It’s been eight months since Sony released the PS5, and the company is finally launching a firmware update for beta PS5 users that enables internal SSD expansion using consumer NVMe M.2 SSDs. The update is currently rolling out across supported regions, and if you want to try this feature, you’ll need to be signed up for the beta program
The tests will be important as Sony will evaluate different types of SSDs from a number of manufacturers in order to determine what’s best for owners moving forward. Of course, this means there isn’t a list of supported SSDs, but several parameters were given by Sony in order to guide consumers towards one that will work. This guideline includes minimum sequential read speed limitations, the size of the SSD, and whether it can effectively dissipate heat with a heatsink or not.
The specs can be seen below:
- 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).
- Length: 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).
Sony also included steps on how to install the SSD, which requires users to remove one of the PS5’s side panels.
Some brands, such as Seagate, have already announced existing NVMe SSDs that will be compatible with the PS5. Seagate’s FireCuda M.2 drives, which come in 500 GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB sizes, are all compatible with the PS5. They are sold with and without heatsinks, but it’s unclear which will be a preferable match with the PS5. The 500 GB version without a heatsink starts at $140, increases to $240 for a 1TB model, and is a whopping $950 for the 4TB version. Adding a heatsink does increase the price for all variations.
In today’s firmware update, Sony added a disclaimer stating it cannot ensure that drives that meet the above specifications will work, so it might be best to wait before rushing out to purchase an NVMe SSD.
Sony recently announced this week that the PS5 has sold over 10 million units worldwide since its release, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation console ever.