What type of hard drive should I be looking for a Playstation 4? I am usually partial towards SSD over traditional, but I am also open to the idea of hybrids as well.

I have looked into Samsung 850 EVO and PRO SSDs and I have personal experience with SanDisk SSD on my personal gaming computer. These are a little out of my price range.

There are many different sites that recommend HDDs, but I want to make sure what I am getting is going to have great life expectency along with great performance.

Here is a site that has a comparison test between the three different types and their performance (too much info to post on here): http://www.ign.com/wikis/playstation-4/PlayStation_4_Hard_Drive_Speed_Test_Comparison

According to the site, SSD has an overall better performance with the install time, boot time, and level load.

If you would like to recommend companies or even particular drives, that would be very appreciative as well.

I am realized that SSDs are a bit out of my price range for 1TB. So I am going ahead and check out some 2.5" HDDs.

  • What is your budget for the drive? At this time, a 1TB 2.5" HDD is going to be much cheaper than a 1TB SSD. Can you link to the drives that you have been looking into? Is this going to be an internal or external drive? – Cfinley Sep 10 '15 at 18:45
  • This will be an internal hard drive and I am starting to see why I should just go for a HDD instead of SDD. I updated the question with links to the Samsung 850s. I will look into HDD and modify the question – Simple Sandman Sep 10 '15 at 19:02
  • After some Amazon searching for what I want, I am looking into something like this. It has a really good price and it seems to have really good rep. – Simple Sandman Sep 10 '15 at 19:44
  • @SimpleSandman I think you mean SSD, not SDD. – ArtOfCode Sep 10 '15 at 19:56
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    @ArtOfCode Wow...thank you for pointing that out to me. face palm – Simple Sandman Sep 10 '15 at 19:57

I have looked for other HDD that fit your requirements, and the one you linked to in your comments is the best that I have found. Its capacity is 2TB, it is a standard size, so it will fit inside your PS4, and everywhere I have looked, people have stated that it is a reliable drive.

The downside to this drive is its speed. White it uses the SATA 6.0 Gbps interface, I doubt you will see that in your use. Ideally, you would want the RPM to be around 7200, but since this is such a high density drive, you should see the same, if not better, performance than the stock HDD that came with your console.


It depends heavily on what you're looking for in the drive; SSDs are faster but ultimately less reliable.

SSDs work using electronic circuits and NAND (or NOR) gates to store data. Traditional HDDs use magnetic platters. This grants SSDs faster performance, since they don't have to spin up the platter and seek to the disk location requested by the OS.

However, if you're looking for long-term reliability, HDDs win out. As I explain in this answer, HDDs are less prone to accidental damage and data loss - if you drop it while it's processing, there's a risk you'll lose data, but if it's idle then the head is secure.

For an Xbox (or any gaming console, for that matter), I recommend using an SSD. You don't really need long-term storage (the next console'll come out soon enough), and the SSD will provide much quicker save/load times, which is desirable.

The major disadvantage of an SSD is the price, but (IMO) the quicker responses they give you makes it a worthwhile investment.

  • What are you talking about? A hard drive is way less reliable than an SSD... – Firepower0701 Sep 10 '15 at 21:04
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    @Firepower0701 Long-term, magnetic storage beats electronics, which have delicate components liable to failure on impact or extreme conditions. Magnetic storage would be strongly affected if you put a magnet next to it, but you don't, generally. Read my linked answer. – ArtOfCode Sep 10 '15 at 21:06
  • hard drives also have electronic storage methods by the way. It is called cache. – Firepower0701 Sep 10 '15 at 21:37
  • @Firepower0701 reliability can be measured in different ways. For instance, with data that changes frequently, the SSD will eventually exhaust its rewrite cycles. – Dan Henderson Sep 11 '15 at 0:01
  • But if you buy a reasonable SSD, the time it takes to fufill all of those read write cycles will far exceed the duration your hard drive will last. For example, if you read and wrote 10gb (more than most people do in one day) of data every day, it would still take you over 30 years to get through an Intel 750 series SSD. (I am assuming optimal conditions... at room temperature and no rapid vibration throughout the drive's life.) – Firepower0701 Sep 11 '15 at 0:12

Based on personal experience (3 out of 4 failed, purchased several months apart) I recommend to stay away from the hybrid drives, as I will be in the future. A limited sample I know, I could have just been unlucky, but at this point I am cutting my losses with that tech. I think with the cost of SSDs dropping, they will have a limited lifespan as a viable product in any case.

So far, I have not had an SSD fail (out of >10 purchased personally since 2009 in sizes from 75GB up to 512GB so far), though I have had one end up in a less performant state thanks to a faulty SATA cable. I have owned dozens of HDDs and had a handful fail, but nothing approaching the failure rate I have seen in hybrids so far.

