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Digitalfoundry: The PlayStation 4 hard drive upgrade guide

digitalfoundry ps4 sony upgrade

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#1 +Audioboxer

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 13:35

Looking at individual components of the PlayStation 4, Sony's brand-new hardware is anything from 6x to 16x more powerful than its predecessor - but there's one area that has remained completely unchanged. The PS4's 500GB 5400rpm hard drive isn't just of a similar spec to the PS3 Super Slim's - on our launch model at least, it's actually the exact same unit. Thankfully, this is the one part of the hardware that users are free to upgrade themselves - so that's exactly what we did.

 
Our objectives here are twofold. On the one hand, with game installs often ranging from 20-50GB, it's clear that the PS4's stock hard drive can fill up pretty quickly - so we're interested in getting the most cost-efficient upgrade. But more than that, we wanted to see what happens when the standard hard drive is replaced with better, faster technology. Would we see faster boot times? A more responsive front-end? Would games load quicker? Would intrusive streaming issues and pop-in be resolved?
 
It's a topic we've been thinking about for some time, but only now do we really have a wide enough range of software to test in order to come up with some tangible results worthy of a buyer's guide. For example, as we mentioned in our Face-Off, Square-Enix's Thief suffers from some poor frame-pacing issues which appear to be related to streaming new assets from the hard drive. Meanwhile, the recent release of RedLynx's Trials Fusion allows us to put virtual texturing technology - also seen in id software's Rage - to the test. On PS3, swapping to a better drive could massively improve the cohesiveness of the game's presentation. Could we see similar improvements on PS4, with the added bonus of more space to store our games and media?
 
Comprehensive guide with benchmarks - http://www.eurogamer...e-upgrade-guide
 
Quick conclusion, SSDs do make a difference.

 




#2 D. S.

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 16:44

SONY would make a mint if they came out with a 500GB SSD PS4 version for a couple hundred dollars more. Market it as "Performance Edition" or something.



#3 McKay

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 16:48

SONY would make a mint if they came out with a 500GB SSD PS4 version for a couple hundred dollars more. Market it as "Performance Edition" or something.

 

SSD's would have ran twice as fast if it weren't SATA 2...

 

I stuck a 1TB SSHD into mine and after a few games of BF4 the levels get loaded into flash and I load in before anyone else, which annoyingly is also before any vehicles spawn in.



#4 Blackhearted

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 16:50

Comprehensive guide with benchmarks - http://www.eurogamer...e-upgrade-guide
 
Quick conclusion, SSDs do make a difference.

 

 

A little bit of one, but as usual with SSDs, their increase in performance is nowhere near equal to the huge increase in price per GB you pay for them.

 

 

SONY would make a mint if they came out with a 500GB SSD PS4 version for a couple hundred dollars more. Market it as "Performance Edition" or something.

 

I doubt a $700 console would sell very well if at all.



#5 D. S.

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 16:54

SSD's would have ran twice as fast if it weren't SATA 2...

 

I stuck a 1TB SSHD into mine and after a few games of BF4 the levels get loaded into flash and I load in before anyone else, which annoyingly is also before any vehicles spawn in.

 

A SATA-III SSD edition for a future revision would be sweet.



#6 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 16:40

Thanks for sharing. (Y)

 

I took the time to read the whole thing and my own personal conclusion is for my needs, if and when I do upgrade the HDD in my PS4 it will almost definitely be a 1 TB 7200 drive with the very specific purpose of increasing the storage capability and not much else.

 

If I had money to just throw around I would consider an SSD, but I just cannot see myself purchasing a SSD drive as I would get nothing smaller than the default 500GB drive for storage, as to me it is then a downgrade from the storage standpoint. So I just cannot see the rationale behind spending half the cost of the console itself to give me 30 seconds of time back in my life.



#7 Nogib

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 16:56

 

 
Comprehensive guide with benchmarks - http://www.eurogamer...e-upgrade-guide
 
Quick conclusion, SSDs do make a difference.

 

 

Well, a small difference actually.  Not the huge improvements you'd see on a PC.  Which makes it a poor choice given the price.  With game sizes what they are people should really only be looking at much larger capacity drives for their PS4s.



#8 trooper11

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 22:18

I'll definitely be throwing in a 1TB drive at some point, the small gains with an SSD are not worth the expense.

#9 OP +Audioboxer

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 23:10

Thanks for sharing. (Y)

 

I took the time to read the whole thing and my own personal conclusion is for my needs, if and when I do upgrade the HDD in my PS4 it will almost definitely be a 1 TB 7200 drive with the very specific purpose of increasing the storage capability and not much else.

 

If I had money to just throw around I would consider an SSD, but I just cannot see myself purchasing a SSD drive as I would get nothing smaller than the default 500GB drive for storage, as to me it is then a downgrade from the storage standpoint. So I just cannot see the rationale behind spending half the cost of the console itself to give me 30 seconds of time back in my life.

 

Yeah I put a fast WD Black 7200RPM 750GB hard drive in mine for launch.



#10 Showan

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 23:47

When I decide to do this, I will most likely settle on a Hybrid Drive.  Seems like the best bang for the buck when upgrading.

But knowing me, it will be an eternity before I finally decide to do this.

 

I just recently upgraded my 60GB PS3 Phat to 250GB.  And I mean as of a month or two ago.

 

But I will upgrade my PS4, sooner rather than later.  Considering the games this gen are going to be more on the MASSIVE side of things.