When the PlayStation 5 launched, a common complaint from users was the relatively small storage space. The PS5 comes with 825 GB of storage, of which only 667 GB is usable. Back in April of 2021, a new update rolled out that allowed external USB hard drives to be used with your PS5. However, this only allowed you to store your PS5 games on an external hard drive. If you wanted to play them, you had to move them over to the PS5’s internal storage.
Now, thanks to an update toward the later half of 2021, PS5 users can upgrade the storage on their PS5 consoles with a M.2 SSD storage device. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of this new storage option for PS5 owners.
What is an M.2 SSD and what are its benefits?
When it comes to storage, M.2 SSDs are one of the most revolutionary advances in computer technology in the past 10 years. Not only are these storage devices for computers but also for video game consoles like the PlayStation 5. In a nutshell, M.2 SSDs are a high-speed solid state drive that you can install in your PS5 to upgrade the storage capacity.
There are several advantages that M.2 SSD storage devices have over other forms or extended storage such as USB external hard drives. This biggest advantage is speed and as a result, M.2 SSD storage devices allow you to download, copy and run both PS5 and PS4 games. Whereas USB external hard drives only allow you to run PS4 games and store PS5 games. For more information on M.2 SSD storage devices, check out Brad Moon’s article titled Everything you need to know about M.2 storage for your PC.
Can I install a M.2 SSD into my PlayStation 5?
As long as you have the latest system software update installed on your PlayStation 5, you have the ability to install and add additional storage via a M.2 SSD. PlayStation 5 consoles that are connected to the internet will automatically get updates and have the latest system software update installed.
However, if you’d like to be sure and check manually, you can follow these easy steps after turning on your PS5 and logging into it.
- Go across to Settings, the cog in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
- Select System
- Then go to System Software and go across and select System Software Update and Settings
- Click on Update System Software and then click on Update Using Internet.
Once you have ensured that you have the latest PS5 system software installed you’re now able to install a compatible M2. SSD storage device in your PlayStation 5.
Why do I need more storage space on my PlayStation 5?
Now that the PlayStation 5 has been out on the market for a while, there are quite a few games that have been released. Not to mention there are even more on the horizon! And, more games means you’ll need to start juggling the storage space on your PS5.
Take a look at the list of some PS5 games and their install sizes below. I’m sure you will agree that it doesn’t take long to fill up the storage that comes with your PS5.
- Horizon Forbidden West 90 GB
- Gran Turismo 7 89.5 GB
- Spider-Man Miles Morales Ultimate Edition – 170 GB minimum
- Hitman 3 – 105.1 GB minimum
- Destiny 2 – 101.1 GB minimum
- The Last of Us 2 – 93.37 GB minimum
- Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut – 91.07 GB minimum
- Cyberpunk 2077 – 99.98 GB
This doesn’t include any screenshots, game clips or demos that you want to download onto your PlayStation 5. It’s clear to see that by not upgrading your storage capacity, you’ll be wasting a lot of time deleting, reinstalling and updating games.
Which M.2 SSD storage devices are compatible with PS5?
It’s important to know that there are specific requirements for M.2 SSD storage devices for PS5 consoles. You cannot use any M.2 SSD off the shelf and install into your PS5. You’ll need to use a M.2 SSD storage device that meets the following requirements:
- Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD
- Capacity: 250GB – 4TB
- Cooling structure: Using an M.2 SSD with your PS5 console requires effective heat dissipation with a cooling structure, such as a heatsink. You can attach one to your M.2 SSD yourself, either in a single-sided format, or double-sided format. There are also M.2 SSDs that have cooling structures (such as heatsinks) built in.
- Sequential read speed: 5,500MB/s or faster is recommended
- Module width: 22mm width (25mm width is not supported)
- Form Factor: M.2 type 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110.
- These numbers can be found on retail listings for M.2 SSD devices. The first two digits refer to the width, the remaining digits to the length.
- Socket type: Socket 3 (Key M)
- Total size including cooling structure: In millimeters: smaller than 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H). In inches: smaller than 4.33in (L) x 0.984 in (W) x 0.442in (H).
Length, width and height requirements
The following lengths are compatible with PS5 consoles: 30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm, 110mm. A 22mm-wide module is required. The total structure (including an added cooling structure) cannot exceed 25mm (0.984in). The total height of the storage device and its cooling structure (such as a heatsink) – whether built-in or separate – must be less than 11.25mm (0.442in).
The height must also be in the right place, in relation to the M.2 SSD’s circuit board:
- The size below the board must be less than 2.45mm (0.096in).
- The total size above the board must be less than 8mm (0.314in).
It is important to note that millimeter measurements are the technical standard and are more precise than inches. It is highly recommended to double-check that the total dimensions of a M.2 SSD and heatsink you’re considering meet the millimeter requirements.
Additional requirements and specifications
As you can see, there are many considerations that you must take into account when choosing a compatible M.2 SSD. Further requirements include:
- Both single-sided and double-sided M.2 SSD devices are supported.
- M.2 SATA SSDs aren’t supported.
- Not all games are necessarily playable with the exact same performance provided by the PS5’s internal Ultra-High Speed SSD. This is even true where the storage device’s sequential read speed is faster than 5500MB/s.
- The majority of storage devices with the type numbers (M Key Type 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110) and without a built-in cooling structure will fit the PS5 console’s SSD slot. However, sizes for cooling structures (like heatsinks) vary greatly.
Compatible M.2 SSD storage devices available at Best Buy Canada
As you can see, there is a very long list of requirements and specifications. To help you out, Best Buy Canada has a web page of PS5 compatible M.2 SSD storage devices.
