June 21, 2018

Image of a Playstation 4 and its controller

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) games console comes installed with an integrated 2.5-inch hard drive on which the system software, the games and the game data are all stored. The size of the hard drive included with the PS4 varies between different PlayStation 4 models, with the basic PS4 having either a 500GB or a 1TB hard drive, while the PS4 pro comes with a 1TB hard drive as standard. Avid gamers often find that they fall short of hard drive space as they accumulate games over time often necessitating a PS4 storage space upgrade. Other more pro-level gamers find that they would like to upgrade the PS4 hard drive to one with superior read and write speeds in order to improve the game load times as well as the start up time of the gaming console itself. The included hard drive in the PS4 is not unlike the hard drives found on many laptop computers and, although it is housed within the body of the game console, it is not difficult to access, making it relatively easy to replace.


Best internal drive for PS4

Characteristics of the PS4 storage drive

Choosing a replacement internal drive for the standard PS4 one is a relatively simple process as almost any drive with the right physical characteristics will work in the games console. Those physical characteristics are as follows:

  • The replacement drive has to be the smaller 2.5-inch type of drive which is typical of many laptop hard drives.
  • The replacement drive cannot be more than 9.5mm in thickness as the physical space within the console is limited.
  • The replacement drive must have a SATA interface to connect to the games console.

Biggest internal hard drive for the PS4

It should also be kept in mind that the PlayStation 4 system software has a limit to the size of drive that it will recognise and work with, however this is a bit of a moving target since with almost every PlayStation system software upgrade, the maximum size limit of the drive recognised by the system is raised. As of early 2017, the limit on the size of drive that the PS4 will recognise was 8TB.

The standard PlayStation 4 hard drive can be replaced with either a hard drive, a hybrid drive, or a solid-state drive (SSD) drive. With hard drives and hybrid drives, there is an apparent 2TB limit on the size of storage space within the drive since currently all hard drives that are larger than 2TB are thicker than the 9.5mm maximum height that the PS4 will accommodate in the restricted space allocated to the storage drive. In the case of SSD drives, which inherently require less physical space, they do exist in larger storage space formats, however, the restriction here is more one of cost as very large terabyte-level SSD drives start to become prohibitively expensive.

As a consequence of these restrictions, when upgrading the internal hard drive of the PS4, the typical upgrade is usually to a 2TB device, which still provides ample increased space for games but without breaking the bank. There are several options to choose from when selecting an internal 2TB drive with one of the key decisions being whether to go with a straightforward hard drive, a hybrid drive (which is part hard drive, part SSD drive), or splash out on an even higher performance SSD drive. If the objective is to increase the game console storage space only, then selecting a 2TB hard drive or hybrid drive is usually the preferred option. However, if the primary objective is to increase game console performance, a 2TB SSD drive will provide both a performance upgrade while still significantly increasing game storage space (although it should be noted that 2TB SSD drives are significantly more expensive than their equivalent hard drives or hybrid drives, so one has to be able to afford it first!).

Best 2TB drive for PS4 in the UK

In the UK, 2TB drives that fulfill the characteristics needed by the internal drive of the PS4, namely being of the 2.5-inch format and that are no thicker than 9.5mm, are quite limited. Below you will find a table of most (if not all!) of the 2TB drives that can be used to replace the internal drive of the PS4 games console and which are available to purchase in the UK:

2.5" 2TB DriveDrive TypeSpeedThicknessInterface
Crucial MX500

SSD up to 560MB/s7mmSATA 6Gb/s
Western Digital WDS200T2B0A

SSD up to 560MB/s7mmSATA 6Gb/s
SanDisk Ultra

SSD up to 560MB/s7mmSATA 6Gb/s
Seagate FireCuda

Hybrid up to 140MB/s7mmSATA 6Gb/s
Seagate BarraCuda

HD up to 140MB/s7mmSATA 6Gb/s
Western Digital WD20SPZX

HD**7mmSATA 6Gb/s
SSD = Solid State Drive
HD = Hard Drive

** information not available
Hot swappable drive bay cases
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