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The best PS4 SSD for 2021

The best PS4 SSD for 2021
(Image credit: Samsung/Future)

Adding one of the best PS4 SSDs to your setup takes external (or internal) storage for your PS4 to the next level. Extra storage is the most plain of purchases that you can make but a PS4 SSD can be an enormous boost to your gaming and console experience. They are speedy, reliable, and now more portable than ever. If you prefer to have all of your games, apps, files and saves to hand on your machine, then one of the best PS4 SSDs is the solution. And SSDs are increasingly the way forward on external storage - it's no wonder that the PS5 is embracing its own PS5 SSDs and getting shot of HDDs for the blistering speeds and virtual memory that the SSDs can offer.

If you're on this page, you probably know already that the advantages Solid State Drives have over Hard Disk Drives are clear and distinct. SSDs decrease load times and make it faster to transfer your games and saves. This increase in, well, everything, does come at a premium but it's one that is largely justified. One might need to save a bit more to increase that budget, but with the general decline in the price of SSDs, there are bargains to be had.

The performance of SSDs means some of the contenders here are some of the best PS4 external hard drives, period. But you will find other HDD and internal choices there so definitely check them out to cast your net wide. But how do you choose the best PS4 SSD for you? Well, this is one of the PS4 accessories where it might pay to ensure you have a larger-than-you-think-you-might-need budget first, then have a browse through a guide like this. Then you can very quickly determine the capacity and amount of storage you require, and then see what different makes and models offer in the way of size and design, and protection. You'll find this list is starting life out with the top performers in an external capacity, but we'll be adding to this regularly with a wider range of options, including internal ones too, so keep checking back.

Given that next-gen will see PS5 SSDs, and a race to produce the best PS5 SSDs, jumping on board now to get a taste of that storage, and to get ahead of the curve, is a wise move. However, we don't know all the ins and outs of the internal PS5 SSD yet so it's worth thinking about why you should wait on that front and perhaps concentrate on something external for the time being as those are compatible with the PS5 while being an excellent addition to your PS4 right now.

External PS4 SSD highlights

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Samsung SSD T5 500GB

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Samsung SSD T5 500GB

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Samsung SSD T5 500GB

Samsung SSD T5

A great SSD from one of the biggest names in storage

Very reliable
Versatile - great for PC too
Expensive compared to HDD

The Samsung T5 is the best PS4 SSD because it prioritizes quality in performance and reliability. This is highlighted by its read and write speeds: up to 540mb/s. The Samsung is also very compact, durable and sleek looking. Its durability (combined with a case) making it ideal for carrying around if you're on the go between where you game - plus it's much smaller than you think, at about the same size as a small smartphone. The T5 offers incredible performance for a PS4 SSD, but it does hold its price quite well so it will always cause a little concern. However, having one of the best PS4 SSDs is about prioritizing speed and performance so and you'll get that in bag fulls with the T5 so it's very worthy of its placing in this list. If it ever goes down in price during sales, though, its as close to a no-brainer as it gets for a PS4 companion accessory.

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(Image credit: SanDisk)
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SanDisk Extreme Portable

The best hard-wearing, accident-proof PS4 SSD

Very hardy and durable
Great speeds
Neat and tidy design
Pricey

If you're looking at getting the best-protected SSD to keep that drive extra safe - and why wouldn't you as it costs a little bit more - then the SanDisk Extreme Portable is the one for you. This will be able to withstand any sorts of accidents and is the perfect contender for those of us who are accident-prone, or who prefer to make extra sure about the protection our devices have. As well as being properly rugged, it's water and dust-resistant (to the IP-55 standard) and has a shock-resistant core for extra durability. It performs excellently too: its read speeds can challenge the Samsung T5's. And it is really compact, with a fit-it-in-your-pocket size. The safety and durability comes at a premium though and adds a bit more onto the price of the drive but it's definitely worth it when all things are considered. The protection and durability on this PS4 SSD are excellent. And if you want some extra reassurance you could even go for the Extreme Pro variant - but be prepared to see the cost rise significantly.

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WD My Passport SSD 1TB

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WD My Passport SSD 1TB

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WD My Passport SSD 1TB

WD My Passport SSD

The best PS4 SSD for gamers who use PC too

Great read/write speeds
Good value for SSD
Versatile - great with PCs too
Feels a little flimsy

If you want your SSD to retain some of its quality and compatibility with PC then the WD My Passport SSD is right up your street. However, it still is a strong performer as a PS4 SSD, and will offer write speeds of about 300Mbps, and read speeds of 390Mbps via the USB connection. For reference, the HDD equivalent of the My Passport, while offering larger capacity, can only give read and write speeds of 120-130 Mbps. It's worth noting that if you want an SSD for your PS4 that you can reformat and then use for PC for a time, and then reformat and go back to being a PS4 SSD, then this is a great contender for that. It can't, unfortunately, be both at the same time. However, the my Passport SSD's PC-pedigree does offer some flexibility and adds some versatility to this drive. For example, it's compatible with All The USBs, including being USB-C ready, and it has an automatic backup system and a handy password protection and hardware encryption security double whammy. Generally, however this is a quality SSD for your PS4 from a trusted maker of drives that we have no trouble recommending.

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OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD

(Image credit: OWC)

OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD

A stylish and solid SSD

Excellent portable design
Small and solid
Decent speeds
A bit expensive

The OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD is a neat little SSD that has excellent form and function. With that, and it being an SSD, it does demand a high-ish price tag but the quality you get for your money is undeniable.

