PS4 Pro SSD vs SSHD | Quick Comparison
Once you begin to think about upgrading PS4 Pro hard drive to a better one, two powerful storage devices come to the spotlight. The first is Solid State Drive (SSD), and the second is Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD). Both drives feature a more viable and powerful alternative to the stock hard drive of PS4 Pro. But, which one is better for PS4 Pro? Is it the SSD that’s known to be a super fast device, or the SSHD that’s not as fast? This article will answer this question by comparing the two options together. That will reveal the strong and weak points in each drive and, as a result, users will be able to know which one suits them best.
In order to understand the difference between SSHD and SSD and how that affects PS4 Pro performance, there’re essential knowledge you have to acquire first. You have to learn briefly what HDD, SSD and SSHD is and how each of them works.
In its simplest form, an SSD (Solid state Drive) is flash storage and has no moving parts whatsoever. As a result, they’re smaller and take up less space in a PC case, in some instances even mounting directly to the motherboard. SSD storage is much faster than its HDD equivalent.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive) storage is made up of magnetic tape and has mechanical parts inside. They’re larger than SSDs and much slower to read and write.
As for SSHD, it stands for solid-state hybrid drive. It’s a traditional spinning hard disk with a small amount of fast solid-state storage built in. The drive appears as a single device to PS4 system. The SSD part works for temporary storage to speed things up. However, your data remain stored long-term on the mechanical disks.
SSD vs SSHD in PS4 Pro
There’re many benefits an SSD and an SSHD offer for PS4 Pro, especially concerning performance. But, on the other hand, there’re significant difference between the two drives in this regard.
We have already published several articles on the advantages of using an SSD on PS4. Additionally, we recently published a comparison between SSD vs HDD in PS4 Pro, which contributes a lot to this article you’re reading now.
Here, I’m not going to state the benefits of SSHD for PS4 Pro, as I will do that in a separate article later. Rather, you’ll learn here the most obvious differences between SSD and SSHD in PS4 Pro system.
This is the most important aspect that every PS4 Pro user wants to know. You have to note that the term “performance” includes “speed” and “reliability” together. So, let’s break this title down into two subtitles.
As for speed, although an SSHD employs some SSD storage within it, it can’t parallel the performance of a mere SSD. The maximum level an SSHD can reach is 80% of SSD speed. In many cases, it’s even less than that. But surely it remains much better than a simple traditional hard drive (HDD).
Additionally, it’s important to note that an SSHD won’t speed up until you run the same particular game/app 5 times. That’s to allow the SSHD to learn that this game/app is frequently-used, so as to allow it into the SSD cache. Otherwise, until then, the SSHD will perform only like a traditional hard drive (HDD).
This is not the situation with SSDs. They speed up instantly without the need to go through the caching process.
The term “reliability” consists of two other terms, which are: “endurance” and “constancy“.
As for endurance, an SSD has a very long lifespan. It can literally last 5 years, under heavy workload, without an issue at all. Unlike SSHD’s whose endurance is the same as that of mechanical hard drives.
Although mechanical hard drives now are more durable and have longer endurance, they are still way less than solid state drives.
As for constancy, SSDs have much lower level of performance issues (failure, lag and degradation) than SSHDs.
Someone has posted a comment on one of the articles on our website stating the following:
So I just installed a ST1000LM048 into a ps4 slim, because the oem one basically died, installed the OS on the new one everything is great started playing games and noticed there was a slight lag when playing COD WW2 with bots when they would shoot at me, I tried a few
Things now I’m reinstalling the OS to see if that fixes the issue, I tried rebuilding the database and that didn’t help. Do you think the drive is faulty?
I answered him and said:
No my friend. The drive is NOT faulty. This is the problem with mechanical hard drives as usual. When they are put under heavy workloads, they suffer from some lag/halt that you see when playing. For this reason, the best storage upgrade you can have for PS4 when playing heavy-resource demanding games is a solid state drive (SSD). Otherwise, an HDD works fine with most games without an issue at all.
This “lag/halt” an SSHD suffers from as well. Although it’s mostly not observable, in some cases they are, just like what happened to this guy.
Unlike the standard PS4 and PS4 slim, PS4 Pro allows multitasking due to the fact that it employs an additional 1gb DDR3 dedicated for this purpose. This makes PS4 Pro users more fortunate using an SSD as compared to other PS4 models.
One of our readers posted the following comment on the PS4 Pro SSD Upgrade Guide explaining some aspects of this feature. He said:
I have read a lot of these PS4 HDD to SSD upgrade drive. First, there is more to it than just storage. Installing an SSD affects the performance on a PS4 system in other ways. One of the best benefits of an SSD is the use of the system software while playing a game at the same time. On the old traditional HDD it is very slow and almost non responsive at times.
I hated playing a game and then trying to access the party chat or send a message menu only to wait what seemed like an eternity. In certain games you need to change from game chat to party chat or send a message quick due to something in game happening right at that moment.
When I upgraded to a quality SSD that problem disappeared completely. Then there is heat issues too. SSDs will run a lot cooler than the old HDD. HDDs will never out perform an SSD. Even a 15000 rpm drive. Traditional HDDs have moving parts that must spin to a certain speed to transmit data.
Quality more expensive technology usually always runs better than cheaper technology. You cannot expect to get the same results out of a cheap SSD/HDD. That has not changed since technology started being commonly available. Sony is using crap traditional HDDs in the PS4 in the first place.
I think this quote explains this issue very well. Therefore I won’t elaborate any further.
As far as online gaming is concerned, the SSHD fails to offer anything new to players other than what a traditional HDD does. But with an SSD, the situation differs. You’ll have an enhanced seamless gaming experience online with an SSD. You have to note though that the performance improvement of online gaming with an SSD is not that big. So, don’t have a big hope. Plus, your opponent must have also an SSD to enjoy this advantage.
Here where an SSHD comes as a viable alternative to SSD. The only real disadvantage of SSDs is their high price. Although they became much cheaper than a year ago, they are still expensive compared to other storage devices. You get 1tb SSD for almost $120 whereas you get 2tb SSHD for less than $100.
SSD is the best storage device you can ever get for PS4 Pro. If you don’t care much about speed, the drive’s reliability must be one of your big concerns. SSDs offer the best reliability of all other storage devices. That way you make sure that your data are safe for a long time in an SSD.
So, should you get an SSD for PS4 Pro or an SSHD is good?
Well, it depends on your budget and the storage capacity you want. If 1tb storage space is sufficient for your needs, and $120 price is within your affordability, go for an SSD. Otherwise, if you care also about internal storage capacity of PS4 Pro, and your budget is limited, you have to give up some of the advantages SSD’s offer and go for an SSHD instead.