Remember spending all that money buying memory cards and whatnot? Like a PC, it will save game files onto the internal drive.
Some brands are being a bit dodgy and not conforming to the 2.5 inch spec – they will be too thick to fit within your PS3. Unfortunately there wouldn't be a significant speed increase from using SSDs.
Just check the dimensions – not more than 9.5mm tall. PS3 consoles don't have interface software optimised for SSDs. You should note that any trophies you've earned will be wiped in the process of formatting.
To ensure you hold on to them, you need to remember to use the Only HDDs being used externally (via USB) need to be formatted in FAT32.
You do not need to pre-format a HDD you plan to install internally to the PS3.
In addition, many PS3 games will partially install onto the HDD. You can also store photos/music/video on the drive for easy use on your PS3. Otherwise, you can burn it to a CD/DVD/BR, or copy it from a media server on your home network.
The PS3's disc drive is not a CD/DVD/BR burner, so you cannot use it to get data off the drive. You will need an external HDD, connected via USB (see the External HDD section below). Follow the instructions to backup your existing HDD data to the external drive. The PS3 uses a proprietary file format for its internal HDD, which cannot be read by PCs.
Use a cutting disk to carve a line across the head of the screw, effectively turning your rounded off head into something that can be unscrewed by a flat-head screw driver. Obviously this will destroy the screw, and is quite dangerous to the HDD, so do this with caution.
This can be one of the easiest options to do, but of course be careful and wear eye protection. If the screw that is stuck is on the left side of the caddy, you can also try filing off the loop so you can remove the HDD without undoing the screw. Depends on the data you are trying to transfer: You cannot reliably use the backup utility to transfer data between consoles.
The console will format it during the installation.
However – read the installation instructions below.
Pointy-nosed vice grips will work best as you can apply a bit more pressure than with standard pliers and they'll 'lock on'.