PS4 PRO Internal Hard Drive (HDD) Upgrade Options
PlayStation 4 PRO (aka PS4 PRO), as its name indicates, is the professional version of PS4—the most popular game console in history. Sony has done almost everything to make its flagship game console the best on the market in terms of all aspects, especially performance. For this sake, both CPU and GPU were upgraded to high standards, and the data bus transfer was promoted to the third generation of Serial-ATA (i.e. SATA 3.0).
Everything so far sounds great until you get to know that the internal stock hard drive of PS4 PRO is not worth to be a part of a professional system! In fact, it’s a shame for a mighty game console to have that type of storage device as one of its components. Yes! PS4 PRO performs nicely and impressively overall with its stock hard drive, but considering the purpose of being a “PRO”, this drive has been used in the wrong place. You can read more about that in our research on the specifications of PS4 Pro hard drive.
As an enthusiast/power user who looks for the highest possible performance out of a gaming system, the stock hard drive must be changed to a better one that offers the performance that suits the prestige of PS4 PRO.
In this comprehensive guide you’ll learn why you have to upgrade the stock hard drive of PS4 PRO, what options are involved, what the best method are to maximize the performance of PS4 PRO, and more of valuable information that will clarify the whole picture in your mind before making any step in this regard.
But first, let’s present our PS4 PRO HDD upgrade recommendations below before we start this guide, in case someone doesn’t want to go through the long text:
Best Hard Drives for PS4 PRO
Here is our top-recommendations list, based on three capacities, ranging from 2tb to 6tb, all of them are compatible with PS4 PRO system and fit for hard drive upgrade.
Best 2tb HDD Options
Below we lay out the best 2tb hard drive options for PS4 PRO. Since we recommend here 2.5-inch hard drives only, this limit of capacity is only offered by Seagate which is still developing mechanical hard drives in 2.5″ form factor, whereas other HDD manufacturers abandoned this segment of industry long time ago in favor of SSD. (Check out our PS4 Pro SSD Guide)
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.
But if you feel you need more space for some exceptional reasons, please check the other capacities below.
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.
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.
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.
Best 4tb HDD Options
If you feel that 2tb capacity is not enough for your exceptional needs, like you share your PS4 PRO with other family members, each that has their own favorite games, then you may want to upgrade to a 4tb storage solution.
In the base version of PS4, it is too easy to just replace the internal hard drive with a 3.5-inch 4tb hard drive with the help of a hard drive dock known as a “data bank” which you attach to the body of PS4. Unfortunately, this hard drive dock is currently NOT compatible with the newer versions of PS4 (i.e. Slim and PRO), and it seems there will be no more internal storage upgrade solution that supports 3.5-inch drives (read our article: PS4 PRO & PS4 Slim Data Bank—The Missing Accessory). But in any case, once a suitable “data bank” available, we shall update this section with our recommended options.
So far, the best way to acquire a 4tb storage space for your PS4 PRO is to consider the addition of an external hard drive. As since the release of PS4 software update version 4.5, an external hard drive can become a complete extended storage solution for the internal hard drive, on which you can install/launch your games, and store/play your movies—just exactly as you do with the internal hard drive, except that on it you can neither install the operating system nor store the games saves.
Upgrading PS4 PRO Storage to 4tb
In order to obtain a 4tb storage capacity for PS4 PRO, there are a few options on hand that we’ve discussed in our article: Best 5 Methods to Upgrade PS4 Hard Drive.
What we recommend for the overwhelming majority of users is to upgrade the internal hard drive with Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD, and get a 2tb external hard drive like Seagate Backup Plus 2tb.
That way, for around $150, you can get a great 4tb storage solution for PS4 PRO, in terms of price and performance. Otherwise, if you want more options to hit that target, remember to read our article: Best 5 Methods to Upgrade PS4 Hard Drive.
Best 6tb HDD Options
We don’t have much to say about the 6tb storage solution for PS4 PRO, because the same thing stated about 4tb applies here. We have preserved this section for a future update once a suitable “data bank” is released.
To obtain a 6tb storage capacity for PS4 PRO, we recommend replacing the stock hard drive with Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD and add a 4tb external hard drive as an extended storage. We recommend here Seagate Backup Plus 4tb.
If, for any reason, you’re not happy with this method, you can check out alternate methods discussed in our article: Best 5 Methods to Upgrade PS4 Hard Drive.
Reasons for Upgrade
There are several reasons that justify, or better say promote, replacing the stock hard drive of PS4 Pro with a newer hard drive, which are:
- The stock hard drive is old and slow. It was manufactured in 2011 with obsolete storage technologies and comes with only 8mb cache buffer size (Read more about that here). And with a modern hard drive, like Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD, you get the advantages of new technologies, larger cache buffer, and even more reliability alongside 3 year warranty.
- Your games and movies will load faster, especially with an SSD (Read more on PS4 Pro SSD upgrade). I know an SSD is quite expensive, so go to its alternative: an SSHD, that features a compromise between the speed of SSD and capacity of HDD.
- You have the chance to double PS4 system storage. With a 2tb internal hard drive upgrade, you’ll have more rooms for your new games and movies, so you’ll not need to free up your hard drive by deleting old files that you love. The benefits appears mostly in shared consoles
- Modern hard drives, especially SSDs, boast of great reliability and durability. You might not be aware, though, that many users complained of PS4 hard drive failure, and this is expected anyway in old hard drives like the one crammed inside PS4 Pro. So, by getting a new modern hard drive, you lessen this possibility to the lowest level.
