard Drive to SSD and I can see a big improvement in loading time. Good thing Amazon is now on sale for SSD – amzn.to/1aUNmtO

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  • Scott Cooney

    Great review but I would have been more interested in the performance increase once you are in game.
    The most painful part of the default mechanical HDD is not the boot up which you only have to do once per session but the many loading points during a game. You have used Killzone in your tests but there are games out there which require lots of disk access creating slowdown between menus etc.

    Fifa 14 for example is painfully slow going between the various menus and loading matches. The benefit of SSD in those examples should be much more pronounced.

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  • Logan Stuck

    Depends on the game. The comparative reviews I’ve seen when running Final Fantasy XIV shows the SSD blowing the default out of the water in about every way

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    • BLaCKnBLu3B3RRY

      this. lol i will be buying an SSD for my PlayStation 4 JUST for FFXIV:ARR

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      • Hadouken

        FFXIV is impossible to play effectively on a PS3 without an SSD. I know this first hand as I was apart of that struggle. PS4 XIV still has long load times when using stock HDD.

        Translation: Upgrading to SSD/Hybrid is an amazing upgrade and is recommended to anyone willing to spend the money.

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  • BLaCKnBLu3B3RRY

    seriously. nice review and everything. but you are fool to say it is not worth upgrading to either a hybrid or an SSD.

    or maybe you forgot about multi-player gaming?
    maybe you forgot this new generation of gaming consoles may encourage more MMORPG releases?

    we already have at least 3 or 4 MMORPG’s on the PS3.
    Free Realms (lol screw this game)
    DC Universe Online
    Final Fantasy XIV : A Realm Reborn
    the upcoming Ace Combat Infinity (don’t think it’s really an RPG though)
    there are others too.

    in almost any multi-player game you play. an SSD or Hybrid will net you a huge increase to disk related performance over an HDD. even if it’s only a relatively modern game.

    this big upgrade is not the throughput. but rather access times. HDD’s are too slow and fall behind when trying to seek out multiple sources of data from multiple locations on the HDD’s plate. but even still in a game like FFXIV:ARR the throughput is a worthy cause to upgrade for.

    you will get times where audio or animations won’t play out correctly. and maybe slow texture stream ins.

    since an SSD works similar to RAM. it doesn’t have to rely on moving parts to seek out data. thus is far superior. and will never fall behind under stressful environments.

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    • fee

      You know nothing…it’s quite hilarious how your general knowledge makes you confident enough in stringing a bunch of words together as if to back up an argument without ever actually saying anything or making a single valid point. The fool here is not the author.

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      • BLaCKnBLu3B3RRY

        i own a PS4. and have played extensively War Frame and Black Light Retribution. and those are only light weight multi-player games. but even still there is a noticeable difference between the stock HDD and using an SSD.

        the biggest difference you can notice is when just simply running around the levels from one end to the other. the HDD simply isn’t fast enough to provide a smooth experience. especially when in combat and you have several sounds and animations being played.

        again the HDD just falls behind on the seek times. if you can afford it… it IS worth upgrading to an SSD.

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        • George Head

          i have played FFXIV on pc using both ssd and a traditional HD. The difference in load times is negligible. Now how this translates to the PS4, we don’t know yet. Now one may argue that yes it may load faster but is that 1-2 seconds saved worth the additional $300, that’s for the consumer to decide. For me its not. Unlike my desktop, I cant have several terabytes of storage and utilize the ssd only for currently played games; everything is stored on that one ssd. I would rather had a 1tb or larger HD. One thing we need to also consider is using a Hybrid hd/ssd. That would give one the best of both worlds.

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          • BLaCKnBLu3B3RRY

            i totally understand what you are saying. i have a PS3 and PS4 side-by-side. and the day FFXIV:ARR Beta came out on the PS4 i downloaded it.

            what i found is this… that loading between zone, I.E using Teleport, on the PS4+HDD is about 5x faster then PS3+HDD. and roughly the same as PS3+SSD. heck maybe even a LITTLE faster.

            BUT… that is only ONE area of improvement when upgrading to an SSD. load times when starting the game. or going to another map aren’t the only benefit from an SSD. (which is something that is wrong with the review. it doesn’t actually review any IN-GAME performance related aspects of upgrading to an SSD.)

            in a MMORPG you will find it quite common to be around any multitude of players at any time. these players can be all quite active too. like battling, using actions, making noises and etc.

            it is going to now be in highly populated areas that the difference between an SSD and HDD will shine.

            basically it’s about seek times. again the HDD relies on moving parts to move and seek out data on the plate. if the game requires the HDD to seek out data from multiple locations on the plate… well this usually isn’t too bad.

            however if there are TOO many locations to seek data out from. then the HDD will fall behind. and play sounds/animations at a delay, or not even at all. this sort of behavior will be more noticeable if you are constantly rotating your camera. and that is true for either the PS3 or PS4 using an HDD.

            though other things like texture/object pop-ins shouldn’t even be happening on the PS4. stream-ins should hardly be noticeable, if at all. and that’s even if you are still using an HDD. and even loading is rather quick. but even still i was testing with Contrast HDD vs SSD. and Contrast still managed to load about 2x as quick with the SSD as opposed to the HDD.

            honestly to upgrade to an SSD for only single player gaming would indeed be folly. (meh if you have money to blow it’s okay i suppose) but if you are going to be playing any one of the MMORPG’s to come out to the PS4 platform… an SSD is 100% worth getting.

            and they really aren’t that expensive anymore. in-fact they have been non-stop going on sale for the past few weeks. and will continue to drop in prices as newer technologies are released. i bought a 240GB SSD for like 80$. it’s small, but it will work for FFXIV:ARR :)

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          • BLaCKnBLu3B3RRY

            i put my HDD back in the PS4 before playing FFXIV:ARR through the early release. load times were about typical speeds with PS3+HDD. i put the SSD back in the PS4. and zoom zoom. went from 15~30 second load times down to like 5~10 seconds.

