No more room for games on your brand new PlayStation 5? So add an internal SSD or an external drive to it so you never have to delete titles again.
Sony’s PlayStation 5 is an excellent console, but it suffers from one major flaw: it only has 667 GB of internal storage. This may seem like a lot, but at a time when most AAA titles easily exceed 100 GB, it is therefore difficult to have more than 4 or 5 games on your console. And juggling installations can get tiresome, especially if your internet connection isn’t great.
Finally internal M2 SSDs for the PS5!
The solution to this problem is therefore to increase the storage space, which was impossible when the console was released. After an initial update enabling USB external hard drives in April 2021, Sony has finally enabled the internal SSD slot with an update now available to everyone. Go to our article to find out how to install an SSD in your PS5.
If the internal SSD can play all games, an external drive can only play PS4 titles and store PS5 games.
Please note that there is a list of conditions to be met for optimal operation:
- NVME PCIe Gen4 4x SSD
- capacity between 250 GB and 4 TB
- minimum 5500 MB/s sequential read
- mandatory heatsink with a maximum height of 8 mm
In practice, slower Gen4 drives work on current games, but nothing is guaranteed for future titles that will fully exploit the console’s capabilities. That’s why we only recommend discs according to the official specifications.
So we’ve chosen the best internal SSDs and the best external hard drives to store your games on your PS5.
Samsung 980 Pro: a fast and affordable SSD for PS5
The Samsung 980 Pro is one of our favorite SSDs for PCs and it’s no surprise that it takes its place in this selection. Not only is it extremely fast, but it also offers one of the best prices per gigabyte on the market.
We also appreciate the 5-year warranty, even if there is little chance that you will use it as Samsung SSDs are renowned for their reliability. A model with heatsink exists, but is charged 40 € more. We therefore recommend that you invest a few euros in a suitable heatsink and pay for a game with the money thus saved. If we highlight the 1 TB version here, it is also found in 2 TB.
If you have any doubts about the handling, we detail how to install an SSD in your PS5 here.
Adata XPG Gammix S70 Blade 1TB: Series Heatsink
You don’t want to mount the heatsink on your SSD yourself? Many models with a radiator exist, but most of them are either too high or far too expensive. Adata’s Gammix S70 Blade is one of the few exceptions to the rule.
Its flow rates are solid and its very thin heatsink will pose no problem for installation in the console. On the other hand, it is more expensive than a model without heatsink. If the difference is around ten euros for the 1 TB model, it rises to 50 euros for the 2 TB model. Please note: a version without a heatsink is also marketed under the same name.
Sabrent PS5 heatsink: the best heatsink for the PS5
You have found a nice promotion on an SSD, but the latter is not equipped with a heatsink? No worries, Sabrent is here for you! If SSD heatsinks are not new, the brand pushes the plug a little further here with this model which simply replaces the plastic hatch that covers the SSD.
This not only makes it possible to offer a larger dissipation surface, but it also benefits from the ventilation of the console. So certainly at 25 € the accessory is a bit expensive, but the game is worth the candle.
Samsung T5: the good compromise in external SSD
The T5 is one of our favorite external SSDs for general use and its qualities make it a good option for PS5 use. Its first strong point is its extremely compact format which allows it to be easily forgotten.
Its raw performance is not monstrous (it barely exceeds 400 MB / s in reading and writing), but it is more than enough for the use we make of it, especially given its price.
Samsung 870 QVo: a homemade external SSD
If the classic external SSDs are interesting, with their particularly compact format, they are however much more expensive than their desktop cousins at equal capacity. However, external boxes make it possible to transform a 2.5″ disk into a USB disk very simply.
For those who are wondering: we have deliberately excluded the use of an NVMe disk. Faster on paper, the latter bring in practice almost nothing to use and are much more expensive at equal capacity.
For this specific case, we chose a 2 TB Samsung 870 QVO coupled with a USB box from Ugreen. The result is an external drive that is certainly a bit bulkier than a Samsung T5, but just as efficient and almost 20% cheaper. Don’t hesitate to use another model of SSD if you want even more space or if you find an interesting promo. Performance will remain unchanged.
Toshiba Canvio Basics: for small budgets
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend and especially if you don’t plan to play PS4 games directly on the external drive, you don’t need to go broke. A standard platter hard drive will do just fine.
This Canvio Basics from Toshiba is a solid value in this area, with good build quality and a reasonable cost per GB. Only small complaint: it uses a micro-USB 3.0 socket less practical than USB-C.
Understanding everything about PS5 storage
Which internal SSDs are compatible with the PS5?
Sony has published a series of criteria for compatible SSDs. We detail them here, but here is a short summary.
- Interface : M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD.
- Ability : 250 GB to 4 TB.
- cooling structure : the SSD must have a heatsink, whether it is original or not.
- Sequential read speed : 5.5 GB/s or more
- Module width : 22mm
- Format : 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110 (M.2 type)
- Total dimensions with heatsink: in millimetres: less than 110 mm (length) x 25 mm (width) x 11.25 mm (height).
What can be stored on an external PS5 drive?
External supports come with constraints on the PS5. Indeed, some game features are dependent on the console’s super-fast storage. It is thus impossible to play directly on a PS5 game installed on an external hard drive. It will therefore be necessary to copy it to the internal disk before playing.
PS4 titles, on the other hand, will be playable directly from an external drive, a particularly interesting point since the catalog of the previous generation represents a very large part of the games available at the moment.
Is there a performance loss when playing on an external drive?
The answer to this question will depend on the type of disk used. In practice, however, the loading times are almost unchanged if an external SSD is used. On a platter hard drive, on the other hand, loading times explode, increasing by 20 to 100% depending on the title.
Should you choose an SSD or a platter drive?
From a pure performance point of view, the question is quickly answered: SSDs are superior to conventional disks whether for copy times (for PS5 games) or loading times (for PS5 games). Their cost per gigabyte, on the other hand, is much higher.
For more models, don’t hesitate to take a look at our selection of the best SSDs and HDDs for PCs.
What disks are supported?
In theory, all external USB drives are supported as long as they meet the connectivity and capacity criteria:
- USB 5 Gbit/s support (USB 3.0/USB 3.1 Gen1/USB 3.2 Gen1)
- minimum capacity of 250 GB and maximum of 8 TB
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