PS4 Hard Drive (HDD) Upgrade Solutions

A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive or fixed disk is a data storage device used for storing and retrieving digital information using one or more rigid (“hard”) rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material. Nobody is seriously suggesting the era of hard disk drive (HDD) technology is about to end. While many client devices use solid-state storage technologies nowadays, hard disk drives (HDDs) are still used by hundreds of millions of people and across virtually all datacenters worldwide. The platters are paired with magnetic heads arranged on a moving actuator arm, which read and write data to the platter surfaces. To the contrary, HDD vendors continue advancing the technology.

PS4 allows varied storage upgrade options for the stock hard drive

Mechanical Hard Disk Drive (HDD) in PS4 Systems

More telling, maybe, are the enterprise storage managers willing to experiment with solid-state storage alongside HDD. “We’re testing a couple of Fusion-io cards in some servers for a couple of high-performance trading applications,” said Kevin Fiore, CIO at San Francisco-based investment firm Thomas Weisel Partners LLC. Analysts from International Data Corp. and Western Digital Corp. estimate that data storage capacity shipped by the industry in 2020 will total approximately 2900 exabytes (1EB = 1 million TB), up from around 1000EB in 2015. Introduced by IBM in 1956, HDDs became the dominant secondary storage device for general-purpose computers by the early 1960s. The company wants to determine if the 160 GB and 320 GB solid-state cards make enough of a difference to justify the extra thousands of dollars they cost. Demand for storage will be driven by various factors, including Big Data, Internet-of-Things, user-generated content, enterprise storage, personal storage and so on.

Maximum Hard Drive Size for PS4 Internal Storage Upgrade

Continuously improved, HDDs have maintained this position into the modern era of servers and personal computers. Solid-state storage, however, will remain a small piece of the enterprise storage picture for some time. If you are going for a direct internal hard drive upgrade for PS4 without the help of any additional tool, then the maximum hard drive capacity available for this pattern is 2TB of space. Otherwise, there’s still another way to go beyond this limit of storage space by using an additional tool called Data Bank. With this tool there is no maximum limit for the new PS4 hard drive capacity, just pick the largest desktop hard drive and incorporate it inside the Data Bank, and you’ll be done. It has been reported though that going for more than 4TB of hard drive capacity would cause some defects, so to stay on the safe side don’t think about more than 4TB as of now until Sony releases a firmware update patch that will permit that size of storage. Instead, what’s driving enterprise storage is the continuation of HDD trends that have been underway for six years or more. Samsung Electronics believes that the NAND flash industry will produce 253EB of flash memory in 2020, up from 84EB in 2015. More than 200 companies have produced HDD units, though most current units are manufactured by Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital. The trends include the steadily falling cost per gigabyte of HDDs, the shift from 3.5-inch to 2.5-inch form factors, and a movement away from 15K rpm Fibre Channel (FC) to 10K and 7,200 rpm SAS and SATA drives.

  • Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology promises to increase capacities of HDDs significantly in the coming years.
  • Data is accessed in a random-access manner, meaning that individual blocks of data can be stored or retrieved in any order and not only sequentially.
  • Still, a few doubts arise as solid-state drives (SSDs) and other solid-state technologies take on selective enterprise storage chores. “The amount of SSD replacing hard disk drives at present is miniscule,” said Mark Geenen, chairman, International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association (IDEMA). Yet, IDEMA began accepting SSD vendors into its ranks in 2009.
  • Unfortunately, mass production of actual hard drives featuring HAMR has been delayed for a number of times already and now it turns out that the first HAMR-based HDDs are due in 2018.
  • HDDs are a type of non-volatile memory, retaining stored data even when powered off.

Various types of solid-state storage will account for less than 10% of the storage market in terms of bytes shipped, whereas hard drives, tape and some other technologies will account for over 90%, if the estimates by IDC, Samsung and Western Digital are correct. As of 2015, HDD production (exabytes per year) and areal density are growing, although unit shipments are declining. And don’t forget ever-increasing disk densities reflected in the emergence of 1 TB and 2 TB drives, with 3 TB and 4 TB capacities on the horizon. In a bid to meet demand for increased storage needs in the coming years, the industry will need to expand production of NAND flash memory as well as to increase capacities of hard disk drives. The primary characteristics of an HDD are its capacity and performance.

