Best PS4 PRO Internal Hard Drive Upgrade Options

Best PS4 PRO Internal Hard Drive Upgrade Options

Upgrading the internal hard drive of PS4 PRO has been a trend of many fanboys who look forward to getting larger storage space for their games and better performance. The good news here is that Sony makes swapping the PS4 PRO stock hard drive a very easy and flexible operation. You don’t need to be a technical savvy in order to carry it out. Just with little knowledge, and following the outlined steps, you’ll be successfully done without any sort of hassle.

For the quick readers who are in hurry to find out the best hard drive brand for PS4, we lay out below our top picks in this pursuit.

Our Top-Picks for PS4 PRO HDD Replacement

If I’m asked about the ultimately best data storage solution upgrade for PS4 PRO, I’ll definitely say it’s the solid-state drive (SSD), which is way better than a regular hard drive in all aspects except price, which can be more than 3 times the price of the latter.

I have already made a separate guide on PS4 PRO SSD, so please check it if you’re interested.

Here, in this article, I recommend mechanical hard drives only, and although a solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD) is considered a new storage device type, I have included it in my recommendation list because it’s originally a mechanical hard drive but optimized with a 2nd tier SSD cache memory.

It’s also worth to state that my recommendations here are all 2.5-inch form factor drives, which perfectly fit into PS4 PRO drive bay/cage. Otherwise, you can go with a 3.5-inch desktop hard drive instead, as 3.5-inch hard drives are always known to be faster than 2.5-inch drives, but you’ll need then an additional equipment in order to be able to incorporate this type of drives into PS4 PRO system. You can read more about that in our PS4 PRO 3.5-inch hard drive upgrade guide.

So let’s view my top recommendations for PS4 PRO storage upgrade:

Seagate FireCuda 2.5″ 2tb SSHD
Seagate FireCuda 2.5-inch hybrid drive (SSHD) [ST2000LX001] is our top pick for PS4 PRO storage upgrade. It features a 128mb buffer cache as a 1st tier, and a 8gb solid state memory cache as 2nd tier. Alongside with 2tb storage capacity and 5400rpm spindle speed. All that makes it the fastest non-SSD drive in 2.5-inch form.

Seagate Barracuda 2tb HDD
ST2000LM015

Seagate Mobile HDD 2tb
ST2000LM007

Seagate SpinPoint M9T
ST2000LM003

Seagate Firecuda 2tb is the Best PS4 PRO HDD Upgrade

We have strong and valid reasons for considering Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD (ST2000LX001) as the best hard drive upgrade for PS4 PRO. These reasons are:

  1. It features a compromise between speed, capacity and price. A Solid State hybrid hard drive (SSHD) is a combination of a regular mechanical hard drive (HDD) (the same as the one found inside PS4 PRO) and the super-fast solid state drive (SSD). Because SSD is way too expensive, the idea of SSHD has come to surface to leverage the huge and cheap storage space of HDD and the high speed of SSD into one drive-form combination. Although it’s still way behind an SSD in terms of speed, it’s degrees better than regular HDD.
  2. The extensive capacity of 2tb that meets the future requirements from storage space of the overwhelming majority of PS4 PRO fanboys. Bearing in mind that new games specially designed for PS4 PRO to leverage its advanced features will be heavyweight and require larger storage space (more than those made for the PS4 Standard).
  3. It has a 2-tier caching architecture. The 1st tier is a 128mb buffer cache memory, and the 2nd tier is a 8gb solid state cache memory. In fact it’s just another version of Seagate Barracuda ST2000LM015 (that’s deemed the fastest 2tb hard drive in 2.5-inch form factor) with an additional 2nd tier solid state cache memory for a better performance.
  4. The SATA III bus interface that drive is configured with offers the highest possible data transfer speed out of the drive.
  5. It’s not more than 7mm thick. While PS4 PRO requires a maximum thickness of 9.5mm for any hard drive replacement, this drive comes to fit seamlessly into PS4 PRO’s drive bay.

Eventually, if you feel that a 2tb of storage capacity is not enough, you can try a 4tb capacity or even larger, but you have then to bear in mind that you’ll never find a larger than 2tb capacity hard drive that fits into PS4 PRO’s drive bay, therefore you’ll need a special accessory that helps you achieve this purpose, called DATA BANK.

