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Best Hard Drive Upgrade for PS3

Updated on January 14, 2015

Update! Top 5 hdd's

There's an excellent top 5 ps3 compatible hdd list with the best reviewed hdd's that are recommended for easy installation, least hassle, and no overheating, breaking down and such.

Or check this out if you're after a ps3 external hard drive. The drives range from 500GB to 2tb, with info on drive re formatting, and drives that will be compatible with ps4, seeing as the ps4 will have 3.0 usb ports, not 2.0 like the ps3.

Sony ps3 has come in many memory capacities over the years. The first release models or 2006, now affectionately known as 'fat' or fatboys' came with 20 or 60 gig of memory. A year later, the 80 and 160 gig models were released, as the amount of games and network features for the ps3 platform steadily expanded.

in 2009 Sony released a revamped 'slim' model of the playstation3 which had been re engineered for improved and quiter performance, also using less power. The slim's were available with a 120, 160, 250, and 320 gig Hard Disk Drive to accommodate more memory using features such as Sony PlayTV.


Original HDD's in the PS3

The ps3 originally uses a 2.5" SATA HD 5400 rpm Drive. This is just a common laptop drive, there are no special modifications to make it ps3 exclusive so finding one for an upgrade is easy, they are available in sizes as big as 500, 640 and even 750 gig. That is a lot more memory than current ps3 models have. IDE laptop drives will not work in the ps3 as it has no IDE connection.

  • The drive is internal, so any removed HDD must be replaced with a 2.5" Hard Disk Drive or it simply will not fit inside the console.
  • Trying to use a HDD with higher rpm will not improve performance, some suggestions for better performance include 7400 rpm HDD, but this only forces the ps3 to work harder, causing it to run hotter, use more power, and possibly could lead to YLOD.
  • Using a higher RPM drive will not increase performance, and will not make your games load faster.
  • Repeat...Using a higher RPM drive will NOT increase performance!

Also, the ps3 runs on a SATA-1 connection, not SATA-2, if you buy a SATA-2 drive make sure it is backward compatible to SATA-1, significant lag and stutter problems seem to arise from those trying to use SATA-2 connections.

It has been mentioned that there is a risk of stripping the screws that hold the drive, a #1 phillips screwdriver is recommended over a #2.

The ps3 'fat' and 'slim' models both use the same spec Hard Disk Drive making compatibility across the ps3 range very uniform.

Why Upgrade Your HDD?

There are many reasons for wanting to replace your ps3 Hard Disk Drive. It may be that your current drive is burnt out/fried, or you may be looking for a ps3 HDD upgrade to increase your memory. Whatever the reason, Sony has made it super easy to do yourself. Upgrading your HDD will not void your warranty, as you do not have to open the console to replace it. Sony also has instructions in the ps3 manual and a customer service hotline with advice for those wishing to upgrade their own HDD and actively encourages consumers to get the best out of their gaming consoles.

Recommended Brands

The most recommended HDD brands by gamers are Western Digital and Seagate. Seagate supply most of the standard hard drives in the consoles.

Sticking to the specs that the manufacturers themselves use is always the best advice seeing as they are part of the original build. If you are in need of more memory you can always go for an external Hard Disk Drive.


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    • coutneyk profile image

      coutneyk 5 years ago

      Sata 2 is fine, I have seen a few complaints about speed, but that could be particular to that persons console.

      Cache rate depends on ps3 model, 40Gig models have 2mb cache rate while the 60Gig has 8,

    • profile image

      Kye 5 years ago

      What's the cache rate for the stock HD?

    • profile image

      jackson 5 years ago

      so you can use a sata 2

    • coutneyk profile image

      coutneyk 5 years ago

      Great question, thanks for asking :) I actually haven't come across one, I've come across plenty of SATA-2. Perhaps they're phased out as many SATA II are backwards compatible.

    • profile image

      JuanD 5 years ago

      Hi there.... quick question is it possible still to find SATA-1 HD? I have tried looking on several stores but only find SATA-II interface.

    • coutneyk profile image

      coutneyk 5 years ago

      Hi there :) Thanks for the question :) Sticking with 5400 is generally what's recommended as 7400rpm causes temperature issues. The stock standard drives in the ps3 are made by Seagate :)

    • profile image

      Pooper 5 years ago

      If 7400 rpm is too much what is a good amount?