Samsung 980 PRO 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVME M.2 SSD Inside the PS5 Review

For those of you lucky enough to get in on the latest PS5 System Update Beta, Sony was kind enough to unlock the internal 4th Generation M.2 NVME expansion slot. We installed a Samsung 980 PRO 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVME M.2 SSD and after a couple of weeks of use, we are ready to share our thoughts.

 

 

Most folks know that the PS5’s internal storage is very lacking at 667 GB of useful space. You can get an external hard drive and store PS5 games on it, but you’ll have to move the games back over to the internal drive in order to play them again. PS4 games can be stored and played from an external drive, so at least there’s that. With the release of the closed PS5 System beta, though, the internal NVME M.2 expansion slot is unlocked and ready for service.

The Beta Program

The beta program isn’t open to everyone, and required you to sign up in advance for a chance at getting a code for the update. No guarantee you would make it in, but we were lucky enough to snag a code and unlock the long awaited NVME slot. Installation is pretty simple, just make sure the drive meets the minimum requirements and is a Gen 4 SSD. Installing Gen 3 or earlier drives, which will fit into the slot, will result in an error code and your PS5 won’t start until the incompatible drive is removed. PlayStation has put together a comprehensive guide for those that are ready to install their Gen 4 SSD here.

Samsung 980 PRO 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVME M.2

The Samsung 980 PRO 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVME M.2 boasts a built in cooling system using nickel coating and a heat spreader label, but we found that it can get pretty hot when it’s in use, even with that added technology. Sony recommends using a heatsink with any SSD you choose, and even though the Samsung 980 Pro says it has something already in use, you should grab a compatible heatsink for it. We used a laser thermometer and found that the drive, at idle would run around 55 degrees Celsius, but under a full load, started getting pretty hot and would peak in the upper 70s to near 80 degrees Celsius. That’s not cool. With a double sided aluminum heatsink installed, the temps stayed in the mid 40s under a full load.

Transfer speeds and load times were almost identical to the internal drive, with games like WRC 10 and Madden NFL 22 loading just as fast, regardless of where you stored it. Moving games over to the expansion drive was lightning fast as well, with transfer speed in excess of 6K MB/sec. The Samsung 980 Pro comes in several sizes, but those prices go up a lot as the size goes up. As of this writing, the price at Amazon for a 500GB is $149.99, 1TB will cost you $258.14, and 2TB will set you back $342.25. Shopping around might get you a better deal, but with the PS5 update releasing soon, those prices and availability will probably not be in your favor.

Storage space is a huge problem with the PS5, but having this extra 1TB is a huge time saver. Moving games to the external or deleting and re-downloading games later is a huge pain in the butt when you deal with the large volume of games that this website deals with. With the Samsung 980 PRO 1TB SSD, not only does it give us more storage space, it also saves time with lightning fast transfer speeds and the ability to play games just as fast off of it.