Update, 01/19/2023: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and replaced our best overall pick with the WD_BLACK SN850X.
What to Look For in a PS5 SSD in 2023
Not every SSD is compatible with the PS5, and any storage options you choose to have a specific list of traits to work inside the Sony console. This can be confusing if you’re new to SSDs and have never had to buy one or install one yourself.
Chances are you are using a phone or computer that utilizes an SSD, or solid-state drive, for high-speed storage and overall performance. The PS5 isn’t any different with its built-in 1TB SSD. The problem is that SSDs generally come in smaller capacities than hard drives. Combined with the increasing size of video games (some reaching over 100 GBs in size), you’ll either have to be diligent about what you install or save yourself the headache and get an expansion SSD.
Sony breaks down what it expects of your SSD on the company’s support page. Most of these specifications are hard to miss when buying an SSD, like the interface and socket type. But the SSD’s speed and size are where things get tricky.
The PS5 requires an internal SSD to have a 5,550 MB/s or faster read speed. They must also be at or under 25 mm wide and 11.25 mm thick so it actually fits in the console. Finally, your SSD needs a heatsink to withstand the high temperatures in the PS5 case.
Here’s the problem—not every SSD comes with a heatsink. Buying and installing heatsinks on your own is possible, but it’s a barrier that many won’t be interested in overcoming, given the tight space requirements. That’s why all of the SSDs below come with heatsinks—make sure you purchase the right version of our recommendations and you’re good!
As with most SSDs, especially M.2 ones, you should look for fast sustained read and write speeds around 5,500 MB/s to 7,000 MB/s. This leads to certain games loading in graphics faster, like open-world titles. It also means booting up games and apps will be faster, not to mention the higher transfer speeds.
SSDs measure random read and write speeds, which in games come up more often than sustained ones. These are called input/output operations per second, or IOPS. Generally, you want these to also be fast, clocking in at above 500,000. All of the SSDs below hit these numbers easily.
So with this knowledge in hand, let’s get into our picks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I install an SSD into a PS5?
What SSDs are compatible with a PS5?
Do I need a heat sink with a PS5 SSD?
How many SSD slots does the PS5 have?
The PS5 offers one SSD expansion slot with support for up to 4TB of storage.
Can an external SSD play PS5 games?
While it may surprise you, the answer is no, you cannot run PS5 games directly from an external SSD. You can store as many games on the external drive as it allows, but when you want to play them, you’ll have to copy them to the PS5’s internal storage first. Once the game files are copied, you can run the game.
- ✓ Fast read and write speeds
- ✓ Solid price
- ✓ Optional heat sink
The WD SN850X is unbelievably fast. It’s not quite as consistently speedy as the Seagate FireCuda 530, which is our pick for the fastest PS5 SSD, but it handles just about any task your PS5 may throw at it with ease.
It helps that WD’s SSD was made explicitly with gaming in mind. Most of this SSD’s resources went into creating blazing read and write speeds, making almost any type of game you play run smoothly. The only downside? You might not have enough time to grab a drink during loading screens anymore.
Specifically, the SN850X uses a dynamic method of storing data before properly writing it to the SSD so that the entire process feels faster to you. This is WD’s nCache 4.0 technology for SLC caching in play. Don’t fret over the confusing names, though; all it means is this SSD makes downloading and installing large games or apps a breeze by doing extra work behind the scenes.
Combine that with its 7,300 MB/s sequential read speed and 6,300 MB/s write speed, and the WD SN850X is a robust storage solution. Finally, it will fit perfectly inside your Sony PS5 and comes with a heatsink.
The SN850X is available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB models, with the option of a heat sink for all but the 4TB version.
Best PS5 SSD Overall
The WDSN850X PS5 SSD brings express speeds to the PS5 at an affordable price.
- ✓ 1TB Model is under $200
- ✓ Heatspreader ensures SSD doesn’t overheat
- ✓ Built specifically for PS5 requirements
- ✗ 2TB and 4TB models are expensive
Oftentimes when you see a budget product, you need to be prepared to make sacrifices to save a bit of money. But with the Corsair MP600 PRO LPX, you’re able to get a quality PS5 SSD while saving some cash.
The 1TB version of Corsair’s SSD can get up to 7,100 MB/s sequential read and 6,800 MB/s sequential write speeds, which is blazingly fast. However, these high speeds are reserved for the higher capacity 4TB model, which is anything but budget.