As of writing this, SSDs are coming in the $0.30 to $0.40 per GB range for sizes up to 500GB.

The interesting thing here is that (as an example, plucked from Newegg today) the cost for a 250GB SSD from Samsung is currently $0.40/GB which drops to $0.35/GB for the 500GB model. At 1TB, that same drive comes in at $0.37/GB and it is on sale. This is the kind of profile we are used to seeing, however. Essentially, for the top end of any tech segment (4TB+ HDD, 1TB+ SSD at the moment) you will always pay a premium - same is true for CPU, memory, graphics, motherboards, displays etc.

This is generally how I will do my SSD shopping - pick a couple of manufacturers with good reputation (Intel, Samsung), then decide on your required level of SSD (budget, consumer, enterprise - in Samsung terms EVO, PRO, Enterprise). Once you have that, look at the cost per GB for each size offered and look for the sweet spot - that will usually be one or two rungs below the top in terms of size.

Actually this method will work for most things - CPU (use to be cost per Ghz but more murky now), RAM (cost per GB too), Graphics cards (depends, but cost per FPS in a highend game I play is how I do it), HDDs (cost per GB). There is always a sweet spot on the curve, and it will usually be a little below the bleeding edge, and frequently have sales on (so watch for them).

I see from follow up comments that you are looking at HDDs because of price, so let's see where the sweetspot lines up for those.

Edit: Updating analysis for 2.5" drives thanks to comments

Looking at 2.5" drives that would give you a little bit of a speed boost (7200 rpm) and not worrying about the interface (the PS4 is limited to SATA II) one thing that was immediately obvious is that there is not a lot of choice, here is the cost per GB of a selection of Seagate 2.5" 7200 RPM drives:

  • $0.188/GB - 1TB
  • $0.186/GB - 750GB
  • $0.129/GB - 500GB

That 500GB model was actually cheaper than the smaller drives, so hardly a surprise that they are the default for the PS4. It's worth noting that the SSD 1TB prices are "only" 2x the 7200 RPM hard drives in the 2.5" form factor, so it's not as much of a premium as compared to 3.5" drives (see below).

Here is my original comparison, where I mistakenly profiled 3.5" drives. It's illustrative, so I will leave it here for reference:

I will pick a single brand that I have good experience with (Seagate), go for 7200 rpm drives, and not pay too much attention to other factors (warranty, cache etc.) since this is a rough estimation:

  • $0.092 per GB - 500GB
  • $0.049 per GB - 1TB
  • $0.0375 per GB - 2TB
  • $0.03 per GB - 3TB
  • $0.038 per GB - 5TB

The particular model I was looking at for convenience did not have 4TB/6TB sizes listed, but you get the idea - it looks like 3TB or 4TB is your likely sweet spot from a cost per GB perspective (as an aside: about one tenth of the SSD prices above), so I would look for well reviewed, reliable drives in that range and buy with confidence (for now). Just for reference, the 8TB 7200 RPM drives are rare and are coming in at ~$0.7 per GB as of writing this answer.

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    I do not own a PlayStation 4, but I am pretty sure they only accept 2.5 inch drives. Also beware of Seagate 3TB drives as they have a high failure rate. – Cfinley Sep 23 '15 at 16:48
  • You are correct - I should have checked - the principle is the same, but I will re-do with 2.5" in mind shortly – Adam Comerford Sep 23 '15 at 16:57

SSDs, at least for the moment, are very expensive for the mass storage of games, and only really decrease load times on levels. In this sense, an SSD is not a valid option for a game console at the present.

However, SSDs have some very nice things about them-

  • They are more reliable than Hard Drives, as they have no moving parts
  • They provide over 100% of the data transfer speeds offered by hard drives, though due to the (kinda terrible) CPU of a console you may not get the full benefit of these transfer speeds.
  • Due to the fact that they are much more reliable, they are much more useful for RAID arrays.

Honestly, at the present moment, you should just go for an HDD for the console.

The best 2.5 inch hard drive for the money at the moment is this one. For ~$100 you get a decent performing 2tb HDD.

An external 2.5 or 3.5 inch hard drive like this one will also serve your needs for a little bit less.

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    Don't HDDs outpace SSDs for data transfer speeds in the specific case of high-volume sequential data (e.g. an unfragmented, high-bandwidth video stream)? Or is that no longer true today? – Dan Henderson Sep 13 '15 at 1:04
  • That used to be true, when SSDs were basically glorified thumb drives, bu that is no longer true. You are correct that HDDs are faster than some flash based storage systems, but not modern SSDs. – Firepower0701 Sep 13 '15 at 2:49
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    You should try and list the name of your product in your answer, rather than just give a "link" to them. – Zizouz212 Oct 10 '15 at 2:44

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