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The 5 Best SSDs for PlayStation 4

Samsung T5 Portable SSD
Best Choice

Samsung T5 Portable SSD

4.9

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VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD
Premium Pick

VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD

4.7

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Silicon Power 1TB Bolt B75 Pro SSD
Best Value

Silicon Power 1TB Bolt B75 Pro SSD

4.5

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If you’re like me then you’re a bit paranoid and distrustful of cloud storage. You like to keep offline back-ups that can be accessed at any time. This is one of the reasons why I’m such a digital hoarder. I don’t like to delete things. It feels like a complete waste, even if I know that I can basically download it again later.

In 2017, Sony finally made it possible for gamers to access and play games from an external hard drive on their PS4s. They finally wised up to the fact that we’re living in a post-disc world.

Running and playing your games from a traditional disk-based external drive is fine but if you want to cut loading and transfer times, you might benefit from using an external SSD. 🖥️ 🎮


Top 5 External PS4 SSDs

We’ve basically come full circle in gaming. External SSDs are like erasable cartridges. In this article, we’re going to go over what we feel are five of the very best erasable cartridges for your PS4. If you’re not feeling our picks for whatever reason, we’ve also provided you with a simple but in-depth buying guide at the bottom.

External SSDs can be expensive and limited in storage capacity. You may be better off buying a great external HDD for PS4. But if your wallet is fat enough and you’re really worried about performance, then you should read on.

Best Choice: Samsung T5 Portable SSD

Pros & Cons

  • Ultra-fast transfer speeds
  • Sleek metal design
  • Super small and portable
  • Includes management software for various devices (Mac, Android, Windows)
  • Comes with a three-year warranty
  • Optional Password protection and hardware encryption
  • Includes USB Type C to C and USB Type C to A cables
  • Shock resistant
  • Pricey
  • May require firmware updates from time to time

Specifications:

  • TBW: 300 (for 2TB/4TB)
  • Storage Capacity: 2TB
  • Interface/Connectivity: USB 3.0, USB 2.0
  • Size (Dimensions):  2.26 x 0.41 x 2.91 inches/ 57,4 x 10.41 x 73.91 mm
  • Weight: 1.80oz/ 51 Grams
  • Other Available Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

Samsung T5 Portable SSD Product Review

Samsung is one of the best manufacturers of internal SSDs. So it should come as no shock or surprise that the T5 makes it on top of our list. The design and size are very reminiscent of the iPod Nano. It fits right into the palm of your hand or your jean pockets. And just like the Nano, the T5 comes in various colors and storage capacities.

It has a high-quality matte outer-shell made out of aluminum. On the inside, it uses V-NAND flash memory which is why it’s so tiny. But it guarantees fast loading times. Since it uses a USB 3.1 interface (which is supported by the PS4 pro), it can deliver transfer speeds up to 540 MB/s.

The drive also comes with optional password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption. You can set your password up and update the drive’s firmware from Samsung’s management software which is available on a number of different devices and operating systems, including Android, Apple, Windows, and Mac.

Like most Samsung devices, the drive is a bit pricey. But it’s a Samsung product, so you know that you’re getting value for your money. In addition to this, it also has a 3-year warranty. So you know you’re purchasing a drive that will last you a while.

Premium Pick: VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD

Pros & Cons

  • High storage capacity
  • Shock and vibration resistant
  • Comes with a 3-year manufacturer warranty
  • Made with a durable aluminum case
  • Very Expensive

Specifications

  • Storage Capacity: 4TB
  • Interface/Connectivity: USB 3.0, USB 2.0 (Type A and Type C)
  • Size (Dimensions):  4.5 x 3.2 x 0.5 inches / 114 x 81.28 x 12.7 mm
  • Weight: 4 oz./ 113,39 Grams
  • Other Available Capacities: 1TB, 2TB, 250GB,500GB

VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD Product Review

The biggest issue people have with SSDs is their affordability and capacity. While companies like Nimbus Data and Samsung have unveiled 100TB and 30GB internal SSDs (respectively), there aren’t a lot of external drives that can match half that capacity.