If you’re looking to save money while upgrading your PS5, you’ll have to deal with the lower sequential write speeds of the lower-capacity models. For the 500GB model, the write speed is down to 3,500 MB/s, with the 1TB we recommend being at 5,800 MB/s for the write speed.
While you do sacrifice the faster speeds compared to other SSDs on this list, Corsair did also include a heatsink in the MP600, so you can be sure it won’t overheat in the console and fail. For the price, that’s a great feature to have.
The Corsair MP600 PRO LPX is available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB models.
Best Budget PS5 SSD
Corsair MP600 PRO LPX
Corsair’s PS5 SSD is built specifically for the console, so you can enjoy fast speeds and an easy installation for less.
- ✓ Consistent performance
- ✓ 5-year warranty
- ✓ Runs cool
- ✗ Not the fastest SSD out there
The value of SSDs can get weird as you go up in capacity. A 4TB SSD not only increases the price but also requires a performance to increase to match it. Thankfully, the PNY CS3040 remains a solid SSD no matter what size you get it in.
If you’re looking to stuff many games onto a single SSD, the CS3040 is a great pick for its price and strong read and write speeds. The SSD clocks in at 5,600 MB/s read and 3,900 MB/s write. Its IOPs for read and write speeds are 660,000 and 800,000, respectively.
For the price, the PNY CS3040 is unbeatable. 4TB SSDs are typically expensive and hard to find. The CS3040 is considerably pricier than the other options in this list, but it’s on the low end compared to other 4TB SSDs out there.
It’s best to think of PNY’s SSD as an investment that you won’t ever need to worry about upgrading again. With the effort it takes to install a PS5 SSD, it’s worth getting a nice big SSD so you’ll only have to do it once.
Best 4TB PS5 SSD
When it comes to capacity and performance, the PNY CS3040 is at the top of the list.
- ✓ Fast read and write performance
- ✓ 5-year warranty and 3-year data recovery service
- ✓ Runs cool
- ✗ Higher capacities can get pricey
The Seagate FireCuda 530 returns in this list as the fastest PS5 SSD because nothing else can touch its penchant for sustained read and write speeds.
This SSD makes games and apps load near-instantly with its 7,300 MB/s read and 6,000 MB/s write speeds. It’s 800,000 and 1,000,000 read and write IOPS speeds don’t slouch either. All these numbers mean that when you toss the FireCuda 530 into your Sony PS5, it’ll not only work out of the box with its included heatsink, it’ll do its job as quickly as possible.
Part of the joy of the new consoles in the past was the reduced loading times. The FireCuda 530 does a great job of improving performance while boosting storage capacity. The budget price is nothing to scoff at, either.
The Firecuda is available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB models.
Best Fast PS5 SSD
Seagate FireCuda 530
The Seagate FireCuda 530 is a blazing fast SSD that will handle any PS5 game or app you throw at it.
- ✓ Very fast read and write speeds
- ✓ Compact size
- ✓ 5-year warranty
Warning: Please note that your PlayStation 5 cannot play PS5 games stored on an external SSD. An external SSD can be used for storage of PS5 games, however, and the PS5 can also play PS4 games stored on an external drive. If you want to have more storage that allows you to directly play PS5 games, you’ll need to install an internal PS5 SSD.
If you want to keep your SSD outside your PS5 and don’t want to fuss with the installation process, an external SSD is a good choice. The WD_Black P50 Game Drive is an excellent option for that primarily because it’s built for gaming.
The P50 Game Drive brings 2,000 MB/s read and write speeds, which is fast for an external drive. The ability to maintain that speed is essential for transferring games to your PS5 or playing PS4 games directly off the drive. In terms of IOPS (input/output operations per second) speeds, the drive hits around 3,900 read and 8,500 write speeds according to reviews. That puts it above many other external SSDs and is more than powerful enough to keep up with the PS5’s demand.
The WD_Black P50 Game Drive is also priced well for how fast and compatible it is with the PlayStation 5. You won’t find other external drives that can match its speeds. For improved speeds, you’ll have to go with an internal SSD. This is the drive to get the absolute best performance for storing media and games.
We recommend the 1TB model below, but the P50 is available in up to 4TBs of storage.
Best External PS5 SSD
WD_Black P50 Game Drive
The WD_Black P50 Game Drive beats out the competition with incredibly fast speeds and a compact size.