PS4 2tb Hard Drive Upgrade Guide – The Best Options

PS4 2tb hard drive upgrade
During almost 4 years after the first release of PS4 game console in the 15th of Nov. 2013, lots of developments occurred in the video game industry to the extent that each high-end, AAA-grade game now requires minimum 50gb of storage space to install, which indicates that the original 500gb stock hard drive of PS4 is too small in capacity and cannot meet the modern storage requirements of a game console. Sony realized this fact early, and therefore, in July 2015 released an updated version of PS4 under the name: 1TB Ultimate Player Edition PS4 that included, as the name hints, 1tb of storage capacity.

Since then, plenty of things happened, and games kept increasing in size, and now Sony added more features to the PS4 System Software that support storing movies on the internal hard drive of PS4, which intuitively means more storage requirements of ordinary users, let alone enthusiasts.

Additionally, the PS4 stock hard drive is an old, obsolete hard drive that was manufactured in 2011 and implementing outdated storage technologies, and when you upgrade it with a new modern hard drive, you can get more space and better performance for your game console.

Best PS4 2tb HDD Upgrade

Before we elaborate more on this topic, we think it’s better for quick readers to foremost present the best 2tb hard drives for PS4 that offer the top performance level over their kinds.

Since we recommend here 2.5-inch form factor hard drives only, this limit of capacity is only offered by Seagate which is still developing 2.5″ mechanical hard drives whereas other HDD manufacturers abandoned this segment of industry long time ago in favor of SSD.

This capacity limit is the most suitable for the overwhelming majority of PS4 PRO users. If we do a simple calculation and assume that each high-end game require 50gb of storage space, then a 2tb of storage capacity can handle almost 40 games, and that’s pretty much enough until Sony releases PlayStation 5.

Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 2TB
Seagate FireCuda 2.5-inch hybrid drive (SSHD) [ST2000LX001] is our top pick for PS4 storage upgrade. It features a 128mb buffer cache as a 1st tier, and a 8gb solid state memory cache as 2nd tier. Alongside with 2tb storage capacity and 5400rpm spindle speed. All that makes it the fastest non-SSD drive in 2.5-inch form.
Seagate Firecuda ST2000LX001 is our top choice for PS4. Although it’s specifically classified as a solid state hybrid drive (SSHD), it belongs to the general category of hard drives.

The primary concept of an SSHD is to combine the technology of mechanical hard drives and that of an SSD into one place. That way the SSHD guarantees the capacious, low-price storage space of HDD and the blazing speed of SSD at a minimal cost. Therefore, it features a good compromise for space, speed and price.

Every hard drive has a caching memory (cache buffer) which’s an embedded memory in a hard disk drive (HDD) acting as a buffer between the rest of the computer and the physical hard disk platter that is used for storage. It’s used to accelerate the data transfer speed between the CPU and the hard drive. Therefore, the larger this memory, the faster the drive is.

In SSHD, in addition to the cache buffer, there’s a 2nd tier caching memory that utilizes a much larger portion of SSD in order to increase the data transfer speed to much higher levels, that, although cannot match the speed of a mere SSD, will significantly increase the performance of the drive.

This nifty drive is backed by an industry-best 5-year limited warranty. A warranty that beats most competitive drive warranties by up to 2 or 3 years. The cutting edge has never felt so safe.

Basic Features
  • 2.5-inch form factor
  • 128mb cache buffer (1st tier)
  • 8gb SSD memory (2nd tier)
  • Slim design—7mm z-height
  • SATA III interface
  • 5400rpm spindle speed
  • 5-year limited warranty

You can read more on this drive in the Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD review.

 
Alternatively, you can get a complete upgrade kit like “Fantom Drives PS4 Hard Drive Upgrade Kit” that includes, in addition to the above drive, everything you need for a seamless upgrade process.

Alternative Options

If, for any reason, you don’t like to opt for an SSHD, you can go for a traditional hard drive like the one laid out below.

