You can never have enough hard drive space. Unfortunately, neither Microsoft or Sony really thought about this when designing their latest consoles. Both the PS4 and the Xbox One install games on hard drive rather than running games directly off a disc, unlike their predecessors.
Most of us have had make that difficult decision to delete old games from the hard drive in order to install something new. Both the PS4 and Xbox One support external hard drives via a USB connector. I’d hope that most long-term PS4/XB1 players would have sussed out that you can use external hard drives to increase storage space.
If you really want to give your console a boost at the same time as an upgrade Samsung’s Portable SSD T5 drives are worth a look.
These lightweight solid-state drives come in four colours: rose gold, metallic red, deep black and alluring blue. The available capacities are 250GB (AU$129), 500GB (AU$169), 1TB (AU$339) and a whopping 2TB (AU$629).
They come with cables for connecting to devices via either the usual USB 2.0/3.0 Type A socket (compatible with both PS4 and Xbox One) or the new USB 3.1 Type-C sockets found on newer PCs, Laptops and mobile phones.
These drives are tiny, with a footprint smaller than that of a credit card and less than 10mm thick. Boasting speeds of up to 540 MB/s, which you’ll likely only reach using a USB Type-C cable, you’ll be torn as to whether you want to use a T5 as an external console hard drive or as fast, pocket-sized, portable storage for your media and other important data.
I opted to plug it straight into the Xbox One, replacing a flagging mechanical hard drive that I’ve been using for extended storage. The Xbox One’s replacement, Project Scarlett, releasing Christmas next year, will sport an SSD as standard. The T5 allowed me to check out the impact of using a fast hard drive in an Xbox One X in advance of the new console release.
I installed Forza Horizon 4 on the T5 drive, being a game notorious for long loading times. From the Xbox One dashboard to driving in the game took just under a minute. That’s about half the time it would take loading from the standard internal drive. Two minutes is an age when staring at a loading screen.
Of course, $629 for 2TB is possible a bit excessive for an additional Xbox One storage solution. If you consider $129 for 250GB or even $169 for 500GB, you’ll find them a good investment to store your favourite games that you want to load up fast. Even with a smaller SSD, both the PS4 and Xbox One allow for easy swapping of games from one storage device to another.
Fast access to date is essential in our busy fast-moving world. Nobody wants to be standing idle in front of the boss whilst waiting for data to load from a portable traditional mechanical drive. Similarly, waiting a few minutes for a game to load, when you’ve only five minutes for a quick go, isn’t a lot of fun, either. No matter what you use a Samsung Portable SSD T5 for, you are going to get great performance in a tiny, lightweight unit.