Replacing the stock hard drive of PS4 with a new device

Steadily evolving HDD technology will also force storage managers to revisit issues like encryption, compression and data deduplication. Modern HDDs based on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) and shingled magnetic recording (SMR) platters have areal density of around ~0.95 Terabit per square inch (Tb/in²) and can store up to 10TB of data (on seven 1.43TB platters). Technologies like two-dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR) can potentially increase areal density of HDD disks by 5 to 10 per cent, which is significant. Capacity is specified in unit prefixes corresponding to powers of 1000: a 1-terabyte (TB) drive has a capacity of 1,000 gigabytes (GB; where 1 gigabyte = 1 billion bytes). Typically, some of an HDD’s capacity is unavailable to the user because it is used by the file system and the computer operating system, and possibly inbuilt redundancy for error correction and recovery. IT managers can now decide the best place to do encryption or deduplication: on the server, the array, an appliance or the disk drive. Moreover, Showa Denko K.K. (SDK), the world’s largest independent maker of hard drive platters, has outlined plans to mass produce ninth-generation PMR HDD media with areal density of up to 1.3Tb/in² next year.

a portable external USB hard drive for PS4 is becoming more common nowadays

External hard drive option

Performance is specified by the time required to move the heads to a track or cylinder (average access time) plus the time it takes for the desired sector to move under the head (average latency, which is a function of the physical rotational speed in revolutions per minute), and finally the speed at which the data is transmitted (data rate). The external hard drive has been widely used with PS4 consoles as an additional storage peripheral that works as a support for the internal storage device. The two most common form factors for modern HDDs are 3.5-inch, for desktop computers, and 2.5-inch, primarily for laptops. With the availability of 2TB hard drive capacity for PS4 there’s no need for a larger one unless you deem yourself a professional gamer who has lots of files to store internally. Otherwise think about an external hard drive instead for a lager PS4 storage expansion. With the newest generation of HDDs, all options are on the table. Companies like Seagate Technology and Western Digital believe that to hit areal densities beyond 1.5Tb/in², HAMR technology along with higher anisotropy media will be required because of supermagnetic limit (physical “pitches” on optical media become so tiny that it will not be possible to produce a powerful enough magnetic field in the HDD space to write data into them). Going for a portable hard drive for PS4 is a very good idea instead of a stationary external drives. Certain principles of heat-assisted magnetic recording were patented back in 1954, even before IBM demonstrated the very first commercial hard disk drive. HDDs are connected to systems by standard interface cables such as PATA (Parallel ATA), SATA (Serial ATA), USB or SAS (Serial attached SCSI) cables. Similarly, new HDD technology offers more energy-saving options, primarily via disk spin-down technologies.

3TB, 4TB and 6TB are also available for PS4

Heat-assisted magnetic recording technology briefly heats magnetic recording media with a special laser close to Curie point (the temperature at which ferromagnetic materials lose their permanent magnetic properties) to reduce its coercivity while writing data on it. Now Sony allows a larger hard drive capacity upgrade for PS4 up to 4TB, but if you add more than that, there will be some errors you need to handle in order to keep the PS4 operating system running smoothly. a 6TB hard drive is another common storage capacity upgrade for PS4, but we don’t recommend it in this stage and we prefer the addition of an external hard drive if you need extra storage space beyond 4TB. As of 2016, the primary competing technology for secondary storage is flash memory in the form of solid-state drives (SSDs), which have higher data transfer rates, better reliability, and significantly lower latency and access times, but HDDs remain the dominant medium for secondary storage due to advantages in cost per unit of storage. But the massive amounts of capacity on a single drive also raise questions about the efficacy of RAID 5 as a data protection technique. HAMR HDDs will feature a new architecture, require new media, completely redesigned read/write heads with a laser as well as a special However, SSDs are replacing HDDs where speed, power consumption and durability are more important considerations.

SSHD is another hard drive option for PS4

The data storage industry has enjoyed a long ride up the price/capacity curve. Hybrid drive products, also known by the initialism SSHD, have been available since 2007, made as a combination of HDD and SSD technology in a single device. Each year vendors pack more data onto disks with a corresponding drop in the cost per gigabyte. It’s the storage industry’s version of Moore’s Law. In recent years, 40% annual price/capacity improvements have been typical, but that pleasant pace may be slowing. “It will be increasingly difficult to get these kinds of gains,” said Mark Nossokoff, a senior member of the strategic planning team at LSI Corp.’s Engenio Storage Group.

