What you need to know about PS5 storage upgrades

When the PlayStation 5 launched last November, Sony claimed that gamers will be able to fit a high-speed internal storage drive into the console, adding more capacity for PS5 games as their game libraries grow. develop. It turns out that launching a gaming console during a pandemic can be tricky, so Sony quickly decided to turn this feature off until a later date. After almost eight months, Sony announced in July that it started allowing gamers to test hard drive expansion on PS5. At the moment, it’s limited to a public beta, but it’s the first step in letting players take advantage of the feature, which is incredibly useful if you like to bounce back and forth between playing a lot of different games.

Why would you want to put another hard drive in your PS5?

Out of the box, the PS5 comes with an 875 GB SSD. After factoring in the space needed for the system software, you actually have 667.2 GB to store games, applications like Netflix and YouTube, recorded game data, screenshots and video clips. Most of the best PS5 games require between 40 and 60 GB of storage. Even if you mix up some PS4 games and smaller indie games, you can realistically store 10-15 games on the drive at a time. After that, you will have to delete the games and download them again if you want to play them again. There is no direct cost to uninstall and reinstall the games, but it does take time and internet bandwidth. (It really sucks when you go to play a game with a friend, and it turns out you have to reinstall it).

Given the specifications required, a second compatible hard drive allows you to increase the PS5’s storage from 500GB to 4TB, significantly increasing the number of games you can store on the console at a time.

What kind of hard drive can you put in your PS5?

You can’t just put just any old hard drive in a PS5. In order to match the expected speed of the console’s internal storage (and expansion drive slot in the console), you will need an M.2 SSD with high read speed. An M.2 drive is a form of NVMe (Non-Volitile Memory Express), which connects to consoles via PCIe, which makes it much faster than a standard solid-state drive. M.2 modules are also generally much smaller than standard hard drives – they look more like a RAM stick than a standard SSD.

Sony has very specific technical requirements for the type of M.2 player you can install in the PS5. You should check the Sony website for full specification list before buying a new disc, but here are the key details …

A PS5 compatible hard drive must be a PCIe Gen 4 x4 M.2 NVMe drive with a read speed greater than 5500MB / s. It must be more than 22 millimeters wide (Sony lists M.2 form factors that meet to this specification). It should also come with a built-in heat sink, although you can buy one without and add a heat sink separately.

It seems difficult. What about external hard drives?

Technically, the PS5 supports storage expansion using external hard drives … But not for PS5 games. Instead, you can use an external hard drive or SSD to keep PS5 games in “cold storage,” so you can download them without using the Internet, or store and play PS4 games. (Although they may not work as well as they normally would on PS5).

Alright fine. Can you just tell me which hard drive to get?

It’s a bit tricky too. Sony has not officially endorsed or rated any specific drive as optimized for the PS5. In fact, they won’t even guarantee that drives that meet the recommended specifications will perform well. The closest thing to approval comes from Mark Cerny, chief architect at Sony, who tweeted about his personal choice, the Western Digital Black SN850 with integrated heatsink.

Over the past few weeks, many major hardware manufacturers have started to specify that their drives are PS5 compatible. Meanwhile, there are a ton of gaming posts that test readers and provide ratings and recommendations. We may be able to do our own testing down the line. For now, here is one from a few old friends at IGN.

OK. I’m ready. How can I do this?

First of all. Go to the PlayStation website and sign up for the PS5 software beta program. To register, you need a PS5, an active PSN account, and live in the US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, or UK. Sony specifically warns people not to install the hard drive until it has been approved and has beta firmware installed.

We will have a more detailed description of how to install hard drive to increase PS5 storage in the future, but here is the short version for now:

  1. Once the beta software is installed, you will need to unplug the console, turn it on its side, and unscrew the large white side panel with a Phillips screwdriver.

2. After removing the panel, you will see a long rectangular slot for the M.2 drive inside the console.

3. The hard drive slot has a cover that you will need to unscrew. After removing the panel, use the internal screw to adjust the size of the slot.

4. Insert the hard drive into the connector at an angle and make sure to push it in gently but firmly so that it is connected.

5. Gently (gently, be careful!) Tilt the drive flat and screw it into the slot. That’s it! Put the lid back on and you’re done.

When can you install a hard drive without joining the beta?

According to Polygon, version 2.0 of the PlayStation 5 software, the version currently in beta, should be available “later this year”.

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About Dorie Castro

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