4 Best Internal Hard Drives for PS4 (Huge Discount)
I’ve found, based on my long experience, that so many players didn’t know yet how essential it is to upgrade the PS4 internal hard drive (HDD). They were still skeptic about the feasibility and benefits of this act in terms of performance and usability. But, on the other hand, the PS4 experts don’t hesitate to replace the PS4 hard drive (HDD) with a stronger one in order to enjoy the advantages they’ll gain from it.
So, what makes upgrading/replacing the PS4 internal HDD that important? In other words, why do you need that in the first place? And if you’ve already decided to try it, what’s the best hard drive for PS4 that experts recommend?
All these questions and many more you can find their detailed answers within this article. Just keep reading on.
Best PS4 Internal Hard Drive (HDD) Replacement
Many PS4 users keep asking about the best hard drive (HDD) upgrade for PS4, not knowing how to pick the right one. In fact, the answer to that question is not the same for everyone. As depending on several factors concerning your personal situation, the best hard drive for PS4 is determined.
For instance, if you’re just a lightweight/mediocre player, not an enthusiast, you better get a “good” drive only. Leave the extreme power for power users.
As for enthusiasts who play graphics-intense, resource-demanding games, the most powerful drive suits them better.
You can learn more about all aspects you need in this regard before making up your mind on a specific drive in this list. But first, let’s lay out the PS4 internal hard drive (HDD) replacements I recommend. I picked these drives based on my long experience in this field as an expert. And, for the sake of credibility and to gain your trust, I have justified my selection of each drive within the short review I wrote for the particular item. That way you can understand exactly according to what standards I chose and ordered these PS4 HDD replacements.
So, let’s see what we have in our list below.
Samsung 860 QVO SSD
There’s no doubt that Solid State Drive (SSD) is the best performing storage devices out there. It’s up to 5x faster than the fastest traditional hard drive available. Moreover, an SSD is way too reliable more than mechanical hard drives. Thereby, it can last years without any failure/error. But, the main problem with SSDs is their high price.
Samsung 860 QVO SSD, although being a budget SSD, it’s still costly compared to the other options. The 2tb model costs around $230 as of the time of writing, whereas our second drive in this list costs $80. Both share the same capacity.
My advice is that if you can afford buying an SSD for your PS4 and money is not an issue, go for it. You will enjoy unparalleled speed and very solid reliability that lasts too long. Additionally, you’ll have a real smooth gaming experience with an SSD over the mechanical hard drives. You’ll not have to undergo the errors and casual halts that hard drive users have (Read more on the benefits of SSDs for PS4).
So, all in all, because an SSD is the best in terms of performance, I have placed one on the top of this list. And according to several IT professionals, Samsung 860 QVO SSD is the best budget SSD as of today. It will maximize the performance of PS4 to the highest possible level that will surely enhance your gaming experience on PS4 like never before. For that reason I have selected it as the best PS4 HDD upgrade, regardless the price.
So, if you want the utmost out of your game console, go for an SSD, but be ready to pay a premium.
- Interface: SATA 6 Gbps.
- Form Factor: 2.5-inch.
- Capacity: 4TB, 2TB, 1TB.
- Sequential Read/Write Speed: Up to 550/520 MB/s.
- Random Read/Write Speed: Up to 97K/89K IOPS.
- Warranty: Three (3) Year Limited Warranty.
Seagate Firecuda 2tb Gaming SSHD
Actually, it’s not only the performance boost that impelled me to nominate this drive as the second best storage upgrade for PS4. Rather, there are different factors that worked all together to influence this decision. The other factors that led me to opting for this drive are the adequate price and large storage capacity.
This drive belongs to the SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Drive) category. It’s a combination of 2tb classical hard disk drive (HDD) and 8gb SSD (Solid State Drive). That’s in order to provide users with a vast storage space (up to 2tb) with an SSD-like performance.
In terms of performance alone, an SSD is undoubtedly the best storage device for all systems. But bear in mind that Seagate Firecuda 2tb Gaming SSHD can offer up to 80% of SSD performance on PS4 systems. That’s because, while an SSD requires SATA III interface to run at its utmost performance potential, PS4 is configured with SATA II interface which significantly limit the data transfer rate to/from the storage device.
