Choosing the Best M.2 SSD Upgrade For Your Playstation 5 – An Idiots Guide

The Best SSD for Upgrading your PS5 Storage – Get It Right First Time

Finally, more than half a year after the release of the PlayStation 5, Sony has confirmed that the ability to increase your PS5 Storage with that expansion slot will go live in Summer 2021. In this guide, I will explain some important things to consider before buying any compatible PS5 M.2 SSD, why it is different to a hard drive, and then recommend some drives that you should choose upgrade your Playstation 5 Storage. We have waited a long time and although the ability to add USB storage for PS4 games has always been available, many of us have been crying out for the ability to add additional space for premium PlayStation 5 games on our system storage (that 825GB was getting pretty full!). The process of physically installing a new M.2 SSD inside your PS5 is actually surprisingly easy to do and will not invalidate your warranty. We already released a guide back in Nov 2020 to show users how to physically install an NVMe M2 solid-state drive, even before the feature was enabled by Sony in the latest firmware update. See below:

However, not all SSD are created equal and it is very important that you choose a compatible and high-performance SSD for your PS5, to make sure that it does not reduce your PlayStation 5 gaming experience, increase loading times or affect online multiplayer latency for the worse. Today I’m going to list several recommended SSD drives to install in your PlayStation 5 that can be used to store and play PS5 games directly. 

Playstation 5 SSD Upgrades – Important Buying Tips First!

Modern high-performance M2 SSD are much more expensive than the hard drives that previous generations of PlayStation console arrived with. It is important to remember that the price per gigabyte of an SSD is around 4 to 5 times more expensive than a hard drive, but also that there are many different kinds of SSD in the consumer market and if you buy the wrong type, you will either be unable to install the drive in your PS5, or you risk installing an inappropriate SSD for use in the system and put your data at risk. So, here or three important buying tips when looking at any SSD to increase your PlayStation 5 storage. 

Tip 1 – Buy M.2 NVMe, not M.2 SATA

The format of a more modern SSD in 2020/2021 in terms of physical size have favoured the M.2 interface of drives. In its most basic form, M2 is a much more compact and direct connection between the storage media drive and the PC or console. However M2 has been around a long time and in fact, when it comes to getting an SSD for your PS5, you need to make sure you get an M.2 SSD that is NVMe or PCIe based. More cost-effective (i.e lower price) M2 SSD arrive in SATA format, which is considerably slower than NVMe M.2 Key and is also unsupported by the PlayStation 5. So when looking at an SSD to increase your PS5 storage, if it looks incredibly cheap, there is a good chance that it is SATA and not NVMe PCIe.

Tip 2 – Avoid QLC NAND and Choose TLC and 3D TLC NAND SSD

Another major change in SSD technology in recent years that has allowed much larger capacity options in gigabytes and terabytes is the improvement of the chips inside that hold the storage inside. The actual storage inside an SSD is contained on multiple cells known NAND, which depending on the quantity and quality chosen by the manufacturer, result in a larger capacity, faster access and improved durability. The majority of gamer and prosumer SSD used in modern consoles utilise TLC or MLC grade NAND. These provide a great balance between storage, speed and endurance. Recently the new QLC (Quad Layer Cell) quality of NAND in SSD has provided huge capacity options, allowing between 4tB and 8TB capacity. However, this larger capacity comes at a big drop in performance and endurance, therefore QLC NAND SSD is NOT recommended for use in PlayStation 5 storage upgrades. I strongly recommend buying M.2 NVMe SSD with TLC or 3D TLC memory.

Tip 3 – PCIe Gen 4 Vs PCIe Gen 3 SSD

Finally, make sure you buy an M2 SSD that is rated at PCIe Gen4 x4 or higher. More modern SSD make a point of highlighting that they are PCIe Gen4, as these are the SSD that can provide at least 4000-5000MB/s, getting theoretically as high as 8000MB/s. This has resulted in the cost of PCIe Gen 3 SSD falling in price and in some cases be as much as 50% cheaper than PCIe gen 4 SSD. Do not buy a PCIe Gen 3 NVMe SSD for your PlayStation 5, as this will severely bottleneck the performance of the PS5 when storing and accessing your game data. Both types of M2 SSD look identical, but if the specifications or retail box do not clearly state PCIe Gen 4, avoid them!

