The Sony PlayStation 5 is definitely the console of choice amongst gamers and while it has been hard to get a hold of, those who managed to get a console definitely feel the hype was worth it. The only downside to the PS5 is the internal storage, which is limited to 667GB of usable space, a tiny amount when you factor in the size of next-gen games. For example, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War takes up 283GB, while Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut takes up 91GB.
Suffice to say, running out of storage is an easy to achieve feat on the PS5, and the biggest frustration has been that Sony does not allow PS5 games to be run off of external hard disks (for obvious reasons) and the built-in NVMe slot was disabled. Until Now. Sony recently released a firmware update that unlocked the NVMe slot on the PS5, allowing users to finally upgrade the storage on their consoles.
Choosing the right drive
You can’t just use any NVMe drive on the PS5. The NVMe SSD has to be a Gen4 SSD, and it should ideally also come with a built-in heat sink. Believe it or not, NVMe drives can run extremely hot, and with frequent read-write operations, the drives do require some form of cooling. Heatsinks help take the heat away from the NAND chips, passively cooling the drive. This is important on the PS5 as the slot where you would slot in the NVMe drive does not seem to get any airflow. However, even if you get a Gen4 SSD with a heat sink, there’s no guarantee it will work. You see, you need to get a drive that meets Sony’s requirement of 7000MB/s read speeds. This is peak performance, one delivered only by some of the most top-end NVMe SSDs, so for our use, we chose the Seagate FireCuda 530.
The Seagate FireCuda 530 features an advertised read speed of 7000MB/s and also comes with a sleek heatsink that’s been designed by EK. EK is a very well known name in the custom water-cooling world, so they definitely know a thing or two about cooling. The drive itself is incredibly sleek with a very minimal design.
Upgrading the PS5
Adding an NVMe drive to the PS5 is incredibly easy, almost as easy as adding one to a PC. You simply pop off the support bracket and then slide the bottom panel off. This will reveal the NVMe slot, which is covered by a metal plate. Unscrew the plate, slide the drive-in and screw the plate back in place followed by putting the side cover back on. It is literally that simple.
Using the NVMe Drive in your PS5 and its performance
After you’ve installed the drive, boot up your PS5. If you’ve got the right drive, the boot screen will ask you to format the drive to be used with the PS5. Once done, you now have additional storage on your console. If you would like to install all future games on the NVMe drive, you can set those preferences from the settings menu if you’d like.
Once everything was set up, we moved our entire game library to the NVMe drive. Then, we fired up God of War and played through for an hour and noticed absolutely zero hiccups. The experience of gaming was as smooth as you’d expect from the internal storage of the PS5, so its understandable why Sony set the standard so high for NVMe drives. A game like God of War, which has no loading screens, would leave players with an unpleasant experience if there were stutters or unwanted pauses while gaming. Our Seagate FireCuda530 also holds up to prolonged gaming and installations processes very well. So far, we’ve installed close to 750GB worth of games and have not seen any adverse impact on performance, which is high praise for any drive.
Seagate FireCuda530 Price and Should you buy
Our 1TB Seagate FireCuda530 drive can be found online for anything between Rs 21,000-23,000. The Seagate 1TB expansion card for the Xbox Series X also costs nearly the same amount, with a slight premium associated with it for its proprietary nature. If you need the extra storage, this drive makes complete sense because any other drive of this capacity and calibre will either cost you the same, or more. The added advantage of the Seagate drive is that it comes with a complimentary 3-year data rescue plan, which means that in the event of a drive failure, you can opt for data recovery and it would be taken care of by Seagate. Now it’s doubtful you would be able to recover any PS5 related data, but if down the line you ever decided to move the drive to a PC, then data recovery is definitely an option. The added value of something like this makes the Seagate FireCuda530 a more value for money proposition than its competitors.