Back in mid-September, Sony released an update that enabled PS5 gamers to add a NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) M.2 SSD (solid state drive) to their PS5 console and PS5 Digital consoles. For comparison, PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles only used SATA SSDs and NVMe is said to be up to 25x faster, so they’re worth investing in. This was welcome news as avid gamers were no doubt already maxing the 667GB of usable internal storage with their epic game collections. At the end of October 2021, Samsung came to the table with an M.2 SSD drive with a heatsink to ensure they don’t overheat the PS5. This review focuses on the 1TB Samsung 980 Pro M.2 SSD with heatsink.
For those worried about doing any damage while inside their precious PS5’s, Sony have put together an easy-to-follow video guide on how to remove the case and install these new drives.
Once installed, the PS5 will detect the drive and prompt you to format it ready for use. It took 6.6 seconds to format the drive, so very quick and easy. These M.2 SSDs are used to store and play both PS4 and PS5 games. You can set this new drive as the default install drive by going into Settings > Storage > Installation Location. You can also move any games from your internal drive to the new drive by highlighting the data you want to move, press the Options button, and then select Move Games and Apps.
Do these drives make your games load faster? The theoretical maximum sequential read speeds of the 1TB Samsung 980 Pro M.2 SSD go up to 7,000MB/s and the sequential write speeds up to 5,100MB/s. After formatting the drive, the PS5 has an internal benchmark tool for these drives and mine was rated as a read speed of 5568.748MB/s which I thought was a little low. Prior to moving 2018’s God of War game files between drives, it took 24.88 seconds to load the game from fresh to the game’s menu from the internal drive. Copying God of War from the internal drive to the new M.2 SSD took 35 seconds to move the 45.93GB of data. Then loading God of War from the new drive took 23.56 seconds to get to the game’s menu from a fresh start, so this shows the Samsung drive saved 1.32 seconds of loading time, which doesn’t sound like much but it’s a difference. Interestingly, it took 3 minutes and 18 seconds to transfer God of War back to the internal drive, so a massive difference in copying speeds. Something to consider if you are looking to shift game installs back and forth a lot.
The 1TB Samsung 980 Pro M.2 SSD with heatsink is well worth investing in, but it is an expensive investment at AUD359. Stock looks to be available online through JB Hi-Fi but sites like PLE, MWave and PC Case Gear have them on pre-order. PLE has an ETA of 08/12, MWave’s ETA is 02/12 and PCCG have an ETA of 17/12 for the 1TB versions. There is also a 2TB version but these are more expensive at AUD679. If you are a PS5 exclusive gamer, the 2TB version is giving you triple the space and there’s plenty of amazing games coming out in 2022. This review utilised a unit provided by Edelman.
Written by: @ChrisJInglis