Best External Hard Drive for PS5 – Our Top Picks & Reviews

The gaming community is buzzing with excitement over the PS5 and for good reason.

Some of the many questions people have about the PS5 is to do with storage. Specifically, people want to know if it’s possible to use an external hard drive with a PS5 to boost the storage, and if existing PS4 external hard drives can still be used with the new console.

The good news is that the answer to both of those questions is, technically, yes.

This is fortunate for gamers because the storage size isn’t exactly massive on the new PlayStation and games certainly are – especially games made for the PS5’s stunning 8K resolution.

There is one downside, but we’ll get to that shortly.

We’re going to start with some of the best external hard drives you can buy right now for the PS5, then we’ll answer some of the most common PS5 external storage questions.

 

The Best External Hard Drives for PlayStation 5

ProductCapacityTypeOur Rating
Samsung T5 SSD500GB-2TBSSD5.0
WD Elements Portable Hard Drive1TB-5TBHDD4.6
WD Black P10 Game Drive2TB-5TBHDD4.9
VectoTech Rapid 4TB1TB-4TBSSD4.6
FD Fantom Drive GForce 3500GB-16TBHDD4.7
Seagate Playstation Game Drive1TB-5TBHDD4.5
Seagate Backup Plus Hub4TB-10TBHDD4.6
G-Technology ArmorATD1TB-5TBHDD4.7

 

Samsung T5 SSD

  • Capacity: 1 TB (Also comes in 500 GB, and 2TB variants)
  • Dimensions: 2.3 x 0.40 x 3.0 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Speed: 540 MB/s
  • Interface: USB 3.0, USB-C, USB-A

The Samsung T5 might very well be the best external PS5 SSD that’s currently available. The electronics giant is now one of the top names in SSDs, and the T5 is one of their top products to date.

The T5 successfully offers the best of what an SSD can be. You get a slim, portable 1TB drive that comes in a variety of colors, each one to suit your specific style. It’s not the most outrageous design around, but we do like its minimalistic style.

The T5 is amazingly slim. It’s no larger than a business card, and can easily fit in the palm of your hand. It’s great as your go-to portable drive when transferring game data from one console to the other.

Performance wise, you can look forward to 540 MB/s transfer speeds, which is easily 4x – 5x that of an HDD. Because the PS5 uses an SSD, getting an external SSD for PS5 is the standout option – and your choices are very limited.

Like any SSD, the Samsung T5 is way more durable than its fragile HDD counterpart. Its shockproof shell can survive a fall of up to 2 meters.

The T5 has some good security features like password protection and AES 256-bit encryption.

With 1TB in PS5 storage, we feel this size offers the best value for money. It more than doubles the number of games you can store on the console. If that’s not enough, you can opt for the larger 2TB model. There is also a smaller 500GB version which is very affordable, though 1TB is definitely the sweet spot for most gamers.

The Samsung T5 offers great value and functionality and is worth getting for the next-gen consoles.

Pros

  • Fast transfer speeds of 540 MB/s
  • Shockproof up to 2 meters
  • Good value for money for an SSD

Cons

  • SSDs are more expensive than HDDs

Our Rating: 5.0 / 5

 

WD Elements Portable Hard Drive

  • Capacity: 4 TB (Also comes in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, and 5TB variants)
  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 3.2 x 0.59 inches
  • Weight: 8.3 ounces
  • Speed: 5,400 RPM
  • Interface: USB 3.0, USB 2.0

Western Digital’s Elements line is still one of its most popular external hard drives, and one of the best storage space from any brand. The reason why it’s so fantastic is that it manages to combine a generous capacity, good performance, and affordable cost.

If you’re looking for an external HDD you can use immediately upon the PS5 launch, the Elements is a good candidate. The 4TB capacity is certainly generous enough that you can squeeze plenty of A-list titles there.

We also like its form factor, which is slim and easily portable. You can pretty much place and store it anywhere you, please. It’s not designed to be shockproof or waterproof, but it’s nevertheless pretty rugged in its own right.

Performance wise, it works as advertised. The speed is at around a steady 100 MB/s. Not too blazingly fast, but not sluggish, either. Plus, transfer speeds really won’t matter much when you use it with a PS5, as you can’t play PS5 games directly from it anyway.

Of course, the best thing about the Elements drive is its price. You’re looking at a cost per GB in the low $0.02 for the 4TB variant. Yup, it won’t leave a further dent in the big hole the PS5 will leave come launch time late this year.

