PlayStation 4 tested with standard HDD, hybrid drive and an SSD

By on November 25, 2013, 11:30 AM

Sony revealed gamers would be able to swap out the hard drive in their new PlayStation 4 well before it was released on November 15. The only real question that remained, however, was what upgrade would be best and what sort of performance one could expect from a replacement drive. Now that the PS4 is in the wild, we have some hard data on the subject.

Tested recently put a pair of storage devices up against the standard issue 500GB, 5400 RPM hard drive that ships with every console. Specifically, the gang used a 256GB Samsung 840 EVO solid state drive and a 1TB Seagate hybrid drive that’s part hard drive and part solid state drive.

The publication then loaded each drive with the PS4’s operating system and measured various metrics like console boot time and load times of various games. Unsurprisingly, the Samsung SSD outperformed the other two drives in every test with performance gains anywhere from six seconds (console boot up) to 20 seconds to load a pre-installed game.

Interestingly enough, the Seagate hybrid drive wasn’t too far behind the pure SSD in terms of performance. In most cases, it was only 2-3 seconds slower than the flash storage solution. Considering the price gap between all three drives and the performance they offer, the clear winner in terms of price versus performance versus storage capacity is the hybrid drive. If you want the fastest PS4 in the neighborhood, however, you’ll want to spring for an expensive SSD.

User Comments: 7

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cmbjive said:

Meh. It must be me but the PS4 already loads quite fast. I don't think I would want to shell out big money for an SSD that almost costs as much as the PS4 itself.

1 person liked this | H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Terrible optimization makes the SSD for PS4 a terrible investment. However the Hybrid drive would be a pretty decent purchase.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

I don't think its a necessity for any console honestly, maybe the hybrid if you really think the load times are too slow for you.

But for me, both consoles load up very fast as it is so I think a couple seconds difference just aint worth it im my opinion.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I completely agree with tested.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I've done this test myself and I will now ALWAYS upgrade the drive to at least a 7,200rpm drive.

Gran Turismo 5, load time on the default 500GB PS3 hard drive for the nurburgring full circuit would take 29 seconds, a Western Digital Black 500GB would take 14 seconds, When your sat there waiting for the level to load and you count it, It really is a considerable difference, I also found it improved other games as well, an SSD didn't make too much of a difference when I tried a 128GB Vertex 3, It improved everything but no where near the difference going from the default slow drive to a decent one.

But I guess the PS4 will take advantage of faster hard drives even more so since installs are now required.

Besides, I'll upgrade the hard drive anyway for reliability purposes, I've seen enough Hitachi drives die in PS3's I'll always go for a different drive that is also faster so the console will always work.

Lionvibez said:

In Canada

The prices are

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB 2.5" 5400RPM 64MB Cache Solid State Hybrid Drive (ST1000LM014) for $119


Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB 2.5" 5400RPM 64MB Cache Solid State Hybrid Drive (ST500LM000) for $74.99

The 1TB hybrid seems to be the best investment because you are doubling your capacity from the stock drive. I just wish they had them at 7200rpm.

And while the SSD is the fastest cost wise not the best solution.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Seagate Hybrid drives should be the Momentus XT range and the 1TB version should be 7,200rpm and have the most cache, rather than the 500GB version which has a slower spindle speed.

No point getting a drive which is not 7,200rpm or better.

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