The best PS5 SSDs of 2021: Upgrade your Sony console

The best PS5 SSDs of 2021: Upgrade your Sony console

Playstation 5 and controller on glass table
Mohsen Vaziri / Shutterstock.com

What to look for in a PS5 SSD in 2021

Not all SSDs are compatible with the PS5, and all the storage options you choose to have a specific list of features that should work inside the Sony console. This can be confusing if you are new to SSDs and have never had to buy one or install one yourself.

Chances are you use a phone or computer that uses an SSD or solid-state drive for high-speed storage and overall performance. The PS5 is no 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 reach over 100GB in size), you need to either be diligent about what you install or save yourself the headaches and get an expansion SSD.

Sony breaks down what it expects from your SSD on the corporate support page. Most of these specifications are hard to miss when buying an SSD, e.g. The interface and the plug. But it is the speed and size of the SSD where things get tricky.

PS5 requires an internal SSD to have a 5,550 MB / s or faster read speed. They should also be at or below 25 mm wide and 11.25 mm thick so that it actually fits in the console. Finally, your SSD needs a heat sink to withstand the high temperatures of the PS5 case.

Here’s the problem: Not all SSDs come with a heat sink. It is possible to buy and install heat sinks on your own, but it is a barrier that many will not be interested in overcoming given the tight space requirements. That’s why all the SSDs below come with cooling plates – just make sure to buy the right version of our recommendations and you’re good!

As with most SSDs, especially M.2, you should look for fast sustained read and write speeds of around 5,500 MB / s to 7,000 MB / s. This causes certain games to load faster in graphics, such as titles in the open world. It also means that the startup of games and apps will be faster, not to mention the higher download speeds.

SSDs measure random read and write speeds, which come into play more often than persistently. These are called input / output operations per Second or IOPS. In general, you want these to be fast too and run in at over 500,000. All the SSDs below easily hit these numbers.

So with this knowledge in hand, let’s get into our choices.

WD Black SSD dimensions
Western Digital

Advantage

  • Fast read and write speed
  • Solid price
  • 5 year warranty

The WD SN850 is incredibly fast. It’s not quite as consistently fast as the Seagate FireCuda 530, which is our choice for the fastest PS5 SSD, but it’s faster through the kind of tasks your PS5 will throw at it.

It helps that WD’s SSD was explicitly made with games in mind. WD devoted most of its resources to making this SSD burn through random read and write operations. This should make almost any type of game you play run smoothly.

In particular, this SSD has a dynamic way of storing data before it is properly written to the SSD, so the whole process feels faster for you. This is WD’s nCache 4.0 technology for in-game SLC caching. However, you do not have to worry about the confusing names; all it means is that this SSD makes it easy to download and install great games or apps by performing extra work behind the scenes.

Combine that with its 1,000,000 IOPS read speed and 720,000 IOPS write speed, and the WD SN850 is a robust storage solution. Finally, it will fit perfectly in your Sony PS5 and it comes with a heat sink.

The SN850 is available in 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB models.

Best PS5 SSD overall

WD SN850

The WDSN850 PS5 SSD brings fast speeds to the PS5 at an affordable price.

Firecuda SSD installed in the machine
firecuda

Advantage

  • Fast reading and writing performance
  • 5-year warranty and 3-year data recovery service
  • Runs cool

Disadvantages

  • Higher capacity can be expensive

The Seagate FireCuda is unstoppable when it comes to sustained read and write speeds. It is simply the fastest SSD out there for the Sony PS5. Knowing that, it’s wild to say that it’s also the competition’s most affordable SSD.

The Seagate FireCuda 530 is available for under $ 250 with its 1TB drive and rises slightly in price as you go up in size. That puts the price a good amount below the other SSDs that work with a PS5.

Price is an important consideration considering how much you already have to invest in the console with games and subscriptions. It would be nice if your storage solution does not break the bank on top of that, and Seagate’s SSD gives you quality while costing less.

The money you save does not affect the features you get either. FireCuda has incredibly fast sustained read and write speeds. For games, this means reading large chunks of data will be faster than many other SSDs that focus more on short actions.

However, FireCuda’s other specifications do not fall short: it has 800,000 read IOPS speeds and 1,000,000 IOPS write speeds. This SSD is also rated at 7,300 MB / s sequential read speed and 6,000 MB / s sequential write speed. All of this means it can handle just about any type of content that you need to quickly save or load.

Seagate also includes a 5-year warranty as well as a 3-year data recovery service. These are the types of promises you do not always see in budget-friendly products.

Firecuda is available in 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB models.

Best budget PS5 SSD

Seagate FireCuda 530

The Seagate FireCuda 530 is very affordable and does not slow down on pure speed or sustained performance.

PNY SSD installed in the machine
PNY

Advantage

  • Consistent performance
  • 5 year warranty
  • Runs cool

Disadvantages

  • Not the fastest SSD out there

The value of SSDs can get weird when you go up in capacity. A 4TB SSD not only increases the price but also requires a performance to increase to match it. Fortunately, the PNY CS3040 remains a solid SSD, no matter what size you get it in.

If you want to cram lots of games onto a single SSD, the CS3040 is a great choice for both price and strong read and write speeds. The SSD runs 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 unmatched. 4 TB SSDs are typically expensive and hard to find. The CS3040 is significantly more expensive than the other options on this list, but it is at the low end compared to other 4TB SSDs out there.

It’s best to think of PNY’s SSD as an investment that you’ll never have 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 only have to do it once.

Best 4TB PS5 SSD

PNY CS3040

When it comes to capacity and performance, the PNY CS3040 is at the top of the list.

Firecuda SSD on blue and purple background
firecuda

Advantage

  • Fast reading and writing performance
  • 5-year warranty and 3-year data recovery service
  • Runs cool

Disadvantages

  • Higher capacity can be expensive

The Seagate FireCuda 530 returns to 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 almost instantly with its 7,300 MB / s read and 6,000 MB / s write speeds. That’s 800,000 and 1,000,000 IOPS speeds for reading and writing do not go down either. All these numbers mean that when you throw the FireCuda 530 into your Sony PS5, it not only works out of the box with the included heat sink, it does its job as quickly as possible.

Part of the joy of the new consoles in the past was the reduced load times. The FireCuda 530 does a great job of improving performance while increasing storage capacity. The budget price is also nothing to mock.

Firecuda is available in 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB models.

Best fast PS5 SSD

Seagate FireCuda 530

Seagate FireCuda 530 is a lightning fast SSD that can handle any PS5 game or app you throw at it.

WD Black external SSD dimensions
Western Digital

Advantage

  • Very fast read and write speed
  • Compact size
  • 5 year warranty

Warning: Note that your PlayStation 5 cannot play PS5 games stored on an external SSD. However, an external SSD can be used to store PS5 games, and PS5 can also play PS4 games stored on an external drive. If you want more storage space that allows you to play PS5 games directly, you need to install an internal PS5 SSD.

If you want to keep your SSD outside of your PS5 and do not want to bother 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 this speed is essential to transfer games to your PS5 or play PS4 games directly from 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. It sets 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 well priced for how fast and compatible it is with the PlayStation 5. You won’t find any other external drives that can match its speeds. For improved speeds, go with an internal SSD. This is the drive to get the absolute best performance for storing media and games.

We recommend the 1 TB model below, but the P50 is available in up to 4 TB of storage space.

Best external PS5 SSD

WD_Black P50 Game Drive

The WD_Black P50 Game Drive beats the competition with incredibly fast speeds and a compact size.

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