Best PS4 Slim Internal Hard Drive Upgrade Options

Best PS4 Slim Internal Hard Drive Upgrade Options

What can a 500gb of storage capacity (that PS4 Slim offers) do for an enthusiast who has tons of high-end video games in mind to install and play? Or what’s the benefit of that limited capacity for a family that all of its members use the same game console? Here arises the need of upgrading the internal hard drive of PS4 Slim with a larger one that offers more capacity and even better performance.

Yes, it’s possible to swap the PS4 Slim stock hard drive with another drive of your choice, just if it meets the standards specified by Sony in this regard, and many PS4 Slim fanboys are going through this route to expand the storage capability of their game console to enhance their gaming experience.

Then, as for the replaced drive, it’s used as an external storage support for PS4 Slim, after assembling it with an external hard drive enclosure.

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 Slim HDD Replacement

If I’m asked about the ultimately best data storage solution upgrade for PS4 Slim, 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 Slim 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 Slim 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 Slim system. You can read more about that in our PS4 Slim 3.5-inch hard drive upgrade guide.

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

Seagate FireCuda 2.5″ 2tb SSHD
Seagate FireCuda 2.5-inch hybrid drive (SSHD) [ST2000LX001] is our top pick for PS4 Slim 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 Slim HDD Upgrade

We have strong and valid reasons for considering Seagate Firecuda 2tb SSHD (ST2000LX001) as the best hard drive upgrade for PS4 Slim. 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 Slim) 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 Slim fanboys. Bearing in mind that new games specially designed for PS4 Slim 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 Slim requires a maximum thickness of 9.5mm for any hard drive replacement, this drive comes to fit seamlessly into PS4 Slim’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 Slim’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 Slim

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 Slim with the same capacity size, especially that PS4 Slim compatible games are so hungry for storage space.
  • The drive must go with the specifications of PS4 Slim 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 PS4 Slim doesn’t support SATA III interface, a 2tb hard drive with that interface ensures its optimized enough for performance. 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 Slim
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 Slim 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 Slim Hard Drive Specifications

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

  1. 1TB of storage capacity
  2. SATA II interface. PS4 Slim doesn’t support SATA III, unlike its sibling PS4 PRO.
  3. 32MB cache memory.
  4. 5400rpm spindle speed.
  5. 2.5-inch form factor and 9.5mm hight

As for PS4 Slim 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 Slim 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 Slim

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 Slim

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

PS4 Slim 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 Slim storage with a high-end hard drive

storing PS4 Slim games on a regular hard drive
You won’t have the original filenames, so an image such as kitten.jpg could become f0015362.jpg. Clusters cannot be 64 kilobytes (KB) or larger. If you have lots of files, you’ll have to look at them and rename them manually. Windows cannot format drives and partitions larger than 32GB in FAT32. But at least you have the data back. High-end hard drives are basically made for power computers, but they can be also used for PS4 Slim storage upgrade. NTFS is the modern file system Windows likes to use. When you install Windows, it formats your system drive with the NTFS file system. NTFS first appeared in consumer versions of Windows with Windows XP. High-end hard drives will provide PS4 Slim system with a much higher speed with a solid performance level. It supports file permissions for security, a change journal that can help quickly recover errors if your computer crashes, shadow copies for backups, encryption, disk quota limits, hard links, and other various features. Many of these are crucial for an operating system drive — especially file permissions.

Different high-end data storage solutions for PS4 Slim

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. Moreover, if you own a PS4 PRO game console, you may consider looking into our top picks of PS4 PRO hard drive.

