Ten months after the PlayStation 5 hit retailer cabinets, Sony released a software update that unlocked the console’s storage growth slot. Initially, the PS5 supplied solely 667GB of house for storing your video games, with no technique to improve that. Whereas that was high-quality for some avid gamers (like me), others (like my son) had been pressured to carry out a near-daily juggling act that concerned continuously deleting and redownloading video games because of the console’s low SSD cupboard space and the obvious must have fixed entry to each Name of Responsibility sport.
Now, you may improve your PS5’s accessible storage by putting in a regular PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD. If that mess of acronyms has you recoiling, don’t fear, you’ll see that it’s not all that difficult, and if you wish to know that are the most effective SSDs on your PS5, you may skip to the top for our prime picks.
How a lot storage do I would like?
The PS5 will settle for drives between 250GB and 4TB in capability. For those who already personal a PlayStation 5, likelihood is you may have an affordable concept of how a lot storage you want on your sport library. For those who’re shopping for an SSD with a brand new PS5, or shopping for for another person, although, it’s tougher to inform.
PS5 video games are a bit smaller on common than their PS4 equivalents, sometimes taking over between 30GB and 100GB, with some notable (and very talked-about) exceptions. For those who’re a fan of the Name of Responsibility collection, putting in Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 would require greater than 200GB. In different phrases, a full Name of Responsibility set up will take up virtually one-third of the PS5’s inner storage. For those who’re not a CoD fan, although, likelihood is you’ll be good to retailer between six to 10 video games in your PS5 internally earlier than operating into issues.
One further factor to think about is your web pace. For those who reside in an space with sluggish broadband, the “you may simply obtain it once more” rationale doesn’t actually work out. At my outdated dwelling, a 100GB obtain took me round eight hours, throughout which period it was troublesome to concurrently watch Twitch or, say, publish articles about upgrading PS5 SSDs. Retaining video games round on the off-chance you’ll need to play them sooner or later is smart.
Off the bat, there’s mainly no level in going for a 250GB drive. Economically, 250GB drives aren’t that less expensive than 500GB ones, and virtually, that actually isn’t a whole lot of house for contemporary video games to reside on. 500GB drives, coming in at round $80 to $140, are an honest wager, however the candy spot for many is to go for a 1TB drive, which ought to run you between $160 and $250. That may greater than double the house you may have accessible for video games with out breaking the financial institution. (Seagate’s official 1TB Xbox Sequence growth card, for comparability, sells for $220.)
When you’ve got the cash, 2TB drives generally provide marginal financial savings per gigabyte, and might usually be discovered when different fashions are out of inventory. Until you’re rolling in money and need to flex, 4TB fashions ought to largely be prevented, as you’ll find yourself paying extra per gigabyte than you’d with a 1TB or 2TB drive.
One ultimate be aware: Whereas the 825GB PS5 solely gives 667GB of storage, that’s largely as a consequence of storage being reserved for the working system and caching. For those who set up a 1TB SSD, you will have, inside a margin of error, 1TB of storage accessible for video games.
What about exterior SSDs?
These come at a a lot cheaper price level than the high-end inner SSDs, however there are restrictions on what you are able to do with them. An exterior SSD connects to your PS5 through USB, and is simply appropriate for enjoying PS4 video games, or storing PS5 titles. That is helpful when you have something however the most effective web — it’s sooner to maneuver a PS5 sport out of “chilly storage” on an exterior drive than it’s to re-download it — or simply need numerous PS4 video games handy.
As a result of limitations right here, you don’t want the highest-performing mannequin, though you need to go for SSDs over HDDs for improved switch speeds and cargo occasions. Any fundamental transportable drive from a good model will do, with the Essential X6 and Samsung T5 being choices we’ve tried and might advocate.
What SSDs are appropriate with PS5?
The official reply to this query is an “M.2 Socket 3 (Key M) Gen4 x4 NVME SSD.” However even inside that seemingly particular description, there are nonetheless extra issues to think about. The primary necessities Sony has laid out for compatibility come down to hurry, cooling and bodily dimensions.