The latest gains resulted from the vertical stacking of bits on the disk to overcome the limits of the superparamagnetic effect. Future increases will need a new technology advance. Bit-patterned media (BPM), heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) and microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) are the leading contenders to replace perpendicular technology.

If you’re unfamiliar with the terms, SSD stands for solid-state drive. Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHD) are a combination of a Solid State Drive (SSD) and a platter-based drive (HDD). The main idea here is to combine the speed of the SSD technology with the storage space of the HDD, so that you are getting the best of both worlds. The most essential features of the conventional HDD (refer to picture to the left) are “high capacity” and “cost performance”. It’s basically the same as a USB flash drive, but on a bigger, much faster scale. The main question here is obviously when using SSHD drives makes sense, and what you need to take into consideration before you buy a drive for your system.

Using Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive (SSHD) with PS4

Samsung’s excellent 840 EVO Series with 250 Gigabytes is for instance available for $165.99 currently on Amazon, while Seagate’s Barracuda 3 TB HDD for $118.55. The capacity of the data storage per one piece of NAND is very small comparing to one unit in an HDD, however access speed is much faster than an HDD, that reads and writes data on the rotational magnetic media. See all SSD reviewsSSHD stand for solid-state hybrid drive. If storage would be your only criteria, you would make a much better bargain buying Seagate’s drive. We are referring to “Dual” mount here as kind of PC where its storage is both high capacity and high speed at the same time, like some Ultrabook systems.

PS4 SSHD is the second recommendation for a PS4 HDD upgrade

It’s a traditional hard disk with a small amount of solid-state storage built in, typically 8GB. A hybrid drive that combines an 8 Gigabyte SSD with 1 Terabyte of HDD storage on the other hand is available for about $100. SSHD has gained more popularity as a good compromise between the space of hard drives and the speed of solid state drives to the extent that a PS4 user would prefer it to a mere SSD for their PS4 game console. A “Dual” mount type PC has two storage devices in it; HDD and cache SSD (smaller physical size and data capacity than the normal SSD). While it achieves the high capacity and high speed at the same time, it has the disadvantage in the difficulty to control the two individual storage devices in the tight space design from the view point of the system design. The drive appears as a single device to Windows (or any other operating system), and a controller chip decides which data is stored on the SSD and what’s left on the HDD. While you get less platter-based storage and less Flash memory storage, you get to use them both in a single drive.

  • Toshiba’s SSHD improved the speed of data read and write, by using NAND as the secondary cache.
  • Unlike a traditional mechanical hard disk, an SSD has no moving parts.
  • While SSD prices have dropped significantly in the past, the Gigabyte to Dollar ratio is still everything but good, especially when compared to conventional hard drives.
  • NAND is the storage device that is used on such as SSDs.
  • Storage is provided by memory chips instead of spinning magnetic platters.

The SSHD contains HDD and NAND all in one device. If you have a laptop with room for only a single drive, the choice is trickier as it depends on your priorities. Most SSHD solutions on the market combine 64 Gigabyte SSD technology with 512 GB or more HDD storage and 8 GB of Flash Drive cache. Its form factor is compatible with the conventional 2.5-inch HDD and does not require more space within a system. If you want the highest overall performance, buy an SSD.

The following FAQ looks at common questions that you may have in regards to hybrid drives. The system recognizes and manages it as a single device without difficult control. If you want the biggest amount of storage, buy an SSHD. While I can’t promise that it will answer all of your questions, it is likely that it addresses main concerns and issues. SSHD technology works by using a relatively small amount of high-performance NAND flash solid state memory to store the most frequently used data.

Why we don’t recommend an SSD for PS4

SSDs are still much more limited on storage capacity than traditional hard drives, and even though you can buy a 1TB SSD, it will set you back around £350. If there is something left out, let me know in the comments. This is the SSD portion of the drive, typically around 8GB in size, meaning files can be accessed far quicker than HDD. An equivalent HDD is about £50. Since hybrid drives are a combination of different drive types, that is not the case.

