Up until just recently, Sony has teased consumers with an internal SSD slot on the PlayStation 5 that did nothing for the end-user. It wasn’t until the most recent Beta 3.0 firmware update and today’s newest console update that this expansion port was opened up to the general public. The onboard custom 825GB SSD inside the PlayStation 5, as players soon learned with massive titles such as Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, simply wasn’t enough to keep up with the rapid release of new titles. With today’s newest firmware update for the PlayStation 5, we wanted to show you how easy it is to set up and install an extra bit of storage inside your preferred console.
To get started, you’re going to need a few things: a well-lit and flat surface to work on, a Phillips #1 screwdriver (any smaller sized jewelers or eyeglass repair Phillips screwdriver will do the trick), and of course, a compatible M.2 NVMe SSD no more than 22mm in width. Sony has yet to release a full list of compatible drives, but we have personally tested the Seagate FireCuda 530 Heatsink model ZP1000GM30023. Other NVMe drives that can achieve at least 5,500 MB/s read speed can also work as your expanded storage on the PlayStation 5. To achieve those speeds, the drive will need to be PCIe Gen 4.
One important thing to note is that whichever drive you go with, you’re going to need an attached heatsink to help dissipate any excess heat and keep the drive running at optimal performance during regular gameplay. Seagate included a heatsink with the FireCuda 530 drive but for those looking at other drives such as Sabrent and Western Digital’s offerings, you’re going to need a third-party heatsink if one didn’t come in the box. Two fantastic offerings that we can recommend are the be quiet! MC1 (not the MC1 Pro) and EKWB EK-M.2 heatsinks. Each matches the 22mm size requirements as well as the limited height threshold for the PlayStation 5 internal SSD slot. If you’re curious how to install the heatsink onto your SSD, you can check out a quick tutorial video below from Keith May.
Now that you have all of the hardware needed and downloaded the latest firmware update for your PlayStation 5, you’re ready to go through the straightforward process of expanding that limited capacity with as much as an extra 4TB of storage capacity.
First things first, you’re going to want to remove the vertical stand from the PlayStation 5 and set that aside, and remove all of the cords. If you have any grounded metal available, touch that to disperse any static electricity before handling the PlayStation 5. Once the PlayStation 5 is laid down on a flat surface, start first with locating the side panel that does not feature the PS5 logo (this will be the plate that covers the disc drive). Lay the console down so the disc drive is pointed away from you; the disc drive should be at the top left corner with the rear ports of the PlayStation 5 facing you.
While grasping the bottom right corner of the panel where it sticks out from the console, lift the panel off slightly from the PlayStation 5 to detach the retaining hooks then push the plate to the left (towards the disc drive). There’s a small amount of force necessary to detach the plate in the first place but please be mindful not to break or crack the side plate when doing so. Once the side plate is pushed out of place, it should come off with ease and expose both the side fan and the M.2 slot housing.
Once the side panel is removed, use your #1 Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw holding the SSD cover in place and set that aside.
Next, remove both the black screw and SSD spacer plug. Set the screw aside and move the plug down to the 80mm hole. Discharge any static electricity again just to be safe, then take the M.2 drive of choice and plug it onto the socket then gently lay it down onto the spacer plug you recently moved. Screw the M.2 drive into place. Then, close the SSD panel once more and secure it back into place with the black screw you previously set aside.
Once the SSD is installed, you can replace the PS5 side plate by laying it in place so the holes line up with the posts on the side plate then gently push it into position with the palm of your hand. The side plate should click back into place with minimal force. Afterward, simply replace the PlayStation 5 base in your preferred orientation, reattach all of the cords, then power on the console as normal.
Once on the latest firmware, you should receive a message stating that the M.2 drive needs to be formatted for regular use. If this is the first time you’ve used the drive out of the box, the formatting process only takes a moment or two.
After formatting and preparing the M.2 drive for first use, the PlayStation 5 will run a speed test to make sure the drive meets or exceeds the recommended 5,500 MB/s speeds.
One entirely optional step is to go into the System Settings > Storage > Installation Location to choose whether to install PS4 and/or PS5 titles to the Console Storage or M.2 Storage (PS4 titles can be automatically installed to any USB Extended Storage but PS5 titles will have to be manually moved).
Hopefully, this brief tutorial helped to calm any fears you had about opening up the PlayStation 5 and installing your very first M.2 SSD into the console now that the latest firmware update supports it. Did you pick up an SSD that wasn’t on the compatibility list and wanted to share it with our readers? Let us know in the comments below!