What You Need to Know – Upgrade your PS4 hard drive


Lucky for us, a German site got their hands on a PS4 debug already, and they’ve been scrutinizing everything possible over the last few days. One thing that they conveyed information for is that of the possibilities for replacing the included hard drive with a larger capacity model. Luckily, it looks like Sony knows that this is something that gamers want to do, and they’ve once again made it fairly easy to perform the upgrade. They haven’t shown any of the setup process in the OS yet, but they have removed the drive to identify it, and measured the drive tray to determine which hardware would fit.

Installed in every PS4 is a (Western Digital) 2.5-inch drive (laptop standard) with a capacity of 500GB, and spinning at 5,400 rpm. Unlike the PS3 though, which limited drives to a maximum of 9.5mm in height, the PS4’s hard drive tray will allow drives with a maximum height of 12.5mm.

Now, this is good news overall, but right now, the hard drive market is in a pretty weird flux. I personally own a Western Digital 1TB drive that is 12.5mm in height, but it’s not even available any more. What’s worse though, is that right now, there aren’t many drives available that exceed 1TB that meet the height requirements. I did find a couple though, and the prices actually aren’t too bad.

After some pretty painstaking research, the drives listed below are probably your best bet. I’m sure that others are available, and as long as they meet certain criteria, you should be safe. The criteria that needs to be met are:

*Height – 12.5mm or lower
*Drive Size – 2.5-inch laptop drive
*Interface – SATA 3.0Gb/s or faster (if you find a drive with a faster interface, it will not increase performance)
*Drive Speed – 5,400 RPM or faster

Here’s a list of drives that will definitely work. You’ll see that I’ve included a “Hybrid” drive, which uses a small amount of solid state storage to speed certain operations up (at least on laptops). Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure if the PS4 will utilize a hybrid dive effectively, since at least on laptops, the Operating System actually has controls to effectively use this technology. So, get the hybrid “at your own risk” with no proof or guarantees that performance will improve on the PS4.

Amazon – Western Digital 1TB

Newegg – 1TB Western Digital

Amazon – 1TB Seagate HybridThis is the one that I am getting for my PS4.

Check out this video from Tested showing a comparison of drive technologies. They did a great job and ran some thorough tests.

Amazon – 1.5TB Travelstar (Western Digital)

Amazon – Toshiba 1.5TB

If you happen to get one of the drives from Amazon, would you kindly just add it to your Wish List, hit the link below, and finalize your order? That helps us pay our bills πŸ™‚
Amazon Link

*NOTE* Try to steer-clear of the “Green” series of Western Digital drives. Historically, these drives are really built more as raw storage and usually have a lesser performance

Also, many wonder about higher-RPM drives. The difference between 5,400 RPM and 7,200 RPM can affect performance positively, so if you can find a good drive, by all means, grab one. The difference in heat output is pretty negligible, and even on the PS3, it was never an issue.

Good luck, and get hype, the PS4 will be here SOON!


Written by Glenn Percival

Glenn Percival

Just a guy that loves games, movies, Golf, Football, and Baseball.

Podcast Co-Host, Editor-in-Chief, Video Producer, and whipping-boy

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook
  • vesra

    I have to disagree with the 5400 v the 7200 rpm and heat indexing. I did place a 7200 rpm HDD in my old that PS3 when I replaced my factory HDD some years ago. The boost in loading speed was a nice bonus. However, the extra heat build up caused a ylod in that system. Granted it all was dependent on if the games played are all digital or off the disc and usage time. But extra heat is extra heat and in such a tight environment, the slightest change in temperature can make or break a device.

    Other than that, thanks for the info and links.

    • Can you guarantee that’s what caused your YLoD? I’ve had a 7,200 RPM drive in mine for years with no issues

      • vesra

        I can say the drive was as dead as the system. According to the “tech” that worked on it, it was the extra heat from the HDD that caused it. Also caused the HDD itself to burn out. Could have been a faulty unit, but it was in use in the same PS3 for two years, also purchased new.

        • Jason Mounce

          I’d sorta go with agreeing on you vesra, I’d not want to risk the upgrade. Especially to 10,000RPM. Hah.

