It took a long time but the PlayStation 5’s M.2 SSD port is finally more than a clean little empty and useless slot on the console. It works and tech manufacturers are offering storage options to fit the PS5’s recommended specs. The Samsung 980 Pro w/ PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD is one such option. Already a solid storage upgrade elsewhere, it fits the PS5’s needs well. I took a 2TB version of the Samsung 980 Pro for a spin and found it was easy to install and will offer players a major expansion and solid playability off the drive. You just need to be ready to cover a somewhat bulky cost.
Installing the SSD
Getting everything set up with the Samsung 980 Pro w/ Heatsink 2TB SSD in a PlayStation 5 was fairly stress-free, especially following guides like the one we have right here at Shacknews on how to install an SSD in a PS5. One thing I’d reiterate upon from the installation instructions is that you should make absolutely sure your PS5 is turned all the way off (not Sleep Mode) and be sure to touch some metal beforehand to discharge static electricity so as not to damage the console or the SSD.
From there, it’s a breezy process. Slide the appropriate side panel off the PS5, open the M.2 slot’s cover with a Phillips #1 head screwdriver, remove the similar screw inside the port, and put both the screw and the spacer aside. Then you install the Samsung 980 Pro, replace the spacer and screw at the appropriate hole to fasten it, and fasten both the M.2 Slot cover and side panel back onto the console. Once you turn your console back on, the PS5 will automatically recognize the new SSD in the port and ask you to format it. Once you do, you can begin using the Samsung 980 Pro as a destination for installing and playing new games.
The process was extremely easy for me with all of the proper tools on hand. From beginning to end, I was able to install the Samsung 980 Pro into my PS5, boot up the console, and format the drive for use in around 30 minutes. It should likely be as easy with most compatible SSDs, but the Samsung 980 Pro w/ Heatsink’s uniquely covered design also means that it’s difficult to touch any sensitive parts you shouldn’t on the device. That makes for a clean and mostly risk-free install.
How does it play?
The Samsung 980 Pro w/ Heatsink is a workhorse, easily exceeding the PlayStation 5’s recommended expectations. Where the console asks for a read speed of about 5,500MB/s, my PS5 reported that the Samsung 980 Pro’s read speed was sitting at around over 5,900 (at rest without anything to work on) right out of the box. Moreover, its built-in heatsink design means not having to worry about heat build-up degrading it or messing anything up when you’re playing games off of it for hours.
What does that translate to? Well, immediately after I locked it in and got it set up, I downloaded Deathloop, Ghost of Tsushima, and Tales of Arise onto it and began playing them off of the Samsung 980 Pro. Each game performed entirely as it was supposed to, loading lightning fast and keeping action and visual performance going without any noticeable difference from playing off the PS5’s built-in SSD. It also runs as quiet as can be alongside the PS5’s already extremely quiet design.
In a world where games demand massive amounts of our hard drive space, such as Call of Duty Warzone’s greedy 150GB+ file size and even the entire Hitman Trilogy sitting at just under 100GBs, the Samsung 980 Pro is undoubtedly a boon. I’m happy to not have to pick and choose which games I’ll need to delete when I want to play something new. The only thing that gives me pause is the price. The Samsung 980 Pro w/ Heatsink SSD costs a pretty penny. The 2TB retailed at $449.99, though you can find the price slashed to $349.99 at Samsung’s website and several other retailers. There’s also a 1TB version that started at $249.99 and has been slashed to $189.99. Either way though, you’re looking at a near $200 price tag for the upgrade. It was worth it to me, but wallets will vary.
Potent storage & peak performance at a price
The Samsung 980 Pro w/ Heatsink is excellent in a lot of ways. I’ve hated uninstalling and reinstalling games on the PS5’s somewhat slim built-in storage for a while and was thrilled to finally upgrade it. What’s more, both the PS5 and the Samsung 980 Pro’s combined designs made for an incredibly easy install when instructions were followed with the right tools. Setting it up as my new primary install location was also easy and I jumped right into storing some of the games I couldn’t keep in my main storage on there. Finally, they play just as they should, running admirably off of the Samsung 980 Pro’s overachieving tech. It’s a rather hefty price tag that will likely decide if all of this is worth it, but if you’re looking to upgrade your PS5, the Samsung 980 Pro w/ Heatsink is a hassle-free and functional choice.
This review is based on a sample product supplied by the manufacturer. The Samsung 980 Pro w/ Heatsink PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD is available in 1TB and 2TB options on the Samsung website, as well as at participating retailers.