Despite the fact that solid-state drives (SSDs) read and write data much faster than mechanical hard drives do, the PlayStation 4 and even the PlayStation 4 Pro still come with the latter. Fortunately, Sony made the PS4 hard drive replaceable, so users can expand the console’s internal storage or, better yet, swap out the mechanical drive with a faster-loading solid state drive. Here’s a glimpse at what an SSD can do for you, and instructions on how to upgrade your PS4 hard drive yourself. If you don’t want to go through the process of opening up your PS4 to replace the hard drive, you can also upgrade your storage space by using an external drive. We cover how to do that in the last section of this guide.
SSDs vs. mechanical hard drives
Before we swapped out the PS4’s hard drive with an SSD, we tested the hard drive that the system came with by measuring the amount of time the PS4 needed to boot up to the screen where the OS asks you to press the PS button on your controller. We tested it twice, and got times of 27 seconds, and 24.9 seconds.
Once we removed the PS4’s hard drive and performed the task that we’re about to take you through, we ran the boot tests again. We got boot times of 19.2 and 19.4 seconds with the SSD in there. So, boot-up is anywhere between roughly 5-8 seconds faster with an SSD than with the mechanical hard drive that the PlayStation 4 ships with.
If you don’t think that’s significant, remember that loading save games, loading levels, and more will also get substantially faster. Over time, those shaved seconds will make your PS4 feel a lot faster.