A PlayStation5 and controller with a Kingston XS2000 External SSD connected by USB.
Why You Should Upgrade Your PS5 with Internal and External SSDs

Sony’s PlayStation5 is the latest gen console of choice for tens of millions of discerning gamers, lauded for its hardware specs, catalog of exclusive games, and active gaming community. However, there are many reasons to augment the out-of-the-box storage capabilities with both internal and external SSDs. Solid state drives, such as the 825GB basic storage drive in the PS5, offer many benefits over other storage options used by consoles in the past.

Advantages of SSDs

Certain SSDs can be used to substantially increase the internal storage of a PS5. M.2 SSDs of sufficient speed and a capacity of 8TB or under are compatible as internal drives. Sony recommends that these drives be fitted with heatsinks to prevent speed throttling during times of intense use. The Kingston FURY Renegade PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD with a rated speed of approximately 6,600MB/s, faster than the PS5’s default SSD, is one such drive, and comes with a heatsink to protect against performance dipping.

Even SSDs which do not meet these criteria are useful for storing PlayStation5 data. PS5 games that are infrequently used can be stored until needed on an external SSD, to be transferred to an internal drive at that time. PS4 games, and other media, can be stored without issue on an external SSD.

Internal SSDs for PlayStation5

A Kingston FURY Renegade SSD installed in a PlayStation5’s uncovered internal SSD slot.

As stated previously, the PS5 comes with an 825GB SSD of its own, but this does not take into account the system software and other essential files, which take up over a hundred gigabytes. Users have around 667GB to use for game storage, which seems like a lot until you download a few triple-A games and start running out of space. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is 127.8GB; Destiny 2 139.8GB; Cyberpunk 2077 159.6GB. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the most egregious, at an astonishing 312.6GB. Luckily, the PS5 comes with an M.2 SSD socket so that gamers can expand their storage.

Installing an internal SSD in a PS5 is a simple process that only requires a Phillips screwdriver and 15 minutes. The console is compatible with drives up to 8TB in capacity, but even a 1TB drive will increase the system’s effective capacity for games and other media by over 150%. All games that are stored on the PS5’s internal drives can be played immediately, with no need for transfer to another drive, making a gamer’s experience much more convenient and reducing the wear on the main drive. Of course, since PS5 games can be over a hundred gigabytes in size, any drive you consider will need to be at least as fast as the pre-installed drive: that is, a minimum of 5,500MB/s. A heatsink will be useful to keep those speeds up even as the drive is in heavy use.

External SSDs for PlayStation5

The PlayStation5 has multiple USB ports, including a USB-C SuperSpeed port, for purposes such as connecting external storage. Of the options out there, an external SSD such as Kingston’s XS2000 External Solid State Drive is a strong contender. Its small, lightweight form factor makes it almost unnoticeable on a TV stand and easy to transport to a friends’ home for a game night. It’s also rugged, with water- and dust-resistant casing and a rubber sleeve to make it shockproof. Available in capacities of up to 4TB, it can comfortably handle any storage overflow from the PS5’s dedicated SSD and any secondary m.2 SSD. It offers read and write speeds up to 2,000MB/s, which is perfect for running games from previous console generations, music, or other stored media off the drive. Just remember to transfer any PS5 game you want to play onto an internal drive first.

No need to choose

Both internal and external SSDs can contribute substantially to a user’s enjoyment of their PS5. An internal SSD is just what a dedicated gamer needs for downloading all the most recent high-octane, high file size games. An external SSD will be useful for storing any PS4 games or other media a user might want to play through their console. With the high speed of an SSD, PS4 games are likely to run faster on a PlayStation5 than they ever did on their original console.

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