Testing these drives on the Sony Playstation 4 is strictly real world.
To measure the times in this article we use Ultrachron Lite running on a Sony Xperia Z Ultra smartphone. Figures were rounded up or down to the tenth digit.
The stock HGST drive installed in the Playstation 4 is very slow, not a shock considering it is an inexpensive 5,400 rpm 2.5 inch model. When we swap over to the Seagate 1TB SSHD model the times are eventually reduced to 18.8 seconds, a noticeable improvement. The Samsung EVO 840 1TB Solid State Drive is by far the fastest, dropping the time by 7 seconds overall.
First we want to test just how the Seagate 1TB SSHD works over multiple runs, by installing, then loading and reloading Assassins Creed IV Black Flag. We also bought Assassins Creed IV Black Flag on the PSN store to check speed differences between the disc install version.
When we first went to run Assassins Creed IV from the disc it took just over 41 seconds to load via the Seagate 1TB SSHD drive. By the third time it had reduced the load to around 33 seconds. This continued to improve to the 5th run – with the load time reduced to 26.5 seconds. After this however the load time seems to change almost randomly. We would take an educated guess that the system is accessing the disc from time to time (security checks or to ensure the disc is still inserted) causing little delays in the load times.
We installed Assassins Creed via the Playstation store, removing the bluray disc from the equation completely (all game data is installed on the internal hard drive). We can see that the times are much more consistent after the fourth run takes place.
Assassins Creed IV certainly loads faster when the complete game is installed onto the drive, rather than relying on the optical media.
Killzone is a very slow loading game especially on the stock HGST drive, taking just over 53 seconds to complete. The Seagate 1TB SSHD drive reduces the time to 45.6 seconds on the fifth run – although the times do vary slightly every time. The Samsung Evo 840 1TB Solid State Drive holds a constant 38.2 seconds – the fastest drive by far in this test.
The Seagate 1TB SSHD is around 3 seconds faster than the stock HGST drive inside the Playstation 4, although again we noticed some fluctuation between individual runs. The Evo 840 1TB Solid State Drive is consistently 4 seconds faster than the Seagate 1TB SSHD drive loading this game.