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Best SSD for PS5 2023: The ultimate M.2 drives for your PlayStation 5

Running short of storage for your games collection? Upgrade your PS5 with our pick of the best compatible M.2 SSDs

With today’s games routinely swallowing hundreds rather than tens of gigabytes, it doesn’t take long before even relatively new PS5 owners find themselves Googling “Best SSD for PS5” in the hope of expanding their games library.

Indeed, life may be sweet with a PS5, but storage – or rather the lack of – is an ever-present issue. We’re already seeing games like GT7 that use up to 183GB, and while this year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II only used 105GB – not the 250GB plus that Black Ops: Cold War consumed – that’s still a substantial chunk of your PS5’s SSD gone.

Indeed, life may be sweet with a PS5, but storage – or rather the lack of – is an ever-present issue. We’re already seeing games such as GT7 that use up to 183GB, while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 will happily grab over 150GB. Final Fantasy 16 is over 90GB. You don’t have to install many similar blockbusters before your PS5’s internal SSD is filled to capacity and unable to take any more.

Luckily, Sony has given us a way to upgrade this through an accessible M.2 slot located at the top/right-hand side of the PS5, close to its massive fan. Stick a 1TB or (ideally) 2TB SSD in here, and you’re good for a decent games collection.

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Best SSD for PS5: At a glance

How to choose the best PS5 SSD

Which types of SSD are compatible with PS5?

To work inside the PS5, your M.2 SSD has to meet or exceed Sony’s spec. It needs to be a PCI-E Gen4x4 drive in the 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 or 22110 size (so between 30mm and 110mm long). It can be up to 11.25mm thick, leaving 8mm above the board and 2.45mm below. It also needs a heatsink installed for cooling, though you can buy one separately and attach it before installation, provided it doesn’t exceed the thickness spec.

Finally, your drive needs to be able to maintain a 5,500MB/sec or faster sequential read speed. This is more of a recommendation and the PS5 will run with some slower drives, but if your choice is too slow there’s a chance that some PS5 games won’t run correctly; first-party titles, in particular, are growing more dependent on the SSD for streaming game data and artwork into system RAM at lightning speed.

How much does speed matter?

As long as your drive meets Sony’s spec, not all that much. In our tests with a Crucial P5 Plus 1TB (max read speed: 6,600MB/sec) and a Seagate FireCuda 530 1TB (max read speed: 7,300MB/sec), any difference in game loading times was so small that it was within the margin of error levels.

Only when transferring files from the built-in SSD to the M.2 SSD will you notice any significant difference, and even here we’re talking five to ten seconds rather than minutes.

Some gaming hardware sites have successfully used drives below Sony’s recommended spec in the PS5, including Western Digital’s SN750 and SN770 drives. However, we wouldn’t recommend it. While all current games appear to work, there are questions about future releases. Unless you’re buying a 2GB drive, the price difference isn’t worth the risk.

How big should you go for?

Unless you’re spectacularly flush with cash, 500GB to 2TB covers the most realistic options. The 500GB models are cheap, but won’t take more than a few blockbusters and a handful of indie hits – and you don’t need to spend much more to get a 1TB version. In the past six months, 2TB drives have become more affordable, but you’re still looking at £150 or more for a drive from a reliable brand. Right now, 1TB still seems like the sweet spot, giving you enough space for a decent games library as long as you don’t go bonkers downloading games from the PS Plus Extra or Premium services.

Do you need a specific PS5 version?

Nope. The standard PC versions will do. Some manufacturers sell versions of their drives with the necessary PS5-compatible heatsink already fitted, and if this doesn’t cost much extra it’s worth it just to save the hassle and expense of buying and fitting your own. However, if you’re being charged £20 or more for the privilege, then the DIY route is fine. Compatible heatsinks are widely available for £7 to £15.

How we test PS5 SSDs

We test PS5 SSDs by installing them in the M.2 slot of a PlayStation 5, then we copy across a selection of games and time how long the game takes to load to the main menu from a cold start, and how long a save game takes to load from that menu. For the latest round of tests we used God of War: Ragnarok, Dead Island 2 and Elden Ring. We also test how long it takes to move God of War: Ragnarok to the SSD from internal storage, and how long it takes to move it back again.