It’s exactly the same drive as above with all features except that it doesn’t have a 2nd-tier SSD caching plus the warranty is only 2 years.

Seagate Barracuda 2tb HDD
ST2000LM015

After this point there’s no other drive we can recommend. We stated already that all of the 2tb capacity hard drives are manufactured by Seagate only, so other options in hands are just obsolete models like Seagate Mobile HDD and Seagate SpinPoint M9T.

PS4 Hard Drive Specs

We think its useful to know the specifications of PS4 stock hard drive that you’re going to replace, in order to realize the advantages you’ll gain once you employ a newer and stronger drive.

Brand & ModelHGST Travelstar Z5K500 (500gb model)
HGST Travelstar 5K1000 (1tb model)
Capacity (Size)500gb (old version)
1tb (updated version)
Spindle Speed5400 RPM (both versions)
InterfaceSATA II (3.0 Gbps) (both versions)
Form Factor2.5-inch (both versions)
Thickness9.5mm (both versions)
Memory Cache8mb (both versions)
Year of Manufacture2011 (both versions)

From the specs table above, it is easy to notice that the drive utilized by PS4 is a low-profile drive that does not meet the minimum standards of a good hard drive of today. The drive’s capacity is small (either 500gb or 1tb) and the memory cache is tiny (just 8mb, whereas modern hard drives come with at least 64mb).

You can also notice that the stock hard drive of PS4 is pretty old (designed in 2011), and probably this is the reason why many PS4 users are experiencing functionality errors and failures with the stock hard drive of PS4, because the new games are heavyweight and highly resource demanding that an old and obsolete hard drive cannot handle them constantly.

Why Upgrade PS4 HDD to 2tb

Why to upgrade PS4 hard drive to 2tb capacityThere are several reasons that justify/promote upgrading the stock hard drive of PS4 to a 2tb hard drive, which are:

  • The stock hard drive of PS4 is an old and obsolete hard drive model that’s no longer developed. Replacing it with a new 2tb drive that meets the modern standards of storage technologies will grant you more space for games and movies, and even better performance and reliability, although the performance boost you’ll feel is not that big unless you go for an SSHD.
  • PS4 AAA-grade games are dramatically increasing in file size, and soon you’ll find that the 500gb or even the 1tb offered by PS4 is not enough. A 2tb hard drive can stay with you for a year or two without worrying about running out of space.
  • If you pick a 2tb hybrid hard drive, you’ll gain a good performance boost for your gaming experience. The games and applications will load notably faster than before (Check the Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD review for more details).
  • Modern hard drives in general offer more reliability and durability than old models. That means, the new 2tb hard drive you pick will be more protected from failure/error than the stock hard drive that many users started to experience defects with it. That’s all featured by the long guarantee time of new hard drives offered by the manufacturer (can be up to 5 years, like the case with Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD).
  • Upgrading the internal hard drive of PS4 to 2tb won’t require you to attach any external device (with the hassles it comes with) to your game console to extend the PS4 system storage. Now you can store everything in-house, and everything will be handy and accessible on the fly.

You can also check the best 5 methods to expand PS4 storage capacity for more options and insights.

How to Upgrade PS4 HDD

Upgrading the stock internal hard drive of PS4 to a 2tb hard drive capacity is way too easy, and it can break down into a few steps only:

  1. Unscrew the PS4 stock hard drive using a compatible screwdriver such as T8 T10 Screwdriver Repair, and pull the hard drive out.
  2. Install the new 2tb hard drive inside the drive cage, connect it to the cables, and fix its screws
  3. Install the full PS4 System Software package on the new 2tb hard drive using an external storage device, such as a USB flash drive. To download the full-sized System Software click here.

That’s all. But for more details, please watch the video below:

This video elaborates, with deep details, on how to upgrade the stock internal hard drive of PS4 with a new 2tb hard drive. Remember that we always recommend Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD for this purpose.