Our Criteria in Selecting the Best Hard Drive for PS4 PRO

Before including any drive in our “top picks” list, we make sure it absolutely meets with the following standards:

  • Storage capacity shouldn’t be less than 2tb. As it doesn’t make a big sense to replace the 1tb stock hard drive of PS4 PRO with the same capacity size, especially that PS4 PRO compatible games are so hungry for storage space.
  • The drive must go with the specifications of PS4 PRO storage upgrade. Which are: 2.5-inch form factor, SATA interface and maximum 9.5mm thickness.
  • The drive’s manufacturer must be prominent and highly reputable in the HDD industry. Although this leaves us with very limited options, it’s worth it if you want the best of the best. The top HDD manufacturers that you can rely on are: Seagate, Western Digital (WD) and Toshiba.
  • SATA III interface. Although it has been reported that PS4 PRO stock hard drive is a SATA-II drive, the PS4 PRO motherboard supports SATA III. So using a hard drive configured with SATA-III interface is meant to leverage the utmost power of this technology to provide higher data transfer speed and consequently better overall performance.
  • Spindle Speed is not less than 5400rpm. All the drives in our list spin at 5400rpm, as it’s very difficult to increase the spindle speed to a higher degree with many compressed platters that provide a capacity of 2tb, or else the drive will suffer from serious defects. Therefore, to keep the drive at a consistent level of performance, the speed must be reduced. But it’s still a very good speed for its purpose.

After we implemented these standards and did our research, we couldn’t find other than Seagate that produce hard drives with these standards.


If you’re absolutely novice about storage devices and what they are and how they work, please continue reading below if you’re interested to learn.

What a Hard Drive is and How it Works

the type of mechanical hard drive that's used for PS4 PRO
A hard disk drive (sometimes abbreviated as Hard drive, HD, or HDD) is a non-volatile memory hardware device that permanently stores and retrieves data on a computer. 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 rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material. Storage is the hard drive’s responsibility. Using a new hard drive with PS4 PRO that offers a better speed and bigger capacity will certainly enhance your gaming experience with this lofty high-end game console from Sony. A computer hard disk drive (HDD) is the mechanism that controls the positioning, reading and writing of the hard disk, which furnishes data storage. A hard disk is part of a unit, often called a “disk drive,” “hard drive,” or “hard disk drive,” that stores and provides relatively quick access to large amounts of data on an electromagnetically charged surface or set of surfaces.

PS4 PRO Hard Drive Specifications

The specifications of PS4 PRO hard drive don’t really differ from the standard version of PS4 1TB, which are:

  1. 1TB of storage capacity
  2. SATA II interface. Although PS4 PRO motherboard supports SATA III, but it has been reported that the stock hard drive used within it is a SATA II instead.
  3. 32MB cache memory.
  4. 5400rpm spindle speed.
  5. 2.5-inch form factor and 9.5mm hight

As for PS4 PRO itself, it has the following specifications, as published by the official website of PS4 here.

Product name PlayStation®4
Product code CUH-2000 series
Main processor

Single-chip custom processor

CPU : x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores

GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ based graphics engine

Memory GDDR5 8GB
Storage size* 500GB, 1TB
External dimensions Approx. 265×39×288 mm (width × height × length) 
(excludes largest projection)
Mass Approx. 2.1 kg
BD/ DVD drive
(read only)
BD × 6 CAV
DVD × 8 CAV
Input/ Output Super-Speed USB (USB 3.1 Gen1) port × 2 
AUX port × 1
Networking

Ethernet(10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)×1

IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth®v4.0

Power AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz
Power consumption Max. 165W
Operating Temperature 5 ºC – 35ºC
AV output HDMI™ out port (HDR output supported)

You may have experienced this scenario: you turn on your computer and you get a black screen with the message ‘Imminent Hard Disk Failure.’ Or, you’ve dropped your laptop on the floor, your screen goes black, and your computer won’t turn back on again. Replacing the PS4 hard drive requires that you know first the specifications of the new hard drive that you’re going to upgrade your PS4 PRO game console with. A hard drive consists of one or more platters to which data is written using a magnetic head, all inside of an air-sealed casing. The platters are paired with magnetic heads arranged on a moving actuator arm, which read and write data to the platter surfaces. Everything you keep on your computer is on a hard drive. A hard disk drive — often shortened to hard drive — and hard disk are not the same thing, but they are packaged as a unit and either term can refer to the whole unit.