The VectoTech External SSD stands out because it’s one of the biggest external SSDs on the market in terms of storage capacity. This is great if you have a large games library that you’d like to take with you wherever you go. However, as you’d imagine, it’s not very cheap. It’s also one of the bulkiest external SSDs you can buy but it’s still smaller than most external HDDs.

On the outside, the drive is made out of two plates 1050 grade aluminum bonded together with an ABS plastic band. At first, we weren’t sure about the design. Upon initial inspection, it looked to me like the plastic could either fray or break when the drive is dropped.

But on closer inspection, I realized that this was not the case. The plastic acts more as a cosmetic frame than a functional one and it’s made out of high-quality ABS plastic. The drive comes with two cables. A type C and a Type A cable. Both cables have decent lengths. You won’t have to put your drive directly next to your PS4.

If your budget is as wide as your digital game collection, then we don’t see why you should not purchase this SSD. However, it would be cheaper to buy a really great gaming SSD of the same capacity and upgrade your PS4.

Best Value: Silicon Power 1TB Bolt B75 Pro SSD

Pros & Cons

  • Lightning fast load and transfer speeds
  • Comes with a Type C and Type A cable
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Shockproof
  • Built with a tough aluminum outer case
  • Comes with a three-year warranty
  • Password encryption software is unintuitive and hard to use

Specifications

  • Storage Capacity: 1TB
  • Interface/Connectivity: USB 3.0, USB 2.0 (Type A and Type C)
  • Size (Dimensions):  8.2 x 5 x 1.1 inches / 208.28 x 86.36 x 27.94 mm
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces / 181.43 Grams
  • Other Available Capacities: 256GB, 512GB

Silicon Power 1TB Bolt B75 Pro SSD

There is no such thing as a cheap external SSD – not yet at least. However, the Silicon Power Bolt B75 is one of the more affordable options on this guide. Silicon Power is known for making practical, robust and rugged external hard drives.

While it doesn’t have the cable-carry design or IPX4 water resistance you’d find in other SP external drives, it does come with a military grade shockproof aluminum body. The case also sports 3D ridges made to protect it from scratches and fingerprints.

It uses a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface to achieve data transfer speeds of up to 520mb/s. Near the end, under its emblem, there’s an I-shaped status light that can be seen from the top so you know that your data transfers are going well.

Despite its somewhat rugged exterior, it’s still pretty portable and small. Just like the previous entries in this guide, it comes with two different cables for type C and type A interfaces.

If you want to encrypt the drive as well utilize SP’s cloud backup storage, you have to download the software from Silicon Power’s website. The software is a bit confusing and not very well designed. But it’s free to use and beggars can’t be choosers.

The B75 has a reasonable price tag but if you feel that the 1TB version is too expensive, then you should consider getting the 256GB version or 512GB version. These are vastly more affordable than any other drives on this list.

Most Rugged: SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable External SSD

Pros & Cons

  • IP55 rated
  • Supports super-fast transfer speeds
  • Comes equipped with a Type C cable and a Type A adapter
  • Drop tested (up to a 20-meter drop on a concrete floor)
  • 3-year warranty
  • Compact
  • The cable is a bit short
  • Very expensive

Specifications

  • Storage Capacity: 2TB
  • Interface/Connectivity: USB 3.1 Gen-2
  • Size (Dimensions):  3.79 x 1.95 x 0.35 inches/ 96.26 x 49.53 x 8.89 mm
  • Weight: 1.44 oz. / 40,82 Grams
  • Other Available Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB

SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable External SSD Product Overview

Not only is this one of the most rugged drives on the market, but it’s also one of the most compact. Which means it’s very easy to lose. There’s a good reason why companies don’t drop test SSDs. It’s because they’re so expensive to make and re-test.

This drive is great for clumsy gamers or just people who are constantly on the move. It has IP55 water resistance and has a shock resistant core. It’s been drop-tested from up to 20-meter heights on to concrete floors. It will also survive moderately hot temperatures.

