Finding the best SSD for a PS5 might seem like a daunting task due to the wide range of choices, but the reality is there are plenty of drives that will provide a simple and hassle-free capacity upgrade for your game library. We put a wide range of the speediest drives through a battery of tests to find the best SSDs for the PS5 in terms of both performance and pricing. Given that nearly any new drive you buy for the PC can also be used in the PS5, you can also find many of these same picks on our list of Best SSDs for desktop PCs.
The PS5’s internal SSD is a restrictive 825GB, with formatting, updates, and bloatware typically leaving you with about 670GB free for games. That's bad news, because today’s games are becoming larger with each new release, and you’ll also need to store all the screenshots and video clips you gather while you play. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War all by itself uses more than 200GB! The good news: Sony has an M.2 expansion slot where you can put a second, PS5 SSD that's up to 4TB in capacity.
Luckily, finding a spacious PS5 SSD to complement your the console's internal drive isn’t a very daunting task — any PCIe 4.0 SSD that provides a minimum of 5,500 MBps of throughput over the NVMe interface makes the cut, provided it comes with a heatsink that doesn't take the overall height above 11.25mm. Of course, you can also add your own heatsink to drives that aren’t marketed specifically for the PS5. You can also use one of the best external drives with the PS5 to store games, but these are only for game storage — you'll need an internal expansion drive to actually play the games.
Ultimately, the best drive for your PS is one that provides enough capacity to hold your games and data at a price you can afford. To help you choose, we've benchmarked a number of top drives -- see the results further down the page -- and pulled out the top performers for a list of the Best PS5 SSDs.
The TLDR: Best SSDs for the PS5
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Best SSD for PS5:
WD Black SN850X (opens in new tab)
Alternate — SK hynix Platinum P41 (opens in new tab)
Fastest SSD for PS5:
Samsung 990 Pro (opens in new tab)
Best High-Capacity SSD for PS5:
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G (opens in new tab)
Alternate — Seagate FireCuda 530 (opens in new tab)
Best Cheap SSD for PS5:
Kingston KC3000 (opens in new tab)
Best SSDs for PS5
WD has taken its popular Black SN850 SSD and turned it up to 11. The Black SN850X leverages an improved controller and newer flash to get the most out of the PCIe 4.0 interface, thus delivering excellent performance with the Sony PlayStation 5. Performance is improved across the board and the drive comes with a heatsink option.
WD also supports the SSD with a respectable five-year warranty that will let you game with peace of mind. This drive is made for the PlayStation 5, but it is a bit pricier than other options, so you'll need to keep an eye out for sales. It's also super fast for gaming on a PC, particularly with DirectStorage on the horizon.
Read: WD Black SN850X Review
The Sk hynix Platinum P41 offers an excellent blend of high performance and low pricing, making it one of the best SSDs for the Sony PS5. This drive has long stood out as one of the best SSDs overall, but you'll need to budget for an aftermarket cooler before you slap this drive into the PS5.
The Platinum P41 is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities and delivers up to 7,000 MBps of sequential throughput, exceeding the PS5's minimum specs. The drive also has a five-year warranty and a solid 750 TBW endurance rating, making it a top pick for the PS5.
Fastest SSD for PS5
If you're looking for the absolute fastest drive for the Sony PlayStation 5 that money can buy, the 990 Pro is your drive. The Samsung 990 Pro's new hardware and new options, including a heatsink with RGB and a 4TB variant that arrives in 2023, have allowed Samsung to retake the SSD crown. However, this drive comes with a relatively high price tag.
The Samsung 990 Pro's performance is excellent across the board, setting a few new performance records, such as with 4K random read performance. In our testing, the drive was consistent, power-efficient, and cool. The drive is also backed by a competent warranty and decent support.
The competition is still fierce, though, and the 990 Pro's launch MSRP is higher than warranted. $20 extra for a heatsink and RGB is a good deal, though you won't be able to see the bling when the SSD resides inside the PS5. We expect that Samsung will likely discount this drive soon.
Read: Samsung 990 Pro Review
Best High-Capacity SSD for PS5
Sabrent’s Rocket 4 Plus is the first SSD designed for DirectStorage with a customized version of this firmware, so it’s optimized for future gaming on the PC. It also delivers solid performance in the Sony PS5, ranking third in our testing, and comes with a 4TB model option, thus maxing out the PS5's capacity limit of 4TB for an expansion drive.
Still, newer drives like the WD Black SN850X and Samsung 990 Pro are often a bit faster. Only one of those drives currently has a 4TB model available, though. This drive deserves a heatsink, but it’s currently sold separately. The MSRP on this drive, like with the SN850X and 990 Pro, is also a bit high.
The Sabrent PS5 heatsink is available separately. The primary caveat is that significantly cheaper options that will get the job done with the PS5, but there are very few available with a blend of such spacious capacity and speedy performance.
The FireCuda 530 is available in capacities of up to 4TB, comes in that small M.2 form factor, and delivers incredible sustained write speeds for a flash-based SSD. However, it wasn't among the top performers on our list, but the spacious 4TB of capacity will be the main draw for most users looking to fill their PS5 to the brim with games.
Sporting Phison’s beastly, penta-core PS5018-E18 NVMe SSD controller and Micron’s fast 176-Layer TLC flash, the FireCuda 530 has a solid five-year warranty and support service that includes three years of data rescue. However, its high performance, endurance, and data rescue support add quite a bit to pricing, making it a very premium buy for the average gamer. The drive comes with an integrated heatsink.
