Best PS5 SSD in 2022: NVMe storage for PlayStation 5

Joel Loynds
Best PS5 SSDs
Dexerto

Looking for the best PS5 SSD in 2022? Look no further, as we’ve got all of the compatible NVMe drives for the Playstation 5 worth talking about, saving you all of the hassle. 

With the advent of the need for faster loading times, more storage and to be frank, more reliable storage, Sony made the decision to switch to a new piece of tech. NVMe, or M.2 drives, are now the best way to increase storage for your PlayStation 5 console. Since the PS4 was released, we’ve moved on from SSDs being the defacto method of storage, with hard disk drives (HDD) being thrown in landfills by the second.

The requirement of an M.2 drive over an SSD has flummoxed some people online, especially in regards to pricing and sizes. Why is 4TB of M.2 storage far more expensive than a 4TB SSD, or even a 16TB HDD?

Well, it’s mostly how NVMe storage differs from its older counterparts, not only in terms of physical size but also in how it operates internally.

Contents


The best M.2 NVMe drive for your PS5

As of right now, there’s no real way for us to structure this like our other buyers’ guides. These drives are expensive and will probably remain expensive for another couple of years. If you cast your mind back to the early 2010s or even late 00s, SSDs were having the same issue of affordability. But regardless, if you are looking to cram in the latest Call of Duty game, or fill up your hard drive with the latest Playstation Plus games, you’re going to want to get yourself more storage to fit everything onto your console.

So while we’d love to tell you the best budget or even the best premium, much like buying a PS5 right now, these are all premium. Even the cheapest one is above $100 and won’t sink below that for a while.

So what is the best NVMe drive for your PS5 right now? Well, they all perform similarly, so you’ll need to decide if you want something basic, something that has a heatsink for the longevity of your drive, or if you’re after a high-capacity drive to set and forget.


1. Crucial P5 Plus: The best basic PS5 SSD

Crucial P5 Plus

Key specs:

  • 500GB/1TB/2TB storage sizes
  • 6600Mb/s sequential read speeds
  • 5000MB/s sequential write speeds
  • PCIe 4.0 with Gen 3 backward compatibility
  • M.2 2280 form factor

You can buy the Crucial P5 Plus here.

Right now, the best bang for the buck is the Crucial P5 Plus. This drive is not only low in price (less than $150 at the time of writing) but is also the perfect match for the PS5’s requirements. You’ll have to fit a heatsink yourself, but for the most part, you can’t lose with this.

It’ll also provide you with 6600Mb/s read speeds, a fair margin above other drives at this price. This will get you some cracking speeds.

Crucial is also just an excellent brand, one you can trust and one that you can count on to last a long time while sitting in your console.

The only downside to its low entry cost is that it’s only a terabyte big. You’d have to invest in a larger size if you want to get more games on your console – especially with PS Plus being overhauled – but the thing is, these drives start to get all over the place in pricing as you go up.


2. WD Black SN80: The best PS5 SSD with a heatsink

WD Black Heatsink

Key specs:

  • 500GB/1TB/2TB storage sizes
  • (Up to) 7000Mb/s sequential read speeds
  • (Up to) 5300MB/s sequential write speeds
  • PCIe 4.0 with Gen 3 backward compatibility
  • M.2 2280 form factor

You can buy the WD Black SN80 here.

While the Crucial is technically the best, it does require you to install your own heatsink. In fact, if you want to save a few bucks and don’t mind risking your chances of it going haywire in the future (others have reported that it’s going fine without), you can either skimp on it or just install it yourself.

However, if you’re one that’s not really up for anything more than just slamming it in, screwing the plates back, and installing one whole Call of Duty game onto your new drive, then I’d recommend you seek one with a heatsink already installed.

For this, there’s no better option than the WD_Black SN80. This even comes in two variations. Western Digital might not always get the best rap with their HDDs, but since switching to SSD and NVMe, our own personal experience has been great.

These drives go all the way up to 2TB, so you’d be getting a decent size and they’re the first out the gate for confirmation that they work with the PS5. It’s sort of why they have the weird black ops design to them.

Whatever the case, much like the rest of the drives we’re going to recommend here, they fit the bill. It’s entirely up to you what you want to go in.


3. Corsair MP600 Pro LPX: The best high-capacity PS5 SSD

PS5 NVME MP600LPX

Key specs:

  • 500GB/1TB/2TB/4TB storage sizes
  • (Up to) 7100Mb/s sequential read speeds
  • (Up to) 6800MB/s sequential write speeds
  • PCIe 4.0 with Gen 3 backward compatibility
  • M.2 2280 form factor

You can buy the Corsair MP600 Pro LPX here.

This drive caused quite a stir on our Dexerto Deals Twitter. A lot of people were astounded by the price drop at the time (a cool 23%), while others were still bothered that it cost roughly the same amount as the PS5 they sought to upgrade.

Well, right now it currently sits at nearly $1000 on Amazon, while other places have it for a much more respectable $700. So don’t overpay for one.

This is like, a nuclear option to your storage woes. If you’re needing 4TB of storage for a console, you might want to consider that you don’t need your entire backlog on the console. If you’re needing more NVMe storage for your various PS4 titles that can very easily still run off an SSD through USB, then you might want an external HDD.

