Best m2 ssd for ps5 with heatsink

While you’re eagerly awaiting those PS5 restocks from your favorite store, now’s the time to start thinking about picking up some expanded storage for it. It’s easy to burn through the storage allotted in the built-in solid-state drive, with popular games like taking up nearly 85GB alone. That’s where an M.2 SSD comes in. With the best M.2 SSD for PS5, you won’t have to worry about choosing which games you have room for. 

Sony unlocked the PS5’s extra internal storage drive slot in 2021. This option wasn’t available when the PS5 launched in fall 2020, but now you can access that extra space to beef up your console’s current storage capacity. Just grab the best M.2 SSD for your gaming needs. There are plenty of M.2 SSD PS5 storage options to give you that extra storage boost.

Read more: PS5 Review: Exclusive Games Power Sony’s Console

However, it can be hard to find a superfast M.2 drive, especially one with a built-in heatsink. That’s an essential feature to prevent overheating. So if your solid-state drive doesn’t have one, you’ll have to add it manually. We’ve made some suggestions below to help with that process.

We’ve tested several drives, including the 4TB Seagate FireCuda 530, which we installed in this how-to feature, and you can find those transfer time results below. 

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Install an M.2 SSD in your PS5 with a heatsink upgrade

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Samsung’s high-end M.2 drive was a logical first choice for a lot of PS5 modders… but the original version didn’t include a built-in heatsink, which is required for operation. Sure, you could buy a separate one and attach it, but that’s a few extra steps.

Conveniently, this excellent Samsung 980 Pro SSD is now available with a heatsink, which makes it an all-in-one package. There are two current configurations, a 1TB model and a 2TB model, with the price roughly doubling for the larger model. 

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I recently got my hands on a big 4TB Seagate FireCuda 530, which includes a built-in heatsink, a requirement for an internal PS5 drive. The 1TB version lists for $250, though right now you can pick it up for over $100 off at Best Buy. You can also grab the 2TB model on sale for $250 or the 4TB model for $560 right now, though they typically list for much higher. Note that due to its popularity, this particular Seagate FireCuda drive has frequently been out of stock, so grab one when you can. 

After I installed and set up the drive, I tried transferring a few games from the default drive to my new SSD. Call of Duty, which is nearly 200GB, transferred in about 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Returnal, around 50GB, transferred in about 40 seconds. 

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Corsair recently announced this PS5-compatible M.2 drive. This particular SSD comes with a heat sync. We’re currently testing the 2TB version and will update this soon with more details from our hands-on testing. A 1TB drive lists for $135, while the 2TB is $240, with both models available at a slight discount right now. 

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Normally I’d stick with M.2 drives with built-in heat sinks, so make the entire upgrade process easier. But I’ll make an exception for this PNY XLR8 drive, because PNY also makes a separate PS5 SSD cover panel, complete with built-in head sink. 

Just slot the slim M.2 drive in the slot, then screw the new cover panel over it and you’re all set. The 1TB drive is around $110 right now, and the cover is an extra $18. We’ve tested the drive and added its transfer time scores to the chart below. 

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PNY m2 cover for PS5

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The drives above have all been tested, and you’ll see there’s not a lot of difference in performance between them. The most notable thing is that writing to the M.2 drive is a lot faster than writing back to the internal PS5 drive. 

PS5 M.2 file transfer time (in min:sec)

Console to M.2 M.2 to Console FFVII (81GB)

Seagate FireCuda 530 (4TB) 1:05 6:00 Samsung 980 Pro (1TB) 1:08 5:56 Corsair MP600 Pro LPX (2TB) 1:04 5:54 PNY XLR8 CS3140 (1TB) 1:16 6:11

Spider-Man: Miles Morales (39GB)

Seagate FireCuda 530 0:33 2:57 Samsung 980 Pro 0:31 2:53 Corsair MP600 Pro LPX 0:33 2:54 PNY XLR8 CS3140 (1TB) 0:40 2:53

Below are some additional drives and accessories that we have not tested yet, but should all work fine. 