Overall, though, the WD Elements is the best external HDD for the PS5. The only thing we’d worry about is the included subpar cable. Be sure to get a spare cable to save yourself the hassle.

Pros

  • One of the most affordable PS5 storage space solutions currently available
  • Slim and portable form factor
  • 4 TB size is a sweet spot for PS5 use

Cons

  • Lower quality USB cable

Our Rating: 4.6 / 5.0

 

WD Black P10 Game Drive

  • Capacity: 5 TB (Also comes in 2TB and 4TB variants)
  • Dimensions: 4.65 x 3.46 x 0.82 inches
  • Weight: 0.51 lbs
  • Speed: 5,400 RPM
  • Interface: USB 3.0, USB 2.0

If the Elements drive isn’t rugged or edgy enough for you, check their P10 Game Drive out. It’s a part of their WD Black line of external drives designed specifically for gaming.

The P10 features an enclosure that uses a combination of durable hard plastic and metallic parts to ensure the best protection for the internal drive. It also gives the P10 a distinct, futuristic look. The visual design is perfect for gamers on the go, who want to be caught with the coolest-looking gear possible!

Speed wise, the P10 also achieves above-average numbers. It can transfer game data at around 130 MB/s, which is a step above what most run-of-the-mill hard drives offer. You can run any PS5 game straight from the drive.

The P10 is made for the marathon gamer. It has fantastic cooling capabilities, which means it won’t overheat even after day-long gaming sessions. It does produce a slight humming sound when used for such an extended period, but it’s by no means annoying.

The 5TB space, which is the maximum the P10 can offer, is also a good sweet spot in our opinion. PS5 game file and asset sizes will no doubt balloon up, so having a drive with a capacity this generous is a good move.

Best of all, it includes a nice three-year warranty, so you’ll most likely use this drive well into your ownership of a PS5. Overall, above average specs, reliability, and durability make the WD_Black P10 Drive a good PS5 companion.

Pros

  • Quick transfer speeds
  • Small 2.5” form factor
  • Rugged and durable outer casing

Cons

  • Produces a noticeable humming sound

Our Rating: 4.8 / 5.0

 

VectoTech Rapid 4TB

  • Capacity: 4 TB (Also comes in 1TB, and 2TB variants)
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 3.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Speed: 540 MB/s
  • Interface: USB 3.0, USB-C, USB-A

VectoTech combines the raw speed of an SSD, and the storage capacity in their Rapid 4 TB SSD drive. The result is one of the top SSDs for the PS5, especially when it comes to capacity.

Indeed, the 4TB is currently considered to be the sweet spot for most people’s console gaming needs. And while the PS5 will undoubtedly demand more, the Rapid’s capacity is large enough to be your go to storage hub, until at least a few months into the PS5’s lifespan.

Apart from the size, the Rapid is just like any other SSD. It offers transfer speeds of 540 MB/s, roughly at par with that of the T5.

What’s good about the Rapid drive, though, is its durability and visual design. Whereas the T5 sported multi-colored casings, the Rapid has a hard 1050 grade aluminum enclosure. Not only does it make the thing look elegant, it’s also scratch proof and shockproof up to a max height of 6 feet. It can also operate at a wide temperature range from -25C up to 85C. In short, it’s an exceptionally rugged SSD you can haul around.

So if you’re looking for a fast SSD drive to store all your PS5 games, the VectoTech Rapid 4TB is one pick you can’t go wrong.

Pros

  • Increased durability than most SSDs
  • Elegant and edgy aluminum enclosure
  • 4TB capacity

Cons

  • Expensive, especially if you plan on getting a high-speed PS5 SSD in the future.

Our Rating: 4.6 / 5

 

FD Fantom Drive GForce 3

  • Capacity: 8 TB (available in variants from 500GB to 16TB)
  • Dimensions: 4.75 x 1.75 x 4.75 inches
  • Weight: 2.50 lbs
  • Speed: 7,200 RPM
  • Interface: USB 3.0, USB 2.0

The Fantom Drives are still one of the best external hard drive for PS5 when it comes to storage capacity. This line of 7,200 RPM drives run the gamut from 500GB all the way to 16TB. If you need storage space, you’ll find it here.

The FD is a desktop unit which will fit right in sitting beside your new PS5 console. It sports a 7,200 RPM drive, giving it a good leg up over the vast majority of 5,400 RPM drives. It’s not as fast as an SSD, but you do get cheaper storage space in return.

And when it comes to storage, the FD gives you plenty of flexibility indeed. But in our opinion, 8 TB is about as high as a PS5 owner will need.