We’d recommend investing in the Samsung T5 or T7 as a tiny solution for your PS4 games before you begin getting an NVMe drive. Really, the NVMe drive should only be used for your PS5 native games, anything else can get bunged elsewhere on the system.


Where to buy PS5 SSD drives

Brand Storage size Where to get it
Crucial P5 Plus 1TB Amazon
Western Digital WD_Black SN80 500GB Best Buy
Western Digital WD_Black SN80 1TB Best Buy
Western Digital WD_Black SN80 2TB Best Buy
Seagate Firecuda 500GB Best Buy
Seagate Firecuda 1TB Best Buy
Seagate Firecuda 2TB Best Buy
Seagate Firecuda 4TB Best Buy
Seagate Firecuda (Star Wars) 1TB Best Buy
Samsung Pro 980 (with Heatsink) 1TB Best Buy
Samsung Pro 980 (with Heatsink) 2TB Best Buy
Corsair MP600 PRO LPX 1TB Best Buy
Corsair MP600 PRO LPX 2TB Best Buy
Corsair MP600 PRO LPX 4TB Amazon
XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade 4TB Best Buy
XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade 1TB Best Buy
XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade 2TB Best Buy

What is an NVMe SSD?: NVMe M.2 vs HDD vs SSD

An NVMe SSD is a type of storage that is blisteringly fast and is commonly used in PCs and your PS5. HDDs are remnants of an older era. While still used due to their cheapness in comparison to SSDs and M.2, they make for great overall storage backups. RAID backups and NAS setups will use them to cut down on the cost of having to require the user to stock up on terabytes of storage.

These drives are mechanical, physically moving things that use a needle and disk (hence the name) to seek data that’s been requested. This is why, as they get older, you’ll notice the speeds slow down considerably as the actual mechanics inside begin to deteriorate.

SSDs however, remove the moving parts and opt to use a SATA controller to communicate with the various NAND (non-volatile flash memory) partitions on the drive. This allows for faster communication between the drive and the device, but it still has to pass through the controller, while it attempts to figure out what you want from it.

Being SATA based also allows SSDs to slot right into the same place as HDDs, which helps with replacing both 2.5” and full-sized drives. This is why PS4s could replace their drives with SSDs.

NVMe M.2 drives however are essentially built the same as SSDs, with the speed increase coming from the removal of a controller. Your NVMe doesn’t have to have its language translated by a controller as it is physically bolted to the motherboard in its own special slot.

Being directly connected means that there’s no real interference between the two devices, allowing for a quicker and far faster method of data transfer and reading. It’s also with the switch to NVMe, that we also begin to remove SATA from the mix, which is hindered by slower speeds that its cousin, PCIe.

SSD vs NVME

Sequential data reading and writing is what NVMe drive does best, with a reduced amount of mechanical parts and a direct connection, it means the speeds have no real limits but the parts they’re made of, which just keep getting better.

As PCIe keeps advancing (with 5.0 now being readily available on motherboards) and the PS5 using 4.0, it allows the console to take advantage of the full breakneck speeds it provides for data to be moved about or read, hence the incredible loading speeds the console supplies.


Can you use PCIe 3.0 in the PS5?

No. You can’t. Never. Don’t even think about it. PCIe slots on motherboards are forward compatible and backward compatible, but the way that Sony has built the PS5’s operating system, it won’t be able to read backward like the PC can.

This restriction is because PCIe 3.0 NVMe drives aren’t fast enough to do what the PS5 requires of them. They’d hit a wall over bandwidth and end up either overheating or crashing the system due to being flooded with requests for data transfers.


Why does the PS5 drive need a heatsink?

The way that the console polls the drive will cause it to get hot. In some capacity, it is going to require it, just due to how the PS5 manages its heat on its other components, including liquid metal.

When shopping for PCIe 4.0 drives, just make sure you get a heatsink. Either one that comes with the NVMe drive or one that you can glue on yourself. While normally we’d say that the heatsink is to be overly cautious when it comes with NVMe drives, it’s sort of required with the PS5.


PS5 NVMe SSD requirements

  • Sequential read speed of 5500MB/s or above
  • 11.25mm (0.442”) or shorter
  • No higher than 8mm
  • 250GB minimum, 4TB maximum
  • The form factor has to be 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, 22110

How to install an M.2 NVMe SSD in the PS5

We actually have a great guide for how to install your new NVMe SSD already, so be sure to check it out. Just note that you’ll need a screwdriver and make sure to power the console all the way off. Do not just go and open it up while it’s on and don’t poke around inside the system where you don’t need to.

Why you need an M.2 NVMe SSD for your PS5

With only 825GB of usable storage on the PS5, you can expect your drive to fill up extremely quickly. You cannot install PS5 games on an external hard drive, either, meaning that if your current storage is full, you will need to fit your PS5 with a compatible SSD in order to get all of your games ready at the touch of a button, instead of having to resurrect it out of cold storage from a hard drive.

Either way, it’s 2022, and it’s about time that you stopped buying hard drives unless you were looking for purely bulk storage to pop old photos on, instead of accessing large and complicated files like games.


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