Video games are becoming increasingly massive, both in terms of the scale of their open worlds and the amount of space they take up on the built in hard drive. And even if you prefer to play your games off the disc, a majority of modern AAA games are increasingly requiring you to store massive chunks of data on your hard drive.
There’s simply no way to avoid storage anymore, and while the latest versions of the Playstation 4 offer a full terabyte of storage, that’s only a fraction of what many serious gamers will need. Fortunately, you aren’t stuck with the stock hard drive. We’ve carefully scoured the web and found 10 of the contenders for the best hard drive for PS4.
- 10 Best Hard Drives For PS4
- 1. Seagate FireCuda 2TB Solid State Hybrid Drive Performance SSHD
- 2. Samsung 860 PRO SSD 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD
- 3. Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive
- 4. Seagate BarraCuda 2TB Internal Hard Drive HDD
- 5. HGST Touro S 1TB 7200RPM High-Performance Portable Drive
- 6. WD 4TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive
- 7. Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD
- 8. WD 4TB Blue My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
- 9. LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB 3.0 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD
- 10. Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB – 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD
- Hard Drive for PS4 Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Hard Drives For PS4
1. Seagate FireCuda 2TB Solid State Hybrid Drive Performance SSHD
The Seagate FireCuda is one of the best and most respected lines for PC gaming, but the same features that make it so praised by PC gamers also makes this Seagate drive a top choice for your PS4. As a hybrid SSHD hard drive, this model splits the difference and provides you with the best of both SSD and traditional hard drives.
You get two terabytes of storage, which is more than double what's available in most PS4 console models, and the performance of the SSD packed in can reduce your load times and just generally provide you with the best performance around.
2. Samsung 860 PRO SSD 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD
If you're less concerned about storing a huge collection of games on your PS4 and are instead interested in getting the fastest loading speeds possible, the 860 PRO from Samsung is a reliable choice. With the standard model, Samsung is offering one of the best prices available for an SSD, and while it only comes with a terabyte of storage, the SSD format will provide you with a nimbler, quieter, and more durable alternative to the hard drive that came installed in your PS4.
And if you decide you need something beefier, these go as big as 4 terabytes in size. Just keep in mind you'll have to spend more than the cost of a PS4 console for the privilege. A nice bonus is the inclusion of V-NAND technology which offers some of the best and fastest 3D rendering around.
3. Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive
Some of the most prominent features of the Toshiba Canvio Advance are only going to be of use if you connect it to your PC or Mac, but that can be more an asset than a disadvantage to savvy consumers. The compact design of this external hard drive means that you can just stuff it in your bag and take it with you, and it's a great choice if you're looking for a hard drive that can shift seamlessly between different uses.
Password protection features are included here to provide you with a higher level of security, and you can even set up scheduled backups for your data. But even if you don't find yourself using those features, the price tag (roughly $50 for the one terabyte model) will be hard to pass up.
4. Seagate BarraCuda 2TB Internal Hard Drive HDD
The BarraCuda Seagate is functionally similar in design to the FireCuda with one notable difference: the fact that it's an HDD rather than an SSHD drive. If you care more about capacity than about faster loading times, this will be the best alternative for you. Not only is it pound for pound the significantly cheaper model, but the BarraCuda models on offer here offer a max capacity of 5 TB - two and a half times the largest size that the FireCuda is available in.
And you don't need to worry too much about those loading times with the BarraCuda either. While traditional hard drives are typically slower than SSDs, Seagate makes use of specialized caching technology to deliver a speedier experience.
5. HGST Touro S 1TB 7200RPM High-Performance Portable Drive
There's a decent chance you haven't heard of HGST or their Touro hard drives, but that's okay. All you need to know is that they're stylish and incredibly compact HDD models that give off a professional look and can serve as some of the best portable hard drives for your PS4.
And the fact that they're faster than most other traditional hard drives on the market is no small thing either. This high power hard drive promises a speed of 72,000 RPM, and the fact that it's compatible with USB 3.0 technology means faster transfer speeds when trying to load a game to your PS4 or transfer data from your PS4 to another device. And for those worried about security, this hard drive also comes with two layers of protection.
