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Which PS5 SSD should you buy on Black Friday?

Patriot Viper VP4300
(Image credit: Future)

Now that Sony has opened up the SSD slot for everyone to use freely, Black Friday PS5 SSD deals are going to be in hot demand this year, and more folks than ever will be wondering which PS5 SSD to buy this Black Friday. External drives are well established but the sudden addition of internal, NVMe M.2 SSDs to the wide variety of storage options already on the table, means the choice will be wider than ever, and the deals will be reaching further than ever as well.

In terms of quick-fire references, and knowing what top models of PS5 SSD to consider buying this Black Friday, look out for names such as WD BLACK SN850, Samsung 980 PRO, and Seagate FireCuda 530 for your internal top dogs. And for your external models lookout for the WD BLACK P50, Samsung T5 and T7, and the SanDisk Extreme series as good go-to highlights.

The year 2021 has really become the year of the SSD when it comes to consoles. That's in no small part due to both new-gen consoles adopting the storage tech as the primary drive within them, but we've seen moves from HDD to SSD even in the external market. The prices of the latter keep coming down, and it's now close enough that SSDs present much better value overall.

However, it's the internal drives that will be the best PS5 SSD options for many. They are slightly more expensive, but the fact that they connect straight to the PS5's motherboard, and they offer speeds and performances that comfortably outperform even the best external SSD candidates means they start to pull away as the best PS5 storage options. However, the real clincher is that you can play PS5 games directly from an internal SSD. This is, of course, a big difference as on external PS5 SSDs, you can only store PS5 games (and store and play PS4 games).

However, the external market is still booming, and a quality external SSD can easily be one of the best PS5 external hard drives going and serve you incredibly well. After all, we are at the pinnacle of the PS4 game library - and games are still being made for the older console. There's perhaps a greater need than any time before to have somewhere dedicated for your PS4 games while you have your PS5 ones on the machine itself.

Be it internal or external, this year's sales season is going to be a wild one for PS5 SSD options - they'll likely be some of the best Black Friday PS5 deals outright. But when it comes down to it, which PS5 SSD should you buy this Black Friday?

Which internal PS5 SSD should you buy on Black Friday?

PS5 SSD installation

(Image credit: Sony)

Internal PS5 SSDs are where some real hot action is going to be in this year's sales. However, cutting through it all and knowing exactly which one is best for you is going to be more tricky. 

With so many different write speeds, transfer speeds, durability levels, and other factors on the market, actually working out which PS5 SSD you should be aiming for this Black Friday is easier said than done. However, the first thing you need to do is look to Sony's recommended specs for an internal SSD - this will immediately cut some wheat from the chaff and get you looking at the right drives.

PS5 SSD requirements

- PCIe Gen4 interface
- 250GB - 4TB capacity
- 5,500MB/s read speed or faster
- 22mm width
- Heatsink (built-in or DIY)

Using the 1TB capacity as the sweet spot, as we expect it will be for most, you'll then find yourself likely looking at a handful of more premium models that are often safely above the $200 mark - the WD BLACK SN850, Samsung 980 PRO, and the Seagate FireCuda 530 - and a handful that fall under it - the Patriot Viper VP4300 and the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s, for example. 

Prices of all of these units have wildly fluctuated but we'd expect these all to get handsome price cuts during the sales seasons. Thus, it could really come down to price and budge - all of these drives are high-quality, meeting every criterion of Sony's and having blistering speeds to offer top performance.

We do like the premium ones, as a rule, so hopefully we'll see their prices drop down to the levels of their more affordable brethren. PS5 architect Mark Cerny has already opted for an SN850, Seagate has a long history in quality game drives and storage solutions, and Samsung's reputation goes without saying when it comes to storage. And what's more, remember that most of the best drives for PS5 are also some of the best SSDs for gaming, too, so you know your investment is worth it and you're getting quality.

Should you buy an internal PS5 SSD this Black Friday?

Given the importance of sticking to Sony's restrictions and the strict parameters that SSDs have to meet, it will be easy to cross-reference any PS5 SSDs you find on the day. However, if it comes back down to that internal vs external choice again here are some points to think about when weighing up whether to buy an internal PS5 SSD this Black Friday.

