There’s a trend nowadays among PS4 fanboys to replace their stock hard drive that comes with PS4 with a solid state drive (SSD) which is known to be exponentially faster than traditional hard drives. But is this step recommended for this purpose?
Why to use an SSD for PS4
Operating system I/Os move very random, very small bits of data. The Samsung 850 EVO 2TB was the top performer. Using an SSD to give a performance boost to PS4 is recommended if you’re concerned about the 30%-40% performance gain you’ll get. I bet many of you would have liked to see the 850 Pro move to the PCIe interface but I understand Samsung’s decision to hold off with PCIe for a little while longer. As with the 840 Pro and 840 Evo , the 850 Pro allows you to manage all of its features via the Samsung Magician software, which is currently only available for Windows. Given we’re looking at both of Samsung’s 2TB offerings, it makes sense to start with a look at raw specs.
The exterior of the X400, however, is fairly simplistic in style and made of plastic and aluminum. Without DRAM, the JMF602 was ill-equipped to handle that workload, and it didn’t take long for owners to figure it out. PS4 SSD has been all rage now, although it’s not yet a broad phenomenon. The SanDisk X400 improved in our aligned read benchmark, finishing out the test as the third-fastest drive behind the Samsung 750 EVO 250GB and 850 EVO 2TB. The market for aftermarket PCIe SSDs is still relatively small as the PC industry is figuring out how to adopt the new interface, so for the time being Samsung is fine with watching from the side. For example, you can use the software to turn on or off encryption, over-provisioning — a feature that uses part of an SSD’s storage space to enhance the drive’s performance — and Rapid mode.
Many good SSD brands
These numbers don’t necessarily tell the whole story, but one thing they make abundantly clear is that Samsung doesn’t see a massive difference in performance. There is a branding sticker on the front with SanDisk’s logo and the model name. You can go to the best hard drive for PS4 instead of looking for an SSD for your next upgrade. The early SSD stuttering issues are infamous today. Our final consumer synthetic benchmarks compare the drives in a series of mixed server workloads with a queue depth from 1 to 128. The XP941 is and will continue to be available to the PC OEMs but for now Samsung will be keeping it that way.
Benefits of using SSD in PS4 system
Rapid mode is unique to Samsung SSDs and is the most interesting and appealing feature. Instead, the main difference is in longevity/durability, where the 850 Pro has twice the endurance rating and warranty length. You may ask then about using an SSD with PS4 and how this will enhance the gaming experience of the user. On the backside is a sku sticker with more specifics on the drive such as capacity, serial number and compliance logos. JMicron’s next controller added DRAM to cache both incoming data and increase the table map speed. Each server profile has a strong bias towards read activity, ranging from 67% read with the database profile to 100% read in the web server profile.
DATA is loaded faster with SSD
From what I have heard, Samsung could bring the XP941 to the retail market rather quickly if needed but Samsung has always been more interested in the high volume mainstream market instead of playing in the niches. Personally, I would recommend a top-notch hard drive for PS4 storage upgrade if you handle this issue wisely without following the hypes around SSD. Rapid is an acronym, standing for Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data. It’s worth noting that 512GB and 1TB 850 Pro models have the same 300TB endurance rating, which means in practice you’re likely to be able to write far more than 300TB of data to the 2TB model—it just won’t be under warranty. Overall, the 2.5″ 7mm model measures 100.5mm x 69.85mm x 7mm and can weigh up to 59.7g for the 1TB option. DRAM was a savior, but it also increased manufacturing costs.
Overall performance is increased
The database profile features a 67% read and 33% write workload focusing on transfers around 8K in size. The performance figures in the table above give us the first glimpse of what V-NAND is capable of. Not even a single PS4 user would say that an SSD has given their console the performance boost they wished, because PS4 storage interface is SATA II. It basically means that it uses the available system memory (RAM) on the host computer as an input/output cache to boost the performance. The same holds for the 850 Evo, where the 500GB and 1TB also have the same 150TB endurance rating. Four screws hold it together.
Over time, fresh innovation allowed controller vendors to work around DRAM. The SanDisk X400’s performance wasn’t great with this workload. You should then learn more about PS4 SSD in order to make the right decision on this matter. Typically modern 128GB SSDs are only good for about 300MB/s but the 850 Pro is very close to saturating the SATA 6Gbps bus even at the smallest capacity. Since most new computers come with a large amount of RAM, Rapid is a welcome feature. Other than the minor differences in maximum read/write performance, about the only other advantage the 850 Pro has is slightly lower power use.
The high price
Once opened up we can see there is a large thermal pad attached across the PCB almost entirely to help distribute heat. A small start-up from Silicon Valley called SandForce broke new ground with DRAM-less SSD technology. The reality is that an SSD is excellent for computer systems, but when it comes to game consoles like PS4, you should hold back. Probably PS4 Pro will be the best environment for SSD, but surely not the standard version of PS4. It exhibited a performance similar to the Crucial BX200 480GB, and outperformed the OCZ Trion 150 drives by the end of the test. This is due to the much lower program times of V-NAND because write performance has been bound by NAND performance for quite some time now. Previously with the 840 Pro and 840 Evo, Rapid used up to 1GB of RAM for cache.
Limited storage space
Both idle at less than 60mW, so mostly we’re talking about active power, when the drives are reading/writing data. Our 512GB review sample contains just 4 NAND packages and a single DRAM package and controller on blue the very tiny PCB. A compatible hard drive for PS4 is the choice to go with if you compromise the price and performance. The lessons learned gave other controller designers hope. The Samsung 850 EVO outperformed the SanDisk X400 by almost 20,000 IOPS. The other major improvement from V-NAND is the endurance.
Nothing else to say
Starting with the 850 Pro, Rapid now can use up to 4GB or 25 percent of the host computer’s RAM, whichever is larger, as cache. TLC NAND ends up requiring a bit more work, leading to slightly higher power use. The X400 utilizes SanDisk’s 15nm TLC NAND. If you wish to backup the PS4 data externally, a solid state external hard drive can be a good option if you can afford it. But outside of SandForce, few designs have succeeded. Our next benchmark is the web server profile, which is read-only, with transfer sizes ranging from 512-bytes to 512KB.
All capacities, including the smallest 128GB, are rated at 150TB, which is noticeably higher than what any other consumer-grade SSD offers. More cache means better performance. The 1W difference isn’t likely to affect things like battery life, however, unless you happen to be doing heavy disk traffic—which would generally mean you’re doing other things that will hurt battery life a lot more than storage power use. Each NAND package is 128GB in capacity for a total raw capacity of 512GB, once formatted the end user has 476GB available to them. SSDs are common in enthusiast PCs.