PS4 Loading Time Comparisons of External USB Hard Disk Drives vs SSD

Check out the PS4 External Storage Loading Time Tests demonstration video below with some comparison charts as follows, to quote:

“Do you go for a large 4TB drive, or a fast SSD? Going into these tests, we decided to benchmark both of our options on both PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro, as Sony’s mid-gen console refresh can offer some small improvements on its own.

As testing progressed, a clear hierarchy of results began to roll in. The 4TB external drive actually improves loading times over PS4’s regular drive, as well as having the advantage of offering more space.

Base PS4 Stock 5400rpm Internal Drive Seagate 4TB External OCZ 480GB SSD External OCZ 480GB SSD Internal
Battlefield 1: Through Mud and Blood 109.6 87.2 51.4 47.7
Battlefield 1: The Runner 70.2 54.4 33.0 31.5
The Witcher 3: Novigrad 95.6 87.7 77.1 69.2
Fallout 4: Concord 57.4 44.8 30.1 29.1
Fallout 4: Exiting Vault 111 28.4 22.6 17.1 17.2
Project Cars: Azure Coast 44.4 41.4 40.3 40.4
Skyrim: New Game 22.1 18.6 15.1 16.7
Skyrim: Loading to Helgen 27.9 24.2 19.4 20.9

Overall then, the 4TB Seagate external drive is a great option. Every game we tested gives faster results, and there’s nothing to stop you buying multiple drives as your library expands. Unfortunately, using USB does mean slightly longer loading times in many cases – in the region of 10 per cent.

Base PS4 vs Pro PS4 Internal Stock PS4 + External 4TB PS4 Pro Internal Stock PS4 Pro + External 4TB
Battlefield 1: Through Mud and Blood 109.6 87.2 95.3 85.3
Battlefield 1: The Runner 70.2 54.4 60.0 53.5
Skyrim: New Game 22.1 18.6 19.0 16.8
Skyrim: Loading to Helgen 27.9 24.2 24.5 20.8

At best there are a couple of results where running externally is just as fast or maybe a touch faster, but these tend to be shorter loads and we suspect that it’s more margin of error in these scenarios.

As we know, PS4 Pro offers faster loading times on average anyway, compared to a regular PS4. The difference is slight on most games, but more pronounced with the likes of Pro-supported titles like Battlefield 1 and Skyrim. And as you can see from the table above, PS4 Pro certainly wins out on the stock side of the equation, no doubt.

The fact that we could increase storage massively by using a 4TB option while at the same time improving loading times is the icing on the cake.

Meanwhile, although performance is quite as fast using the USB hook-up, using an SSD still offers colossal improvements to loading times on many titles where loading is ponderous to say the least. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re happy to say that PS4’s external storage functional fully delivers.”

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