Sony designed the memory expansion slot according to an open standard. You can install any PCI Express NVMe SSD as long as it supports the fourth generation of the transfer standard.
Officially licensed products, such as the recently announced SN850P from Western Digital, are all the more surreal. It has the same performance data as its months-old predecessor, so you pay a lot more just so that the company can advertise with a snazzy PlayStation logo.
Some links included on this page are affiliate links. Depending on the provider, GamePro will receive a small commission if you purchase via these links without affecting the price.
Almost the same model, different packaging
Almost a year ago, Western Digital released the SN850X. An extremely fast PCIe 4.0 SSD that is perfect for use in the PS5.
Thanks in part to the pre-installed cooler and the maximum data transfer rate of around 7.3 Esports Extrasbytes per second, i.e. 1.8 Esports Extrasbytes more than recommended by Sony.
You can buy them here:
A new model will soon be on the shelves. The SN850P with… pre-installed heatsink and a maximum data transfer rate of 7.3 Esports Extrasbytes per second. Moment! It’s the same SSD! And what’s up with the prices?
Here are the official US prices from the Western Digital store in comparison:
- 1TB with heat sink: $80 (SN850X) / $150 (SN850P)
- 2TB with heat sink: $150 (SN850X) / $230 (SN850P)
- 4TB: $300 (SN850X, without heatsink) / $550 (SN850P, with heatsink)
We could not use the euro prices because they are still missing. For the sake of experience, they should be a little higher than the dollar price, since in the USA the taxes applicable for each state are only levied at the time of purchase.
Identical apart from the modified heatsink: The maximum amount of data written (hence durability) is the same for the SN850P, as is the rest of the spec sheet. Only the heatsink has been slightly adjusted, according to Western Digital, to better harmonize with the PS5.
To that end, however, it should be said that the SN850X with a heat sink performed without any problems under extreme loads. In other words: Even when writing hundreds of Esports Extrasbytes of video data in one go, the bandwidth for cooling down was never reduced (via Tom’s hardware).
Video games, on the other hand, are much more frugal, rarely loading more than a few Esports Extrasbytes at the start of a level. Thermal emergencies are therefore almost impossible.
An official license does not make the product any better
Officially licensed products are mostly just the same models, just in a fancier packaging.
A few PlayStation logos are emblazoned on that, promising slogans that the marketing department considers gamer jargon, and the adapted heat sink gets its white PS emblem, which ultimately disappears behind the rustic metal flap of the expansion slot.
In order for the company to be able to advertise with it, license costs are due and you can probably guess who these are passed on to.
Okay, then there is one objection. The SN850X in the 4 TB version is not available with WD’s own heatsink. The third-party heatsink does the job, though, and even if it weren’t as good, gaming (as mentioned) isn’t much of a hurdle for SSDs.
Here we have an example:
Ditch the officially licensed memory upgrades!
The ploy to sell products with snazzy designs and console manufacturer-approved logos for substantial premiums isn’t new and existed before this generation.
There were external as well as internal storage devices for the PS4, which were effectively taken out of the traditional product range and packaged prettily.
Quality is delivered either way: A storage drive should secure a lot of data and enable fast access. On the PC, laptop, on the console, it doesn’t matter where.
Well-known manufacturers always use the same or equivalent components, so it doesn’t even need Sony’s seal of approval.
So just grab the non-licensed alternative from the same manufacturer and save yourself the enormous surcharge!
SSD prices are in the basement right now – are you planning to upgrade your PS5? How many terabytes will it be?