If there is one thing we can count on when it comes to Sony, it’s that they love to keep us on the edge of our seats. It took them seven years to release the long-awaited PS5, but avid players soon discovered one limitation to this magnificent machine which quickly requires storage expansion.
With only 667 GB of storage space, picking out which games to keep and uninstall quickly resembles a Tetris match.
The console finally supported external USB hard drives almost six months after the official release. A hop, skip and a jump away, in September of the same year, Sony activated the internal SSD slot, which supports M2 SSDs.
Now you only need to pick out what kind of additional storage suits you, and FinalBoss is here to help with this guide. on the best storage expansion for your PS5.
Internal drive, external HDD, SSD or hard drive, let’s review.
There are several major factors to remember when deciding on internal vs external storage. The only option that permits you to store AND play PS5 games is the internal SSD. All external storage, even an external SSD, will enable you to directly play all PS4 titles but only store PS5 games.
If this limitation steers you into choosing an internal SSD, here’s Sony’s list of technical specifications needed for optimal performance:
- Capacity: 250 GB to 4TB.
- Interface: M.2 slot NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD
- Cooling: Heatsink is mandatory
- Read speed: 5.5 GB/s min
- Total dimensions (with heatsink): less than 110 mm (L) x 25 mm (W) x 11.25 mm (H).
You could use slower Gen4 hard drives. Given that the PlayStation 5 is here to stay, we’d recommend sticking to the official specs. There is no guarantee that future titles which push the PS5 to its limits will run on Gen4s.
At the end of the day, the choice between an external hard drive and an SSD should be all about your priorities and budget.
If you are looking for reduced loading times and dedicated use solely for your PlayStation 5, go for an internal SSD. We’ve included budget-friendly options on the list, so take a look before making your final choice.
The external hard drive has limitations, but it does offer some benefits, such as multipurpose use for other devices. Not to mention, the price per gigabyte is more on the economic side.
To narrow down your search, we have compiled a list of internal and external SSDs and external HDDs to take full advantage of your PS5.
Is the SAMSUNG 980 PRO overkill for gaming ?
Given the colossal size of many modern games, you will be happy to use this Samsung 980 PRO M.2.
This Samsung is one of the fastest SSDs available today. That alone gives it every reason to be on this list.
Available in the range of 250 GB to 2 TB, the 980 PRO comes at a reasonable price and a 5-year warranty. Even though Samsung SSDs are known for their exemplary reliability, it’s always great to have a warranty as a backup plan in case something goes wrong.
Their 1TB version has an excellent price-to-storage capacity ratio. The 980 PRO is now available with a heatsink at no additional cost.
WD BLACK SN850 : Best M.2 SSD for PS5 ?
The WD BLACK SN850 2TB internal SSD is officially certified for PS5™ compatibility. With storage capacity up to 2TB, your PlayStation5 will have the additional space to store up to 50 games. So you will still have room for the next big title.
This SSD has solid performance, with speeds up to 7000MB/s2 read and 5300MB/s2 write (1TB model). This allows a seamless gaming experience.
Thanks to his all in one Heatsink design, this WD SN850 is really easy to install in the M.2 expansion slot.
WD Black SN850 1TB on Amazon
XPG Gammix S70 Blade: The killer internal SSD for gaming
XPG’s Gammix S70 Blade is one of the few SSDs that offer a standard heatsink that fits into your PlayStation 5 (as well as your budget!).
Although slightly slower than the Samsung 980 Pro, its capability is still exceptional:
· Read up to 7400 MBps
· Write up to 6800 MBps
This performance is well above Sony’s recommended specifications. The XPG’s sharp Blade SSD might be the right companion for expanding your console’s storage. Thanks to the ultra-thin heatsink, its installation in the PlayStation 5 will not pose any issues.
Just like Samsung’s SSD, it comes with a 5-year warranty and in the range of 500GB to 4TB.
Crucial P5 Plus: Internal SSD on a budget
When it comes to memory or hard drives, Crucial has always been a trustworthy choice.
The performance of its P5 Plus may be slightly lower than that of its competitors, but it is sufficient for its purpose:
· Read 6600 MBps
· Write 5400 MBps
With a heatsink as an option, this internal SSD is available from 500GB up to 2TB and comes with a 5-year warranty.
Sabrent PS5 heatsink: The coolest heatsink for PS5
If you’ve decided on an internal SSD, check if they come with a heatsink. If you like a specific model that doesn’t, this might be the compromise to go for.
The American company Sabrent designed a heatsink that replaces the original plastic hatch that covers the SSD inside the console. This allows the heatsink to take advantage of the PlayStation 5’s ventilation and maximize its cooling performance.
