ReCAP – A Quick Review Of The PS4 HD Drive Upgrade

December 6, 2013

After spending some time with my stock/launch day PlayStation 4, I knew there would come a time when it would eventually run out of space. Being a PlayStation Plus subscriber since inception, I’ve already felt the pains of having to manage the content that was installed on my PlayStation 3 console. I found myself having to pick & choose which games to download and which ones to keep or remove just so I could have the latest & greatest offering from Sony week after week. That grew old very quickly, so I decided to upgrade the hard drive in the PS3 several months back. After having done this, not only was I able to download ALL my PS+ games and have everything from my Plus membership installed, I was no longer wasting my time managing content; it was a win-win situation all around. Besides the cost for the actual hard drive was extremely manageable, here’s a link to the one I used for my PS3 upgrade.

Having learned from this experience, I didn’t want to wait as long to do the same upgrade with the PS4. Re-downloading content & performing backups/restores isn’t any way for a gamer to want to spend his/her time. Because I had minimal content already, I knew doing the upgrade sooner rather than later would benefit me in the long run.

After reading several other sources for some guidance on how to perform the upgrade and what drives would work, I pulled the plug and purchased what I felt best fit my needs currently for a larger HD for the PS4. My decision tree weighted size (because after all, size does matter!) then speed, then cost. I knew I wanted at least 1TB, I knew I wanted something faster than a typical HD so that limited my choices to full solid state drives or hybrid drives and I didn’t want to spend more than $150USD. SSD’s offered the best speed gains but the size I was looking for would come at a premium. I couldn’t justify the cost vs. sizes currently, so almost by default the SSHD was chosen. Here’s a link to the PS4 hard drive I purchased

The actual upgrade process is fairly straight forward, requiring only 5 screws in all to manage and some quick snaps of the outer shell/case then a firmware install. For some in-depth instructions on how to perform the upgrade and some things to watch out for, check out my video from my YouTube channel here:

Post-upgrade I am VERY pleased not only with the peace of mind from knowing I have twice the capacity now for storage but the performance gains from the hybrid drive are noticeable. Boot-up times from stand-by are much faster and it does appear to load games, download data and apply updates quicker. I suppose over the life time of the console and me using it I may earn back a few hours of play time because of the speed increases but that is a cautious estimate since we’re dealing with seconds and I hate comparing anything to my mortality!

If you’ve watched the video, which, if you haven’t why not? I’ll pause for a few and wait until you return… Did you enjoy it? Good; now there are some things I wish I mentioned in the video but it either slipped my mind or I was too focused on making sure I got things right during the recording…

      •The hard drive cage & bay will accept almost any standard 2.5-inch laptop drive.
      •The height cannot exceed 12.5mm. Most drives fall into the 9.5mm range which is a carry-over from the PS3 days. This limits your choices mostly on capacity since I could only find a handful of drives that were larger than 1TB that fit both the size & height requirements.
      •The PS4 has a SATA interface with a speed of roughly 3Gb/s. Finding a drive with a faster interface will only add to your cost and not help with improving performance.
      •You will need to have the latest official PlayStation 4 firmware downloaded & available on a USB drive. The PS4 does not keep an internal copy of the FW anywhere and relies on an external source when replacing the drive.
      •You also need to make sure you have the FULL version of the firmware. Sony offers 2 versions from their FW download site, a smaller update only version which is used to update consoles from a base FW and the full version used when performing a hard drive placement like this OR if completely resetting/reinitializing the PS4. My video has the correct link to the full version in the Description field.

So that pretty much summarizes my ReCAP of my PS4 hard drive upgrade. This is also my FIRST article for wololo’s site so I hope everyone enjoyed it and perhaps learned something from it too. If you have questions, let me know in the Comments section or if you really want to support me follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thank you and Happy Gaming!

ReCAP articles are a quick review of past topics/videos CNPalmer has covered. The article is meant to augment the information from the video/article and not give a rehash of its content. It is also to provide some additional tips and details that may have been skimmed over and could use some additional focus or mention. It is meant for mature audiences only. For more information follow CNPalmer on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel to keep up to date on his other segments and work within the gaming community.

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