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How to use the PS5’s M.2 SSD expandable storage

by IT paradise

Sony has started beta testing the first software update for the PS5 today, and it includes M.2 SSD expandable storage support. The long-awaited feature is available for testers right now and will launch on all PS5 consoles later this year. We’ll need to test a variety of drives with the PS5, but right now Sony requires at least a PCIe Gen4 SSD, with a minimum capacity of 250GB. Sony is also recommending a drive capable of 5,500MB/s, but slower Gen4 drives may still be supported.

I’ve tested Corsair’s Force MP600 (2TB) with the PS5, which has lower read speeds (4,950MB/s) than Sony recommends, and a colleague confirmed a Sabrent Rocket (500GB, rated at 5,000MB/s) seems to do just fine as well. It’s very easy to get it all up and running in less than two minutes. Here’s how it all works:

  • To use the expandable storage in the PS5, you’ll need to remove the side panels from the console. Make sure you’ve unplugged the power cord, and then follow this really useful YouTube video on how to remove the side panels correctly. It’s a little fiddly, but the PS5 is sturdy, so don’t worry you’re not going to snap the panels.
  • Once you’ve removed both panels, you need to locate the M.2 SSD slot. It’s on the left-hand side of the fan; that’s on the side where the PS5’s disc drive resides. You’ll need a screwdriver to unscrew the cover on the M.2 SSD slot, and to remove a screw that fixes your drive into place.
  • Once the cover has been removed, you’ll find a black screw that Sony has supplied at the very top inside the slot. Unscrew this and use it to hold your SSD into place. Sony recommends using an M.2 SSD with a heatsink, so if you’ve purchased a Gen4 one without one, there are a variety of heatsinks you can purchase to affix to SSDs that will help with cooling.
  • Now that the M.2 SSD is in place, you can put the cover back on the slot and then gently slide the side panels back into place on either side. Reconnect the power cord, and boot up your PS5.
  • If your M.2 SSD isn’t compatible, you’ll be met with a warning from your PS5 that you need a Gen4 drive with at least 256GB of space. Otherwise, you’ll need to go ahead and format the drive for use on the PS5. Make sure you’ve backed up any data on the drive if you’ve been using it in other systems.
  • Formatting took less than 10 seconds on my Corsair Force MP600 (2TB) drive. Once formatting has been completed, the PS5 will quickly test the drive speed and warn you that if you have issues with a game installed on the M.2 SSD, try moving it to the internal storage.
  • You can then freely move installed games over to the M.2 SSD storage, or install new games from the PlayStation Store directly to the storage. During testing, it took around 30 seconds to move Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart from the internal storage to the Corsair Force MP600 Pro (2TB) drive.

Sony’s new PS5 M.2 SSD support is in beta, so we’re still waiting to hear from SSD manufacturers about all the drives supported. Seagate is the first to confirm FireCuda 530 drives are compatible with the PS5, and we’ve tested both Corsair’s Force MP600 and this Sabrent Rocket to confirm they work just fine on the PS5 (albeit without the heatsink attached). We’ll have more details on supported drives as and when manufacturers confirm their list of SSDs.

Update, 4:01PM ET: Added first-hand confirmation that the Sabrent Rocket Gen 4 works as well.

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