After doing their performance analysis, Digital Foundry tested Fallout 4 with external storage, revealing that load times are improved on PlayStation 4 when using an SSD (Solid-State Drive).
At 3:00 of the above video, they do a frame-rate test of Fallout 4 on PS4 using the stock HDD versus an SSD. “We could only spot one area where the PS4 SSD showed any kind of improvement; it’s basically margin of error stuff,” Digital Foundry says.
While there isn’t much different when it comes to frame-rate, both the PS4 and Xbox One see improved loading times with the switch to faster drives, as they explain:
Switching to an SSD lops 30 to 50% off the time taken to get back into gameplay. Loading times aren’t really intrusive to the Fallout 4 experience, but it is safe to say that when they do appear, the momentum of play is compromised – and the faster we’re back in the game, the better.
What’s also curious here is that running the Xbox One game from a solid state drive actually provides faster loading times than doing the same from PS4, and this may well be a matter of contention: the Microsoft console still has its internal drive to use for OS tasks, while the Sony hardware is running everything from the internally mounted SSD.
In their graph, Digital Foundry shows how an SSD can speed up loading times by as much as 16 seconds:
Eurogamer also acknowledged the lengthy installation process for Fallout 4 on both consoles, speculating that the reason you can’t play while the file installs in the background is because the open world is available to you so quickly.