Best Cheap SSD for PS5
The Kingston KC3000 is a high-performance PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD that dishes out bleeding-edge speeds of up to 7 GBps of read and write throughput, along with up to one million IOPS. That's plenty of performance for the PS5, but the KC3000 isn't as fast as competing drives in our benchmarks. However, as we noted in our test section, the differences between the fastest and slowest SSDs in real-world gaming are incredibly slim, meaning that the KC3000's price tag will draw in the value seekers among us.
With a five-year warranty and an incredible 3,200 TBW endurance rating, the odds are that the KC300 will solider on for longer than your PS5. You can also find this drive in a 4TB model, too. This is a budget drive, so you'll have to plan on buying a third-party heatsink.
Read: Kingston KC3000 Review
Benchmarks / How We Tested PS5 SSDs
|SSD||Benchmark Score (MBps)||Console to Expansion SSD (time)||Expansion SSD to Console (time)|
|Samsung 990 Pro 2TB||6558||2:12||12:41|
|WD Black SN850X 2TB||6531||2:12||12:47|
|Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G 4TB||6519||2:13||12:56|
|SK hynix Platinum P41 2TB||6507||2:12||12:49|
|Kingston KC3000 2TB||6497||2:13||12:49|
|Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G 2TB||6485||2:13||12:48|
|Solidigm P44 Pro 2TB||6462||2:13||12:48|
|Seagate FireCuda 530 2TB||6361||2:14||12:49|
|Crucial P5 Plus 2TB||5620||2:16||12:47|
Some of the best SSDs for the PS5 are either specifically designed for the console, or come with an integrated heatsink. However, some drives don’t come with a heatsink, so we equip them with the Sabrent M.2 NVMe heatsink for the PS5 (opens in new tab) to both meet the requirements for the PS5 and to ensure a level playing field. We’ve found that this cooler is a great solution if you’re looking for a cheap, versatile, and easy-to-install solution.
The Sony PS5 has an internal benchmark measuring how fast the system can read data from the drive. This is the most critical performance metric for gaming, as a speedy response time is responsible for ensuring a smooth gaming experience. As you can see in the 'Benchmark Score' column above, the fastest PS5 SSD in our test pool was 17% faster than the slowest model.
However, other real-world tests show much smaller differences. For instance, our 'Console to Expansion SSD' benchmark consisted of timing how long it took to move four games totaling 175GB, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Assasin's Creed Valhalla, Elden Ring, and Astro's Playroom, from the internal PS5 SSD to the expansion drive. We only logged a difference of one to two seconds for these transfers, showing that the differences are slight.
We also tested this process in reverse, moving the four games back to the internal drive for our "Expansion SSD to Console" benchmark, but saw only a few percentage points of difference between the drives. However, this is due to a limitation of the internal PS5 SSD.
Likewise, extensive testing has failed to expose meaningful differences between the drives — it's common to see a one-to-two-second difference between drives in load times. We're experimenting with more games to see if we can find better examples. Still, other testing we've seen from multiple outlets and innumerable tests of the best SSDs for the PS5 on reddit indicates very few meaningful differences, if any, for game loading times. Overall, you'll typically see a one to two second difference in game loading times between the various SSDs — that isn't even noticeable in regular use and could make a good argument for simply selecting the most cost-effective drive that meets the minimum specs.
Naturally, not all of the drives that we test will make the final cut for our list of Best SSDs for the PS5, but that doesn't mean those drives failed the test, or wouldn't be a great deal if you can catch them on sale. The Solidigm P44 Pro (opens in new tab) is a great SSD that delivered respectable performance in our PS5 SSD benchmarks, and given the slim difference between the fastest and slowest SSDs on our list, it could make a great drive if the price is right. We can say the same about the Crucial P5 Plus (opens in new tab), which did well in our PS5 testing and in our review.
Sony PS5 SSD Requirements
The Sony PS5 requires an M.2 SSD that communicates over the NVMe protocol. In addition, you'll need a PCIe 4.0 x4 model that can deliver up to 5,500 MBps of sequential read throughput. The console supports 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB models.
These small, rectangular drives look like sticks of RAM, only smaller, and the PS5 accepts both single-sided and double-sided versions. You'll also need to ensure that your drive has a cooling solution pre-applied. These can consist of thin copper heat spreaders that look like a label, or a full-fledged metal heatsink with a thermal pad.
Unfortunately, not all of the best SSDs for the PS5 come with a heatsink, but you can use your own double- or single-sided heatsink. We recommend the Sabrent M.2 NVMe heatsink for the PS5 (opens in new tab). We’ve found that this cooler is a great solution if you’re looking for a cheap, versatile, and easy-to-install solution, but there are many options on the market. Just make sure they don't exceed 110 x 25 x 11.25mm.
M.2 SSDs are usually 80mm long by 22mm wide, described as size 2280, but some may be shorter or longer, so make sure you get one that matches your slot. The PS5 supports M Key Type 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110. Some M.2 drives support SATA instead of NVMe, but those are rare. Regardless, make sure your SSD supports NVMe.
Sony has detailed instructions on how to install a PS5 SSD. As you can see in the video below, installing the SSD is a simple process that only requires a #1 Phillips head screwdriver. After you've installed the SSD, you can navigate through the menus to the 'Settings>Storage>Installation Location' area and change it to your new SSD. All new games will not install directly to the SSD. To move existing games to your new drive, simply highlight the item you want to move, press the Options button, and then select 'Move Games and Apps.' Select any other games that you would like to move in the checkboxes, then select 'Move.'