The rest of the SSHD is made up of traditional HDD storage, usually 1TB and above, to hold the bulk of your lesser used files. A 1TB SSHD costs around £70, and is the best compromise if you want a balance of storage space and performance. We believe the speed improvement in hybrid hard drives will not benefit PS4 operating system performance in a big deal, and that’s for a simple reason that PS4 utilizes Serial-ATA version II that does not allow high transfer speed rate like that of SATA III. While the SSD-part is still as silent as it gets, the platter-based part of the SSHD is however as noisy as other platter-based hard drives. This could be anything from games to video music and documents. Seagate’s SSHDs intelligently learn which applications you use most, and try to store those in the solid-state storage for faster loading times and better overall performance.

If you want a silent system, SSHDs are not an option. Since an average computer workload accesses a relatively small portion of the entire data stored, most frequently used data needed by the host computer will be located in the solid state memory when requested. An SSHD will also make your laptop boot faster. If you drop a laptop with a SSD inside, you can be sure that this won’t impact the drive or the data on it (provided that you do not throw it off the Empire State Building). Impacts may however render conventional hard drives unusable as they are not as shock-resistant as SSDs. When this is the case, system performance improves because there is less time spent locating, reading and delivering data to the computer.

solid state drive (SSD) is very fast but will PS4 console benefit from it properly?

However, although gains of between 2-3x can be seen for ‘cached’ data – i.e. programs and files stored in the SSD part of the drive – performance still falls short of a proper SSD. The same is true for hybrid drives. As we use different data at various stages of the day, SSHDs need to be adaptive when it comes to what file are stored where. Be careful to buy a drive which will fit inside your laptop. SSHD pioneers Seagate developed advanced algorithms to track data usage and prioritize frequently-used data for storage in the fast, solid state portion of the drive.
Check the height of the exisiting drive before ordering a new one, as they do vary. PS4 consoles still have other internal storage upgrade solutions that make it more flexible to its users to store as many as needed of games and movies. This technology is adaptive, so as different applications request data over the course of a day, the system changes what data is prioritized as needed. Some ultra-portable laptops won’t accept a 2.5in drive at all, and require an even smaller 1.8in ‘microSATA’ drive. The results are a performance profile very similar to native SSD products, with the added benefit of much higher total storage capacity. Most PC cases have room for multiple drives, so there isn’t such a demand for SSHDs.

Many new PCs come with both an SSD and a hard drive. Windows tends to be installed on a relatively small capacity SSD, say 120GB, along with a few programs, and the HDD provides lots of space for storing your music and photo collection which don’t demand fast storage. The benefit of an SSHD, whether in a PC or laptop, is the fact you don’t need any special software or configuration. It works without you having to decide where to store files and programs. If you don’t configure Windows to store your documents on the hard drive (see our tutorial here for details on how to move program files from an SSD to a hard drive) it’s easy to fill it up to capacity.

An SSD is the most expensive storage expansion option for PS4

An SSD (solid-state drive or solid-state disk) is a nonvolatile storage device that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory. An SSD does much the same job functionally (e.g., saving your data while the system is off, booting your system, etc.) as an HDD, but instead of a magnetic coating on top of platters, the data is stored on interconnected flash memory chips that retain the data even when there’s no power present. SSD devices embed silicon-based memory chips as the storage media for the writing and reading of persistent data. The chips can either be permanently installed on the system’s motherboard (like on some small laptops and ultrabooks), on a PCI/PCIe card (in some high-end workstations), or in a box that’s sized, shaped, and wired to slot in for a laptop or desktop’s hard drive (common on everything else). These flash memory chips differ from the flash memory in USB thumb drives in the type and speed of the memory. SSDs, also known as flash drives or flash cards, are inserted into slots in computer servers — referred to as server-side flash storage — or as part of an enterprise flash storage array system.

  • That’s the subject of a totally separate technical treatise, but suffice it to say that the flash memory in SSDs is faster and more reliable than the flash memory in USB thumb drives.
  • Way back in 1997, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was working part-time at the local Babbage’s for $4.25 an hour, I scraped together enough spare change to purchase a 3Dfx Voodoo-based Diamond Monster 3D video card.
  • SSDs are consequently more expensive than USB thumb drives for the same capacities.
  • The era of 3D acceleration was in its infancy and the Voodoo chipset was the chipset to beat.
  • The SSD has a much more recent history.