As a unit of tech, it's simply a great bit of kit: it's a sleek, stylish, silver wedge-shaped drive with one connection port and one LED that is pocket-sized and very robust. Despite being small, it has a good weight to it and really feels like it could survive the odd bump or drop. It's small enough to keep out of the way behind a console, but also stylish enough - for a hard drive - to be left open to see. 

If you do want to turn it into a PC external drive then the software on board will get you going well. This is also how we revealed the speeds, using Crystal Disk Mark, of 411mb/s read speed, and 248mb/s write speed. Solid enough and certainly reliable for it to be among the best PS4 SSD solutions going.

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Silicon Power PC60

(Image credit: Silicon Power)
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Silicon Power PC60

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Silicon Power PC60

(Image credit: Silicon Power)

Silicon Power PC60 Portable SSD

A tiny, light and reliable portable SSD

Great portable design
Robust but light
Reliable enough speeds
Doesn't seem as fast as is claimed (but this is on console..)

This is a great portable PS4 SSD that will fit in the palm of your hand - literally. And even if you have tiny hands like me. It's petite, featherweight design oozes portability but almost goes too far as it's so light you'll barely feel it in your pocket! The USB 3.2 connection is fast and neat, there's a hole in the corner of the chassis for key chains or hooks to keep it safely connected, and as well as for PS4, this is ideal for any device that'll take it. If you're looking for a compact PS4 SSD then this is it. 

Silicon Power claims that the speeds can reach impressive levels of up to 540mb/s read and up to 500mb/s write which would be very excellent - our tests (through CrystalDiskMark on the PC - for full disclosure) didn't quite reach those levels, however: we got levels of 468mb/s read and 322mb/s write. However, this is still solid enough for a little PS4 SSD that will happily sit next to or near your console silently providing you with a quality service. An excellent PS4 SSD.

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OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

(Image credit: OWC)

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

A fast and teeny tiny SSD

Capacity: up to 2TB | Storage type: SSD

Excellent speeds
Great design
USB versatile
A bit expensive
No extra case or protection

OWC has made a few neat little hard drives in recent times, and Envoy Pro Elektron is no exception to this. It's a fast SSD that'll provide you with a reliable connection over USB-C or 'regular' USB ports and has a chic aesthetic and a small and robust build. That really is it in a nutshell but it's a great product.

The Elektron is surprisingly small - smaller than your palm. Which is incredible really - though it's almost bordering on 'so small I might lose it in my pocket' size! However, it's chic aesthetic means it can look slick next to or on top of any gaming machine, and looks can deceive: it's waterproof, dustproof, and crushproof. Tough.

Importantly, it's got those beautiful SSD speeds within. Testing in both USB ports on a PC the Elektron gave us readings of 469 MB/s read speed, and 462 MB/s write speed. These numbers are solid, but in practical terms they translate to the ability to speedily transfer games and saves between console generations, and as a great place to run games from itself. A neat little package.

Internal PS4 SSD highlights

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Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD

The best internal SSD for PS4

Capacity: 1TB | Storage Type: SSD

Brilliant speeds
Reliable 
Samsung quality
Pricey

With SSD prices continuing to tumble due to, well, time, and a vibrant PC market, quality drives like the Samsung EVO 860 are more affordable than ever. When it comes to SSDs, the EVO series has long been the gold standard, and the 860 EVO offers serious performance, teamed with modern design and parts. 

SSD speeds are 3 to 4 times quicker than those of HDDs, and while there are a number of other factors at play when it comes to console gaming, you will notice a boost in performance with a pure, internal SSD. What's more, this is actually a cheaper option than buying an external SSD drive for your PS4. While the EVO is mid-range in terms of price, it's one of the best SATA drives for performance. What's more, you'll often find the EVO series on sale via sites like Amazon, so you'll rarely pay full price for it.

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(Image credit: Seagate)

Seagate FireCuda 2.5" 2TB SSHD

The best all round internal drive you can buy

Capacity: 2TB | Storage Type: SSHD

Roomy size
SSD-like performance
More expensive than traditional HDD

We're sort of cheating but not really with this option. The Seagate Firecuda offers SSD-like performance but is technically a hybrid drive. This keeps the price down in the first instance, but also gets you a solid performer that brings good elements of both drive type to the party. It's a 2.5" drive, so it'll fit neatly into your console (doubling the storage of your PS4 Pro, and potentially quadrupling the size of a regular 500GB model), and Seagate is a big, well-established name in PC HDDs, so this model is always going to be reliable and efficient.

What's more, the Firecuda offers better read and write speeds than a standard HDD, which means you get near-SSD performance at a cheaper price. That's common sense, right there.

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Seagate 1TB Gaming SSHD ST1000LM014

The best budget internal SSHD

Capacity: 1TB | Storage Type: SSHD

SSD-like performance
Doubles storage capacity over stock PS4 HDD
5400RPM speed

Another hybrid drive, the Seagate 1TB Gaming SSHD main selling point is the improvements granted by its dual SSD and HDD heritage - shorter load times, faster installs, etc- but without the price hike. The caveat, of course, is that since this SSHD does also rely on a physical disk spinning at 5400RPM, the improvements may not be as dramatic as with a traditional SSD. 

However, this isn’t much of a compromise given you save money on your new drive and do get an increase in performance that will definitely be noticeable. Regardless, this drive will increase your storage capacity and in many cases increase performance, which are great benefits to walk away with for less than $100/£100. 

I'm one of the Hardware Editors for GamesRadar+, and 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 lean on it to write about games' landscapes and environments too.