SSD is all the rage, and the high speed it offers to the system equipped with it is so appealing. For this reason, the biggest dream of any PS4 PRO fanboy in terms of storage upgrade is undoubtedly a solid state drive (SSD).
What does an SSD offer to PS4 PRO system
The PS4 Pro has an HDR mode in the front end (with automatic/off selectables) but there’s no guarantee that the title itself supports the feature. Crucial’s Storage Executive software works with this series, as well. In fact, most of them don’t right now. The internal hard drive of PS4 Slim is set to 500GB of storage capacity, whereas the internal hard drive of PS4 PRO is set to 1tb of storage capacity. The software allows you to monitor S.M.A.R.T. data, enable Momentum Cache (a DRAM-based cache system that uses system memory), secure erase the drive, update the firmware and manage the AES 256-bit encryption. Where HDR is an option, you’ll generally find a toggle within the game’s options screens – as seen in InFamous First Light, Deus Ex Mankind Divided and Uncharted 4.
Crucial removed the limited edition branding we found on the 750GB model. Due to limitations in the mediums we have available, we can’t really show you the difference, but it’s also worth bearing in mind that HDR results vary dramatically from one display to another. Thinking to upgrade PS4 PRO storage device with an SSD? Then be ready to pay a premium for this choice. Other than the sticker, the packaging, drive and accessory package remained the same. At the Sony press events so far, we’ve seen games showcased on the cutting-edge ZD9 display, one of the best and the most expensive screens money can buy. The package lists the contents, warranty length, and a link to Crucial’s software package.
The performance metrics
Revisiting Uncharted on our mid-range Panasonic DX750, the improvements are actually rather more subtle, more correct if you like. Getting a 2tb hard drive replacement for PS4 Slim is what we always recommend for power users who have heaps of games to play and store internally. The newly released models all look the same as the MX300 Special Edition 750GB we tested in June. Buying an HDR screen for gaming is a bit of a minefield at the moment, and getting a game-changing experience from HDR seems to scale in line with the amount of money you’re willing to pay. We also recommend a 2tb hard drive for PS4 PRO, but for users with more storage needs, we recommend either 4tb or 6tb. Crucial figured out what side is the top of an SSD, so the stickers appear normal. With the emphasis on Pro support going towards high resolution modes, the big worry with PlayStation Pro has been that there’s not much here to excite 1080p gamers who are not yet ready to upgrade their displays.
Games load much faster
This series, like most others shipping, uses the 7mm Z-height in a 2.5″ form factor. It’s a fair point because while there are some great, inexpensive 4K screens out there like the Samsung KU6400 we reviewed recently, HDR technology is still in its infancy – so there are some good reasons for sticking with full HD. Deciding which hard drive to get for PS4 PRO can be tricky, but in fact, things can be easier than what you think. Both the 525GB and the 1050GB MX300 use the same Marvell 88SS1074 “Dean” 4-channel controller and Micron 3D TLC NAND. What does the Pro offer here? To reach the higher capacity, Crucial simply doubled the number of NAND packages rather than using the same printed circuit board and doubling the density of the NAND packages.
The bottom line is that it’s going to vary on a per-game basis. The 1050GB drive also ships with more DRAM and capacitors, which help protect your data. An SSD offers top-level speed for PS4 PRO systems, but with a high price tag. At the most basic level, you should get super-sampling as standard – the process where a higher resolution image is downscaled to 1080p. It may not sound particularly thrilling, and the boost to image quality basically depends on how good anti-aliasing was in the base PS4 title to begin with. Titles like Uncharted 4 are already extremely clean, but the difference in others can be dramatic.