I am not going to elaborate on reviewing this drive here, as it has been already reviewed extensively here. I’m just trying to justify my decision by positioning this drive right after the Samsung QVO SSD.
- Fastest 2.5-Inch PC compute and gaming Hard Drive on the market, all within a thin 7mm z-height
- The 2TB capacity can store up to 80x 25GB games
- Flash-accelerated technology delivers up to 5x faster load times for nonstop performance, play and productivity compared to standard HDDs
- Adaptive Memory technology efficiently identifies frequently accessed data to allow for quicker operations
- Multi-tier caching technology (mtc) boosts performance, helping applications and files load faster (i.e. 128mb cache buffer in the 1st tier and 8gb NAND SSD memory in the 2nd tier).
- SATA III interface
- 5400rpm spindle speed
- 5-year limited warranty
Seagate Firecuda 2.5-inch Gaming SSHD comes in 3 different sizes: 500gb, 1tb and 2tb.
Full Upgrade Kit
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.
Seagate Barracuda 2tb Hard Drive
If, for any reason, you don’t like to opt for an SSHD, you can go for a traditional hard drive. Seagate Barracuda 2tb HDD features a great option. It’s exactly the same drive as above with all features except that it doesn’t have a 2nd-tier SSD caching. Additionally, the warranty is only 2 years.
In opposite to what’s stated on the official sales page of Seagate Barracuda HDD, this drive does NOT support Multi-caching. Have a look at the official drive’s datasheet (download it from here) and skip to page 8. There you can find the drive specification summary. You will realize that this is a mere classical hard drive without any multi-caching system. Whereas the drive specification page of Seagate Firecuda SSHD states clearly this fact. (download it from here and go to page 7)
Anyway, if you’re mainly interested in expanding PS4 storage to 2tb, and the current performance of PS4 satisfies you to the extent that you don’t want to improve it, you can go for this drive and save around $10 only.
WD Blue 2TB Mobile Hard Drive
WD Blue Mobile hard drive is one of the most powerful and compatible SATA hard drives on the market today. It’s a tried and true Western Digital product that won’t let you down in most capacities, which is why it’s worthy of being in our list. With increased affordability, plenty of storage space, and lightning-fast processing speeds, you’ll quickly find that it’s still a good choice for a hard drive.
The WD 2TB mobile drive is a decent data storage solution and will serve you well. It comes with a two-year warranty and is PS4 compliant.
This is a safe purchase, where you pretty much know what you’re getting in terms of speed, reliability and storage space. It can help to get the ball rolling, although it doesn’t have a ton of new capacity or compatibility features. But it is definitely a safe buy, one that can last a few years, and at its current price we think it’s worthwhile. That’s why it’s been chosen as one of the best internal hard drive upgrades for PS4.
So, this is the end of our list. Below we’re going to learn the fundamentals of PS4 hard drive and and how to upgrade it properly.
What’s PS4 Hard Drive?
PS4 hard drive (HDD) is the storage device inside PS4 that holds system’s and user’s data. The PS4 HDD is a non-volatile storage device containing magnetic disks or platters rotating at the speed of 5400rpm. It is a secondary storage device used to store data permanently, random access memory (RAM) being the primary memory device. Non-volatile means data is retained when the PS4 is turned off.
PS4 HDD Specs
So, to better understand the PS4 hard drive, you have to know its specifications first.
The PS4 uses a hard drive with 500gb storage capacity in the earlier version and 1tb in the updated versions (aka PS4 Ultimate Player Edition). It’s configured with SATA II interface, and designed in 2.5-inch form factor. In the table below you’ll get a better overview on PS4 HDD specs.
This table that combines the specifications of both hard drives (500gb and 1tb) in one place, so as to make it easier to compare.
|Brand & Model||HGST Travelstar Z5K500 (500gb model)|
HGST Travelstar 5K1000 (1tb model)
|Capacity (Size)||500gb (Initial PS4 version)|
1tb (Updated PS4 version)
|Spindle Speed||5400 RPM (both drive models)|
|Interface||SATA II (3.0 Gbps) (both drive models)|
|Form Factor||2.5-inch (both drive models)|
|Thickness||9.5mm (both drive models)|
|Memory Cache||8mb (both drive models)|
|Warranty||2 Years Limited (both drive models)|
|Year of Manufacture||2011 (both drive models)|
Additionally, if you need more details on the specifications of the PS4 internal hard drive, please visit this page.