In fact, there’s a big trend to upgrade PS4 Pro hard drive, mainly for one of the above reasons or even all. So, if you have the sufficient budget, one of the best PS4 Pro hacks you can do is to replace its HDD with a more powerful one.
Note that we have published an article on the 5 best methods to expand PS4 storage. It’s recommended that you have a look on it before you make your final decision.
Types of Storage Device Upgrade
There are three types of storage devices that fit for PS4 Pro hard drive replacement, each comes with its own pros and cons.
- Classical Hard Disk Drive (HDD). It’s just the same type PS4 Pro is using for storage. The primary advantage of this type of storage device is that you will get a vast storage capacity for a cheap price. As for the disadvantage, you won’t notice any real improvement in system performance compared to the stock hard drive, as the performance boost will be marginal.
- Solid State Drive (SSD). In terms of performance, this is the best hard drive replacement for PS4 Pro in specific. Because PS4 Pro is made to be a professional console, and it’s equipped with SATA III interface to take the most of super fast storage devices like SSDs (Read more about that on our PS4 Pro SSD Upgrade Guide).
As for the main disadvantage, it’s the high price compared to other storage devices that most users cannot afford.
- Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD). It features a good compromise between performance, capacity and price. It’s the most popular PS4 Pro HDD upgrade option, because it offers a good performance boost alongside a capacious storage space (up to 2tb), all of that in a reasonable price that is affordable by a wide variety of users (Usually the difference in price between SSHD and HDD is $10-$15 only). The main disadvantage of this drive is that unless the game is cached in the drive’s caching system, it operates just like a classical hard drive. (Note that the game needs to launch at least 5 times in order for the caching system to learn that it’s worth for caching. Read more about that on our Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD review).
That’s it. The major factor that determines your choice is YOUR BUDGET. Just don’t overstress yourself to buy an SSD if your budget is limited. Just get an SSHD and save the money for getting new accessories for your PS4 Pro game console.
Internal or External Storage
You might not be aware that it’s possible now to add an external storage device to your PS4 Pro that works as an extension to the main system storage, that it can be used for installing and running games on it. This news has impressed lots of users who were intensely waiting for it a long time. And although it features the easiest storage expansion method for PS4 system storage, it has its own drawbacks that are worth your attention (You can read more on that in the PS4 Pro External Hard Drive Guide).
Just briefly speaking, if you are looking ONLY for storage expansion, and the performance optimization is a minor issue to you, then go for this method. Although you won’t lose any performance points, you’ll surely not get any remarkable boost.
How to Upgrade PS4 PRO HDD
PS4 PRO, just like all other version of PS4, allows a very easy upgrade process for the internal hard drive, as long as the new internal hard drive conforms to the HDD upgrade compatibility standards and you have the right equipment.
What You Need Foremost
It’s worth to start with knowing the specifications of the stock hard drive of PS4 PRO, so as to realize what benefits you’ll gain once you upgrade to a better drive.
Now, before going through the upgrade process, you’ll need to prepare the following things:
- Compatible Internal Hard drive, whether it’s a classical HDD, an SSHD or even an SSD, as long as it goes with the PS4 PRO storage upgrade standards.
- External Storage Device, to use for first reinstalling the operating system on the new drive, and secondly for backing up the stock hard drive’s contents (if there’s something you don’t wish to lose during this process). If the stock hard drive is empty or you don’t have files you care for, it’s enough to get a USB Flash Drive, just for the sake of reinstalling the operating system. Otherwise, a large external hard drive is mandatory here.
- Compatible Screwdriver for PS4 PRO to open the security screws of the hard drive. We recommend E.Durable T8 T6 T10 Screwdriver Set.
To download the full-sized System Software click here.
Any internal storage device cannot take the place of PS4 PRO stock hard drive unless it follows the compatibility standards that are:
- Interface: Serial-ATA (rev. 2 and above). Other interfaces are not accepted.
- Form factor: 2.5-inch. Smaller (1.8″) and larger (3.5″) form factors are not accepted into the drive bay, although there’s a workaround already for that.
- Z-Height (mm): Maximum 9.5 (Thicker drives are too big for the drive bay to accept. You’ll need an additional equipment to resolve this issue).
That’s all. Other non-physical specifications are not considered.
Step-by-Step Upgrade Guide
Once everything is ready with you, watch the following videos that takes you step-by-step through the whole process of upgrade:
That’s it and you’re done. Now you can enjoy a larger capacity and a better speed from the new hard drive of PS4 PRO.
But, there’s a question we feel compelled to answer, which is:
Since PS4 PRO system allows the addition of an external hard drive on which we can install and play our games, so what’s the need for the internal hard drive replacement in the first place?
Well, the answer is simply to increase the overall performance of PS4 PRO. That’s because the operating system cannot install externally, and you have to deal with the internal storage device in all cases, so speeding up the functionality of the operating system does noticeably enhance the gaming experience.
In our article PS4 PRO Storage Upgrade—The Most Complete Guide we have compared an internal hard drive upgrade with an external hard drive addition, and we concluded that, for the most performance gain, it’s better to make a combination between the internal and external storage devices you pick for your PS4 PRO, just exactly the same as we’ve recommended for a 4tb and 6tb storage solutions in the previous sections above.
Upgrading the internal stock hard drive of PS4 PRO can benefit two categories of users. The first category includes those who seek performance boost for their game console beside the storage expansion. The second category includes users who want to keep the games and their saves in-house within the same drive, or they want the minimal use of wires and devices with their game console.
Whatever your reasons are for replacing the stock hard drive of PS4 PRO, it’s certainly a good option to go with in terms of performance, capacity and price.