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

  1. Traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD). It’s just the same type found inside PS4 Slim 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 Slim, 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 Slim 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 Slim 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 Slim 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 Slim 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. Think about upgrading PS4 PRO to 2tb hard drive capacity if you feel you need more space for your games. 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 Slim 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 Slim stock hard drive

finding the best hdd for PS4 Slim should follow strict criteria
However, NTFS just isn’t as compatible with other operating systems. It’ll work with all recent versions of Windows — all the way back to Windows XP — but it has limited compatibility with other operating systems. By default, Mac OS X can only read NTFS drives, not write to them. None of Sony’s PlayStation consoles support NTFS. Even Microsoft’s own Xbox 360 can’t read NTFS drives, although the new Xbox One can. Replacing the stock hard drive of PS4 Slim offers a promising age of gaming experience where a storage space is not an issue at all. NTFS has file size and partition size limits that are so theoretically huge you won’t run up against them. exFAT was introduced in 2006, and was added to older versions of Windows with updates to Windows XP and Windows Vista. It’s a file system optimized for flash drives. A PS4 PRO 4tb hard drive will make you relaxed enough that it’s way too far to run out of space in the near future. It’s designed to be a lightweight file system like FAT32 without all NTFS’s extra features and overhead, but without FAT32’s limitations.exFAT is also more compatible than NTFS. What will be gained from a PS4 Slim hard drive replacement if the newly chosen drive is also 1tb of capacity? While Mac OS X includes only read-only support for NTFS, Macs offer full read-write support for exFAT. exFAT drives can be accessed on Linux by installing the appropriate software. While exFAT is compatible with Macs — and will be compatible with some devices that don’t support NTFS, like digital cameras — it still isn’t quite as compatible.

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 Slim, 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 Slim Hard Drive storage capacity

PS4 Slim 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 Slim 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 Slim

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 Slim 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 Slim 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

Microsoft’s own Xbox 360 doesn’t support it, although the Xbox One does. The PlayStation 3 doesn’t support exFAT drives, although the PlayStation 4 reportedly does. Various other older devices may only support FAT32 instead of exFAT. Computers will benefit the most from SSDs, unlike the case of PS4 Slim systems. Use it for USB flash drives and other external drives, especially if you need files of over 4 GB in size. Assuming every device you want to use the drive with supports exFAT, you should format your device with exFAT instead of FAT32. NTFS is ideal for internal drives, while exFAT is generally ideal for flash drives. However, you may sometimes need to format an external drive with FAT32 if exFAT isn’t supported on a device you need to use it with. If you are curious, open only defective hard drives (our hard drive was defective). An SSD will still make your PS4 Slim 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 connector you see in Figure 7 is the opposite side of the connector in Figure 6. This includes head repositioning, seek time, rpm—it’s the total time needed. Another potential problem with separate /home partitions is the size constraint. Like SCSI, the original ATA format utilized a parallel bus interface, though it did not require use of signal terminators with its cables. The hard drive can have several discs.

Backup stock Hard Drive data before upgrading

comparing PS4 standard with PS4 Slim
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 Slim 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 Slim 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 Slim 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 Slim stock hard drive, you need to reinstall the operating system of PS4 Slim 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 Slim 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 Slim games on the new hard drive

Burst transfer rate only refers to the transfer speed between the hard disk and the RAM cache. If you put everything on one partition, then the OS and home directories both have access to free space. Originally called ATA, the parallel format was renamed Parallel AT Attachment (PATA) after the introduction of the Serial AT Attachment interface. At the end of the day, upgrading the internal hard drive of PS4 Slim to a larger capacity drive is a mandatory step to serious gamers who have lots to download and play. The one on our picture had three discs. This is the vinyl record, so to speak; the disk that contains the sectors and tracks (all the info). This is the core that runs the platter and determines the speed of the spinning, measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). This is the “needle” that reads the data from the platter.

Actually it is fairly simple and you can learn the trick from us. A higher MTBF may put your mind at ease. Whichever Linux flavor you happen to be running, your personal files will always be there, stored safely on a separate part of the disk. Newer computers with SSD drives have no movable parts and therefore have no RPM. You can now finally enjoy playing more high-end PS4 Slim games without worrying again about running out of space. Just type in the numbers located on the first line of the chip package on Google and it will return a lot of information about the chip!