Finding the best SSD for PS5 is an absolute must if you’ve ever had to delete a game to make room for a new one. An SSD (short for solid state drive) allows you to easily expand your internal storage so you never have to wonder which game to delete and which to keep ever again.
However, using an SSD with your PS5 it isn’t as easy as plugging in any old memory card. You’ll need to make sure that you find one that meets Sony’s compatibility requirements – and many that do aren't exactly cheap.
If you're not sure about the differences between a hard drive and a solid-state drive, expanding your PS5 storage can seem confusing. This guide will help you find the best SSDs that meet your needs and Sony’s exact requirements, so they’ll work perfectly with your PS5 or PS5 Digital Edition console.
Sony’s PlayStation PS5 only comes with 667GB of usable internal storage on-board. Although that might sound like a lot, it isn’t if you’re a gamer who likes to keep a decent selection of games installed or snag every PS Plus release as soon as it becomes available. We know it can be painful to delete games knowing you’ll need to reinstall them at a later date, not to mention just frustrating. The ability to add more internal storage to the PS5 is also important because you can’t play PS5 games from any external drives, either.
The option to expand your PS5 internal storage using the SSD bay on your PS5 was made available to all users on September 15, 2021, as Sony rolled out a new system update. To make use of this new feature you need to install the latest PS5 beta firmware.
It’s important to note that we haven’t had hands-on experience with every SSD we've included in this guide. But you’ll find a selection of drives that meet the exact specifications outlined by Sony, as well as an explainer about how PS5 storage works in general.
We'll update this list with more recommendations and hands-on reviews as they come in, so you can find the best SSD that’ll play nicely with your PS5.
Best SSD for PS5 requirements
PS5 games can only be played from the PlayStation 5’s internal storage or from a compatible M.2 SSD that has been installed in the console’s SSD bay. Sony has said that any solid state drive you purchase must meet the following requirements:
|Format||PCIe Gen 4.0 (x4) M.2 NVMe SSD|
|Capacity||250GB, 500GB, 1Tb, 2TB or 4TB|
|Read Speed||5500MB/s or faster|
|Total size with heatsink||110 x 25 x 11.25 millimetres|
|Form factor||2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 or 22110|
All of the drives listed below either meet or exceed these requirements, so you can rest easy knowing that whichever SSD you pick will be fully compatible with your PlayStation 5. However, remember that every drive requires a heatsink, so if you opt to purchase an SSD without one, you'll need to buy and install one manually and ensure you don't exceed the maximum size outlined by Sony.
Best SSD for PS5
Recommended by PlayStation 5’s lead system architect Mark Cerny, the WD Black SN850 SSD is compatible with the PS5 and a great option thanks to its blazing-fast read speed of 7,000MB/s and built-in heatsink. The drive also fits the size requirements outlined by Sony, so you won’t have to worry about it not fitting correctly.
Depending on how much storage you require, the WD Black SN850 SSD comes in 500GB, 1TB or 2TB capacity versions. You can also get the WD Black SN850 without the heatsink for a cheaper price, but you'll need install your own manually.
Our solution to our very active two gamer PS5 household? His-and-hers SSDs :-)Couple of awesome options for 7000MB/s, ended up putting my $$ down on this one. Going to be SWEEET!!! pic.twitter.com/6TuqPwK49xAugust 1, 2021
The fastest SSD in this list, the Seagate FireCuda 530 Heatsink 1TB M.2 SSD can hit eye-watering read speeds of 7,300MB/s, which means your PS5 will have more than enough overhead to play with. It also has a high-grade aluminum block that acts as a heatsink, which means it will keep cool for optimal performance when installed in your PlayStation 5.
The Seagate FireCuda Heatsink SSD comes in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB versions, though it’s worth noting that the 500GB SSD isn’t quite as fast when it comes to read speeds, as it drops to 7,000MB/s. The Seagate FireCuda 530 SSD is also available without a heatsink, but you'll need to install your own manually.
Another great SSD with a heatsink built-in is the Gigabyte Aorus NVMe Gen 4 7000s, which means your speeds will never throttle when the SSD heats up. With a read speed of 7000MB/s, it comfortably exceeds the 5500MB/s requirement set out by Sony. It’s also one of the more affordable 1TB options we’ve seen, coming in at under $200 / £200 RRP at most retailers. It’s also been given the greenlight by Gigabyte themselves, who shared that the SSD is fully compatible on Twitter.
The Aorus NVMe Gen 4 7000s is listed as being slightly taller than the recommended maximum height recommended by Sony, but it’s been confirmed that it will fit inside the PS5 with the SSD bay cover attached.
We've tested the Aorus NVMe Gen 4 7000s and can confirm it works flawlessly. The PS5 shows a read speed of 6559MB/s when installed, which exceeds the recommended minimum of 5500MB/s or faster.