Compatibility Standards

Searching for a 2tb hard drive replacement for PS4 requires you first to learn about the compatibility standards that any drive must meet in order to become a relevant drive. These standards are:

  • Maximum 9.5mm thickness. PS4 drive cage doesn’t accept thicker drives.
  • 2.5-inch form factor. 3.5-inch drives are not allowed into the PS4 drive cage.
  • SATA interface only, as the PS4 motherboard is configured with that SATA interface.
  • Must be formatted with FAT file system. PS4 system doesn’t accept other file system like NTFS or HFS.

That’s it. Once you get a drive that meets all these standards, then rest assured it’s fully compatible with PS4.

You have to note that based on the above premise, the maximum hard drive size available for this purpose is 2tb, as there’s no larger drive available that meets these standards, unless it is an SSD.

Any workaround for a larger capacity?

The good news is YES, you can get up to 8tb hard drive capacity using a special add-on called: “Data Bank“, with which you add a desktop 3.5-inch hard drive to your PS4 and enjoy the vast storage space.

Please, check our two articles: Largest Hard Drive for PS4 – The Maximum Limit and PS4 4tb Storage Capacity Guide – The Best Options.

Using 2tb External Hard Drive

External hard drive for PS4Since Sony released PS4 System Software 4.5 in early Feb 2017, users are allowed to expand the PS4 system storage using an external hard drive that works like a storage extension to the main system storage.

It’s indeed the fastest and easiest way to work around the storage limitation of PS4 HDD, and probably many users will be happy to try this option. You can use it to install games and applications on it and run them directly from there. But it has its disadvantages also that we cannot overlook, that are:

  1. You cannot benefit from the power of SSHD as an external hard drive, which means you’ll miss a considerable speed boost for your games. Moreover, you will miss the high reliability and consistent performance that modern hard drives boast.
  2. It’s not possible to install the operating system on an external hard drive, neither store the game saves on it.
  3. If you use the external hard drive as a storage extension, you have to totally submit it to PS4 System that will format and encrypt it in a way that it will entirely possess the external hard drive preventing it from being used on any other system.
  4. You will need additional room to place the external hard drive attached to PS4 body, which doesn’t look nice to some and can be nuisance.

On the other hand, expanding PS4 system storage using an external hard drive can save up to 90 minutes of your time taking a backup of the stock hard drive, install the system software from scratch, then restore your backup file on the new drive.

Therefore, if you’re happy with the performance of the stock hard drive then stick to it, and just get a good 2tb external hard drive that can get you the sufficient space you look for.

Recommended 2tb External HDD for PS4

The 2tb external hard drive is suitable for shared PS4 users with mediocre storage demands. It can store up to 40 AAA-grade games and movies that support 4k resolution (based on 50gb-file-size standard factor).

To acquire this capacity limit, we recommend the following drives:

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB
STDR2000100
WD 2TB Black My Passport
WDBYFT0020BBK-WESN
Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB
HDTC820XK3C1

Eventually, if you have opted for any 2tb external hard drive, just make sure it supports USB 3.0, otherwise PS4 system won’t accept it. Then, it is worth to read this very informative article on how to setup an external hard drive as an extended storage for PS4.

Replaced Hard Drive Destiny

Here’s a question arises: What should I do with the PS4 stock hard drive once I remove it and replace it with a new 2tb drive?

The answer is simple—just go with one of the following options:

  1. Use it as an external hard drive after cramming it inside an external hard drive enclosure. That way you can use it as a backup storage or even as an extended storage.
  2. Give it away for free or sell it for a cheap price.
  3. Dispose of it (we are strongly against this unless it is totally not functioning).

Just pick what suits you most and move on with your new upgrade.

Conclusion

Getting a 2tb storage space for PS4 is inevitable in the modern age of gaming, where games are getting larger in size that can easily fill up the stock hard drive within few months only. But storage capacity shouldn’t be your only concern that you just go for any option the offers 2tb of space. You should, rather, think beyond that and consider improving the performance of your games and applications, for which we recommend upgrading PS4 internal hard drive with a 2tb SSHD that will give you the space you need alongside an impressive performance.

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