Recommended SSD Upgrades for PS5 Storage Expansion

So now you know that in order to upgrade your PS5, you need to buy an M.2 SSD that is NVMe supported, is PCIe Gen 4 and one that uses TLC or 3D TLC NAND. That narrows the list of SSDs that you can buy in 2021 from around 100,000 down to about 5,000. That is still ALOT to choose from, arriving in multiple brands, capacities, reported speeds and endurance. So, now I will break the choice down even more for you. Below I have highlighted the PS5 Compatible SSDs (remember not PS5 Hard Drives – VERY important) that you can install in your Playstation 5 to increase your storage. Each of the M.2 SSD below is available in at least 500GB, 1TB and 2TB options, along with why I recommend them (based on Price, Speed, Endurance, Build Quality and more). Let’s take a look at the best SSD for PST Upgrades below.

Important!!! – Remember, Sony is still yet to fully complete and confirm the full specification list of supported SSDs that will be supported with the PS5 Storage Expansion Bay when enabled, so although I am 95% certain that all of the SSD below will be supported, you should double-check the Playstation 5 Compatibility list when it is published before you buy! Sony reserves the right to change the list of compatible M.2 NVMe SSD that they support.

Gamer Recommended PS5 Storage Upgrade – WD Black SN850 WDS200T1X0E

Optional Heatsink ($55+), Max Reported Read/Write – 7,000MB/s & 5,300MB/s, Capacity Available 500GB – 2TB, Warranty 5yrs, $99-379

  • Next-gen PCIe Gen4 technology optimized for top-tier gaming (not intended for NAS or server environments)
  • Irrationally fast read/write speeds up to 7000/5300MB/s (1TB model) and up to 1,000,000 IOPS (1TB and 2TB models)
  • Up to 2TB capacity to hold your favorite battle-ready games
  • Downloadable WD_BLACK Dashboard software to customize and control your gaming experience
  • Compact form factor design for easy connectivity


 

Safest PS5 Storage Upgrade – Seagate Firecuda 520 ZP2000GM3A002

Does Not Include Heatsink, Max Reported Read/Write – 5,0000MB/s & 4,400MB/s, Capacity Available 500GB – 2TB, Warranty 5yrs, Includes Data Recovery Services, $105-375 

  • Performance internal Solid State Drive: 2TB, 1TB, 500GB
  • Maximum sequential read and write speeds up to 5000MB/s and 4400MB/s
  • MTBF of 1.8M hours and TBW of up to 2800TB, plus 3-year Rescue Service Data Recovery
  • Ideal for high-performance gaming PCs and creative Pro workstations
  • Seagate validated E16 can hit up to 5/4.4Gbps read/write speeds


 

Most Popular PS5 Storage Upgrade – Samsung 980 Pro MZ-V8P2T0B

Does Not Include Heatsink, Max Reported Read/Write – 7,000MB/s & 5,500MB/s, Capacity Available 500GB – 2TB, Warranty 5yrs, $119-375 

  • Unleash the power of Samsung 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD for next-level computing
  • 980 PRO is raising the bar for NVMe SSDs, delivering read speeds up to 6,900 MB/s
  • To ensure stable performance, the 980 PRO uses nickel coating to help manage the controller’s heat level and a heat spreader label to deliver effective thermal control of the NAND chip
  • Embedded with Samsung’s cutting-edge thermal control algorithm, 980 PRO manages heat on its own to deliver durable and reliable performance, while minimizing performance fluctuations during extended usage


 

FASTEST PS5 Storage Upgrade – PNY XLR8 CS3140 M280CS3140

Optional Heatsink ($25+), Max Reported Read/Write – 7,500MB/s & 5,650MB/s, Capacity Available 1TB – 2TB, Warranty 5yrs, $199-399 

