PS4 Hard Drive Upgrade

Godmachine

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Some news on the internal tear down of the interface for the disk. It seems the PS4 uses a SATA II or III to USB 3.0 converter board , which means that Sony doesn't want you to be using external hard drives not because they simply didn't have the time to code it into the OS .. but because they are lazy and didn't think it would be a critical feature since 500GB's in their mind is "acceptable" with games clocking in at 40GB's or more.

http://www.fujitsu.com/downloads/MICRO/fma/pdf/MB86C31_FS_082010.pdf

I don't get it. I would happily buy a 3TB 7200 RPM USB 3.0 drive right now and pop a 240GB Samsung EVO SSD in my PS4 having the best of both worlds. I could install more demanding games on the smaller but much faster SSD while having plenty of storage space for anything else (videos , music .. etc). Why not just simply extend the USB 3.0 file code structure to allow for external drives. They better not make us wait 6+ months to add this , now that this is known it seems totally questionable why they didn't see fit to add something that would take them maybe a fraction of their time to add in that would make many worried about storage much more at ease.
 

RadXge

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Hum,.. 400GB of free space leaves room for 10 games at 40GB each.
I do not see why I would need space for 10 games since I play at most 3-5 different games within one month (including racing and sports game).

It is why I will be looking for a 500GB SSD if benchmarks prove substantial performance increase in loading and installation times.
 

nguyen704

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I don't like the fact that ps4 reserves 100GB of your HDD. It makes the stock HDD so small.
 

bigdogchris

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The link on the front page of [H] shows a site that gives some benchies of HDD vs SSHD vs SSD. The SSHD's are right in the middle of performance.
 

demingo

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Hard-drive vs hybrid vs SSD
Only 3 games tested.

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/General-Tech/PlayStation-4-PS4-HDD-SSHD-and-SSD-Performance-Testing

I am not impressed by the additional performance (between 10% to 32% of reduction in loading time with a SSD).
Considering the cost involved, I will wait for more benchmarks before making a switch to a SSD.

If on average, you play 1 hour a day. Over 5 years with an average reduction of 20% in load time, you would gain back 365 hours :)

So it really depends on how much your time is worth to you.
 

Godmachine

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If on average, you play 1 hour a day. Over 5 years with an average reduction of 20% in load time, you would gain back 365 hours :)

So it really depends on how much your time is worth to you.

Except the Hybrid drive load times vary constantly. They speed up for the first few loads then dump the 8GB NAND memory and it starts all over again. The gains are small ultimately. At least a native full SSD is fast constantly on every load.

So unless you want to buy a 500GB SSD or better yet a 1TB SSD then the biggest benefits of the hybrid drive is the extra storage space. Its hard to justify spending $400 more on just a slightly faster SSD.

Here is another fact , if you read on average all the Terms of service agreements per year you agree to you would be wasting over 300 hours doing so.
 

wadec22

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you can find some great deals on last gen ssds on ebay. just make sure you pick a reliable drive that hasn't been beaten to death. I nabbed a m4 512gb for 235.00.

last gen ssds are still going to max out the sata II, shitty non intel storage controller situation anyway.

I know ps3 benchmarks never showed ssd to be worth it, but even the main xmb menu or whatever the hell it was called was a lot more responsive.

of course budgets are all relative so, I can certainly see why someone may go the sshd route, especially if they max out drive space on a console.
 

eloj

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Except the Hybrid drive load times vary constantly. They speed up for the first few loads then dump the 8GB NAND memory and it starts all over again. The gains are small ultimately

I deeply question this conclusion, and your description of how the cache works. I think an SSHD will provide the best balance between price and performance given their small price premium over a regular HDD.

Tested: PlayStation 4 Hard Drive vs. SSD vs. Hybrid Drive
 

Godmachine

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I deeply question this conclusion, and your description of how the cache works. I think an SSHD will provide the best balance between price and performance given their small price premium over a regular HDD.

Tested: PlayStation 4 Hard Drive vs. SSD vs. Hybrid Drive

Really? It was pretty obvious from the review pcper.

After running three different loads of AC IV, I saw some interesting data and wanted to investigate further, so I ran some more tests. Clearly, a pattern is revealing itself with the Seagate 1TB SSHD. After the first load, which we EXPECT to be slower with a hybrid drive as it loads data for the first time, the times decrease a bit in Run 2 and Run 3, but INCREASE again in Run 4. Then drop again in Run 5. And so on.