Buy an internal SSD this Black Friday if:

  • The best possible SSD option is a priority
  • You need loads of PS5 games at your fingertips
  • You have a healthy budget
  • Outright speed and performance are deal breakers for you

Don't buy an internal PS5 SSD this Black Friday if:

  • Your budget is more modest
  • You actively play more PS4 games
  • You find the PS5's own storage plenty for PS5 games
  • You want to keep the option of portability

If an internal drive sounds like your kind of PS5 SSD, then here are the latest and best prices for some of the top internal PS5 contenders, where you are in the world.

Which external PS5 SSD should you buy on Black Friday?

WD Black P50

(Image credit: WD)

There is still very much a place for an external drive when considering which PS5 SSD to buy this Black Friday.

Proving a vital storage solution during the PS4 generation, external hard drives - as in, literal, HDDs - led the way as a great value method to keep a whole host of games at our fingertips. Slowly but surely, HDDs have given way to SSDs (though the latter still can't offer the former's bang for buck value in terms of sheer capacity for low outlay), and this is now truer than ever as we move firmly into the PS5 generation. 

External PS5 SSD characteristics

- Can be USB-C or USB-A
- Plug-and-go solution
- Offer excellent value
- Cheaper than internal SSDs
- Might need a case
- Cables can be short

The big caveat with PS5s and external SSDs though is that you can't play PS5 games from an external drive. But you can store them, which is still a darn sight better than having to redownload or install games from scratch every time. This also means that if you're still playing a lot of PS4 games - and the library is indeed massive - then an external SSD could very much be in your wheelhouse this Black Friday. This would keep your PS4 library to hand - and at the snap of a finger - and keep your PS5 itself clear for games only for that newer console.

Now that SSDs are firmly established as the leading portable drives, you'll find that there's loads of crossover between perfect-for-PS5 drives and the best PS4 SSD, and the best PS4 external hard drives. Given that simple, clean, and easy USB connection, these external drives are worth their weight in gold still and prove incredibly useful.

Once you're looking at external SSDs, there will be some more premium options that stand above others, from the likes of Samsung and WD. These will still see you safely into the three-figure range - but you'll get way more storage for your money compared to internal SSDs still. These premium ones will promise super-fast speeds, but seeing as though everything will be funneled down a humble USB cable and port, you might find that something like the SanDisk Extreme portable line, or Crucial's excellent X6 portable SSDs can provide just the same experience, but offer you even greater value.

Should you buy an external PS5 SSD on Black Friday?

Buy an external SSD this Black Friday if:

  • Your active PS4 game library is larger than your PS5 one
  • You're looking to keep the budget down
  • Portability is a must
  • You're after a simple solution

Don't buy an external SSD this Black Friday if:

  • Playing PS5 games is the priority
  • You can stretch your budget a little
  • You prefer to keep things tidy and not have a USB port out of action

If an external solution sounds like it could be the PS5 SSD for you this winter, then below are a pick of our favourites. These prices are updated automatically ever 30 minutes, so you can track the prices and get your eye in now.

At this early stage, in terms of what literal PS5 games you have at your fingertips, it might be that an external PS5 SSD will serve you better in the here and now - but then again, there's nothing like future-proofing yourself in one fell swoop is there...


And that's not going to be the only PS5 item in hot demand on sale this year: be sure to prepare for the Black Friday PS5 TV deals, and Black Friday PS5 monitor deals for all your screen needs, and prepare to bag yourself a Black Friday PS5 headset deal to cover your audio bases too.

Rob Dwiar

I'm one of the Hardware Editors for GamesRadar+, and have been for nearly three years; I've also been a writer on games - freelancing and the like - for four or so years for the likes of Eurogamer, RPS, PCGN, and more. Day to day, I take care of a whole host of gaming tech reviews, buying guides, and news and deals content that pops up across GamesRadar+. I'm also a qualified landscape and garden designer so do that in my spare time, and use it to write about games' landscapes and environments too, including an upcoming book on the topic!