Fellow console Guardians, we’ve long heard the recommendation to get an SSD for your PS4 or Xbox One to speed up your load times and make the menu time a little more bearable.
Today, I finally took that advice. And like everyone always says, I really wish I would’ve done it sooner.
Destiny 2 is a fairly big game. Right now, on PS4, it’s 81.74GB. When Shadowkeep comes out, 165GB of storage space will be required.
I bought the minimum that you can get to work on a PS4, just to test what a difference it made. Figured if it worked well enough that I was satisfied with it, I’d probably upgrade to a bigger one and use the current one for media files.
I got the 256GB Adata SD600 external SSD for $42.99 on Amazon (that’s an Amazon affiliate link). Comes with a little USB cable to connect it, plug-and-play so the PS4 recognized it instantly and within a minute or so of connecting it it was formatted and I transferred Destiny 2 over to it. That process took about 25 minutes or so, not bad at all giving the file size.
Before hooking up the SSD, I did a series of six tests on the HDD. Here’s the average times it took to do a few things on the internal HDD of the PS4 Pro:
- 1 minute 52 seconds from hitting Start on the PS4 dashboard to being able to select my character
- 15 seconds from selecting the character until being able to pull up the director while in orbit
- 1 minute 21 seconds from hitting launch on the tower until spawning in
- 5 seconds from pushing options until weapons could be swapped
That’s just terrible.
Here’s the average with the Adata SD600 SSD after six tests:
- 1 minute 8 seconds from dashboard to character select
- 10 seconds from selecting character to bringing up director
- 53 seconds from tower launch to spawn
- 2.41 seconds from pushing options until weapons could be swapped
- 8 seconds to return to orbit (I didn’t test this with the HDD)
As an added bonus, with the SSD I can now inspect armor while flying into an activity and actually see it AND preview shaders. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.
Now as you can see, that’s a pretty good difference. That’s 44 seconds shaved off from starting the game until being able to select a character. In fact, with the SSD I can start, log in, select character and begin flying to the Tower before I could’ve even selected the character with the HDD.
53 seconds was the average to fly in to the Tower. Had a run of 49 seconds, and one of a minute 3 seconds. Even at the worst, it was still a noticeable improvement and you gotta be happy with that.
Over two seconds shaved off of opening up the menu, which for us on console is a godsend giving how slow and sluggish that’s always been.
Again, I wish I would’ve done it sooner. I’m very happy with just getting into the game, the Tower, destinations and my menu a little faster. Obviously, it’s not going to help you any when it comes to loading into a crucible match.
Highly recommend that you pick up an external SSD if you have the funds to justify it. It’s a noticeable and appreciable difference.
If you get one, keep in mind that the SSD needs to plug directly into the PS4 to use it as extended storage to move Destiny 2 or other games to it. If you’re like me, you already have your three USB ports on the system used up, so I had to buy a USB hub to make room for the SSD.
I went with this one from BYEASY for $13 (again Amazon affiliate link), but that one isn’t currently available anymore. Any of them should work just fine.
Now that I’ve seen the difference, I’m probably going to upgrade to at least a 500GB SSD and maybe even a 1TB. If I do, I’ll likely go with a Samsung internal SSD and just put it in an external enclosure.