6. WD 4TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive
Western Digital has been synonymous with the very idea of hard drive storage almost as long as hard drives have existed, and the My Book is both one of their major flagships and one of the most flexible hard drives on the market. While it might not provide you with the speed you'd get from modern SSDs, this traditional external hard drive is offered in a diverse variety of storage capacity sizes that range from a sizable 3 terabyte to an absolutely insane 24 terabytes. And it also comes in both a single and a dual drive model. That means you can pick out an option that suits your needs. If your primary concern is simply storing all your PS4 games and save states, you won't find a more cost effective hard drive than this.
7. Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD
If you want a simple and no fuss hard drive for your laptop, one of the best deals for you comes from SeaGate. As is usually the case with their hard drive models, the Seagate expansion is no nonsense - sporting a slim design that's visually appealing but built for efficiency above all else. Among the available hard drives for PS4, the SeaGate expansion is one of the slimmest and sleekest, and the Seagate expansion is compatible with the latest USB 3.0 protocol so it can provide you with some of the best and fastest transfer speeds your PS4 is capable of achieving with a PS4 external hard drive.
8. WD 4TB Blue My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
Western Digital has done a great job creating a distinct brand name that lets you identify a WD product without even needing a name. These color coded external hard drive for PS4 models are compatible with the latest versions of Mac OS and Windows in addition to connecting to your standard PS4. This PS4 hard drive external model is also available in the best selection of sizes, and the pricing here is right on point for what you should expect. Automated data backup, cloud syncing software, and password protection round out some of the best features on an already great package even if these aren't features you'll be regularly using with a PS4.
9. LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB 3.0 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD
If you like to take your PS4 out to LAN parties or go camping with a big projector, you need a special kind of hard drive for your PS4. The LaCie Rugged is just that. The frame it's built in is sturdy: resistant to shock damage, water, and dust. That may make it a very specialized hard drive for PS4, but it does its job about as best as it could. And the fact that it uses a Thunderbolt cord means it offers faster transfer speeds if you decide you want to hook it up to your MacBook. For connection to your PS4, it promises the top USB speeds.
10. Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB – 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD
We've already discussed the Samsung 860 Pro, and if you were to just glance over the specs and design, the alternative Samsung 860 EVO might not seem that much different. For the most part, it isn't. Both hard drive models offer some of the best performance around thanks to the Samsung V-NAND tech, and both are available for a pretty decent price.
The big difference here is the amount of terabytes written on the Pro model. Will that make a big difference on a hard drive you're using for your PS4 console? Probably not, but power users may want to consider that distinction. For most gamers who have their heart set on an 860, we suggest paying attention to the prices of both and finding which one you can get for the best deal.
Hard Drive for PS4 Buyer’s Guide
Are you looking for the perfect hard drive to improve the capacity and speed of your PS4 console but you don’t know the difference between a PS4 external hard drive and a solid state drive? Fortunately, there’s not that much that you need to understand. We’re here to break down the factors to pay attention to when shopping for the best hard drive for PS4 so you can upgrade your console and get faster and more convenient results.
And if you want a deeper dive into how a hard disk can help you with everything from data transfer speed to general capacity power, we recommend you take a peek at our guide to the best hard drive models for gaming in 2020.
SSD, HDD, or Hybrid
Are you looking for a faster loading speed, a whole lot of storage, or a little bit of both? That question is crucial to determining the best hard drive for your PS4, and when you decide which option best suits your needs, you can narrow down the product list above in a pretty major way.
- A hard disk drive, more commonly referred to as an HDD, is the oldest type of hard drive and was the standard for a long time. They’re relatively cheap to produce, and that means you can purchase this type of hard drive for PS4 usage even while working on a budget. If you want enough space to store any games you might want, this is going to be the best hard drive for your PS4.
- Far newer, and significantly more expensive, is the solid state drive or SSD. SSDs don’t have any moving parts, so you don’t have to worry about them taking damage from being moved around, and they tend to offer significantly faster load times and data transfer than an HDD. If speed is your priority, an SSD will be the best hard drive for your PS4. SSDs will be the standard hard drive included in the next generation of gaming systems, but if you have a standard PS4 or PS4 Pro, you’ll need to install your own SSD to make the most of that speed.
- Splitting the difference between speed and storage space is the hybrid drive or SSHD. This is essentially two drives in one – packing both a traditional HDD and a newer SSD into a single case. They don’t offer the fastest speed you’d find in an SSD or the best storage capacity you could hope for in an HDD, but they’re a nice middle ground for users looking for a more balanced upgrade to their PS4 hard drive.