It would appear that with only 8GB of flash on the hybrid drive we are seeing some "rolling" data changes, possibly because the load for AC IV plus the OS files are going over the 8GB point. This effect might not show up in other games going forward depending on the amount of data required, or might be common across most games going forward. We'll have to see how performance moves going forward but clearly the SSHD leaves some questions for us on performance.

So if the game is moving lots of data around (I/O basically) then 8GB NAND is going to be forced flushed to write further data to keep caching. Where a native SSD would just keep writing and the differences would be the same across any game moving the same amount of data.

So I guess my conclusion of that is just all wrong then :p
 

eloj

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So what you're saying is that it's faster than a regular HD a majority of the time, for a very small price premium?

Your conclusion, lest we forget, was: "the biggest benefits of the hybrid drive is the extra storage space"

The cache "flushing" behaviour seems counter-intuitive, but can perhaps be explained by the limited time frame of the test. Over time I would expect sectors belonging to the OS to stick around. In either case, the point is that when it works you get a nice boost, it sometimes works, and the price premium is low.
 
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bigdogchris

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I know ps3 benchmarks never showed ssd to be worth it,
That's not true at all. There are plenty of games that showed significant performance improvement with an SSD. Check this out. That's one of the many examples of how an SSD can help. Of course, SSD's do not help as much in all games, but there are some cases of significant improvement.

So if the game is moving lots of data around (I/O basically) then 8GB NAND is going to be forced flushed to write further data to keep caching. Where a native SSD would just keep writing and the differences would be the same across any game moving the same amount of data.
8GB of NAND appears to definitely help, but from their example, they show that more NAND could help even more. SSHD bumping up to 16-24GB would probably be the sweet spot for PS4 games moving forward. Of course, going strait SSD is the best possible option but the cost per GB for performance gain can be questioned.

So what you're saying is that it's faster than a regular HD a majority of the time, for a very small price premium?
I think so.
The cache "flushing" behaviour seems counter-intuitive, but can perhaps be explained by the limited time frame of the test. Over time I would expect sectors belonging to the OS to stick around. In either case, the point is that when it works you get a nice boost, it sometimes works, and the price premium is low.
8GB of NAND is nice, but 16-24GB would be even better for PS4. Seagate and Western Digital have some 16 and 24GB NAND SSHD's coming out but there is no exact date. However, the WD ones have connectors that are proprietary, at least as of early 2013. That may change by release.
 

bigdogchris

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Wow, someone has the Western Digital 16GB NAND 1TB hybrid drives up on eBay.

*edit* Link removed

I didn't even know these were on the market already. I can't find any information about them online. I think they're OEM only.

*edit* I removed the link because I found out the WD drive requires a software driver to use the NAND. Seagate and Toshiba drives do not require this.
 
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demingo

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Except the Hybrid drive load times vary constantly. They speed up for the first few loads then dump the 8GB NAND memory and it starts all over again. The gains are small ultimately. At least a native full SSD is fast constantly on every load.

So unless you want to buy a 500GB SSD or better yet a 1TB SSD then the biggest benefits of the hybrid drive is the extra storage space. Its hard to justify spending $400 more on just a slightly faster SSD.

Here is another fact , if you read on average all the Terms of service agreements per year you agree to you would be wasting over 300 hours doing so.

I was talking about SSDs, and fyi, I stuck a 1TB Samung evo in my PS4.
 

Mozex

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If on average, you play 1 hour a day. Over 5 years with an average reduction of 20% in load time, you would gain back 365 hours :)

So it really depends on how much your time is worth to you.

Whooooaaaah there! That math only works out if you spend 100% of your 1 hour loading.

Over 5 years if you load for 5 minutes of a 1 hour playing session you would spend:
152.083 hours loading on the stock drive (5 min/day * 365 days/year * 5 years)

and with an SDD saving 20% (4 minutes loading per hour)
121.667 hours loading.
 

John721

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Just curious, but are there situations where hybrid SSHDs are slower than pure mechanical HDD drives? Access times on first time runs or infrequently used data?
 

demingo

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Whooooaaaah there! That math only works out if you spend 100% of your 1 hour loading.

