PS4 PRO Internal Hard Drive (HDD) Upgrade Options

PlayStation 4 PROPlayStation 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 portable hard drives only, this limit of capacity is only offered by Seagate which is still developing portable 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.

But if you feel you need more space for some exceptional reasons, please check the other capacities below.

Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 2TB
Seagate FireCuda 2.5-inch hybrid drive (SSHD) [ST2000LX001] is our top pick for PS4 PRO 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 PRO. 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

 
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.

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.

Seagate Barracuda 2tb HDD
ST2000LM015
Seagate Backup Plus 2tb
STDR2000100

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.

Seagate Barracuda 2tb HDD
ST2000LM015
Seagate Backup Plus 4tb
STDR4000100

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.

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.

upgrade PS4 PRO internal hard drive

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Compatible Screwdriver for PS4 PRO to open the security screws of the hard drive. We recommend E.Durable T8 T6 T10 Screwdriver Set.
It’s very important to note that in order to reinstall the operating system of PS4 PRO, you need to download the FULL PS4 System Software (comes in almost 877mb file size), not just the update patch (comes almost in 325mb file size).

To download the full-sized System Software click here.

Compatibility Standards

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.

Conclusion

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.

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