The base storage on your PS4 might've seemed like a lot at the time, but nowadays, it isn't much. Over the years (or even months) you might've filled it up with games and are now stuck in the juggling act of deleting games to free up space for other ones.
If this is you, then you might want to consider upgrading your PS4's internal hard drive. Let's look at why you should, plus some downsides.
Should I Upgrade My PS4's Hard Drive?
So, you might be thinking: do I even need to upgrade my PS4's hard drive at all?
You might be fine with your base PS4 hard drive if you don't really game all that much and don't mind some potential performance issues. But, in most cases, the answer is yes.
The base PS4 hard drive is slow, has limited storage space, and can be prone to crashing. Even if you only have a handful of games on your PS4, you'll experience some much-appreciated benefits if you upgrade your PS4's internal hard drive.
Also, you could decide whether to use an external hard drive on your PS4 to increase your storage space; there are pros and cons to doing so. But, if that isn't the best option for you, then let's look at the good and the bad of upgrading your PS4's internal hard drive to help inform your decision.
You Should Upgrade Your PS4's Internal Hard Drive Because…
First, let's look at some pros if you want to upgrade your PS4's internal hard drive.
1. An Internal PS4 Hard Drive Is All in One Place
If you upgrade your PS4's internal hard drive as opposed to using an external hard drive, you keep everything in one place.
This means that you won't lose your PS4 hard drive, unlike with an external PS4 hard drive, which is quite compact and easy to misplace. You might remove it, only to forget where you placed it, leaving it—with all your precious game data—lost forever.
An internal hard drive saves you that headache, and ensures that the only way you can lose it is if you lose your PS4, which isn't going to be likely.
2. Your New Hard Drive Is Better Protected
Unlike an external hard drive, your PS4's internal hard drive is better protected because it's located inside your PS4.
This sounds obvious, but as long as your PS4—which you've likely kept in a safe place—is in a danger-free zone, so is its internal hard drive.
An external hard drive, however, can undergo damage even if your PS4 is safe. For starters, you could drop it or something on it, spill water on it, or damage the wires. Not to mention, if you disconnect your PS4's external hard drive incorrectly, you risk corrupting your game data.
3. You Can Experience Faster Gaming With an Internal PS4 SSD
The base PS4 hard drive is an HDD (Hard Disk Drive). Nowadays, we're moving towards SSDs (Solid State Drives) becoming the norm. And, for good reason—SSDs are much, much faster than HDDs.
In gaming, this means that it's a lot quicker for you to transfer data, start-up games, and load saves. In fact, the PS5 comes with a custom SSD that's lightning-fast compared to the PS4 and PS4 Pro.
Though this might not be too cost-effective, if you plan on using your PS4 for a long time, consider upgrading its internal HDD to an SSD—the difference will be night and day.
You Should Not Upgrade Your PS4's Internal Hard Drive Because…
Now that we've looked at some benefits, let's see what downsides there are to upgrading your PS4's internal hard drive.
1. It's More Work to Install an Internal Than an External PS4 Hard Drive
If you're looking for convenience and ease between installing an internal and an external hard drive, then the latter wins.
It's very quick and easy to set up and use external storage on your PS4, unlike an internal PS4 hard drive, which requires you to open up a part of your PS4. It's not incredibly difficult, but getting more storage in a matter of seconds sounds like a mighty good deal. That's just what an external PS4 hard drive will give you.
2. You Find External Hard Drives With Higher Memory Capacity Easier
PS4 internal hard drives usually go up to 2TB—you'll need a few accessories if you want to go higher and a DIY hack or two. The PS4, however, can support external hard drives up to 8TB, no problem.
While both of these options are far better than the meager 500GB the base PS4 hard drive gives (though you can buy models with 1TB of base storage as well), it's clear that an external hard drive can give you lots more memory.
3. An External SSD Is Perfect for Both Your PS4 and PS5
A contributing factor to why SSDs are so great is that you can use an external SSD on both your PS4 and your PS5. And, as the PS5 is backward compatible with PS4 games, you can play your PS4 titles on your PS5 seamlessly with an external SSD. Playing games with super fast load times on both your PS4 and PS5—what's not to love about that?
This isn't possible with an internal SSD, unfortunately. And, if you're spending a lot of money on an SSD, you may as well make sure that you can use it on as many consoles as possible.
Enjoy Your New PS4 Storage Space, Whether Internal or External
An upgraded internal hard drive will do wonders for your PS4, especially if you've maxed out your current one. It's a great feeling to not have to delete games installed on your PS4 just to free up space, as well as boot-up games much quicker than before.
Whether you choose to upgrade with an internal or external hard drive, it's a decision your PS4 will appreciate.