PS4 Hard Drive Replacement Types
When you go for replacing the internal hard drive of PS4, bear in mind that there’re three types of storage devices that fit for this purpose.
These three types are:
Solid State Drive (SSD)
The fastest-in-history ever. You get blazing fast speed that you could never imagine a storage device can have.
A solid-state drive (SSD) is a new generation of storage device used in computers and recently in game consoles. SSDs replace traditional mechanical hard drives (HDD) by using flash-based memory, which is significantly faster. Older hard-disk storage technologies run slower, which often makes your PS4 run slower than it should. SSDs speed up PS4s significantly due to their low read-access times and fast throughputs. Additionally, solid-state drives are much more reliable and durable than traditional HDDs. That means you will avoid many performance issues that occur to HDD users. Therefore, you have to expect a smoother and more enjoyable gaming experience when you replace the PS4 internal HDD with an SSD.
For more details on using an SSD in PS4 and the advantages you’ll gain, please visit our PS4 SSD upgrade guide.
Traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
The type of this storage device is just like the one inside your PS4. So, you shouldn’t expect any major performance boost when replacing the internal hard drive of PS4 with another one of the same type. Yes, having a modern hard drive offers slightly better speed, larger capacity and higher reliability. But not that tangible when it comes to performance.
A hard disk drive or a hard drive is a data storage device that uses magnetic recording to store and retrieve digital information. Unlike a solid-state drive (SDD) that uses non-moving interconnected flash memories, a hard disk drive (HDD) is essentially composed of a metal platter with magnetic coating. This coating stores the data. A paired magnetic head reads and writes data on this coating while the platter spins.
The real problem with HDDs
The main problem with this kind of storage device is that it’s mechanical. Thus users have to expect varied performance issues with it. For that reason the PS4 hard drive begins to fail after few months of use. Also, now you can understand why PS4 becomes slow and starts to lag. This is often caused by a faulty hard drive. All of that is because the movable mechanical parts of an HDD make it physically vulnerable to mechanical damages due to drops and shudder. For example, the close spacing between the read head and the metallic platter makes HDD prone to scrapes across the platter as the head grinds the thin magnetic coating. For that reason HDDs are more prone to integrity failure or data loss and overall device corruption.
Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD)
This is an innovative solution meant to be a compromise between speed, capacity and price. With this hard drive solution you’ll get nearly the performance of SSD and the capacious space of HDD. All for an adequate price that’s usually not $10 higher than a regular hard drive.
Solid state hybrid drives, or SSHDs, are a blending of the traditional hard drive and the new solid state drive technologies. If you have been looking at upgrading your PS4 internal hard drive, you may have come across the term SSHD. This is a new marketing term that was coined by Seagate to essentially label what had previously been referred to as hybrid hard drives. This new term can lead to confusion in the market as buyers can mistake these for full solid-state drives (referred to as SSDs).
So an SSHD is basically a hard drive and SSD in one, which is why it’s called hybrid. The drive appears as a single device to PS4 system, and the SSD part is just used for temporary storage to speed things up: your data is stored long-term on the mechanical disks.
SSHD for PS4
An SSHD is still slower than any SSD, but it’s a good chunk faster than a plain old hard disk. Basically, if you want lots of storage at a reasonable price, an SSHD is a good choice. If your priority is speed and you want PS4 system to be more responsive, go for an SSD.
The SSHD is the best PS4 hard drive replacement for the majority of users. As for enthusiasts and power users, an SSD is the priority.
Generally, if you want the highest overall performance, buy an SSD. If you want the biggest amount of storage, buy an SSHD. (If you want to spend the absolute minimum amount of money, buy neither – go for a traditional hard drive.
We published a special article on PS4 SSHD and its great benefits it offers to its users. Please have a look for more details.
PS4 Compatible Hard Drive Upgrade
Be sure that all the PS4 hard drive replacements included in our list are fully compatible with all models of PS4. But eventually, you have to learn how to pick a PS4 compatible hard drive in case you want to make your own research.
