Installing PS5 SSD Upgrade (easier than you think)

Installing PS5 SSD Upgrade (easier than you think)

Since receiving my PlayStation 5 in November of last year, I’ve repeatedly filled the usable 667GB of its one terabyte drive to the brim. I’ve kept the PS4 console at least 80% filled at all times, between massive new games, older PS4 titles I’ve been meaning to explore, and filmed movies. I’ve had to delete numerous games I wanted to play for pleasure to make place for games I needed to play for work, and while I keep promising myself that I’ll get back to them, there’s that whole out of sight, out of mind thing.

I chose the 980 Pro because it is ridiculously fast, with sequential read speeds of up to 7,000 MB/s (megabytes per second) and write speeds of 5,000 MB/s. While the 980 Pro comes in both one and two terabyte sizes, I went with the smaller because the more room I have the more garbage I will never play winds up on my console. You should see my Switch. I added a single terabyte and it is a nightmare.

The only thing scary about opening up my PS5 console was the bugs. We’re currently in the process of moving from a run-down, bug-infested apartment to a fresh, new house. Game consoles, with their warmth and cramped interiors, are bug magnets. I refrained from taking pictures before going at the PS5’s insides with alcohol wipes and compressed air, but that does not mean I do not have nightmarish images burned into my brain. Clean your consoles regularly, kids. Don’t be a Fahey.

I wantedchose the model with the heatsink, which goes on sale October 29 (Samsung provided an early-access part for evaluation), because I didn’t want to have to hunt down a separate heatsink. I didn’t want to risk getting one that was too tall for the PS5’s M.2 drive slot or have to worry about putting it on the right way. Compared to the non-heatsink version of the 980 Pro it’s around $20 more, $230 versus $250. I wouldn’t mind paying an extra $20 for a little less hassle.

Story Highlights

  • Sony eventually updated the PlayStation 5 firmware last month to include support for external storage using NVMe M.2 solid-state drives (that is, the latest, fast models of SSDs). While it’s not quite as simple as popping up the lid and sliding a chip, the process is rather simple with the correct hardware and a single little Phillips head screwdriver, even if you’re tied to a hospital bed like me.

  • And so I decided to upgrade. As soon as the system update enabling SSDs dropped, I started shopping. Then I stopped, because Sony suggested we use a heatsink with whichever drive we installed, and I was confused as to which SSD and heatsink went together. Then Samsung announced a version of its excellent 980 Pro SSD that came with its own heatsink preinstalled, and the game was back on.

I’m just going to give a quick overview of the upgrade process here. If you want something detailed and step-by-step, check out Sony’s instruction page. The first thing you need to do is unplug the PS5 and turn it upside down, or right-side up if you’re Ari Notis. Turn the console so the power button is facing away from you. Grip the bottom-right corner of the white cover with your right hand, the top-left with your left hand. Then simply pull up with your right hand and the cover lifts off. Note that I did all of this with the console standing on its side since I am in a bed and not exactly in a position to hunch over a workbench.

Next, clean off all of the bug dirt inside, or at least as much as you can, while loudly complaining to your spouse who is trying to sleep. Make gagging noises. Ask them to find a can of compressed air. Curse at mother nature.