Swapping the internal storage device of PS4 PRO

Today’s computers typically come with a hard disk that contains several billion bytes (gigabytes) of storage. More often than not the problem is your hard drive. PS4 internal storage device is featured by a 2.5-inch mechanical hard drive that’s found usually in laptop computers. Internal hard disks reside in a drive bay, connect to the motherboard using an ATA, SCSI, or SATA cable, and are powered by a connection to the PSU (power supply unit).As can be seen in the picture above, the desktop hard drive consists of the following components: the head actuator, read/write actuator arm, read/write head, spindle, and platter. When you go to swap the stock hard drive of PS4 with a new hard drive, make sure the new hard drive is better in terms of speed and capacity, in order to make your swap process reasonable. 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. Not just documents, pictures, music and videos.

A list of the best hard drive options for PS4 PRO

Here we lay out what we consider the best hard drive upgrade solutions for PS4 PRO.

PS4 PRO top-rated hard drive upgrades
Brand Model Capacity form factor speed
Seagate Firecuda ST2000LX001 2 TB 2.5″ 5400 RPM
Seagate Barracuda ST2000LM015 2 TB 2.5″ 5400 RPM
Seagate Mobile HDD ST2000LM007 2 TB 2.5″ 5400 RPM
Seagate SpinPoint M9T ST2000LM003 2 TB 2.5″ 5400 RPM

The top three items listed above have 128mb buffer cache memory and the fourth one has only 32mb.

Upgrading PS4 PRO storage with a high-end hard drive

storing PS4 PRO games on a regular hard drive
Hard disk drives can be found in desktop computers, mobile devices, consumer electronics and enterprise storage arrays in data centers. High-end hard drives are basically made for power computers, but they can be also used for PS4 PRO storage upgrade. A hard disk is really a set of stacked “disks,” each of which, like phonograph records, has data recorded electromagnetically in concentric circles or “tracks” on the disk. If your hard drive has crashed, you may have lost all your documents, photos, music, etc. On the back of a hard drive is a circuit board called the disk controller or interface board and is what allows the hard drive to communicate with the computer. High-end hard drives will provide PS4 PRO system with a much higher speed with a solid performance level. HDDs are a type of non-volatile memory, retaining stored data even when powered off.

Different high-end data storage solutions for PS4 PRO

Your programs, your preferences, even your operating system—they’re all stored on your computer’s hard drive. The hard disk was created in 1953 by engineers at IBM who wanted to find a way to provide random access to high capacities of data at a low cost. Changing the hard drive of PS4 to another data storage device requires you to be aware of the different types of these devices in order to make the correct decision. A “head” (something like a phonograph arm but in a relatively fixed position) records (writes) or reads the information on the tracks. It can be one of the more frustrating experiences for any computer user. An internal hard drive is connected to the computer using a data cable (IDE or SATA) that connects to the motherboard and a power cable that connects to the power supply.

In fact, there are three different types of data storage devices that fits for the purpose of upgrading PS4 PRO internal HDD, which are:

  1. Traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD). It’s just the same type found inside PS4 PRO and you can replace it with a newer and stronger one.
  2. Solid State Hybrid Drive (aka Hybrid HDD, or SSHD). Which features a compromise between the high speed of SSD and the large capacity of traditional hard drive.
  3. Solid State Drive (SSD). It’s based on flash memory technology for storing and transferring data. It’s 4 to 5 times faster than a traditional hard drive. It’s the best data storage upgrade you can do for your PS4 PRO, only if you can afford its price.

Considering other HDD alternatives

Introduced by IBM in 1956, HDDs became the dominant secondary storage device for general-purpose computers by the early 1960s. PS4 PRO can run so fast with an SSD compared to other storage devices like HDD and SSHD, but it’s way too expensive to an average PS4 PRO user. If your hard drive is damaged, you can lose it all. The disk drives developed were the size of refrigerators, could store 3.75 megabytes of data and began shipping in 1956. Two heads, one on each side of a disk, read or write the data as the disk spins. Read on to learn how your hard drive works, and some simple steps you can take to avoid losing all your files if it crashes.

A hard drive can be used to store any data, including pictures, music, videos, text documents, and any files created or downloaded. Continuously improved, HDDs have maintained this position into the modern era of servers and personal computers. That’s the sad truth. Replacing the internal hard drive of PS4 PRO requires that you know what exactly you want the new hard drive for. Memorex, Seagate and Western Digital were other early vendors of hard disk drive technology. Each read or write operation requires that data be located, which is an operation called a “seek.” (Data already in a disk cache, however, will be located more quickly.)A hard disk/drive unit comes with a set rotation speed varying from 4500 to 7200 rpm.

