The recent PlayStation 5 beta finally lets you install third-party SSDs into your PS5 for more internal storage. But not just any drive will work, as Sony has some specific requirements they must meet to work in the PS5. The good news is that we did the research, so you don’t have to.
We’re about to go over a lot of the basic requirements Sony gives for internal SSDs (you can find these in more detail, along with an installation tutorial, on the PlayStation website). We’ve already ensured all the drives featured on this list meet those requirements, but they’re good to know regardless.
Note: We’re talking specifically about an internal SSD here—an external SSD isn’t fast enough to play PS5 games.
- Drive Type: The first thing you should know about internal SSDs for the PS5 is that they must be NVMe SSD drives instead of SATA drives. This is both for performance purposes (NVMe’s are faster) and because NVMe drives actually fit inside the PS5.
- Form Factor: This refers to the size and general construction of the SSD, and the PS5 specifically uses an m.2 SSD. It accepts five different form factors: 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110. It doesn’t really matter which form factor you get. That said, all of the picks on this list use 2280.
- Read and Write Speeds: Sony states that any SSD you install in the PS5 must have a minimum read speed of 5,500MB/s. That’s pretty fast in the world of storage, but the reason for this is the PS5 depends on high read speeds for the way it loads game assets. Write speed (when the console is saving something to the SSD) is a lot less important, evident by the fact that Sony doesn’t require a certain speed, but we’ll note it regardless for all the drives on this list. Both of these are measured in megabytes per second (MB/s for short).
- Capacity: The whole point of getting a new SSD for the PS5 is more storage, as the default PS5 SSD only comes with 650GB. The PS5 can accept drives ranging from 250GB to 4TB, so you have a lot of room for expansion.
A heatsink increases heat flow, so computer components don’t overheat, and Sony makes it very clear you will need one for any SSD you install in the PS5. There are two types of heatsinks: Double-sided and single-sided. Double-sided provides more heat flow, which should grant slight performance boosts, but single-sided will work fine according to Sony (they’re also easier to deal with).
We checked out some heatsinks and found that MHQJRH’s single-sided heatsink and QIVYNSRY’s double-sided heatsink should fit in the PS5 with the drives listed below. However, Sony’s requirements for this are very specific, so we encourage you to do your own math to make sure your specific SSD and heatsink combination will fit. You may need to reach out to manufacturers for more precise measurements, though, as the drive and heatsink combined can’t be taller than 15 mm, but that also needs to be split across the top and bottom in a specific way.
Hopefully, as accessory manufacturers inevitably develop official PS5 SSD’s and heatsinks, this will be a lot simpler in the future.
MHQJRH Single-Sided Heatsink
A copper heatsink with a simple installation process.
QIVYNSRY Double-Sided Heatsink
Improved heat flow helps the PS5 squeeze out slightly more performance out of the SSD.
Let’s start with a drive already been proven to work with the PS5 thanks to Digital Foundry—the Samsung 980 PRO. This drive is fantastic in general, boasting a read speed of up to 7,000 MB/s, a write speed up to 5,100 MB/s, and either 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage. Digital Foundry found that not only did this drive compete with the internal drive installed on the PS5 out of the box, but in many cases, it even beat it in terms of performance. If you don’t want to take any risks with your purchase, then this drive is your safest bet—you will need to pick up a heatsink for it, though.
Samsung 980 PRO
This drive has already been proven to work great with the PS5 and delivers all-around excellent specs.
At the end of the day, the main reason to purchase a new drive is for more storage, and Sabrent’s Rocket drive is happy to deliver that along with up to 7,000 MB/s read and 5,300 MB/s write speeds. This drive comes in either a 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB model, which reaches the maximum capacity the PS5 allows. There is a heatsink specifically for the Rocket available that you can purchase separately, but it’s too tall for the PS5, so you’ll still have to pick up a third-party one.
Regardless, getting a 4TB drive like this means it will be a while before you need to worry about storage limits again.
If you don't want to worry about storage limits, then a high-capacity drive like this is for you.
Ultimately, Western Digital’s SN850 delivers a lot of the same as we’ve already seen. It has a maximum read speed of 7,000 MB/s, a 5,300 MB/s write speed, and comes with 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage, depending on the model. But the manufacturer, Western Digital, is well-renowned for its storage drives—the entire company is based around producing them. It would be a bad idea to ignore the SN850, even if it doesn’t stand out from the crowd much. If you want a drive that delivers excellent performance from a company that knows its stuff, Western Digital is a great option.
There is a model of the SN850 with a pre-installed single-sided heatsink, but it’s currently unavailable for the foreseeable future, so you’ll need to provide your own heatsink.
Excellent performance from a company that knows what it's doing when it comes to storage drives.
All of the drives mentioned so far have been around the same price point because there’s not much space for undercutting in the world of SSD’s. But the P5 Plus manages to lower the price by dropping the max read and write speeds up to 6,600 MB/s and 5,000 MB/s, respectively. This makes it the slowest drive on this list, but it’s still well above Sony’s requirements. It also comes in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB models, so you’ve got plenty of storage options. Just pick up a heatsink for it, and you’ll be good to go.
Crucial P5 Plus
Even if it can't keep up with the faster drives here, the P5 Plus lowers the price while still comfortably meeting Sony's requirements.