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Video shows what happens when you buy a too slow SSD for your PS5 storage expansion

The PlayStation 5 appears to be not as picky as Sony's SSD requirements for the console's storage upgrade would suggest (Image: Werde Severin)
The PlayStation 5 appears to be not as picky as Sony's SSD requirements for the console's storage upgrade would suggest (Image: Werde Severin)
Sony has pretty clear requirements when it comes to the read speed of SSDs that can be used to expand the storage of its next-gen PlayStation 5 console. In a new video, Digital Foundry has now tested what exactly happens to the console's gaming performance when you install a PCIe 4.0 SSD that does not meet Sony's required specs.

Sony last week officially released a major firmware update for its next-gen console, the PlayStation 5, which includes many fixes and changes. For many gamers, the most important change is probably the activation of the PS5's M.2 SSD slot, which means that PlayStation 5 players can finally upgrade and expand their console's storage. Sony requires that these compatible SSDs meet certain criteria, but a new video has now explored what happens when you use a too slow SSD to upgrade your PS5 storage. Does the PS5's gaming performance really suffer from low SSD read speeds?

In order to answer this intriguing question, Digital Foundry has run comparable benchmarks on PS5s with the slow PCIe 4.0 SSD Western Digital SN750 SE 250GB and its ultra fast counterpart, the 1TB Western Digital SN850 (from US$179 on Amazon). With sequential read speeds of only 3,200MB/s, the WD SN750 SE does not even remotely meet Sony's requirement of at least 5,500MB/s.

No issues with a slow SSD for the PS5 storage expansion

Even though the WD SN750 SE is clearly not up to spec, Digital Foundry has found no problems with the PS5's gaming performance when it ran the storage intensive Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart. The benchmarked frames per second do not differ from the much faster but also more expensive WD SN850. Not even the loading times are considerably slower with the SN750 SE, only the process of copying game data to the slower drive takes a lot longer.

In conclusion, you can absolutely use a slower PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD for your PlayStation 5 storage expansion without compromising the system's gaming performance. However, Digital Foundry warns that upcoming titles may rely on the full speed of the PS5's storage, which could theoretically lead to performance issues in the future.

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Enrico Frahn
Editor of the original article: Enrico Frahn - Tech Writer - 938 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2021
My fascination for technology goes back a long way to the Pentium II era. Modding, overclocking and treasuring computer hardware has since become an integral part of my life. As a student, I further developed a keen interest in mobile technologies that can make the stressful college life so much easier. After I fell in love with the creation of digital content while working in a marketing position, I now scour the web to bring you the most exciting topics in the world of tech. Outside the office, I’m particularly passionate about motorsports and mountain biking.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 09 > Video shows what happens when you buy a too slow SSD for your PS5 storage expansion
Enrico Frahn, 2021-09-22 (Update: 2021-09-23)