In that there are a number of restrictions and recommendations as to what drives can be used, meaning there might only be one or two you can get off the shelf in the entirety of Australia. Plus, it'll require a heatsink. Yeah, Sony
has entered hardcore PC-builder territory here.
Currently, access to additional M.2 SSD storage is limited to the new PlayStation 5 Beta Software program (not available in Australia).
Still, this is technically
good news. As of now there's no internal or external expandable storage solution for the PlayStation 5
. Expandable Storage has been something fans have been waiting to hear about, especially with Microsoft
offering an all-in-one solution for the Xbox Series X
. Which we reviewed back in November 2020
And with only 667GB of internal storage available for PS5 games internally, adding 1 or 2TB will do wonders for the ever expanding library of games coming to the console. Not to mention the monthly offerings available for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Naturally this all goes back to the super fast SSD inside the PS5 itself, which is rated at 5.5 GB per second or a sequential read speed of 5,500MB/s - the fastest available in a home console.
And faster than the majority of PC M.2 SSD storage drives. It's one of the reasons Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
is as impressive as it is. And why most PS5 games load in a matter of seconds.
As per the new PS5 Software Beta Program (which is limited to the U.S., Canada, Japan, U.K., Germany and France) "M.2 SSDs can be used to expand your PS5 console storage space".
M.2 SSD Requirements for the PS5 Console
If you're looking to add an M.2 SSD to your PlayStation 5 it needs to meet 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
Requiring a heatsink is a big blow for those looking to shop around and try and find a good deal on an M.2 drive, as is the requirements placed on the overall size of the total drive; 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H) -- which by our calculation rules out a few options right off the bat. Installing your own heatsink is an option, but by the sounds of it this is all going to require a lot of testing by people willing to tinker with their console.
Details on how to install the M.2 can be found here
Sony really needs to come out and provide a list of supported drives.
Off the Shelf M.2 SSDs That Are Suitable For PS5 Consoles
By Sony's spec limits it looks like there's two - the brand-new Seagate FireCuda 530
) and the WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD
). That is only the versions that come with a heatsink built in
. Priced as follows:
- Seagate 530 (Heatsink) 500GB – $239 AUD
- Seagate 530 (Heatsink) 1TB – $399 AUD
- Seagate 530 (Heatsink) – $819 AUD
- Seagate 530 (Heatsink) 4TB -$1,499 AUD
- WD_BLACK SN850 (Heatsink) 500GB - $215 AUD
- WD_BLACK SN850 (Heatsink) 1TB - $366 AUD
- WD_BLACK SN850 (Heatsink) 500GB - $766 AUD
Cheaper non-heatsink versions are available though Sony has stipulated that you'll need to install your own heatsink as to avoid overheating of the drive. Which, if happens, will result in it being throttled and slowed down. To the point where this will affect game performance.
So yeah, it's strange that Sony itself hasn't offered up a list of compatible drives or heatsinks that will work. If nothing else, when this update goes public Sony will need to ensure it has a PS5 Compatible sticker or label on a number of SSD drives otherwise it's going to be as confusing as this.
The easy-to-follow instructions on installing your own heatsink while adhering to measurements in the fractions of millimetres.