Sony PS5 Benchmarked With Samsung 980 Pro PCIe 4 SSD And The Early Results Are Promising

playstation 5 hero
Late last week, Sony released long-awaited beta software that allows PlayStation 5 gamers to take advantage of the empty M.2 slot in their consoles to expand storage with an off-the-shelf PCI 4.0 SSD. The PlayStation 5 comes standard with a non-replaceable 825GB SSD, but it can quickly fill up with games, making further expansion a necessity as more high-profile games come to market.

Now that more PlayStation 5 users are installing the beta software, they're sharing their experience on how performance is shaping up compared to the default SSD. One such user is Redditor DanCTapirson, who decided to test Samsung's impressive 980 Pro PCIe 4.0 SSD. The 980 Pro is rated for up to 7,000 MB/sec sequential reads and 5,000 MB/sec sequential writes.

samsung 980 pro
Using the PlayStation 5's internal benchmarking tools, DanCTapirson achieved results as high as 6,072 MB/sec with a 250GB 980 Pro SSD. However, you would be well advised to heed Sony's warning regarding installing a heatsink on your SSD of choice due to high temperature readings, which were confirmed with these user tests.

DanCTapirson stated that with an ambient temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, idle temperatures for the 980 Pro hovered between 55 to 59 degrees. However, temperatures while writing (i.e., transferring games to the SSD) soared to 74 degrees. Read temperatures weren't much lower at 72 degrees while playing Returnal.

Given these results, he decided to slap on a double-sided aluminum heatsink that was within the clearance specs provided by Sony. With this modification, idle temperatures dropped to around 44 degrees, while read/write temperatures settled at 50 degrees, which is a dramatic improvement.

samsung 980 pro 250gb

As for actual performance, the Samsung 980 Pro was very comparable to the PlayStation 5's internal SSD. Here are DanCTapirson's results in both Returnal and Ratchet and Clank:

Returnal (PlayStation 5 Primary SSD)

  • Time to game 13.45s

Returnal (Samsung 980 Pro)

  • Time to game 13.37s

Ratchet and Clank (PlayStation 5 Primary SSD)

  • Time to menu 7.51s
  • Time to game 1.79s

Ratchet and Clank (Samsung 980 Pro)

  • Time to menu 7.55s
  • Time to game 1.86s

As you can see, gamers shouldn't worry too much about any performance falloffs if they go with a third-party SSD to expand storage. As long as it meets Sony's minimum performance requirements, you should be good to go. Since the PlayStation 5 supports SSDs up to 4TB SSDs, this is a quick and easy way to bring more storage to your console that is just as fast as the internal drive. The only problem is that you're going to pay dearly to hit that 4TB upper limit. For example, the Sabrent 4TB Rocket 4 Plus, which meets Sony's performance metrics, will set you back $999.

Stay tuned for HotHardware's full analysis of user-replaceable PCIe 4.0 SSD performance on the PlayStation 5.