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Best SSD for PS5 2023: our recommended drives and heatsinks

Digital Foundry tested, Digital Foundry approved.

The PS5 is the first PlayStation to come with an internal SSD slot, making it easy to add a super-fast drive for tons of extra game storage - and it's now possible to pick up a 1TB SSD for less than $50/£50 or 2TB for under $100/£100. Here's how to identify the best drive for you, Sony's recommended specs and our top choices for the money in the US and UK.

Because Sony isn't making its own official drives, standard PC NVMe SSDs from a wide range of manufacturers will work - as long the drive is fast enough and it physically fits inside the PS5's SSD slot. This makes expanding your storage way cheaper than on Xbox Series consoles, where there's only one drive in different sizes available, but also means that there a ton of different options - so which is the best?

That's where this our article and our testing comes in. We've rounded up the best PS5 SSDs on the market based on their specs and our in-house results, to make it easy to pick up a good performance drive for a reasonable price. We've also covered the best PS5-compatible SSD heatsinks, dug into Sony's requirements in more detail and answered your questions.

Best PS5 SSDs 2023

samsung 990 pro nvme ssd

There are loads of PS5-compatible SSDs, and we've kept updating our recommendations below with the ones that we've tested and can recommend. Our top picks are at the top of the table, with drives that deliver less performance, are harder to find or offer worse value towards the bottom.

With very small differences in terms of real world usage, we'd strongly encourage you to go for one of the cheaper options in your region - as long as it's from a brand you trust.

Best PS5 SSDs w/ heatsink? Random reads UK price (1TB) US price (1TB)
WD Black SN850x Yes 800K IOPS £69 $60
WD Black SN850x Heatsink Yes 800K IOPS £74 $76
Lexar NM790 No 1000K IOPS £55 $45
Crucial P5 Plus No* 630K IOPS £55 $55
Crucial P5 Plus Heatsink Yes 630K IOPS £65 $68
Adata XPG S70 Blade Yes 740K IOPS £61 $60
Corsair MP600 Pro LPX Yes 900K IOPS £65 $70
Corsair MP600 Pro NH No* 900K IOPS £70 $68
Kingston Fury Renegade Yes 900K IOPS £60 $74
Samsung 990 Pro No* 1200K IOPS £76 $80
Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink Yes 1000K IOPS £79 $90
Samsung 980 Pro No* 1000K IOPS £66 $79
Seagate FireCuda 530 Yes 800K IOPS £71 $100
Sabrent Rocket 4+ PS5 Yes 350K IOPS £85 $90
Sabrent Rocket 4+ No* 350K IOPS £75 $80
Addlink Addgame A95 Yes 1000K IOPS £66 $103
PNY XLR8 CS3140 No* n/a n/a $57
Patriot Viper VP4300 Yes 800K IOPS £70 $68
Netac NV7000 Yes 740K IOPS £65 $91
Integral Advantage Pro-1 Yes 750K IOPS £75 n/a
Aorus 7000S Yes 350K IOPS £79 $75
Inland Performance Plus No* 350K IOPS n/a $73

We're still testing new drives and heatsinks as they become available, so feel free to leave a comment below or tweet @wsjudd if there's a drive you think should be listed here.

Compatible heatsinks for PS5 SSDs

Here are some standalone NVMe SSD heatsinks that meet the height requirements for the PS5. We've tested and confirmed the ones below work, but many others should also be fine as long as they are physically small enough!

UK links

US links

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PS5 SSD requirements

Now that we've had a look at our recommendations, let's take a look at the requirements in case you're considering a drive that we haven't listed. First of all, only the fastest solid state drives are officially recommended: NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSDs with a sequential read speed of 5500MB/s or faster. These drives use a compact M.2 form factor and measure 22mm across, and can be anywhere from 30mm to 110mm long (most consumer drives are 80mm long, a form factor also known as 2280). So far, all pretty straightforward - but the tricky part is yet to come.