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The best SSDs for PS5 you can buy in 2023

1. Western Digital WD_Black SN850X: Best all-round SSD for PS5

Price when reviewed: From £89 (1TB) | Check price at Amazon The WD_Black SN850X is one of the most popular M.2 drives for PS5, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s faster than Sony’s spec, with read speeds of up to 7,300MB/sec and write speeds of up to 6,600MB/sec. While you can buy it bare without the heatsink, it’s still well priced with WD’s own compact cooler fitted on. It’s not the cheapest drive available, but it’s a nice, easy-to-fit option from a familiar, reliable brand.

Key specs – Capacities: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB; Stated speeds: Up to 7,300MB/sec read, up to 6,600MB/sec write; Warranty: 5 years

2. Crucial P5 Plus: Best fit-your-own-heatsink SSD for PS5

Price when reviewed: From £44 (500GB) | Check price at Amazon The P5 Plus has two things going against it: it’s not as fast as some of the other contenders, and you’ll have to fit your own heatsink before you slip it in your PS5. However, the speed doesn’t actually make any significant difference to loading times or in-game performance, and the P5 Plus is one of the cheapest options around. We’ve been running one with a sub-£10 clip-on heatsink for over a year without any issues, and you can pick a 1TB drive up for well under £100 in regular sales.

Key specs – Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB; Stated speeds: Up to 6,600MB/sec read, up to 5,500MB/sec write; Warranty: 5 years

3. Seagate FireCuda 530: A solid storage upgrade for PS5

Price when reviewed: From £57 (500GB) | Check price at eBuyer The FireCuda 530 is a good alternative to the WD_Black SN850, with similar specs and speeds, and it’s available in capacities of up to 4TB. With a 7,300MB/sec max read speed and 6,000MB/sec max write speed, it easily surpasses Sony’s recommended throughput rates and, like the SN850, you can find it in versions with and without a low-profile heatsink. However, the heatsink versions come at a premium, so it’s cheaper if you take the DIY route. That makes it a little more expensive all in, but it’s still worth checking out if it goes on sale.

Key specs – Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB; Stated speeds: Up to 7,300MB/sec read, up to 6,000MB/sec write; Warranty: 5 years

4. Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus: Best custom-built SSD for PS5

Price when reviewed: From £60 (500GB) | Check price at Amazon Sabrent has been building up a decent reputation for gamer-friendly hardware, and it’s cooked up something special for its PS5-ready Rocket 4 Plus. Instead of a standard low-profile heatsink, this one comes with a larger passive cooler that replaces the cover on the M.2 drive compartment of the PS5. This theoretically means better cooling, with the PS5’s fan dragging air directly across the heatsink, and it’s definitely a neat and elegant fit. The downside is that this drive is quite expensive, but you could argue that the custom fittings make it worth your while.

Key specs – Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB; Stated speeds: Up to 7,000MB/sec read, up to 6,000MB/sec write; Warranty: 5 years

5. Corsair MP600 Pro LPX: Best value PS5-ready drive

Price when reviewed: £80 (1TB) | Check price at Scan The MP600 Pro LPX is Corsair’s excellent MP600 Pro drive with the original chunky PC-ready cooler switched for a low-profile heatsink. It’s still a relatively tight fit, but it’s well within the PS5’s specs. Otherwise, it’s an easy drive to fit and format, with slightly slower read speeds than the Seagate and WD_Black options, but slightly faster write speeds than the Firecuda. Either way, the low costs and minimal hassle make this another great PS5 option, particularly if sales make it a little cheaper than the heatsink version of the WD_Black.

Key specs – Capacities: 1TB, 2TB; Stated speeds: Up to 7000MB/sec read, Up to 6550MB/sec write; Warranty: 5 years

6. Kingston Fury Renegade: Great value at high capacities

Price when reviewed: From £60 (500GB) | Check price at Amazon On paper, the Fury Renegade is the fastest PS5 SSD out there, with read speeds of up to 7,300MB/sec and write speeds of up to 7,000MB/sec. In practice, the speed boost isn’t so pronounced; it’s three seconds faster at copying God of War: Ragnarok from the console’s built-in storage than the Crucial P5 Plus, but loading times are virtually identical, and there’s no noticeable difference in-game. However, the Fury Renegade is still good value, especially at 2TB and 4TB capacities, while it comes with a good, chunky heatsink that still manages to fit in beneath the screw-down flap that covers the PS5’s M.2 compartment. It’s no speed star on PS5, then, but it’s a fantastic alternative to the established favourites.

Key specs – Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB; Stated speeds: Up to 7,300MB/sec read, Up to 7000MB/sec write; Warranty: 5 years

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