          The speed boost of a plain 5400 v 7200 is too minimal of a difference. If you want an HDD upgrade then I’d say do SDD or Hybrids if we learn that PS4 accepts it and is valid. Til then? This should honestly do, the slowness that was involved with PS3 was also due to hardware limitations beyond the HDD. Just as with Killzone 2 loading times, Shadowfall is meant to be essentially instantaneous from Start-up to Main menu. We shouldn’t need to worry about Slow load times if developers like Guerrilla Games aim to design their games to work around it.

        • iMixMasTer

          How was your ventilation around the system? Did you stand your ps3 vertically? Did you ever do any internal maintenance? Lots of questions that should be answered first before you jump to that conclusion.

          • vesra

            vents were clean, tend to the regularly, even now. that unit was untouched aside from swapping the hdd. yes i did stand it vertically. still do, otherwise the awesome dead nation skin i got from housemarque would be wasted. the skin is not from the unit that died. the ps3 has all the breathing room it needs sitting on top of my entertainment center. i have one that holds the tele via vesa mounting. i do tend to play hours at a time, especially weekends. the majority of my games are digital as well.

        • Was this a Sony tech, or some other tech? And when you sent it in to them, did you put the original hard drive back in? Often, if something goes wrong and there’s a non-standard part in it, the tech will blame that part even if it’s not what caused it because it’s an easy out for them to not fix it at their expense. When I replace my drives, I always keep the original around to stick back in the system when I send it in.

    • I’ve used a 7200 drive in mine for years. The one system that I had any issues with used a 5400 for its entire lifespan. The original 60 gig PS3 actually came with a 7200rpm drive.

  • Keith Dunn


  • 12.5mm height? That means it can use anything but the new 15mm drives. As for hybrid, that’s normally handled by the hard drive firmware itself, not the OS. My PS3 has a hybrid drive and it does help with the speed.

  • Damon Bullis

    I wish there were larger HDs or that Sony had gone with a larger height. I ordered the hybrid one from Amazon. If I need to upgrade to a larger HD later I can.

  • Abubakar Sam

    Are those links through the affiliated store link?

    • No, that’s why I asked peeps to put it in their Wish List, then hit the link and complete the order

  • NinoBr0wn

    Could anyone answer 2 questions for me? When I change the drive, will I have to install the OS manually or is it stored on the system? And what is needed to access the disk bay, normal screwdriver, torx, or security bit torx?

    • If it’s like the PS3, the OS will probably be embedded. You’ll probably need a Torx screwdriver set.

    • NinoBr0wn

      But the later model PS3’s didn’t have it embedded. And I really need to know whether it’s a regular torx head or a security bit.

  • Mikesims Sims

    “we don’t know for sure if the PS4 will utilize a hybrid dive effectively, since at least on laptops, the Operating System actually has controls to effectively use this technology” This is not true, the hybrid drive has an internal controller that manages the solid state cache based on read requests.

    • It’s partially true, the OS provides further optimization for files that are used frequently.

  • David Freeman

    Here are a couple of UK flavoured versions of those handy links:

    Amazon – Western Digital 1TB

    Amazon – 1TB Seagate Hybrid

  • Eric Louvros

    “Get Hype” love the fact that the gaming world is using that phrase more frequently, also good article, thanks for the info!

  • Milton

    Thank you for this information. I’m hyped!

  • PS4 upgrader

    Thank you very much PS Nation, this is all the info I really needed to do my upgrade.
    Since you made it so easy with the provided links, I will absolutely do you the honors of source credit when I make my purchase.

    Thx again.

  • Keith Gillam

    I upgraded to an SSD on my PS3 and felt the bump in speed justified the purchase. I plan on getting a 1TB samsung ssd.

  • Bob Mecgraft

    Sorry i had to post this on my local site. I will take id down if I’m not allowed to

  • GreatWiteBuffalo

    The playstation blog actually has cited that the drive is limited to 9.5mm


  • I can now verify, 100%, that a drive with 12.5mm height DOES work in the PS4.

  • David Cejmer

    Both consoles are using the same AMD base Jaguar architecture which support 2 x SATA 6 Gbit/s ports. This makes your sata 3gb/s thing wrong, while the systems ship with a sata 3gb/s drive equipped, the board can utilize the more modern sata3 6gb/s.

    • Jaguar is a CPU core architecture, not a system architecture. The Sata port count is going to be dictated by the equivalent of the system chipset. I don’t know what they have for a chipset on the PS4, but it won’t be the same thing that the current Jaguar PC chips use. (The Kabini chip, among which is the A6-5200.)