SAMSUNG T7: The external portable SSD
Samsung’s T7 is one of the best external SSDs around.
Its performance is undoubtedly much lower than internal models, but it still does the job:
· Read 1050 MBps
· Write 1000 MBps
Its cool credit card look and light weight of only 58 grams allow you to carry it everywhere and have your PS games in your pocket.
The T7 has a storage capacity ranging from 500 GB to 2TB.
Toshiba Canvio Gaming HDTX120EK3AA: The affordable high-performance external HDD.
The Toshiba Canvio Gaming HDTX120EK3AA could fit you if you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind waiting for a few minutes to switch your games from the external drive to the console.
Nested in a 2.5 ” black sleek metal case, this HDD is available in versions ranging from 1TB to 4TB.
Even though Toshiba’s Canvio Gaming is not an SSD, it offers decent performance at a highly competitive price.
Seagate Game Drive: Official external HDD licensed by PlayStation
The list would not feel complete without mentioning the only HDD officially licensed by Sony. Although it was initially intended for the PlayStation 4, the Seagate Game Drive is compatible with the PS5.
Accessible in the span of 2, 4 and 5TB, this HDD comes in compact dimensions (76mm x 114mm x 9.6-12mm) and with an exquisite design with a few limited editions: Avengers, The Last Of Us and Horizon Forbidden West.
Equipped with a 3.0 USB port, the Seagate Game Drive performs well for storing your games and is affordable.
SSD or HDD?
After reviewing all the advantages and disadvantages , there is no debate: SSDs are far superior to traditional Hard Drives in terms of transfer and loading times.
This performance comes at a cost. Their price per gigabyte is much higher than conventional HDDs, so it all comes down to how much you are willing to cough up for the convenience they offer.
If you are looking for a hard drive to use only with your PlayStation 5. Look no further; the internal SSD is the best choice.But, If you want to use a hard drive as extra storage for your laptop, external storage makes sense in this case.
Remember that you will lose the ability to play from it, but you will gain in convenience.
Samsung 980 Pro vs WD Black SN850 : which one is the best ?
As noted earlier, the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 are both available with built-in heatsinks, making them natively compatible with your PS5 with minimal hassle and right out of the box.
The price is often a primary criterion.
In the case of the fight between the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850, the victory goes by a short head to the Samsung 980 Pro, which is $20 cheaper (at the time of writing) than the WD Black SN 850 in the 1Tb configurations.
The difference is even greater if you choose the 2Tb model.
It makes the Samsung 980 Pro the best value for money to get your hands on a ready-to-run drive for your PS5.
Samsung 980 Pro vs WD Black SN850: the technical differences
Samsung 980 Pro
- Samsung internal controller
- Samsung V-NAND MLC 3-bit
- 256-bit AES encryption (Class 0)
- Samsung Low Power DDR4 SDRAM
- Max read speeds: 7000MB/s
- Maximum write speeds: 5,100 MB/s
- Random write/read: 1M IOPS
- DRAM cache memory: 2 GB LPDDR4
- Write Endurance: 600 TB
WD Black SN850
- WD_BLACK G2 Controller
- BiCS4 96L CCM
- No hardware encryption
- Micron DDR4 DRAM
- Max read speeds: 7000MB/s
- Maximum write speeds: 5,300 MB/s
- Random write/read: 1M / 720K IOPS
- DRAM cache memory: 1 GB DDR4
- Write Endurance: 600 TB
The Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 have similar read speeds performance. Both display a maximum reads speed of 7,000MB/s.
Their respective performances exceed the native solution of the PlayStation 5.
The available DRAM cache could give an advantage to the Samsung 980 Pro. Samsung offers 2Gb of DRAM against 1Gb for the WD.
But does more DRAM matter for gaming ?
Let’s end the suspense. Samsung’s DRAM advantage will have no benefit for the Playstation 5.
DRAM which stands for “dynamic random access memory,” is used for reading, modifying, erasing and writing operations when writing data to the drive and for caching the drive’s lookup tables. Please consider the latter, as the SSD has its internal file system working entirely transparently with the operating system.
So for games, you’re invariably going to be writing game content. When you’re playing, you’re mostly going to be reading data from the drive repeatedly, so the performance gain from that DRAM is tiny, probably imperceptible.
Reading speed is much more important for gaming.
To conclude, there is little difference between the Samsung 980 Pro and the WD Black SN850.
As we have seen above, the advantage on the Samsung technical sheet is not enough to tip the balance from a performance point of view.
However, since we have to choose, Here at FinalBoss.io we’ve set our sights on the Samsung 980 Pro with heatsink 1Tb. These solid performances and its lower price have finally convinced us.
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