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.