Over 5 years if you load for 5 minutes of a 1 hour playing session you would spend:
152.083 hours loading on the stock drive (5 min/day * 365 days/year * 5 years)

and with an SDD saving 20% (4 minutes loading per hour)
121.667 hours loading.

shhh no one was supposed to catch that ;)
 

Dawill

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The stock ps4 hd is pretty shatty. I would compare the hybrid with a higher density drive with a 32mb buffer. I wouldn't be surprised if it was better. The hard drive I'm referring to is the HGST Travelstar 5K1500. Amazon sells it for $120 so it's in the same price range. It's also 1.5tb, so largest of the 9.5mm drives I could find.

Has anybody tried that drive in their ps4 yet? I'll probably wait awhile before upgrading but that's the one I was eyeballing.
 
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bigdogchris

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Just curious, but are there situations where hybrid SSHDs are slower than pure mechanical HDD drives? Access times on first time runs or infrequently used data?
Not anymore than a normal hard drive. The drive doesn't force data to NAND before reading as a user, it just caches data there that is frequently accessed. If you look up hybrid drive benchmarks, the random read data is no different than a regular hard drive.

The stock ps4 hd is pretty shatty. I would compare the hybrid with a higher density drive with a 32mb buffer. I wouldn't be surprised if it was better. The hard drive I'm referring to is the HGST Travelstar 5K1500. Amazon sells it for $120 so it's in the same price range. It's also 1.5tb, so largest of the 9.5mm drives I could find.
One of the main issues is latency and seek time, the drive you listed is still 5,400 RPM. The memory buffer on drives is not going to make much of a difference at all. Hard drive DRAM buffers are mainly used to cache command queues and the memory is frequently flushed to prevent data loss.

Also, a hard drive with 32MB DRAM and Hybrid drive with 8GB of NAND is not even comparable as each memory bank is there for different reasons. And FYI, the Seagate Hybrids have 64MB DRAM cache, for what it's worth.
 
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Dawill

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Not anymore than a normal hard drive. The drive doesn't force data to NAND before reading as a user, it just caches data there that is frequently accessed. If you look up hybrid drive benchmarks, the random read data is no different than a regular hard drive.

One of the main issues is latency and seek time, the drive you listed is still 5,400 RPM. The memory buffer on drives is not going to make much of a difference at all. Hard drive DRAM buffers are mainly used to cache command queues and the memory is frequently flushed to prevent data loss.

Also, a hard drive with 32MB DRAM and Hybrid drive with 8GB of NAND is not even comparable as each memory bank is there for different reasons. And FYI, the Seagate Hybrids have 64MB DRAM cache, for what it's worth.

Yes but I was wondering how it would benchmark against the hybrid. The ps4 hard drive is 5400rpm low density and 8mb cache. So the benchmark was ps4 stock vs ssd vs hybrid. I would like to see ps4 stock vs better hd vs ssd vs hybrid.

I don't think the hybrid would beat a better hd by as much or possibly not at all. I personally would rather have an extra 50% storage if the performance delta is negligible.
 

LurkerLito

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Yes but I was wondering how it would benchmark against the hybrid. The ps4 hard drive is 5400rpm low density and 8mb cache. So the benchmark was ps4 stock vs ssd vs hybrid. I would like to see ps4 stock vs better hd vs ssd vs hybrid.

I don't think the hybrid would beat a better hd by as much or possibly not at all. I personally would rather have an extra 50% storage if the performance delta is negligible.

FWIW I checked the video out where they timed the load times with Knack. So as per the video using a stopwatch app I had, I decided to try my drive (HGST Travelstar 1TB 7200RPM 32MB cache) since I have Knack. The 7200 1TB one I installed in the PS4 got to the start screen at 35.94 seconds. Compared to the stock 5400rpm that took 39.67secs, Hybrid 33.67secs, and 34secs for the SSD on their tests. So overall based only on this one test, I'd say I am happy enough with the 7200rpm drive ;).
 

John721

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I'm leaning pretty heavily towards that HGST 1tb 7200rpm one, too.