  • Upgrade your M.2 PCIe Gen4 enabled computer to enjoy the extreme performance you demand​
  • The NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 interface delivers exceptional performance of up to 7,500MB/s seq. read and 5,650MB/s seq. write speeds; slower when equipped in PCIe Gen3 x4 motherboards​
  • The enhanced bandwidth of the NVMe Gen4 interface allows for extreme performance and low latency, making it superior to SATA based SSD’s​
  • Ultra-high performance is ideal for demanding applications, high-end games, and intense workloads​
  • Backed by a 5 Year Warranty with support from our US-based technical support team​


 

Best Cheap PS5 Storage Upgrade – Inland Performance SSD (NVME PERF)

Includes Heatsink, Max Reported Read/Write – 5,000MB/s & 4,300MB/s, Capacity Available 500GB – 2TB, Warranty 3yrs, $180-330 

  • Latest Extreme NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen4 x4 Interface. PCIe 4.0 & NVMe 1.3 compliance
  • Incredible sequential read/write speed up to 5000MB/s and 4300MB/s (CDM) respectively, making it nearly ten times faster than a SATA SSD
  • 3D TLC NAND flash, resistant to shock, vibration, and movement. No overheat, No noise, keep your drive performing at its best for years
  • Power Management Support for APST / ASPM / L1.2./ Supports SMART and TRIM commands
  • Advanced Wear Leveling, Bad Block Management, and Over-Provision
  • 3 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty


 

Best Budget PS5 Storage Upgrade – Corsair Force Series MP600

Includes Heatsink, Max Reported Read/Write – 4,950MB/s & 4,250MB/s, Capacity Available 500GB – 2TB, Warranty 5yrs, $120-390 

  • Extreme Gen4 storage performance: A Pie Gen4 x4 controller delivers up to 4, 950MB/s sequential read and 4, 250MB/s sequential write speeds, for blazing fast read, write, and response times.
  • High-speed Gen4 Pie x4 NV Me M. 2 interface: Using Pie Gen4 technology for maximum Bandwidth, the MP600 delivers incredible storage performance.
  • High-density 3D TLC NAND: Provides the ideal mix of performance, endurance, and value to keep your drive performing at its best for years.
  • M. 2 2280 form factor: Fits directly into your motherboard. SSD Shock is 1500G


 

 

Best Reviewed PS5 Storage Upgrade – Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe SB-ROCKET-NVMe4

Does Not Include Heatsink, Max Reported Read/Write – 5,00MB/s & 4,400MB/s, Capacity Available 500GB – 2TB, Warranty 5yrs, $89-299

  • NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen4 x4 Interface. PCIe 4.0 Compliant / NVMe 1.3 Compliant.
  • Power Management Support for APST / ASPM / L1.2.
  • Supports SMART and TRIM commands. Supports ONFi 2.3, ONFi 3.0, ONFi 3.2 and ONFi 4.0 interface.
  • Advanced Wear Leveling, Bad Block Management, Error Correction Code, and Over-Provision.
  • All Sabrent SSDs come with FREE Sabrent Acronis True Image for Sabrent Software for easy Cloning.


 

Best Clearance PS5 Storage Upgrade – TEAMGROUP T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 TM8FP700

Does Not Include Heatsink, Max Reported Read/Write – 5,00MB/s & 4,400MB/s, Capacity Available 1TB – 2TB, Warranty 3yrs, $170-350

  • The sequential read/write speed can reach up to 5,000/4,400 MB/s.
  • CARDEA ZERO Z440 uses the latest and fastest PCIe Gen4 x4 interface and complies with the NVMe 1.3 standard.
  • After strict tests by TEAMGROUP’s internal laboratory, the patented graphene copper foil thermal is proven to provide around 9% of the cooling effect.
  • CARDEA ZERO Z440 uses 3D flash memory which is stacked in a three-dimensional way to offer larger storage.
  • Supports S.M.A.R.T. function, Wear-Leveling technology and ECC (Error Correction Code) function and its built-in smart algorithm management mechanism has functions that are able to ensure operation efficiency, prolong the service life of the SSD and bring it to its maximum performance.


 

 


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