So, in order to choose the right hard drive upgrade for your PS4, you need to make sure it’s compatible with the PS4 storage upgrade standards. These standards are specified by Sony. Only the drives that meet all of them can be used for the upgrade purpose. They are:
- Support of SATA interface. This is mandatory as PS4 motherboard only accept SATA connection.
- Storage capacity is not less than 160gb and not more than 8tb. This is also mandatory. This helps you know what size of SSD to get if you want a cheap option. 128gb SSD doesn’t work with PS4.
- Drive’s height is not more than 9.5mm. This is optional if you have the standard model of PS4. You can bypass this standard by using a Data Bank accessory. As for PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim, meeting this standard is mandatory.
- Designed in 2.5-inch form factor. This is optional for the standard version of PS4 as it can be worked around by using a Data Bank solution. PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim models don’t have this option, so it’s a mandatory condition.
Once the drive meets all these standards, you’ve to relax it’s relevant to be a DIRECT hard drive upgrade for PS4.
Why Upgrade PS4 Hard Drive
Many PS4 users ask the question: should I upgrade PS4 hard drive in the first place? Is not just getting an external hard drive, or even external SSD for PS4 a much better option?
From an expert technical perspective, the answer is YES, you have to upgrade the PS4 internal HDD. The reasons for that answer vary from a user to another, but the main reason that everyone agrees on is that the stock hard drive of PS4 is just a piece of rubbish. It’s an outdated slow drive that will start generating errors after months of hours of regular daily use.
The only one that doesn’t need to upgrade the PS4 HDD is the casual/lightweight user that doesn’t play much, or doesn’t have graphics-intense games to play for a long time.
But, what about getting an external HDD/SSD instead? is not that a good option?
Well, if you’re serious about improving PS4 performance and enhancing your gaming experience, upgrading PS4 internal HDD is inevitable.
As for getting an external hard drive for PS4, mostly you’ll only gain additional storage space, that’s all. Furthermore, you can read this quick comparison between PS4 external HDD vs internal to find out the pros and cons of each option.
Choosing the Best Hard Drive for PS4
The next thing you’ve to think about at this point is how to choose the best internal hard drive upgrade for PS4. Although I have abridged the way for you and other readers and laid out the top 4 hard drive replacement options for PS4, you can still do that your own. You only need to understand how this selection is done and based on what standards.
The first thing you must look at is YOURSELF. Are you an average/lightweight PS4 player? Or do you consider yourself an enthusiast/power user?
If you consider yourself an enthusiasts who plays heavy, resource-demanding games, an SSD is the best PS4 HDD replacement for you. Otherwise, go for an SSHD, it offers a very decent performance boost with up to 2tb storage capacity.
Secondly, what do you not like in the PS4 stock hard drive? Is it its limited capacity? Or it’s the poor performance it offers? Or maybe both?
If you are content with the performance of the stock hard drive of PS4, yet you want additional storage space, you better go for a PS4 external hard drive. Otherwise, upgrading the internal HDD of PS4 offers a significant performance boost and a smoother gaming experience.
You can dive into more details on how to choose the best hard drive for PS4 by reading this post. But generally, here are the basic standards that will help you find the right hard drive for your PS4.
The Standards of Choosing a New PS4 HDD
- The hard drive you choose for PS4 must meet your expectations and fulfill the needs you want from upgrading PS4 HDD. Although we have already determined the best PS4 HDD upgrade in terms of high performance and the storage capacity limit that should suit the overwhelming majority of users, there’re still exceptions that don’t find our top recommendation their best option.
- When gauging the quality of a hard drive you must take into consideration its brand. Also, the history of manufacturer regarding reliability and failure rate is important. The drive we picked as the best HDD for PS4 is a highly-reputable drive that offers high performance and long reliability to the extent that its manufacturer offers 5-year limited warranty, which is a too long warranty for a consumer-level hard drive. This factor is important to determine which hard drive is best for PS4.
- To make sure whether the HDD is really worthy your consideration for upgrading PS4 storage, you need to read the reviews of experts and even ordinary users to see how it performs in real world and what complaints users have against it. Seagate Firecuda 2tb Gaming SSHD, which is our top selection for PS4 storage upgrade has been praised and recommended by IT professionals and even so many savvies. Therefore we have no doubt that it is the best fit for upgrading PS4 internal HDD.