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Besides the Samsung and Seagate versions, this Western Digital drive is probably the most popular M.2 choice for the PS5. It also includes the needed heatsink built in, which I frankly recommend as a much easier way to get your console storage upgraded. 

The WD Black comes in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB sizes, although I can’t see going through all the effort required to open the PS5 and install these for a mere 500GB of extra space, especially with some games getting close to 100GB in size. 1TB seems like the best bang for your buck, as the 2TB drive costs more than the PS5 itself. 

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Samsung

This is the original Samsung 980 Pro 1TB drive that needs a separate heatsink. If you’ve got one and can attach it, it’s a less expensive option and easy to find. In fact, the price on this model has even dropped by a few dollars. 

The advantage of adding an M.2 internal drive to your PS5 is that you can both store and play PS5-native games from it. Regular external hard drives can store PS5 games, but not play them. (Both store and play PS4 games.)

Amazon

If you’re going down the add-your-own-heatsink route, this is one of the most popular parts for PS5 owners. Gamers have reported that it’s a perfect fit for the PS5’s M.2 slot, especially when paired with the Samsung 980 SSD. 

To attach a heatsink like this, you usually need some thermal tape to connect the heatsink to the drive. In this case, there’s an included thermal pad that sticks the two parts together. That’s important because without the right kind of thermal management, the M.2 drive could get too hot in the tightly constricted PS5 internal drive slot. 

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FAQs

We update this list regularly, and below are answers to some of the most common PS5 M.2 SSD questions.

How do I remove the PS5 cover?

Both the front and rear panels of the PS5 are removable. To remove the bottom cover and expose the M.2 drive slot, Sony recommends positioning the console so the PS logo is facing up and the power button is facing away from you. Grip the bottom left corner of the cover and pull slightly up and to the right so the cover lists away. You can see the PS5 cover removal process in action here. 

Does my M.2 drive need a heat sink?

Yes. Sony requires a heat sink (basically a chunk of metal) to dissipate heat and prevent the drive from overheating. Some M.2 drives include a built-in heat sink, others need to attach manually via tape or adhesive. 

What games will run from a PS5 M.2 drive?

Unlike an external drive connected via USB-C, an internal M.2 drive can both store and run PS5 and PS4/PS Plus games. An external drive can store both, but only play PS4/older games. 

How we test PS5 M.2 drives

To test these M.2 SSD drives for the very specific purpose of storing and playing PS5 games, our primary concern is data transfer speed. All the drives compatible with the PS5 will play and load games seamlessly. The only time you’re likely to notice the drive in action is when transferring full games either to or from it. 

To test the speed of these drives, we downloaded specific games onto the PS5 internal drive, then transferred those games to the newly installed M.2 drive. Then we transferred the same games back to the internal SSD. The games we use for this test are Final Fantasy VII Remake, at 81GB; and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, at 39GB. We used a stopwatch to time the transfers and listed each result in the chart above.

Between Final Fantasy XVI, Resident Evil 4 Remake, and The Callisto Protocol, the PS5 is about to get a lot of good games, and if you want to keep them around for easy access, you’re going to need an SSD to slot into your PS5. After all, the console comes with less than a terabyte of storage space. That’s hardly enough for you to keep all your favorite games, let alone record video clips, take screenshots, and save other data. The good news is upgrading your PS5 storage has never been easier, thanks to the secondary M.2 SSD slot that lets you add a second SSD, similar to adding storage to your gaming PC.

Luckily, the best PS5 SSDs are a big step over the days of using a slow external hard drive. Your secondary drive operates as fast as the PS5’s primary storage, so loads and saves are quick, and transferring games takes mere moments. Of course, you need to buy a compatible SSD that fits and is fast enough, which means you need an NVMe PCIe 4.0 drive with 5,500MB/sec or faster sequential read speeds. If that sounds complicated, don’t worry because we’ve done the research and testing, so you can pick out the best PS5 SSDs that are sure to work with your console – and click here to see all the best PS5 SSDs in the UK.