It all seems a bit silly now, but when I slapped that sucker into my aging Pentium 90 and fired up the new card’s pack-in version of MechWarrior 2—which had texture-mapping and visual effects that the original 2D version lacked—my jaw hit the floor. There was always an infatuation with non-moving storage from the beginning of personal computing, with technologies like bubble memory flashing (pun intended) and dying in the 1970s and ’80s. I couldn’t wait to speed-dial my buddy Matt and tell him that his much-faster Pentium 166 no longer brought all the polygons to the yard. Current flash memory is the logical extension of the same idea. That video card was the most important PC upgrade I ever made, sparking a total change in my perception of what computers could do.

The flash memory chips store your data and don’t require constant power to retain that data. I didn’t think I would ever again experience something as significant as that one single upgrade—until the first time I booted up a laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD) in it. The first primary drives that we know as SSDs started during the rise of netbooks in the late 2000s. Much like that first glimpse of a texture-mapped MechWarrior 2, that first fast boot signaled a sea change in how I thought and felt about computers. In 2007, the OLPC XO-1 used a 1GB SSD, and the Asus Eee PC 700 series used a 2GB SSD as primary storage.

SSD uses flash memory blocks to transmit data

Solid State Drive (SSD) for PS4 HDD Upgrade

The introduction of 3D graphics changed our perceptions of computing not because it made colors brighter or virtual worlds prettier—though it did those things and they are awesome—but because it made a smoothly responsive 30 and 60 frames per second gaming experience a standard. The SSD chips on low-end Eee PC units and the XO-1 were permanently soldered to the motherboard. Solid-state drives have a similar effect. As netbooks, ultrabooks, and other ultraportable laptop PCs became more capable, the SSD capacities increased, and eventually standardized on the 2.5-inch notebook form factor. They’re faster than spinning disk, to be sure, but their most important contribution isn’t just that they are faster, but rather that they make the whole computer feel faster.

This way, you could pop a 2.5-inch hard drive out of your laptop or desktop and replace it easily with an SSD. They remove barriers between you and your PC, in effect thinning the glass between you and the things that you’re doing with and through your computer. PS4 games will gain a small benefit when an SSD is handling them within the console’s box. Other form factors emerged, like the mSATA miniPCIe SSD card, M.2 SSD, and the DIMM-like SSDs in the Apple MacBook Air, but today many SSDs are still built into the 2.5-inch form factor. Solid-state drives are odd creatures. The 2.5-inch SSD capsacity currently tops out at 4TB, but will undoubtedly grow as time goes by.

so far the mechanical hard drive is the best internal storage upgrade option for PS4

Though they sound simple in theory, they store some surprisingly complex secrets. Because of their rotary recording surfaces, HDD surfaces work best with larger files that are laid down in contiguous blocks. For instance, compare an SSD to a traditional magnetic hard drive. That way, the drive head can start and end its read in one continuous motion. A modern multi-terabyte spinning hard disk plays tricks with magnetism and quantum mechanics, results of decades of research and billions of dollars and multiple Nobel Prizes in physics. But then what about the performance improvement an SSD offers to computer systems? will PS4 gain the same?

When hard drives start to fill up, large files can become scattered around the disk platter, which is otherwise known as fragmentation. The drives contain complex moving parts manufactured to extremely tight tolerances, with drive heads moving around just thousandths of a millimeter above platters rotating at thousands of revolutions per minute. While read/write algorithms have improved to the point that the effect is minimized, the fact of the matter is that PS4 hard drives can become fragmented, while SSDs don’t care where the data is stored on its chips, since there’s no physical read head. A modern solid-state drive performs much more quickly, but it’s also a more mundane on the inside, as it’s really a hard drive-shaped bundle of NAND flash memory. Thus, SSDs are inherently faster.

Simple, right? An SSD has no moving parts, so it is more likely to keep your data safe in the event that you drop your laptop bag or your system is shaken about by an earthquake while it’s operating. However, the controller software powering an SSD fopr PS4 does some remarkable things, and that little hard drive-shaped bundle of memory is more correctly viewed as a computer in its own right. Most hard drives park their read/write heads when the system is off, but they are flying over the drive platter at hundreds of miles an hour when they are in operation. Given that SSDs transform the way computers “feel,” every geek should know at least a bit about how these magical devices operate.

Besides, even parking brakes have limits. We’ll give you that level of knowledge. If you’re rough on your equipment, an SSD is recommended. But because this is Ars, we’re also going to go a lot deeper—10,000 words deep. Here’s the only primer on SSD technology you’ll ever need to read.