The drive itself features a solid black aluminum casing, which acts as a protective outer shell for shielding the delicate electronics from outside harm. More than aesthetics, however, the aluminum casing also dissipates heat efficiently, cooling the drive without the need for noisy fans. This has the desirable side effect of keeping these drives relatively quiet during operation.

Overall, with the reliability and wide storage options available for the FD Fantom Drive, it stands as one of the best external hard drives for Playstation 5.

Pros

  • Fast 7,200 RPM hard drive
  • Wide range of capacities available
  • Quiet operation
  • Cools efficiently without the need for fans

Cons

  • More expensive

Our Rating: 4.7 / 5

 

Seagate Playstation Game Drive

  • Capacity: 4 TB (Also comes in 2TB variant)
  • Dimensions: 4.47 x 2.99 x 0.38 inches
  • Weight: 4.75 ounces
  • Speed: 5,400 RPM
  • Interface: USB 3.0, USB 2.0

Seagate’s PlayStation Game Drive is the official Sony external hard drive originally for the PS4, but works extremely well with the PS5 as well.

For one thing, this Game Drive features a generous 4TB capacity. 4K games, and even 8K games on the PS5, are notoriously space hungry. We’re expecting this drive to be just as usable with the next gen console.

As its core, the Game Drive is an external hard drive with above average transfer speeds. Featuring a USB 3.0 connection, it does make playing games off the drive fast.

The only thing that might turn you off? Well, the Game Drive sports the original blue and black theme of the older console. This is in sharp contrast to the white color scheme of the PS5, so visually this hard drive might clash with it. But, if you’re not a purist and you don’t mind the look so long as it works, then it’s all good!

Overall, the Seagate Game Drive is as straightforward as it gets. It’s plusses get diminished when paired with a PS5, but this external hard drive is still a solid performer.

Pros

  • Official Sony-approved external hard drive
  • Generous 4 TB capacity
  • Fast data transfer speeds

Cons

  • Expensive compared to most drives

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

 

Seagate Backup Plus Hub

  • Capacity: 8 TB (Also comes in 4TB, 6TB, and 10TB variants)
  • Dimensions: 4.65 x 1.61 x 7.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.34 lbs
  • Speed: 5,400 RPM
  • Interface: USB 3.0

The Seagate Backup Plus Hub is Seagate’s line of high capacity, external desktop hard drives.

The “Hub” designation is likely due to the two USB 3.0 ports in the drive’s front. Not only does it free up the USB port it uses on your console, but it adds another one. You can use it to charge your Dualshock controllers. Now, whether it will support direct connections of game devices to the PS5 via this hard drive, we’ll have to wait and see.

The Backup Plus Hub is also good to have for future proofing your PS5 storage woes. 8TB might be close to the limit of what the PS5 can handle. At any rate, 8TB puts you in a very good place.

Performance wise, the 5,400 RPM drive surprisingly cranks data speeds up to 170 MB/s. And there’s a good chance you can see even faster speeds once you hook it up to the PS5’s USB 3.0 ports.

The physical appearance of the drive features a shiny black enclosure with grills to help dissipate heat. Despite not having any fans, the Backup Plus Hub remained surprisingly cool even after a long copying session.

Overall, we think the Seagate Backup Plus Hub is the best external hard drive for PS5 if you’re looking for a long term, storage solution.

Pros

  • Two USB 3.0 ports on the front
  • Large capacity
  • Above average transfer speeds (compared to other HDDs)

Cons

  • Slight noise during extended operation

Our Rating: 4.6 / 5

 

G-Technology ArmorATD

  • Capacity: 5 TB (Also comes in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB variants)
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.46 x 1.18 inches
  • Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Speed: 5,400 RPM
  • Interface: USB 3.0, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3

The G-Technology ArmorATD is one of the more durable external hard drives out there. After all, if your drive is named “All Terrain Drive” (ATD), you know you’re in for a treat.

And as the name suggests, this is a drive that you can safely haul around anywhere. It has a shockproof casing that can resist up to 1,000 lbs of force, and this durability extends up to the inside of the drive with triple layer protection. It’s also dust and rain proof with an IP54 rating.

The ArmorATD also features fast USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports. The latter is of course useless with the PS5, but the former is. At the very least, you can expect faster copy speeds.

The drive features a generous capacity which ranges from 1TB to 5TB. The 5 TB size, however, is one which we feel is a good sweet spot without having to shell out a fortune.

