More data on loading times in the article. TL;DR: All external hard-drives, from 5400rpm to SSD, mitigate the stuttering issue substantially up to the point where it doesn't stutter for over a second anymore. It's completely gone with an SSD.
Yesterday we reported on Fallout 4 console performance, finding that both PS4 and Xbox One target 1080p30 gameplay - with somewhat variable results. Both versions have issues maintaining their frame-rate targets, but it's the Xbox One version that has a tangible disadvantage - there's a 'macro-stutter' issue that seems to be related to the game's background streaming technology. Entering new areas can see second-long pauses, and even switching weapons sometimes causes problems.
After extensive testing, it does seem that the issue relates to a storage bottleneck on the Microsoft platform, but until this is addressed via a title update, there is a workaround - albeit a somewhat impractical one. Completely eliminating the issue - at least on the test areas used in our initial performance analysis - is possible, but it requires mounting an SSD into an external USB enclosure, then copying the game data onto that drive. This is not completely ideal for a number of reasons: SSDs aren't cheap, and the USB caddy required only adds to the expense. So we thought we'd try another couple of solutions - a 7200rpm hard drive and a hybrid SSHD. The latter consists of a 5400rpm drive paired with a smaller SSD cache. The results on both drives are intriguing.
Although it doesn't appear to have anything like the same problem, we also tested the PlayStation 4 version of the game running from solid state storage. There's a very small ironing out of performance, but nothing to write home about and that makes sense as storage bottlenecks on the stock drive appear minimal. Of course, loading times are improved with the move to faster drives and that's a situation common to both consoles.