How To Expand PS5 SSD Storage

The PS5 offers the ability to expand your internal storage, and the feature is live now.

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As of September 2021, the PS5 now allows you to add an extra M.2 NVMe SSD to your console. The feature is in full release rather than beta, meaning anyone with the hardware can get more storage space to hold and play PS5 games. Unlike Microsoft's solution, which is a Seagate proprietary expansion card plugged into the back, Sony gives you the choice of a number of different drives from third-party manufacturers. Here is how you can install an extra NVMe drive to expand your internal storage space.

PS5-Compatible Drives

Sony's approach allows for more flexibility in how you expand your PS5 storage but is constrained by a list that the company approves beforehand. That's to ensure that the SSD you purchase matches the minimum 5.5 GB/s bandwidth, only afforded by brand-new PCIe 4.0 SSDs that companies like Samsung and Western Digital have started producing.

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Now Playing: Sony - Official PS5 Console Hardware Teardown Trailer

Despite being out now, Sony hasn't yet announced any compatible SSDs for the PS5. We do know the specifications required for the drives, but we cannot say for sure that drives that meet these will function in the system until they have been tested and approved by Sony itself. One that you can almost certainly use without issue is the WD_Black SN850 with a heatsink, as PlayStation lead system architect Mark Cerny revealed it's the one he bought for his own system.

The side panels of the PS5 can easily pop off with no tools, revealing an empty SSD slot on one side. That slot features support for the full gamut of SSD lengths, including 2230, 2242, 2260, and 2280 standard sizes. You must use a heatsink with the drive you choose, either preinstalled by the manufacturer or one you attached yourself. The Sony support page includes diagrams showing built-in heatsinks as well as one-sided and two-sided heatsinks.

M.2 NVMe slot on the PS5
M.2 NVMe slot on the PS5

PS5 M.2 SSD Requirements

The following list of requirements come directly from Sony

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.

These numbers can be found on retail listings for M.2 SSD devices. The first two digits refer to the width, the remaining digits to the length.

Socket type: Socket 3 (Key M)

Total size including cooling structure:

In millimeters: smaller than 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H).

In inches: smaller than 4.33in (L) x 0.984 in (W) x 0.442in (H).

See below for full requirements.

Length

The following M.2 SSD lengths are compatible with PS5 consoles:

30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm, 110mm (corresponding to the form factor type, per above).

Width

A 22mm-wide M.2 SSD module is required.

The total structure (including an added cooling structure) cannot exceed 25mm (0.984in).

Height

The total height of the M.2 SSD and its cooling structure (such as a heatsink) – whether built-in or separate – must be less than 11.25mm (0.442in).

The height must also be in the right place, in relation to the M.2 SSD’s circuit board:

  • The size below the board must be less than 2.45mm (0.096in).
  • The total size above the board must be less than 8mm (0.314in).

(Note: millimeter measurements are the technical standard and are more precise than inches. We recommend double-checking that the total dimensions of M.2 SSD and heatsink products you’re considering meet the millimeter requirements before purchasing)

Installing M.2 SDD In PS5

Installing your M.2 will vary slightly depending on the model you've selected, but ensure your system is fully updated. Turn off the system, unplug it, pop off the outside panel with the disc slot if on a regular system or the "right" one on a digital console, and you'll see the drive slot below the fan. Remove the screws, adjust the spacer based on your own drive's size, and then insert the drive diagonally before lowering it onto the screw hole.

Once that's done, screw it into place, reattach the cover carefully, and pop the outer panel back on your console before powering your system back on. You'll have to format your drive on startup, just as you would any other drive.

From "Settings" and "Storage" on your PS5, you'll see an "installation location" option with the M.2 installed correctly. This will let you choose to download games there directly, and you can also move games there from either the internal storage that came with your system or an external USB drive.

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