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        • Alex Gonzalez Jr

          What’s your PSN name I’d like to ask you some more question and possibly play together I’m also getting my evo840 this week

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          • Alex Gonzalez Jr

            Anyway hit me up Half-Piint201

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      • Ali Anderson

        Could you please explain why hes wrong. I’m going to get ff14 and I’ll upgrade if its better. It’s ironic that your post exemplifies that which you chastise him for.

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      • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wesley-Fick/184346154999538 Wesley Fick

        Loading textures and game assets from the hard drive to memory is significantly slower than from a SSD to memory. On GTA V on the PS3 using a SSD in the console significantly reduced the chances of object pop-ins and graphical glitches.

        Most PS4 owners should be seeing the same load time jumps from running a game from the hard drive or using a disc for authentication, but somewhere in the process Sony’s encryption is increasing the loading time. If you plan on using a SSD, going digital-only is the only way to see how much it’s benefiting you in speed terms, let alone sheer reliability.

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  • Kevin Tech

    Cost and speed aside, a quality SSD will also reduce the temperature of your console significantly. Heat alone causes performance issues… We are not even close to pushing the consoles to their potential and ultimately to their limits where heats concerned.

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    • TommyDilfinger

      So, you’re telling me to buy a $400 hard drive to help over heating which would cause me to get a new $400 console if over heated? Um… I don’t see the point.

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      • kevin tech

        Save the money and buy a pair of reading glasses…

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  • BLaCKnBLu3B3RRY

    i would like to add a follow up on this.

    for
    starters i first played FFXIV:ARR on the PS3. and then on the PS4 during
    beta test phase 1. during phase 1 the characters were not created on
    existing worlds. and all character data was deleted at the end.

    during
    phase 1, the load times when changing maps were very quick. and this
    was PS4+HDD. they were just as quick as PS3+SSD. HOWEVER, during phase
    2, and now early access, where all characters will be on the actual
    worlds. the PS4+HDD is loading maps very much noticeably slower then
    PS3+SSD.

    i’ve put the SSD in to the PS4. and now have my super speedy load times back. :)

    also…
    i would like to note about an area of improvement in FFXIV:ARR when
    using an SSD over an HDD. even with the HDD on the PS4, i was able to
    skip cut-scenes very fast. before they start to play. very much like on
    the PS3+SSD, on PS3+HDD you must get very very lucky to do this.

    so if fast loading between maps isn’t an issue for you. then you may not need an SSD.

    but still… 100% worth it, just IMO.

    P.S.
    an SSD will also help if you plan on doing other things while FFXIV:ARR
    is open. with PS4+HDD and while playing the game and using the browser.
    i noticed certain sites would not perform well. i thought this was due
    to improper resource management. but it was because the HDD read/write
    functions are limited due to relying on moving parts. (it’s a common
    issue. I.E. when using an HDD you wouldn’t normally extract contents
    from 5 separate 1GB ISO files simultaneously. it will take excessively
    longer then it would to do them individually. and may even cause data
    corruption along the way) don’t have an issue with an SSD.

    cheers.
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    TLDR : if faster load times are a thing for you… then it is 100% worth the upgrade.

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  • BLaCKnBLu3B3RRY

    also it appears that the HDD that comes with the PS4 has some sort of extra functionality to it. it has extra prongs on the back. which allows the PS4 to properly operate the device in Standby mode.

    i don’t know what the feature is called. or what you should look for when buying a new drive for your PS4. but i do know a typical drive will not work in Standby mode on the PS4.

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  • Andre A Silvestri Sr.

    Check it out if sony cant give us a huge harddrive too start i just wont buy very many games there bad lost game sells problem solved

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  • leafsfan73

    Doesn’t anyone here get upset at the fact that you have to pay even more money and have to upgrade the PS4 yourself, to get proper performance? One (not only) draw of a console, is that it’s cheaper to get into next gen gaming than a gaming PC. With this it’s inching a bit closer to the same price. If this SDHD makes that much of a difference, Sony should have put one in the machine, and if it raises the base price too much, add a second SKU. “Introducing the PS4 Hardcore with a 500gb SSHD.” If sony replaced the HD with an SSHD at the factory, the decreased cost of buying wholesale in bulk, and not having to provide the original HD, i’m sure it could come to market for only 100 bucks more, saving their hardcore fans a 300 upgrade cost.

    On a side note, come on with the external drive option will you? For those of us who just want more storage. The other “two” can do it, so can you Sony.

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