TL;DR – These are the Best PS5 SSDs:

Corsair MP600 Pro LPX

Best PS5 SSD

Corsair MP600 Pro LPX

Corsair MP600 Pro

LPX

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x 4 | Sequential read: 7,100MB/s | Sequential write: 6,800MB/s | NAND type: 3D TLC NAND | Warranty: 5 Years or 600 TBW

There isn’t a better PS5 SSD than the Corsair MP600 Pro LPX. It’s faster than drives from the likes of Samsung, WD, and most of the other major manufacturers with a blistering 7,100 MB/s read speed and 6,800MB/s write speed — both of which well exceed Sony’s secondary drive requirements. If you’re worried about its endurance over time, you get a five-year warranty, and it can be completely rewritten 700 times, so it should last just as long as your PS5. And yet, it’s one of the most affordable options at around $140, offering the best cost-to-performance ratio you can find for an SSD.

What makes the Corsair MP600 Pro LPX even better is it comes with a sizable heatsink preinstalled and designed to fit into the PS5’s M.2 slot. You won’t have to scour the internet to find a heatsink that fits. This drive simply slots into your console and is thermally protected out of the box. Plus, with a 1TB capacity, you should be able to load up your system with double the games and other data the base console can hold. However, if you want to load your entire gaming library and then some, a 4TB model is available, but it’ll cost you significantly more.

Crucial P5 Plus

Best Budget PS5 SSD

Crucial P5 Plus

Crucial P5

Plus

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x 4 | Sequential read: 6,600MB/s | Sequential write: 5,000MB/s | NAND type: Micron Advanced 3D NAND | Warranty: 5 Years or 600 TBW

The Crucial P5 Plus comes with all the performance chops you’d expect in a Gen 4 SSD while costing a bit less than competitors. It’s not the fastest drive around, with only a 6,600MB/s sequential read speed, but that still clears all speeds Sony has targeted for the PS5’s M.2 slot. Heck, it’s even faster than the gaming console’s own internal storage. While the 5,000 MB/s write speeds makes saving game progress a breeze. And, with an extra 1TB of storage capacity, you can free up loads of space on your console for additional downloads.

It’s important to note that the P5 Plus does not include a heatsink. It’s a necessity for heat dissipation when using it with your PS5, as it runs hot. But, if you’re familiar with PC builds, it should be easy to remedy this issue by attaching your own heatsink. And you can find plenty of heatsinks for $20 or even less. Just be sure to check it all fits with the height limitations Sony has placed on this slot.

WD_Black SN850X

Best Runner-Up PS5 SSD

WD Black SN850X

WD Black

SN850X

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x 4 | Sequential read: 7,300MB/s | Sequential write: 6,300MB/s | NAND type: 96-layer TLC 3D NAND | Warranty: 5 Years or 600 TBW

The WD_Black SN850 just missed out on being our favorite PS5 SSD. It’s a bit more expensive at $139 but it still offers tremendous value, thanks to its a faster 7,300MB/s sequential read speed. The 6,300MB/s write speed isn’t as fast, but you should be able to save games quickly like you can with most other options.

If you’re concerned about heat dissipation, the WD_Black SN850X comes with a heatsink to maintain safe operating temperatures, even under a heavy load. And it’s guaranteed to fit snuggly in the small quarters of the PS5’s M2 slot. Plus, it comes with a 5-year or 600 TBW warranty, so this SSD is a great investment that’ll last you the console’s lifetime.

Samsung 980 Pro with Heatsink

Best PS5 SSD with Heatsink

Samsung 980 Pro with Heatsink

Samsung 980 Pro with

Heatsink

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x 4 | Sequential read: 7,000MB/s | Sequential write: 5,000MB/s | NAND type: Samsung 1xxL 3D TLC V-NAND | Warranty: 5 Years or 600 TBW

Although the Samsung 980 Pro was slightly edged out of top few spots, it’s still a solid contender that comes with a heatsink that perfectly fits into your PS5’s M.2 slot, thanks, in part. As noted, a heatsink is essential since it helps the SSD run maintain high-speed operation without overheating, so you’ll get the best performance out of it at all times.