You can purchase any of these storage devices and know that they are compatible with your PS5. Remember, if you purchase a storage device that does not have a heat sink installed, you will need to install a compatible heatsink yourself.
Another great selection to add 1TB of storage with blistering fast transfer speeds is the Seagate Firecuda 530 with Heatsink.
Western Digital WD_Black officially licensed M.2 SSD storage devices for PS5
If you are looking to upgrade your PS5’s storage space with the least amount of hassle possible, you’ll want to check out the Western Digital WD_Black SN850 1TB and Western Digital WD_Black SN850 2TB M.2 SSD storage devices. Both of these drives are my personal favourite choice and are officially licensed by PlayStation. This means they offer 100% compatibility and reliability with your PS5. And, they come with everything you need: game drive and heatsink.
Check out the video below for easy to follow instructions on how to install either one of these drives into your PS5. Trust me, you can’t go wrong with either one of these drives!
Purchase a WD_BLACK SN850 1TB NVMe PCI-e Internal Solid State Drive with Heatsink – Officially Licensed for PS5
Buy a WD_BLACK SN850 2TB NVMe PCI-e Internal Solid State Drive with Heatsink – Officially Licensed for PS5
Click here to see the full line of video game software available at Bestbuy.ca
Click here to see digital video game downloads offered at BestBuy.com
PS5 games are playable on M.2 SSD storage. PS5 games can be downloaded directly to M.2 SSD storage. PS5 games can be updated on M.2 SSD storage.Can you use M 2 SSD in PS5? ›
PS5 games are playable on M.2 SSD storage. PS5 games can be downloaded directly to M.2 SSD storage. PS5 games can be updated on M.2 SSD storage.Is the m2 SSD worth it for PS5? ›
Installing an SSD Can Improve Your PS5's Performance
Depending on what M. 2 SSD you buy for your PS5, it has the potential to reach speeds of up to 7000 MB/s or more. This improves overall performance and your PS5 games load faster from an M.
Install An Additional Internal SSD. A great way to increase storage space involves installing an additional internal SSD. While simple; the task can be daunting for many. The good news is SSDs do not cost an arm and a leg anymore, and the installation process is not as complicated as it seems.Is M.2 faster than PS5 internal storage? ›
The drives above have all been tested, and you'll see there's not a lot of difference in performance between them. The most notable thing is that writing to the M. 2 drive is a lot faster than writing back to the internal PS5 drive.Can M 2 SSD be used as storage? ›
Even at this smaller size, M.2 SSDs are able to hold as much data as other SSDs, ranging up to 8TB in storage size. But, while they can hold just as much data and are generally faster than other SSDs, they also come at a higher cost.Can I use M 2 SSD instead of hard drive? ›
If the computer will be used mainly for daily tasks or gaming, then an M. 2 SATA drive should suffice. However, if the user needs the best computing speed or requires fast sequential read and write speeds for use cases such as editing 4K video or large file transfers, then an M. 2 NVMe drive should be selected.What is the downside of M 2 SSD? ›
2 interface supports PCIe, SATA, USB 3.0, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. However, the main disadvantages of M. 2 SSDs are that they are expensive and lack universality.What is the highest capacity M 2 SSD for PS5? ›
The PS5 offers only one M.2 expansion slot, which allows you to add an SSD between 250GB-4TB in capacity. If you're just looking to add a few games to the internal storage, save money and grab an SSD with less space.What is the maximum SSD size for PS5? ›
What size SSD should I buy for my PS5? Any external SSD connected to your PS5 must have a minimum capacity of 250GB or a maximum capacity of 8TB. If it's internal, that maximum capacity drops to 4TB. Any size in between should work, and most people tend to buy either 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB drives for their storage.
You can add external storage via a USB port on the console, but you're going to run into performance hiccups due to the speed of the connection and drives. Instead of adding external storage, you can add another SSD to your PS5 using the built-in and empty SSD slot, which should help alleviate any performance issues.Should I get 1TB SSD for PS5? ›
What SSD size should I get for PS5? The minimum size we would recommend for the PS5 SSD should be at least 1TB. That's because you're more than doubling the overall amount of storage space you get as standard.How many M.2 slots does PS5 have? ›
The PS5 has one SSD slot. What SSD will ps5 use? We know that the PS5's internal drive uses a PCIe Gen 4 M. 2 NVMe SSD, capable of 5.5 GB/s bandwidth.Do games run better on SSD or M 2? ›
Getting an M. 2 SSD is definitely worth it for gaming, which not only improves the gaming experience but also makes it a cruise to use the system, with faster boot times and transfer times.Does m 2 SSD affect FPS? ›
The short answer is no. An NVMe drive won't boost your average FPS in games. However, it can reduce loading times and stutter when traversing open-world games. This is because games typically read from the storage device when loading assets into memory.Does an M 2 SSD improve FPS? ›
Upgrading to an SSD won't increase your FPS, but it can result in an improvement in some open-world titles with game engines that load in new areas and textures as you play.Can I use an M.2 SSD on PS5 without heatsink? ›
While you can technically install an SSD without a heatsink in your PS5, it's highly recommended you either get one with a heatsink built-in or purchase one separately to add.Can I use M.2 SSD for gaming? ›
Getting an M. 2 SSD is definitely worth it for gaming, which not only improves the gaming experience but also makes it a cruise to use the system, with faster boot times and transfer times.Does M.2 SSD matter for gaming? ›
Summary: According to the comparison table, Tweektown and Linus Tech Tips' tests, there an obvious that M. 2/NVMe with PICe connectors are faster in booting PC and loading games than SATA SSD. However, there's no big difference when it comes to the gaming experience.