The storage capacity that maters

The hard drive of a computer is a device that stores all the software installed on a computer, as well as all the data files created and used by this software. When you look for a good storage device to change the PS4 PRO hard drive with, give the priority to the storage space of that particular drive, as there where you are going to store your games. Also, hard drives store files for the operating system and software programs that run on the computer. More than 200 companies have produced HDDs historically, though after extensive industry consolidation most current units are manufactured by Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital. Which is why most people have a backup system. Hard disk drive form-factor size has continued to decrease as the technology evolves.

Disk access time is measured in milliseconds. This includes any documents you have created and downloaded, such as photos and music. All primary computer hard drives are found inside a computer case and are attached to the computer motherboard using an ATA, SCSI, or SATA cable, and are powered by a connection to the PSU (power supply unit). Thinking about how much PS4 PRO internal storage device can hold of data is limited by the 1tb of storage capacity it features. The hard drive is typically capable of storing more data than any other drive, but its size can vary depending on the type of drive and its age. As of 2016, HDD production (in bytes per year) is growing, although unit shipments and sales revenues are declining. They get another hard drive and copy all their important files onto that.

Compatible 4K display required as well as dynamic 4K capable software. Game resolution depends on software. 4K Entertainment requires subscription to 4K-compatible content streaming service, a robust internet connection, and a compatible 4K display. PS4 Pro does not support 4K Blu-ray Discs. PS4 Pro provides auto-upscaling for standard Blu-ray Discs.

Source

Replacing PS4 PRO stock hard drive

finding the best hdd for PS4 PRO should follow strict criteria
By the mid-1980s, 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch form factors were introduced, and it was at this time they first became a standard in personal computers (PCs).Hard disk drive density has increased since the technology was first developed. Although the physical location can be identified with cylinder, track, and sector locations, these are actually mapped to a logical block address (LBA) that works with the larger address range on today’s hard disks. Replacing the stock hard drive of PS4 PRO offers a promising age of gaming experience where a storage space is not an issue at all. The hard drive is a form of permanent storage, rather than temporary memory such as random-access memory (RAM). This means that when you turn off the computer the files remain safely stored on the drive so you can use them again the next time you start your computer. Older hard drives had a storage size of several hundred megabytes (MB) to several gigabytes (GB). Newer hard drives have a storage size of several hundred gigabytes to several terabytes (TB). What will be gained from a PS4 PRO hard drive replacement if the newly chosen drive is also 1tb of capacity? Each year, new and improved technology allows for increasing hard drive storage sizes. The primary competing technology for secondary storage is flash memory in the form of solid-state drives (SSDs), which have higher data-transfer rates, higher areal storage density, better reliability,and much lower latency and access times.

Five steps in the way to upgrade

Everything that can be saved on a hard drive is measured in terms of its size. The first hard disk drives were able to store megabytes of data, while today they are in the terabyte (TB) range. When upgrading the storage device of PS4 PRO, you have to follow the steps outlined by Sony in this regard in order to make sure you’re doing things correctly. The hard drive is sometimes referred to as the “C drive” due to the fact that Microsoft Windows designates the “C” drive letter to the primary partition on the primary hard drive in a computer by default. There are two general types of hard drives: hard disk drives (HDD), which use one or more rotating discs and rely on magnetic storage, and solid-state drives (SDD), which have no moving mechanical parts, but use flash memory like the kind found in USB flash drives. If you are trying to find the physical dimensions of a hard drive, there are many variations, but their physical sizes are typically either 3.5″ for desktop computers and 2.5″ for laptops.

Expand PS4 PRO Hard Drive storage capacity

PS4 PRO game console allows an easy hard drive swap process
While SSDs have higher cost per bit, SSDs are replacing HDDs where speed, power consumption, small size, and durability are important. Text is very small, pictures are larger, music is even bigger, and video is the biggest of the bunch. Hitachi released the first 1 TB hard drives in 2007. You can expand the storage capabilities of PS4 PRO by adding either an external hard drive where you can backup your hard drive regularly, or just replace it with a larger drive that can hold the amount of game data you wish. While this is not a technically correct term to use, it is still common. If you have a regular desktop computer, you most likely have a hard disk drive.