The Samsung 980 Pro offers 3D TLC NAND memory arranged in a unique V-shape. You’ll find that this increases the drive’s write speeds and helps it perform better overall. The throughput of this drive even surpasses what Sony designed the second SSD slot to do, and it has a solid endurance rating to top it off. All this additional speed could come in handy if you’re recording a lot of gameplay clips and images to share later. And to ensure all your data remains safe, a hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption is on the drive.

Seagate FireCuda 530

Best High-Performance PS5 SSD

Seagate FireCuda 530

Seagate FireCuda

530

Capacity: 500B | Interface: M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 | Sequential read: 7,300MB/s | Sequential write: 6,900MB/s | NAND type: 3D TLC NAND | Warranty: 5 Years or 640 TBW

The Seagate FireCuda 530 is one of the speediest drives around, so if you’re looking for performance, this is what you need. This Gen 4 SSD offers up 7,300MB/s read speeds, far above Sony’s requirements, so games load in mere seconds. And the write speeds are dazzling, too, at 6,900MB/s, making saves quick and painless. Those impressive specs are thanks to the drive’s 3D TLC NAND technology, which gives it the endurance and durability to keep up with whatever you throw at it, including rewriting the entire drive up to 1,200 times.

Seagate and Sony have a bit of history, as many of the officially licensed external hard drives for the PS4 and PS3 were manufactured by Seagate. Therefore, the FireCuda 530 works like a charm in your PS5, especially with such solid read and write speeds to boot. It’s even available in a variety of capacities from 500GB to 4TB, so you can either get a drive to download a few games and a bit of data or download your entire game library and then some. And Seagate hasn’t forgotten the integrated heatsink either, ensuring that all your data is loaded safely and steadily.

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4TB

Best High-Capacity PS5 SSD

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4TB

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

4TB

Capacity: 4TB | Interface: M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x 4 | Sequential read: 7,000MB/s | Sequential write: 6,600MB/s | NAND type: TLC NAND | Warranty: 5 Years or 3000 TBW

If you have a massive gaming library that you want to cram onto one sizable SSD, the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4TB is a great option. The PS5 itself does not come with much storage, only about 667GB of usable space. So, that M.2 slot is essential. And if you’re looking to make the most of your storage upgrade, this 4TB drive is the one to get. It costs a pretty penny at over $700 – which is a lot. However, this high-capacity SSD will let you keep your entire PS5 game library installed all the time.

On top of offering bulk storage space, this drive comes with speedy load times at 7,000 MB/s, and it has one of the faster write times around at 6,600 MB/s. The Rocket 4 Plus also comes with a heatsink specially designed to replace the PS5’s SSD cover to maximize cooling. And, you can rest assured that this drive should last the entire lifespan of your PS5 thanks to a five-year or 3,000TBW warranty.

WD_Black P50 Game Drive

Best External PS5 SSD

WD Black P50 Game Drive 1TB

WD Black P50 Game Drive

1TB

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 | Max Transfer Speed: 20Gb/s | Weight: 0.26 pounds | Size: 4.65″ x 2.44″ x 0.55″

Of course, if you’re looking to add more storage to your PS5, using the console’s additional M.2 slot for an internal SSD is the best option. But maybe you’re just looking for a simple way to store some of your older PS4 games, then transferring them to an external drive like the WD_Black P50 Game Drive is a great option. While you won’t be able to play PS5 games stored on your external HDD, you can still save them and save yourself the trouble of redownloading 100GB of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare all over again.

The WD_Black P50 Game Drive offers blistering 2,000MB/s read speeds and 1TB of storage. With a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connection, you’ll even be able to use the drive’s speeds to the full capacity. This way you can quickly transfer your library between the internal and external storage or help speed up transferring your data from the PS4 to PS5. While doing all of this, the drive remains cool, thanks to the aluminum chassis. And it isn’t exclusively for PS5, so this drive works for your PC, Mac, or Xbox, making for a sound investment.