The most onerous requirement is that your PS5 SSD needs to have a heatsink or some other cooling apparatus, which needs to fit inside the shallow slot Sony has provided for internal expansion. The combined drive and heatsink need to be 11.25mm (0.442") or shorter, which rules out some drives that come with non-removable heatsinks that are taller than this. There are even specific requirements about where that height can be - there's 2.45mm of space below the SSD for the heatsink and 8 millimetres above, so heatsinks with thick bottoms (!) may not work even if their total height is within spec.

That means you'll need to either buy a drive with a short heatsink already installed - like the WD SN850 ($129/£127) or Seagate FireCuda 530 ($130/£110) - or buy a drive without a heatsink then add one yourself, before installing the newly upgraded drive into the PS5.

We've seen significant price reductions since Sony first added support for internal SSDs in a software update, especially on drives with heatsinks attached as this has become a much more common consumer request. However, you may still find that the cheapest solution is buying a drive without a heatsink attached and adding your own. Either way, we have a full list of recommended drives and heatsinks above.

Interface PCIe Gen 4.0 (x4) M.2 NVMe SSD
Capacity 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB or 4TB
Heatsink Required - either built-in or added yourself
Sequential reads 5500MB/s recommended
Form factor 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 or 22110
Total size w/ heatsink 110 x 25 x 11.25 millimetres
4.33 x 0.984 x 0.442 inches
Heatsink max height (below SSD) 2.45 millimetres
0.096 inches
Heatsink max height (above SSD) 8 millimetres
0.314 inches

That's pretty much everything of note, but you can have a look at Sony's complete requirements here, which also include some guidance on the installation procedure. For what it's worth, I installed a couple of drives to check they'd physically fit, and the process is very straightforward - take off the PS5's shell, unscrew the drive cover, remove the drive screw and spacer, put the spacer in the position marked 2280, insert the drive, screw it in through the spacer, then replace the drive cover and shell. All told, it'll probably take most newcomers only a few minutes to complete, so don't be too worried about it!

What's the best external SSD for playing PS4 games on PS5?

If you fancy an external SSD to play PS4 games, whether on PS5 or PS4, we have some thoughts on the matter.

See our full best portable SSD recommendations here for our pick of the fastest drives - or our best external drives for PS4 article here, if you'd like recommendations for slower but cheaper external hard drives as well.

We've also included quick "where to buy" links for the US and UK below if your adblocker is disabled (thanks!). Remember that these drives do work great on PS5, but you're only able to run PS4 games from external drives, even external SSDs like these.

Frequently asked questions

Is a heatsink really needed?

Only long-term testing will reveal the answer for sure, but Sony's recommendation is that you use a heatsink to ensure consistent performance. We've used SSDs in the PS5 for a few weeks now without a heatsink and didn't notice any issues, so you could always get the drive first and buy a heatsink later if you notice any stutters or slowdowns in your games. Generally, hot SSDs will just run slower, not die outright, so you shouldn't worry about it too much. That said, as heatsinks can be found for as little as £5 to £10, getting one is a relatively small extra on top of a relatively expensive high-spec drive. Personally, I'd get it just to be on the safe side.

Does [some SSD] work with the PS5?

If it meets the specifications and physically fits in the SSD slot, there's no reason why not. Remember that most drives don't come with the slim heatsinks that are required here, so you may need to ignore drives with tall pre-installed heatsinks or add a heatsink to drives that don't come with one. If you do find a drive that looks like it meets the specs, let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@wsjudd) and I'll update the article accordingly.

Does the console come with the standoff and screw?

Yes, the standoff and screw are pre-installed to suit the largest drive size the PS5 supports (22110). You'll probably need to move this to the area marked '2280', as this matches the vast majority of consumer NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSDs. The screw unscrews (surprise, surprise) and the spacer can just be picked up and dropped into place once the screw is out.

Can I leave the cover off to fit taller drives and heatsinks?

Technically, yes, but the metal cover wouldn't exist if it didn't serve a purpose. Whether that's aiding thermal transfer of heat away from the drive, preventing ingress of dust or moisture or a combination, it's best to keep this cover in place if at all possible. It's also quite a thin cover, so removing it wouldn't massively expand the number of drives that would fit.

We hope this article was useful!

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About the Author
Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DigitalFoundry.