PlayStation 4 External HDD vs External SSD: Which is the Best Choice for Most Games?

By C. de Lacy / 2017.05.15

Owners of PlayStation 4 consoles were finally given one of the most important features which used to be exclusive for the Xbox One -- the ability to store and play games out of external storage. With technically being enabled for almost every type of external storage, be that HDD or SSD, here are some comparisons showing which is the best choice for most gaming applications.

Choosing external storage for the PlayStation 4 after its update to allow expanding its capacity is often tricky. Most average owners would easily opt for the spacious offering that most external HDD of today offers. Some would even be as huge as 8 TB, which means a whole lot of new games ready to be installed. SSD, on the other hand, is also a popular choice despite its limited capacity due to its speed, though how it affects the PlayStation 4 compared to how it does the PC might leave a lot to be desired.

In Eurogamer's recent test, a 4 TB external HDD is tested along with a 480 GB SSD. Interestingly, results came up with rather surprising outcomes as the SSD actually made loading a bit faster for the PlayStation 4. In fact, “Fallout 4,” Bethesda's notorious game for having tons of load times, loaded up about 50 percent as fast within 30 seconds by booting up a save game in Concord City (one of the game's densest areas.) With the stock PS4 HDD, this could be more than a minute.

The HDD, however, did manage to improve the load speed by around 20 percent, which is also something. With this, it would easy to say that the amount of improvement, an SSD provides through the PlayStation 4's USB port could be trivial for some, hence the advantage of a bigger HDD might be better.

Oddly enough, when the same SSD (OCZ 480 GB) was tested as an internal storage, there was barely any improvement, which might surprise some users especially with the fact that it is already directly connected internally.

Like how the post concludes, users opting for an external storage solution would greatly reap more benefits by sticking with a larger HDD than a smaller, but not significantly faster SSD. Sony might yet to be implement something that would give the supposedly faster drive a huge advantage, for the time being, bigger space is still king.

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