Getting a console is much more straightforward than building yourself a gaming PC. Consoles come packed with powerful hardware for the price, and games tend to run better on them since developers exclusively design games for consoles’ specifications.
PlayStation 5 will ship with a fast 825GB SSD, aiming to reduce loading times to unimaginably low levels. While the storage sizes look enough to house many games, some titles’ installation sizes make it look like the PS5 could use a hand when it comes to storage. If the Demon Souls’ remastered version’s file size of 66GB is any indication for future games, the chances you may not have enough space to store all of your favorite games locally at the same time.
Considering you still have to do quite a bit of downloading with disc versions of games, external storage solutions will, once again, be the greatest ally of gamers who continuously switch between games to keep it fresh. Keeping an external SSD or an HDD will allow you to keep your game library at an arm’s reach. External storage solutions especially come in handy if you’re planning to go on a holiday with your console but are not sure whether you’d have internet access. You can just stack up as many games as you like and even transfer them to your PS5 by deleting the games you’ve completed.
You’ll need to consider whether you need the maximum amount of storage or loading speeds while shopping for an external storage device. Once you have that checked, it’s essential to ensure that you choose a decent size for your needs. Portability also comes at a price, and going bulkier can sometimes yield more storage.
Here are the best SSDs and HDDs that will take your PS5 to the next level.
Western Digital is one of the oldest players in the storage industry. The company is a dominating force both in the external and internal storage markets and usually offers excellent value for your buck.
My Passport series features a professional look, and it’s quite hard to distinguish it as an external hard drive from a distance. There are a total of four storage size options you can go with the My Passport: one, two, four, and 5TB. The price tag scales with the storage, and each model comes with a reading speed of 130 megabits per second alongside a writing speed of 124 megabits per second.
My Passport is also one of the easier drives to back up, thanks to Western Digital’s cloud storage and 256-AES encryption. While the writing and reading speeds are nowhere close to an SSD, this drive is just a terrific multipurpose alternative to have if you’re looking to use your external storage solution for non-gaming related purposes as well.
The hard drive’s non-gamer look allows it to blend in with almost every environment you take it to, and it frequently goes on sale as well.
Estimated dimensions: 4.22 by 0.75 by 2.95 inches
It’s hard not to get spoiled by the revolutionary speed advantage SSDs have over HDDs. Though everyone enjoys fast loading times, the bump in the speed department racks up the price tag quite a bit. You can always get more storage with HDDs for the price of an SSD, but if you know how much space you need and favor writing/reading speeds, no HDD can beat an SSD.
Portable SSDs like Samsung T5 feature the same characteristics with HDDs and start working right after you plug them in via your PS5’s USB port. The T5 comes with three different storage options ranging from 500GB to 2TB. While the choices seem limited, effectively doubling your console’s storage size isn’t an easy feat to dismiss.
Each version of T5 offers writing and reading speeds up to 540 megabits per second. Another thing you may notice about portable SSDs is that they’re much smaller than most HDDs. This gives them a huge advantage when it comes to physically storing them.
Estimated dimensions: 2.91 by 0.41 by 2.26 inches
Sometimes it can be better to go with a thematic option. Seagate loves shipping its external hard drives with skins that fit the look of your console. It even has one for Xbox and recently teamed up with Sony for a Last of Us II-themed hard drive.
Seagate’s Game Drive comes with two different storage options at two and 4TB. The PlayStation and the Last of Us II themed versions are only available at 2TB of storage, however, and you’ll get the standard design of the Game Drive at 4TB.
All versions of the Game Drive come feature reading and writing 140 megabits per second. While the Xbox version of the drive comes with a one-month long Xbox Game Pass membership, the PS version doesn’t come with any extras.
Estimated dimensions: 4.47 by 0.38 by 2.99 inches
Most of the storage options on our list may not be enough for you if you have a gigantic library that you’d like to keep installed all the time in case of an apocalypse. Years of games can easily take more than 5TB in storage, so you’ll need something bulky to store everything.
Western Digital’s My Book Desktop external hard drive has storage options ranging from three to 14TB. Considering the file sizes of next-gen titles, you may never know when you’ll run out of storage, and future-proofing yourself for the next century is never a bad sales pitch.
My Book series still performs quite well when it comes to reading and writing speeds at 190 megabits per second for both of them, which is rare to see on hard drives with large capacities.
You can even set up your personalized password with the help of the built-in 250-bit AES hardware encryption system, a great way to secure your files if you also use your portable hard drive when you are out and about.
Estimated dimensions: 6.70 by 1.90 by 5.50 inches
Getting a portable SSD isn’t the only way to up your storage game with fast loading times. Considering how expensive portable SSDs can get, a make-shift one can be a better option for gamers on a tight budget.
Samsung 860 EVO is one of the most popular SSDs on the market because of its excellent price-performance ratio. Coming in at four different sizes ranging from 250GB to 4TB, 860 EVO features a compact design. You’ll need to pair it up with a USB 3.0 enclosure, however, to plug it into your PS5, and those usually cost around $5 to $10.
USB enclosures are relatively simple products, and you’ll only need to plug in your SSD inside. Once you close the lid, you’ll be able to start using your SATA SSDs like portable drives.
All 860 EVO models offer writing speeds up to 550 megabits per second, and 520 megabits per second when it comes to reading speeds.
Estimated dimensions: 3.94 by 0.27 by 2.76 inches
Product names are tricky. Most companies enjoy complicating things by pushing absurdly long names, which only confuses the end-customer. Seagate, on the other hand, prefers keeping it simple. The only thing you need to know about the portable Barracuda is that it’s “fast.”
Like Samsung’s hat in the portable SSD ring, Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD comes with three different storage sizes. Seagate advertises writing and reading speeds of 540 megabits per second for the three models with the capacity of 500GB, one, and 2TB. Don’t be surprised if you get slightly lower real-life values, though, since the conditions Seagate runs, these tests will be quite different than yours. The user-tested results put the portable Barracuda around the 460 megabits per second mark for both writing and reading speeds, which is quite decent.
It looks quite lowkey and features sleek aesthetics. In addition to the typical USB-C to USB Type-A cable, you’ll also get a USB-C to USB-C cord, which means you won’t need a converter to connect your portable drive to USB-C devices.
Estimated dimensions: 3.68 by 0.36 by 3.11 inches
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