For pace, Sony says drives ought to have the ability to deal with sequential reads at 5,500MB/s. Early testing confirmed that the PS5 would settle for drives as sluggish as 4,800MB/s, and that video games that faucet into the SSD commonly — similar to Ratchet & Clank: Rift Aside — would trigger no points. Just about the one factor the PS5 will outright reject is one that does not match the Gen4 x4 spec.
In our opinion, although, utilizing a drive slower than the specification is a threat that, in case you don’t have already got that drive mendacity round, shouldn’t be value taking. Simply because we haven’t discovered points but, that doesn’t imply there received’t be video games that will probably be problematic down the road. The worth distinction between these marginally slower Gen4 drives and those that meet Sony’s spec shouldn’t be large, and chances are you’ll as properly cowl all of your bases.
Barely extra difficult than pace is cooling and dimension. Most naked SSDs are going to be simply high-quality; the PS5 can match 22mm-wide SSDs of just about any size (30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm or 110mm, to be exact). The overwhelming majority of drives you discover will probably be 22mm extensive and 80mm lengthy, so no drawback there.
It ought to be famous that the system can match a 25mm-wide drive, however that width should embody the cooling resolution. Talking of, Sony says SSDs require “efficient warmth dissipation with a cooling construction, similar to a heatsink.” The utmost top supported by Sony’s slot is 11.25mm, of which solely 2.45mm may be “beneath” the drive. This beforehand meant a number of the hottest heatsinked Gen4 SSDs, together with Corsair’s MP600 Professional LPX and Sabrent’s Rocket 4 Plus, wouldn’t match throughout the PS5’s storage growth slot. Since Engadget first revealed this information in 2021, most NVMe makers, together with Samsung, have come out with PlayStation-specific fashions that care for these concerns.
That mentioned, if you wish to avoid wasting cash, naked drives are sometimes less expensive, and it’s trivial to discover a cooling resolution that may work for the PS5.
The one element in an NVMe SSD that actually requires cooling is the controller, which and not using a heatsink will fortunately sear a (very small) steak. Most SSDs have chips on just one aspect, however even on double-sided SSDs, the controller is prone to be on prime, as producers understand it must be positioned there to higher dissipate warmth. So, head to your PC element vendor of selection, and decide up mainly something that meets the really useful dimensions. An excellent search time period is “laptop computer NVME heatsink,” as these will probably be designed to slot in the confines of gaming laptops, that are much more restrictive than a PS5. They’re additionally sometimes cheaper than those labeled as “PS5 heatsinks.”
One suggestion is that this $7 copper heatsink, which attaches to the SSD with sticky thermal interface materials. It really works simply high-quality, and actually, performing stress exams on a PC, we couldn’t discover something metallic that didn’t preserve temperatures below management. Once you’re looking, simply be sure the answer you go for measures not more than 25mm extensive or 8mm tall together with the thermal interface materials and has a easy methodology of set up that’s not going to trigger any complications.
Now, if all of that was very boring, listed here are some ready-to-go suggestions:
Finest PS5 SSD: Corsair MP600 Professional LPX
The Corsair MP600 Professional LPX makes it to the highest of our record for checking all of the containers. It’s quick, providing learn speeds of as much as 7,100MB/s and comes with a pre-installed heatsink. It additionally ships with a five-year guarantee. Better of all, the MP600 is reasonably priced. In current months, the 1TB variant has offered for lower than $100 (though it sometimes is available in at $185), whereas the 2TB mannequin will set you again about $210.
Finest reasonably priced PS5 SSD: Essential P5 Plus
If you wish to save a bit of cash by putting in your personal heatsink, a Crucial P5 Plus NVMe is a superb reasonably priced possibility. With learn speeds of as much as 6,600MB/s, the P5 Plus is simply marginally slower than our prime decide, and you’ll continuously discover the 1TB mannequin for as little as $80 when it’s on sale. Anticipate the 2TB variant to set you again about $180 when on low cost.
