PS5 SSD Expansion Enabled In Latest Beta Firmware Update

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Over eight months since its release, Sony is finally rolling out 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 you will need to be signed up to the beta program to download it.

The tests will be important as Sony evaluates different types of SSDs from a variety of manufacturers in order to determine which might be the best options for consumers going forward. This means that there currently isn’t a list of supported SSDs, but rather several parameters Sony has laid out in order to guide you towards one that will work. This includes minimum sequential read speeds limitations, the overall size of the SSD, and whether it can effectively dissipate heat with a heatsink or not.

The specifications 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).
  • (Note: millimeter measurements are the technical standard and are more precise than inches. We recommend double-checking that the total dimensions of M.2 SSD and heatsink products you’re considering meet the millimeter requirements before purchasing)

Sony has also included steps for how to install the SSD, which requires you to remove one of the side panels of your PS5 in order to access the SSD slot.

Some brands, such as Seagate, have already announced existing NVMe SSDs that will be compatible with the PS5. Seagate’s FireCuda M.2 drives come in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB sizes, all of which are compatible with the PS5. They are sold with and without heatsinks, so it’s not exactly clear by Seagate’s announcement which will be preferable in the PS5. The 500GB version without a heatsink starts at $140, increases to $240 for a 1TB model, and reaches $950 for the 4TB model. Adding a heatsink does increase the price of all variations.

Last year when Mark Cerny first revealed the specifications for the PS5, he stressed that Sony would be evaluating individual drives and releasing a list for consumers to make it easy to pick compatible drives for the PS5. In today’s release, Sony adds a disclaimer stating that it cannot ensure that drives that meet the above specifications will work, so it might be best to wait for the dust to settle a bit before you rush out looking for the best deal.

Sony announced this week that the PS5 has sold over 10 million units worldwide since launch, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation console to date.

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