While we know that you probably won’t be playing your PS4 in the middle of the jungle, this drive’s durability is without question. The cable is where it falls short (quite literally). It uses a type-C cable and comes with a type-A adapter. Even with the adapter connected to the cable, it’s still a little short. But you can purchase a lengthier generic cable online so it’s not a big deal.

Since it uses a USB 3.1 interface, it has the potential to reach up to 520MB/s in transfer speeds. As you’d expect, a drive like this doesn’t come cheap. If you can afford it, you can also purchase the specialized hard case from SanDisk to make it even more safe and secure.

Best Design: WD 2TB My Passport SSD Portable Storage

Pros & Cons

  • Comes with password protection and hardware encryption
  • Comes with WD Discover software
  • 3-year warranty
  • Easy to set up
  • USB Type-C support and USB 3.1 Gen ready
  • Small and lightweight
  • Shock resistant
  • It gets a bit hot with continued use
  • Expensive

Specifications:

  • Storage Capacity: 2TB
  • Interface/Connectivity: USB 3.0, USB 2.0
  • Size (Dimensions):  3.5 x 1.8 x 0.39 inches/ 88,9 x 45.72 x 9.90 mm
  • Weight: 1.44oz / 40,82 Grams
  • Other Available Capacities: 1TB, 256GB, 512GB

WD 2TB My Passport SSD Portable Storage Product Overview

The WD My Passport looks a bit like an overgrown USB flash-drive. Which is what an SSD actually is – an overgrown USB flash-drive. It’s a miniaturized version of a My Passport HDD.

It comes with a type-C cable and a type-A attachment for older devices. It also uses USB 3.1 gen 2 interfacing to achieve file transfers of up to 540 MB/s. Which means you won’t have to wait very long while installing or copying your games to it.

Despite its matte plastic top, this SSD is also shock resistant. Because the drive is so compact, it may be prone to heating, especially during bouts of continued and long use. This also puts into question its long term durability. Either way, it has a three-year warranty so you don’t have to worry too much. Just be careful where you put the drive.

The SSD can be password protected and encrypted using Western Digital’s proprietary security software. All in all, it’s a well-designed SSD that can fit in the palm of your hand. It’s a little more expensive than most external SSDs with the same capacity. But because of its design and quality, some users might feel that it’s well worth it.


PS4 External SSDs: Buying Guide

When buying an external SSD, you may be tempted to simply buy the cheapest or most affordable one you can get. But you need to understand what influences the price of an SSD. You also need to worry about how long your SSD will last. In this buying guide, we’ll explore some key points you need to understand before making your next SSD purchase.

Don't worry though, when PlayStation 5 is released, you probably won't need an external storage device.

Drive Endurance: How Long Your Drive Will Live

The drive endurance is basically a measurement or estimation of how long your SSD will work. It’s measured in two ways:

Terabytes Written (TBW): This is basically the number of Terabytes you can write to a drive before its risk of failure increases. If your potential drive is rated 400 TBW, then you’ll be able to write 400 TB before it begins to fail and needs to be replaced.

ocz lightfoot external ssd

Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD): This assesses the number of times you can overwrite the drive’s size each day. For instance, if your drive has 500 GB of space, has a warranty of 3 years and only has a DWPD of 1, this means you can only overwrite the drive once each day for 3 years.

Your total number of overwrites will equate to (365 x 3 =) 1095. If you take this number and multiply it by the total capacity of the drive, you’ll get the total number of bytes you’ll be able to write to the drive before it starts to fail.

I’ve found that a lot of companies do not readily disclose this information, particularly for external drives. You’ll have to dig around for the specs and even request them from the manufacturer. However, the number of writes your drive will be able to perform largely correlates to the warranty. If you have a warranty for three years, you can predict that your drive will last at least up to 3 ½ years.

We talk more in-depth about this in our review of the Crucial MX300 SSD. It's not featured as one of the five best SSDs for PS4, although it would certainly make the top ten list.