Using an SSD for PS4 PRO

All newer SSD are 2.5″ for desktop and laptop drives. The primary characteristics of an HDD are its capacity and performance. A hard drive is like a scale. In 2015, HGST announced the first 10 TB hard drive. For example, some computers have multiple drive letters. An SSD offers a high level of performance to PS4 PRO systems, which is supposedly very impressive to fanboys. Solid-state drives are more typical for high-end, expensive laptops. Data sent to and read from the hard drive is interpreted by the disk controller, which tells the hard drive what to do and how to move the components in the drive. 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). The only thing that holds us back from recommending an SSD for PS4 PRO storage upgrade is the steep price that is almost 4 times more than a regular hard drive. 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 doesn’t know the difference between things that are on it; it only knows their size. Most basic hard drives consist of a number of disk platters that are positioned around a spindle inside a sealed chamber.

An SSD is made primarily for computers

Every computer has at least one internal hard drive to store software and data. When the operating system needs to read or write information, it examines the hard drive’s File Allocation Table (FAT) to determine file location and available write areas. Computers will benefit the most from SSDs, unlike the case of PS4 PRO systems. 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). An SSD will still make your PS4 PRO game console much faster than that with a regular hard drive, but the question that arises here is: can you afford it or not? The two most common form factors for modern HDDs are 3.5-inch, for desktop computers, and 2.5-inch, primarily for laptops. But instead of kilograms, a hard drive measures things in terms of megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB.)Roughly speaking, a megabyte is 1 million bytes, a gigabyte is 1 billion bytes, and a terabyte is 1 trillion bytes.

Backup stock Hard Drive data before upgrading

comparing PS4 standard with PS4 PRO
The chamber also includes read-and-write heads and motors. A hard drive is usually the size of a paperback book but much heavier. If you are using a Windows operating system, this drive is typically called the C drive. You’ll need to backup the internal hard drive of PS4 PRO before thinking of any kind of upgrade. Once they have been determined, the disk controller instructs the actuator to move the read/write arm and align the read/write head. HDDs are connected to systems by standard interface cables such as PATA (Parallel ATA), SATA (Serial ATA), USB or SAS (Serial attached SCSI) cables.

What does this mean for Seagate? The motor is used to spin the platters, which hold the data, at up to 15,000 rotations per minute (a higher rpm number results in faster performance). As the platters spin, a second motor controls the position of the read-and-write heads that record information to, and read information from, tracks on each platter. PS4 PRO backup software will take you through the backup process without any hassle, just follow the easy steps appear on the screen and you’re done. The sides of the hard drive have pre-drilled, threaded holes for easy mounting in the 3.5-inch drive bay in the computer case. If you are using a Mac, it is just called the hard drive. Because files are often scattered throughout the platter, the head needs to move to different locations to access all information.

Reinstalling the PS4 PRO system software

Hard disk drives were introduced in 1956, as data storage for an IBM real-time transaction processing computer and were developed for use with general-purpose mainframe and minicomputers. These drives did not require a battery to keep data stored on the memory chips, making them a non-volatile storage medium. After completing the backup process, and successfully replacing the PS4 PRO stock hard drive, you need to reinstall the operating system of PS4 PRO in order to get it running.

Sony offers a full version of the operating system software for free on this link. It’s the same software used for other models of PS4, including PS4 standard and PS4 slim.

This is not always practical so it is often easier to connect a separate external hard drive. Now after the operating system is installed, your PS4 PRO game console is ready for use, and now you can enjoy 4k gaming experience. This is just like an internal hard drive, but is protected by a metal or plastic casing and has an outlet to connect a computer. USB connections are common, but other types of interfaces are also available. In addition to providing additional storage capacity, external drives are also widely used to create a backup copy of the critical files of a computer’s internal hard drive. All hard drives will fail at some point.

Re-installing PS4 PRO games on the new hard drive

Typically, a hard drive will last for many years, and you may decide to replace your entire computer before the hard drive breaks down or gets damaged. At the end of the day, upgrading the internal hard drive of PS4 PRO to a larger capacity drive is a mandatory step to serious gamers who have lots to download and play. However, imagine the scenario where you have a new laptop and you save all your important files on its hard drive: data files for your job, assignments for school, family pictures, tax returns, everything. One day you are working on your laptop and by accident you push it from your desk on the floor. You hear some strange noises and when you try to re-start your computer nothing happens. If you had a serious hard drive failure, you may have lost all of your data.

Data recovery may be possible, but this is typically very expensive, so you need to create a backup copy of your important files on a regular basis. A one TB external hard drive with a USB connection costs around $100, so that is a small price to pay for some peace of mind. You can now finally enjoy playing more high-end PS4 PRO games in 4k modes without worrying again about running out of space.