Though, another interesting drive looks to be available soon. The Samsung/Seagate M9T. 2TB 9.5mm high. Not 7200rpm, of course.
 

bigdogchris

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So I found out the WD SSHD that is only available in Europe requires a software driver to use the 16GB of caching NAND. Seagate and Toshiba SSHD's use the firmware to operate, so they would work in PS4.
 

Godmachine

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I settled on a 1.5TB drive. The differences in speed are good and all but I just want the space. I can deal with a slower drive.
 

kaioshade

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I dropped a 256GB ssd into the system. The load speeds are nice, but i can see myself getting constrained by the space limitations pretty quickly. will probably invest in a 1tb ssd soon.
 

burningrave101

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Anyone seen news or rumors of any new 2.5" mechanical drives on the horizon or are they pretty much being phased out in favor of SSD's in laptops? Would of liked to see Seagate release a 2TB 2.5" hybrid this fall, even better if it was 7200rpm like the older gen Hybrids instead of this slow 5400rpm crap.

Sony needs to add improved OS support for SSD's on the PS4 to better take advantage of their speed as well as supporting TRIM.
 

next-Jin

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Anyone seen news or rumors of any new 2.5" mechanical drives on the horizon or are they pretty much being phased out in favor of SSD's in laptops? Would of liked to see Seagate release a 2TB 2.5" hybrid this fall, even better if it was 7200rpm like the older gen Hybrids instead of this slow 5400rpm crap.

Sony needs to add improved OS support for SSD's on the PS4 to better take advantage of their speed as well as supporting TRIM.

I'm not sure that it matters with the SATA II standard they went with. I would have liked to see them use SATA III and have baseline configurations for mechanical and SSD but w/e it plays games.
 

GrimmRogue

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I was wondering if you guys are seeing good benefits to swapping the HD to a SSD. I just purchased Assassins Creed Unity and the load times are almost painstaking. I could leave mix a drink and it still would be loading.
I was just wondering if there maybe some disadvantages, honestly I didn't read through the entire thread.
 

next-Jin

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I was wondering if you guys are seeing good benefits to swapping the HD to a SSD. I just purchased Assassins Creed Unity and the load times are almost painstaking. I could leave mix a drink and it still would be loading.
I was just wondering if there maybe some disadvantages, honestly I didn't read through the entire thread.

Just get an SSHD and call it a day.

You save a few seconds here and there with an SSD (over a SSHD) but overall it's not worth the cost to go SSD, especially if you only play 1 or 2 games on a constant basis. Both are quite a bit faster than the standard HDD that comes with the system and most people go SSHD or a 2TB HD depending on what you need.

Mind you when 1TB SSDs come out for 130 bucks or so I'll get one for my PS4 but that's going to be another year or two.

Also Unity is dog shit, not a game one should use to judge anything on any platform (PC, One or PS4).
 

Converge

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Just put the samsung Spinpoint 2TB drive in my PS4. Hopefully the drive doesn't shit itself :) I watched a comparison video of different drives in the PS4 and it didn't seem like the SSD/sshd/7200rpm drives made any real difference. The 7200rpm is just adding heat in my opinion. So I went with storage in mind and dropped in the 2TB. You can get the drive for $99 if you buy it as an external drive and remove it from the enclosure. For some reason buying the bare drive costs you $15 more.

I have definitely noticed load times decreased with Farcry 4, so that's cool. I've read about this drive shitting the bed not long after being bought by people so hopefully it doesn't happen. I have the original ps4 drive still of course in case it does.
 

Eshelmen

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I bought a 2tb from amazon. Not sure if it's any quicker, but boy is it nice to have 1.7 terabytes of free space.
 

Vegasr

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Going to buy a HD today for my PS4 today. Not going with a SSD so looks like the 1TB Seagate SSHD is what's recommended, which I can pick up at BB today ($105 price matching Amazon)
Any other last minute suggestions?
Thanks
 

Eshelmen

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http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Momentus-SpinPoint-ST2000LM003-Notebook/dp/B00I8O6OQ4

This is the drive I've been using for nearly four months, haven't had one issue.

Oh no! It's not 7200 RPMS. If I wanted zippy loading times, I would of kept upgrading my PC . Quite frankly, I haven't had any issue with loading times with any game. Before this HD or after.

I recommend this drive if you want a much bigger hard drive and you'll see the same to a little more performance than stock.
 
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