Because it’s very portable and versatile, the G-Technology ArmorATD will most likely be your personal all-purpose drive, and not just specifically for use with the PS5. It’s certainly a good purchase that combines durability, space, and price point.

Pros

  • Exceptional durability and shockproof outer shell
  • IP54 dust and rain proof
  • Compatible with USB 3.0 and USB-C ports

Cons

  • Heavy

Our Rating: 4.7 / 5

 

How to Increase PS5 Storage

Unfortunately you only have a couple of options if you’re wanting to know how to increase storage on PS5; delete games, or invest in some external PS5 storage. The good news is that we’ve found a selection of exceptional value PS5 hard drives and listed them above. You don’t have to spend a fortune here as there are a good range of budget options.

 

Do External Hard Drives Work with PS5?

You can’t play PS5 games directly from external storage like you used to be able to. However, with rapid transfer speeds, you can store games and move them between the console and storage if you ever want to in a matter of minutes, removing huge download times to re-download deleted games. Also, thanks to backwards compatibility, you can still play PS4 games on your PS5 directly from your external hard drive.

 

How Big is the PS5 Storage?

With the drastic jump in gaming performance with the PS5 (including support for real-time ray tracing and 4K graphics), it’s no surprise that disk space on the upcoming console will get a boost as well.

And what a boost it will be!

The PS5 will use a custom 825 GB solid state drive (SSD) that’s unlike any drive available in the market. The 825 size is also a big break from storage size conventions, and the only drive known to offer that unique capacity. It’s capable of data transfer speeds of around 5.5 GB/s, which can throttle up to 8 – 9 GB/s when using the PS5’s unique data compression techniques. This is around 100 times faster than the 5,400 RPM HDD of the PS4.

SSD was at the top of most game developer’s wishlist for the new console to allow for better real-time graphics output. That’s why Sony went to great lengths to make it happen for the PS5. That meant designing custom chips to work around this system, virtually eliminating read/write bottlenecks.

So far, both the Standard (with the BluRay disc drive) and Digital Editions of the PS5 will sport this 825 GB SSD at launch.

Of course, like with its predecessor, you also have the option to increase PS5 storage.

One way is using the NVMe slot of the PS5, which accepts a suitable M2 SSD. The problem is that Sony has yet to announce compatibility requirements for these SSDs, and the fact that no current SSDs in the market are fast enough to match the PS5’s SSD.

There are the upcoming PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs coming out at the time of the PS5’s launch, but it’s unlikely that Sony will release compatibility requirements at that time. Realistically you’re looking at early 2021 to be able to buy a suitable SSD.

The simpler option is through an external drive via the PS5’s USB slot. Both external SSDs and HDDs are supported, which is great news for your existing drives. However, there are some caveats.

The biggest one is that you can’t play PS5 games directly from the drive like you used to do with the PS4. That’s because the PS5’s internal SSD is purpose-built for the console. Its 5.5 GB/s output is still leagues away from the current SSDs in the market, which can only top around 3.5 GB/s at best.

If the external SSD can’t run up to par with the PS5’s internal drive speed, then games won’t run properly.

Unfortunately, this means you lose the flexibility of playing games direct from drive, requiring the extra step of copying games to the PS5’s internal drive.

This will change when more compatible products arrive in the market after the console’s launch. Sony will most likely partner with a drive manufacturer like Seagate or Western Digital to produce official PS5 storage expansion drives, as it did with its consoles in the past.

So, bottom line, you’ll be limited to using your existing SSDs and HDDs purely for storage, which can be a bummer.

There is a silver lining, though. The PS5 is backwards compatible with previous generation games, which means you CAN play PS4 games directly from your hard drive! That means your existing game library won’t be totally useless when you upgrade to the next gen console.

Oh, and another thing. The PS5 will feature two ports located in front of the console. One is a USB port and the other, a USB-C port. This means you can finally use your external hard drive’s USB-C connections (if it has one) to get faster transfer speeds compared to years gone by.

3 thoughts on “Best External Hard Drive for PS5 – Our Top Picks & Reviews”

    • Yes, the external hard drives for Playstation 5 are also compatible with the 4. However, we do recommend looking at an SSD rather than a HDD as the PS5 uses an SSD and they’re much faster.

      Reply
  1. Transferring a 49gb game from any of these USB hdd’s to the PS5 internal storage should take no more than 3 mins, considering the internal storage is 5.5 gb/s.
    In contrast the Series X only has a 2.5 GB/s internal storage drive whitch has been tested to transfer a 49gb game from a hdd in 7.46 minutes. Slow as all hell!!!

    Reply

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