- The hard drive price matters a lot. If you don’t care about price and you have a broad budget, go for an SSD, as it’s without a doubt the best storage device ever, whether for PC or PS4. But because it’s too expensive compared to traditional hard drives, we didn’t include it in our list here.
How to Upgrade PS4 Hard Drive
Before upgrading the PS4 hard drive make sure you have got everything ready.
- Screwdriver: To unscrew hard drive casing and removal of the hard drive from PS4.
- External Hard Drive: To take backup.
- USB Flash Drive (at least 1gb capacity): To install PS4 system software from scratch.
- The New PS4 compatible HDD replacement.
Once you have everything above in hand, you’re ready to start the PS4 HDD upgrade process. But first let’s make this precautionary step and back up the original PS4 HDD data, just in case.
Begin the Backup Process
To get the ball rolling, you’ll need to plug in your external drive over USB. 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.
To learn how to format the external hard drive as a PS4 backup storage, please visit this page.
Now, once the external HDD is formatted and properly set up as a backup storage, let’s start with the backup process.
- Connect the External hard drive of the USB storage device to one of the PS4’s USB ports.
- Now Go to Settings > System > Back Up and Restore.
- Choose what data you’d like to back up. Note: If you do not take the backup of the applications, you have to reinstall them again.
- Name the backup you are taking and then press the X button on the controller.
It’s important to note that the trophies can’t be backed up. Of course, trophies sync over PSN, so that’s not a problem. If you’re sure that everything is already synced, just select “OK” and begin the backup. 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.
Download the PlayStation 4 system software
You can grab a copy of the latest version from Sony here. Just follow the instructions at the bottom of the page, under “Update using a computer,” to download the correct full system install file—it’s nearly 800MB—and create the requisite USB install key.
You can that by following these steps:
- Plug the USB flash drive into your computer and format it using FAT32.
- Create a directory named “PS4” and create a sub-directory inside it named “UPDATE.”
- Move the update file to the UPDATE folder.
That’s it all.
Open your PS4
Once you have your drive ready to go, power down your PS4, and unplug everything. Move it over to a large open surface, and slide off the shiny part of the PS4’s case. Set it aside.
- Extract the old PS4 hard drive by first removing the sole Philips screw at lower left, then gently pull the hard disk drive cage forward (toward the front of the system) and out.
- Remove the four Philips screws from the hard disk cage and pull the old hard drive out. If you need more details on removing PS4 HDD, please visit this page.
- Replace the stock PS4 HDD with the new one, then slide the cage back into the PlayStation 4 and re-secure it with the remaining screw.
- Replace the hard drive cover, and that’s it!
When you boot up the PS4 with a new drive, you’ll need to initialize it.
So, connect your PlayStation 4 gamepad (with microUSB cable) and plug the USB stick you just created into the console’s second USB port, then power on the system. Button through the menu, and follow the on-screen prompts. If everything goes as planned, the PS4 should boot to the main menu once the initialization is finished. Now you can log into your PSN account again.
Restore backed-up data
Once the PS4 operating system installation is complete, the console will reboot. Follow the prompts until you are back at your home screen. From there, go to [Settings] > [System] > [Back Up and Restore].
Now, reconnect the external drive that your backup is saved to if you haven’t already. Select Restore PS4 and choose the image you named previously. Depending on the drive and size of the backup, this process could take a very long time to complete. Follow the prompts, don’t turn off your PS4 during the process, and have patience. Once everything is finished, everything will be back where it belongs.
Upgrading the internal hard drive of PS4 to a new modern drive is mandatory to every serious gamer that looks forward. That’s to enhance their gaming experience with PS4 in terms of speed and reliability. That’s it. You’ll not get only a new speedy hard drive, but also a drive with solid reliability that lasts for long.
If you have picked Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD you’ll gain remarkably higher speed, larger storage space and better reliability. All of that for an adequate price (less than $100) that fits most users’ budget. You’ll get, in fact, the best hard drive for PS4. It means your gaming experience will surely go better than before.
On the other hand, we don’t really recommend using an SSD for upgrading PS4 stock HDD due to significant loss in performance when an SSD is used within PS4 system. You can though try it with PS4 Pro, but surely not with PS4 standard neither PS4 Slim.