Internal or External Hard Drive
We’ve featured both external and internal hard drives for PS4 on our list, and if you’ve already narrowed down your results according to what type of hard drive you want, you can narrow your results down even more determining whether you want something you can connect to your PS4 through a USB cable or something to replace your existing internal hard drive for PS4. The real question is whether or not you want to upgrade the hard drive you have now or simply attach a secondary hard drive to your PS4 for backup purposes.
- An internal hard drive replaces the existing hard drive for your PS4 entirely. The best advantages of that is better speeds (especially if you install an SSHD or SSD) since the PS4 drive being connected directly to the console allows for faster speeds. While this type of upgrade does require opening up your PS4, it’s a pretty simple process that won’t void your warranty.
- Easier and more portable than an internal drive is an external hard drive. PS4 machines will automatically recognize any external drive plugged into the USB port and format them accordingly, and that makes an external drive the best choice available to you if you want to be able to use the hard drive in the future. While using it for your PS4 does require formatting, you can format it back around if you decide you want to use it to upgrade your Mac or PC.
How many space do you need? For the most part, we suggest as much as possible. After all, games are only getting bigger and bigger, and the price increases for raised capacity in a traditional HDD aren’t that high. Just know that there’s a minimum capacity of 250 GB and a maximum capacity of 8 TB when trying to get the best hard drive to upgrade your PS4.
If you’re looking at an external hard drive, all you need is to be sure that it supports the USB 3.0 protocol or higher. Anything less won’t provide you with the experience you need when trying to play modern games, and Sony requires you be able to meet those standards to connect a hard drive. Fortunately, there are a ton of inexpensive external SSD and HDD drives on the market.
As for an internal hard drive, there’s a specific hardware interface you need to look for, but it’s incredibly common. Any hard drive with a 2.5 inch form factor and a SATA III or higher hardware interface should work seamlessly with your PS4.
Dimensions are only going to really matter if you’re going to use an external hard drive. Carrying around a heavy and bulky hard drive in addition to a PS4 is a poor way to travel with your gaming console, but there are a ton of hard drive models that are designed with portability in mind. The WD Passport is fittingly designed to replicate the dimensions of a real international passport, but it’s not the only super slim and super lightweight item on our list.
A hard drive does more than just hold your favorite games. It holds your memories. The fact that you can load up an old saved game and replay that memory is just an added bonus. A good warranty won’t protect those memories entirely, but it will provide you with some assurance of quality. Sometimes a good warranty can justify a purchase, as is the case with the Samsung 860 EVO (a slightly inferior model in terms of specs with a ten year warranty) vs. the 860 PRO (which offers the best performance by a slight margin but only comes with a five year warranty).
Frequently Asked Questions
What Hard Drives Are Compatible With the PS4?
SSDs, traditional hard drives, and hybrid drives are all compatible with PS4, and you can either upgrade your system by replacing the native hard drive or simply connect SSDs or HDDs via USB to use them as backup hard drives for your PS4. There are only two things to keep in mind. Internal hard drives or SSD drives need to be no thicker than 9.5 millimeters and need to sport a 2 .5 inch form factor. An external hard drive or SSD requires USB 3.0 connectivity and somewhere between 250 GB and 8 TB of storage capacity.
How Big of a Hard Drive Can I Put in a PS4?
In terms of storage capacity, you can use a hard drive with a capacity of up to 8 GB. In terms of dimensions, there’s no maximum size for external hard drives, but an internal SSD or HDD needs to bear a form factor of 2.5 inches.
Will Any 2.5 HDD Work with a PS4?
Most 2.5 HDDs should work with a PS4 as long as they’re within the maximum capacity of 8 GB. And you don’t need to fret over installation. It’s a simple process that won’t void the warranty for your PS4.
You don’t have to be intimidated about upgrading the hard disk for your PS4 when you have HotRate’s reviews and guide. We pride ourselves on our reliability and our ability to cut through the noise to find models that are both affordable and quality in any category you can imagine. If you decide you want an even more portable storage source that will also work seamlessly with your PS4, we suggest you cruise on over to our guide to the best flash drives on the market.