Different nice choices
Samsung 980 Professional
For those who’re not accustomed to firms like Essential or Corsair and need to go along with a extra recognizable model, there’s no greater participant within the NVMe house than Samsung. The corporate just lately started promoting a heatsinked model of its highly-regarded 980 Pro SSD. It’s dearer than a number of the different NVMe drives on this record, however not dramatically so. You may count on to pay about $230 for the 1TB mannequin (or round $110 when it is on sale) and $200 for the 2TB model.
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus
Of all of the SSDs on this record, the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is probably the most attention-grabbing. It comes with a novel heatsink that you simply set up instead of the storage growth slot’s metallic cowl. Sabrent claims this design improves cooling efficiency. Pricing falls in step with Samsung’s providing, with the 1TB variant coming in at round $160 and the 2TB mannequin costing $300.
If Sabrent’s design is interesting to you however you may’t discover the Rocket 4 Plus for an honest worth once you go searching for one, PNY provides an identical cooling resolution with the PS5 model of its XLR8 NVMe. You will discover the 1TB mannequin for about $107. Anticipate the 2TB mannequin to set you again about $190.
WD Black SN850
The SN850 is one other plug-and-play possibility for the PS5, providing sequential learn speeds in extra of the console’s compatibility necessities and a pre-installed heatsink. Western Digital sells a Sony-licensed mannequin of the SN850 that is available in 1TB and 2TB variants. The previous ought to set you again about $180, whereas the latter prices about $300.
How one can set up an SSD in a PS5
Earlier than making an attempt so as to add extra storage to your PS5, guarantee that you’ve Sony’s newest software program put in. When you’re up-to-date, set up of a PS5 SSD is pretty simple. Sony recommends a #1 Phillips or crosshead screwdriver, however this is not rocket science. Any crossed screwdriver of an identical dimension will do high-quality.
Start by powering down your PS5, unplugging all the pieces, eradicating the stand and flipping it over to its underside. When you’ve got the common PS5, that’s the aspect with the disc drive; when you have the Digital Version, it’s the aspect with out the PlayStation brand cutout.
Sony has a video information to popping off the surface cowl here, however the gist is you gently elevate up the opposing corners and slide the panel towards the flat finish of the console. There’s a knack to this, and it requires little or no effort or power. For those who’re not getting it, quite than drive it simply readjust your grip and take a look at once more. A member of our video staff managed to interrupt one of many tabs on our assessment unit doing this up to now so… yeah, don’t drive it.
When you’ve bought all the pieces open, you’ll see an oblong piece of metallic with a screw holding it in place. Take away that screw, and also you’ll have the ability to entry the drive bay.
You’ll see 5 holes inside, every numbered similar to the usual SSD drive lengths I discussed earlier. The one numbered 110 can have a metallic insert and screw inside. You should unscrew the screw with a screwdriver, after which unscrew the insert along with your fingers and transfer it to the related gap. Your eyes ought to inform you which is the fitting one on your drive, however it’s probably going to be 80.
Then take your SSD — mine is a 980 Professional I purchased on Prime Day with a $2 piece of aluminum hooked up to the highest — and slot it in. The slot is on the edge closest to the quantity “30,” and SSDs are keyed to solely slot in a method, so once more, no drive is required. If it’s not sliding in, don’t drive it. You’ll discover the SSD doesn’t sit flat — that’s high-quality, and is as supposed.
As soon as the SSD is seated, take the screw you faraway from the insert, line it up with the little notch on the finish of your SSD, and push down so it meets the insert. Give the screw a couple of turns — it doesn’t must be very tight — and also you’re accomplished.
Exchange the metallic cowl and screw it down, after which slide the plastic outer shell again on. Once you first activate the PS5, it’ll immediate you to format the drive. Do this! You will have now efficiently expanded your console’s storage, and might set about downloading and shifting video games to it. Personally, I moved the entire PS4 video games I needed to the brand new drive, together with all of my clips and screenshots. The PS5’s built-in SSD is at all times going to be probably the most compliant, so I’m protecting my essential stuff there.
We’ll be updating this information as extra SSDs come to market and onto our check bench, so be at liberty to bookmark it for once you want it.