We're PS5 ready 🎮 NVMe PCIe 4.0 ✅ Read speed 5500 ✅ Aluminum dual-sided thermal design ✅ pic.twitter.com/qUlN1oOhuRJuly 30, 2021
The Patriot Viper VP4300 is slightly slower than some of the other SSDs on this list, but it still beats Sony’s recommendation of 5500MB/s read speeds, as it's capable of hitting 5800MB/s. It’ll fit nicely inside your PS5’s SSD bay, too, and comes with a heatsink already attached so you can plug it in and get gaming faster.
The Samsung 980 Pro is a popular choice for those looking for a super-fast SSD, but if you want to use it with your PS5 you’ll need to purchase and attach a heatsink. It’s important that any heatsink you buy keeps the drive at the recommended height of 11.25mm or shorter, otherwise it won’t fit.
If the idea of purchasing and attaching your own heatsink puts you off, we recommend grabbing some of the SSDs above that come with a heatsink pre-installed.
Read our Samsung 980 Pro review
PS5 storage explained
The PS5’s storage can be expanded in three distinct ways: by installing a Sony-recommended NVMe SSD (Sony’s official PS5 teardown video shows exactly where an extra drive will fit), or by adding an external HDD or SSD attached via USB.
Sony has now confirmed the requirements for which NVMe M.2 SSD drives will work. We know that the PS5’s internal drive supports PCIe Gen 4 M.2 NVMe SSDs, capable of 5500MB/s bandwidth with a capacity of 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB or 4TB. You will need a heatsink, and the dimensions should not exceed 110 x 25 x 11.25 millimeters.
Any games that are installed to either the internal or additional NVMe SSD that you can install will benefit from the full power of the PS5, particularly when it comes to load speeds. The problem is that NVMe SSDs aren’t cheap, so be prepared to part with a large chunk of change if you want to expand the PS5’s storage capacity.
The next solution to free up space from the PS5’s main drive (or additional NVMe SSD you install) is to plug in a regular external HDD or SSD. As both these storage solutions sit outside of the console, they’re often referred to as “external” drives.
Both these drives can be used to store and play PS4 games, however, they won’t benefit from the advantages of being stored directly onto the PS5’s NVMe drive. After a recent PS5 system update, you can now store PS5 games on an external hard drive or SSD, but you'll need to transfer them to the internal drive if you'd like to play them.
PS5 storage: how much do you get?
The PS5 is equipped with an 825GB NVMe SSD, which provides super-fast load times and promises to have a transformative impact on how next-gen games will perform in the future. As this is the drive that comes installed in the PS5, it’s often referred to as the “internal” drive and cannot be removed by the user (as far as we can tell at least).
The PS5 only has 667.2GB of usable memory to play with – a large chunk of storage is reserved for system files and the PlayStation’s operating system – and with the majority of new PS5 games weighing in at 50GB, space will be at a premium.
What is an NVMe SSD?
It’s important to establish what an NVMe SSD is, as that’s what’s found inside the PS5. An NVMe SSD (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a superior storage solution compared to standard hard drives and SSDs (solid-state drives). NVMe SSDs use PCIe sockets for data transfer, which means they can send up to 25x more data than the slower SATA equivalent (which is what the hard drives in the PS4 and PS4 Pro use).
NVMe drives also communicate directly with a system’s CPU, and the end result is blazing fast performance that currently can’t be matched by any other storage solution. PS5 relies on this new storage format to create a next-generational leap in performance, so it’s paramount that you understand the difference between the three types of drives.
Is an NVMe SSD the same as an SSD?
No, and it’s an easy mistake to make – particularly as Sony regularly refers to its storage as just “SSD”. Regular SSDs rely on SATA, which is a far slower way of transferring data within a system. An SSD is still much faster than a regular mechanical hard drive (and less prone to failure due to the lack of moving parts), but its speeds pale in comparison to an NVMe SSD.
PS5 storage at a glance
Looking for all the information you need at a glance? Check out the table below for a clear guide of how PS5 storage works.
|Can you play PS5 games from it?||Can you play PS4 games from it?||Can you play PS5/PS4 games from it?||Can you store PS5 games?|
|PS5 internal NVMe||Yes||Yes (they will benefit from faster load times)||Yes||Yes|
|M.2 NVMe SSD||Yes||Yes (they will benefit from faster load times)||Yes||Yes|
|External HDD (USB 3.1)||No||Yes||No, only PS4 games||Yes|
|External SSD (USB 3.1)||No||Yes (they will benefit from faster load times)||No, only PS4 games||Yes|
- PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: what's the difference?
You might also want to check out the best PS5 external hard drives.