PNY XLR8 SSD Cover

Best PS5 SSD Heatsink

PNY XLR8 SSD Cover

PNY XLR8 SSD

Cover

Weight: 0.17 pounds | Size: ‎4.96″ x 1.31″ x 0.53″ | Warranty: 5 years

A simple and affordable way to dissipate the heat of an SSD mounted in your PS5’s expandable storage slot is by using the PNY XLR8 SSD Cover. For under $20, you get an integrated SSD cover and heatsink to ensure things don’t get too hot during intense gaming action. Most importantly, the cover’s compact design allows it to fit seamlessly into the cramped quarters of your PS5. However, be aware that this cover only works for bare SSDs.

By upgrading your NVMe SSD with the PNY XLR8 SSD Cover, you’ll experience speedy game launches and better performance overall. Using the negative pressure design and heatsink, the SSD is cooled over 40 percent more than without a heatsink. And, we know that the PS5 runs hot, so eliminating as much heat as possible is essential. You also get a five-year warranty with the device, so it’ll last just as long, if not longer than the SSD itself.

Heatsink for 2280 Model M.2

You can save money, or better yet luck out on availability if you buy a compatible PS5 SSD without a heatsink, but if you install it without a heatsink, you’re asking for trouble. These are the best PS5 SSD heatsinks:

Best PS5 SSDs in the UK

Heatsink for 2280 Model M.2 in the UK

What to Look for in a PS5 SSD

You need to be sure you are not just finding the cheapest SSD available to expand your PS5’s storage. There are important specifications and measurement requirements to ensure this drive will work in your console. And, Sony does not guarantee the compatibility of any SSDs. This absolves them of any responsibility if you run into issues with the drives. So, be sure to adhere to their recommendations.

Firstly, Sony recommends that you only install an NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD with a sequential read speed of 5500MB/s or faster. This ensures that your games will load quickly and run at optimal speeds. Having fast write speeds also helps to minimize the time you’re waiting for games and other content to download.

Another factor to consider is how much storage space you are looking to add to your system. The PS5 offers only one M.2 expansion slot, which allows you to add an SSD between 250GB-4TB in capacity. If you’re just looking to add a few games to the internal storage, then save money and grab an SSD with less space. But, if you’re looking to load your entire gaming library and then some onto it, you’ll be better off with the maximum storage available. We’ve found that 1TB seems to be the sweet spot when it comes to your internal storage needs.

It’s also essential you purchase an SSD that will fit into the narrow and shallow M.2 SSD slot. With the dimensions of 110 x 25 x 11.25 mm or 4.33 x 0.984 x 0.442 inches, the space inside the PS5 is rather cramped, though that should fit most SSDs. But, when you add in a heatsink, it can get a bit tricky. And a heatsink is necessary for use on the PS5, as these fast SSDs run hot, and it ensures all of your data stays safe and your drive keeps running at its peak performance.

Luckily, most of the drives we’ve selected offer an integrated heatsink that fits into the expansion slot, but if not, it’s important to make note of the dimensions of the whole package to ensure it’s compatible.

Be sure to also check out our guide on how to install a PS5 SSD. It’s full of information like how to install the SSD and verify the drive will be compatible with the PS5. Of course, all of our picks are perfect options to increase your console’s storage space.

Best PS5 SSDs FAQ

What SSD Does PS5 Use?

When expanding your storage, a compatible SSD for PS5 is a NVMe PCIe 4.0 drive with 5,500MB/second or faster sequential read speeds. In short, you’ll need a PCIe Gen.4 M.2 NVMe SSD.

NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface Specification, and is used to access a computer’s non-volatile storage, while PCIe stands for PCI Express, and acts as the motherboard interface and attachment for the NVMe. Note: Sony does not guarantee the compatibility of any SSDs, so you should adhere to their recommendations.

What Is the Best PS5 SSD?

The Corsair MP600 Pro LPX is considered the best SSD for PS5 by our Tech team. In addition to the above breakout of the Corsair MP600 at the top of our ranked list, you can also find out more about why this SSD is our favorite for PS5 right now in our video:

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Can You Store Game Data on Console and the Rest of the Data on M.2 SSd?

According to PlayStation, no. A specific game’s data must be stored in the same place.

How Do You Install Games to M.2 SSD on a PS5?

You can install games right from the PlayStation Store by navigating to:

  1. Home Screen
  2. Settings
  3. Storage
  4. Installation Location

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Written by Jane