Storage Capacity: How Much Space the Drive Has

This is probably a no-brainer but what influences the price of the drive the most, is the amount of storage capacity it has. Storage capacity refers to how much space your drive has and how much data you can store on it. SSDs with larger storage capacities are also understood to be faster than those with smaller capacities. This is due to them having more parallelism. However, the difference in transfer speeds is a very subtle one.

Sony 480GB External SSD

Type of USB Connector: Type-A vs. Type-C

There’s a running joke about how impossible it is to connect your USB cable to a USB port on the first try. Well, this is one of the problems that the Type-C connector and port addresses.

USB Type-C features a reversible connector that is smaller than previous generation USB connectors (Type-A and Type-B). While Type-B ports were found exclusively on non-host devices and type-A was found on host devices, USB-C is found on both. They also offer up to double the speed of USB 3.0 (type-a). They can reach up to 10Gb/s.

While newer devices and computers have USB-C ports, older models do not. The PS4 does not have a USB-C port (not even the PS4 Pro) and that’s why it’s important to make sure you purchase an external SSD with a USB type-A adapter or cable. If you don’t’, it’s not a big deal, you can always purchase a Type-C to Type-A cable from any electronics store worth its salt.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do SSDs Improve PS4 Performance?

SSDs do improve your PS4’s performance. Particularly for game load times. Standard HDDs aren’t capable of the read/write and transfer speeds that SSDs have to offer.

On PC, Windows tries to take care of this by introducing the Superfetch service but that produces some weird preload times that cause a massive slowdown. In both cases, having an SSD is a superior choice.

Similarly, you'll be able to enjoy PS4 using speakers or regular headsets but for the best possible sound experience, we recommend getting a high-quality PS4 headset.

Can You Use an External SSD With PS4?

Just like an external HDD, you can use an external SSD with a PS4. All you have to do is format it first and you’ll be able to store your games, movies, music and other content on it.

LaCie 2TB Portable SSD

How Do You Connect an External Hard Drive to PS4?

The PS4 comes with two front ports which can be used to connect an external hard drive too. The drive can only interface with the PlayStation 4 if it is exFat or Fat32. However, you can format the drive by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to ‘USB Storage Devices’ through ‘Settings’ and then by selecting ‘Devices’
  2. Under USB Storage Devices, you should see your hard drive. Select it.
  3. Choose ‘Format as Extended Storage’ and then hit the X-button.
  4. Tap on ‘Next’.
  5. Tap on ‘Format’.
  6. Tap on ‘Yes’.
  7. Finally, tap on ‘Okay’.

Once that’s complete, you should be able to use your external SSD or HDD with your PS4.


Conclusion

While the PS4 doesn’t have the internal upgradeability of a good gaming PC, you can still get more juice out of it by giving it some additional external storage space (or replacing the internal hard drive). In this guide, we covered the very best external SSDs for your PS4.

If you want to know how you can make your PS4 gaming experience even better, we suggest you go read our article on the very best monitors for PS4. It’s no use getting top-notch game load speeds if you don’t have a monitor or screen to fully realize the PS4’s capabilities.

Last year, Sony Interactive Entertainment president and chief executive officer John Tsuyoshi Kodera announced that the PlayStation 4 was in the last phase of its life cycle. This doesn’t mean you should throw your PS4 away while you wait for the imminent arrival of the PS5. Your PlayStation 4 is still worth playing and worth upgrading.

However, if you do not wish to purchase a PS4 at this time, it's possible to play PS4 on a laptop.


Sources:

  1. Replacing Internal HDD on PS4, PlayStation Support
  2. SSD vs. HDD on PS4, Reddit

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Mduduzi Sibisi
Written by Mduduzi Sibisi

A lover of code, freelance writer, a misanthropic humanist and a comical absurdist. Mdu first fell in love with gaming after his parents bought him a Super Nintendo gaming console at the age of six. It would later become an obsession after playing Doom and Duke Nukem on PC. Now, not only is he playing them but he’s writing about them and creating them. He has an eclectic taste in games. His favorite games of all time include Legend of The Dragoon, Dark Cloud, GTA Vice City, Dark Souls, and Devil May Cry.

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