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PS5 Architect Mark Cerny Reveals His SSD of Choice to Expand PS5 Storage

PS5 Architect Mark Cerny Reveals His SSD of Choice to Expand PS5 Storage - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 August 2021 / 5,624 Views

PlayStation 5 architect Mark Cerny, who also designed the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, via Twitter has revealed his SSD of choice to use as storage expansion in the PS5. 

Cerny says he has opted to purchase a WD_BLACK SN850 with Heatsink. It is priced at $139.99 / £140.99 for 500GB, $249.99 / £218.99 for 1TB and $429.99 / £452.99 for 2TB. 

You could buy the SSD for slightly less without a heatsink, however, Sony has recommended the use of a heatsink for expanding the PS5 storage with an SSD.

Western Digital last week announced its premium "WD_BLACK SN850 with Heatsink" SSD will work with the PlayStation 5.

Sony Interactive Entertainment last week began to roll out PlayStation 5 system software beta version 2.0-04.00.00 to users who are in the PlayStation 5 system software beta program.

The PS5 system software beta update adds support to expand the console's storage with an M.2 SSD. You will need an M.2 SSD that’s PCIe Gen 4 and has read speeds of 5,500MB/s or faster and a of 250 GB minimum and no larger than 4 TB. 


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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18 Comments
mutantsushi (on 02 August 2021)

I gotta wonder what the deal between Sony and W/D is, although one could say there is none, it smells like something drove this announcement, otherwise why specifically publicize one commodity brand? I don't think Sony really would want money from W/D on this, so perhaps more they agreed price stability deal since that is probably beneficial to Sony? The prices do seem good for the spec.

Part of me wonders what happened to Sony's custom I/O and SSD architecture, were they planning on mass producing those but then realized commodity hardware was just as good (but still were committed to contract for internal SSD?) Or might we sooner or later see some of that custom architecture SSD w/ asssociated controller made available on PC, if it can achieve this performance spec and lower price point?

  • +1
NextGen_Gamer mutantsushi (on 02 August 2021)

This is Mark Cerny's PERSONAL account - therefore this has nothing to do with an official Sony stance. At that point in time when he tweeted this, there was literally only two SSDs that have come forward to say they have combability with the PS5 - WD's Black SN850 and Seagate's FireCuda 520. So, it was a 50/50 chance on which one Cerny might have bought lol. As far as the internal SSD goes, I think this only shows how incredible it is. PS5's internal SSD is a 12-channel PCIe 4.0 design - and it took months later for high-end PCIe 4.0 8-channel designs in order to (somewhat) match it. Tests have shown that although the WD SN850 is close, it is a hair slower still in loading. It will probably take one more generation of PC NVMe SSDs in order to fully equal its performance.

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mutantsushi NextGen_Gamer (on 02 August 2021)

Alright, I guess will agree to disagree on Sony's Playstation business having no bearing on Cerny's post on this topic at this exact point in time. Fair to say, comparing to other brands out there, WD doesn't offer the lowest (or highest) price at larger 1 or 2 GB sizes, but does offer 500MB option that otherwise more economic Gigabyte doesn't... So that is the one that is most relevant to mass market for Sony (which of course doesn't matter in all of this).

Anyhow, yeah that exactly why I've been curious about the Sony NVME and I/O solution, repeatedly aking if it might be utilized in broader PC market if it's so advantageous at economically reaching this performance tier. Although fair to say the chip shortage may have impeded plans for broader production for the moment.

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mjk45 mutantsushi (on 02 August 2021)

Cerny explained he isn't a Sony employee, he works as a special consultant and the consultancy business side is managed by his wife , his reasons were that the approach to Sony with his ideas for their next console and then being given the development brief for the PS4 were all done without him officially working for Sony, so those circumstances along with the overarching nature of the work that sees him engage with not just the PlayStation division but across Sony in general from, finance to engineering , software , logistics etc etc lead him to see both Sony and his interests being better served by being a consultancy rather than part of a bureaucracy so the deal was done ,this should help explain his approach to matters like this being different to what you would expect from say studio
head Herman Hulst ,

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NextGen_Gamer mutantsushi (on 03 August 2021)

You should know that right after this tweet, he also endorsed Seagate's FireCuda drive as well. Again, those are the only two confirmed compatible so far. I think Gigabyte has now come forward as well with one of theirs. I've seen (and am personally most interested in) testing done on Samsung's 980 Pro, but I doubt you will hear too much from Sony on that one just because it also involves having to buy an aftermarket heatsink and installing that on the drive before putting in your PS5.

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LivncA_Dis3 (on 01 August 2021)

Dayumn son the $$$ Hurts the wallet too much haha

  • +1
JRPGfan (on 01 August 2021)

249$ for 1TB.... thats like 30$ more than the Series S/X one? However your getting a much faster SSD? Hmm.

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VAMatt JRPGfan (on 01 August 2021)

Well, you nailed it - they're not the same drive.

You could argue that it is nice that storage for S/X is cheaper, or that it is nice that PS5 uses faster drives and be right in both cases.

  • +4
mjk45 VAMatt (on 01 August 2021)

In this case yes, but the WD_ BLACK isn't the only drive for the PS5 so S/X cheaper storage is not a blanket statement, having said that any PS5 SSD's that turn out to be cheaper in comparison to the S/X drive should be looked at on more than just the price differential.

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SvenTheTurkey mjk45 (on 01 August 2021)

Plus the logical assumption would be that the pc components will drop in price faster given the fact that more will be produced.

But I suspect both consoles will get internal upgrades for the capacity over time as well as Microsoft dropping the prices of their proprietary cards as much as possible.

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Pemalite SvenTheTurkey (on 02 August 2021)

PC hardware doesn't always get cheaper.

There is a silicon shortage at the moment, which impacts the supply of SSD controllers... And that means a higher price.

RAM and NAND are also getting more expensive due to the commodity markets supply/demand pressures... Both of which most quality SSD's use.

So SSD's are going up in price.

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SvenTheTurkey Pemalite (on 06 August 2021)

Temporarily. I guess you're right it might not decrease during the lifespan of this generation. But typically the capacities increase or prices decrease eventually.

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mjk45 SvenTheTurkey (on 02 August 2021)

The second part of your reply is interesting especially from a PS5 point of view the reason being the unusual 825 GB due to it being matched to the 12 channel controller used in the internal drive so a 2TB SKU for Series X when pricing allows may be quick and easy , but for the PS5 that 1650 GB may be a different story.

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SvenTheTurkey mjk45 (on 06 August 2021)

Yeah, but they will have to increase it eventually regardless of any irregularities. It's just what people will expect. Plus the longer the generation goes on, the more demand there will be for higher capacities.

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elazz JRPGfan (on 01 August 2021)

I got it for 160 for 1TB but without the heatsink. Have a third party one I'm gonna use.

Also if you don't need 1TB you do have the option to expand with 500GB which will be much cheaper of course.

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AkimboCurly JRPGfan (on 01 August 2021)

Both are likely to come down in price somewhat as time goes on. Probably the non-proprietary solution much more so. I prefer Sony's way since it's gonna end up with a tonne less e-waste (since you end up with a usable PC drive) but both have their advantages. Namely, being hot-swappable, and not requiring opening the console, or trusting you users to use standoffs, not screw too tight, etc.

  • +1
mjk45 AkimboCurly (on 04 August 2021)

Whack it in with a rubber mallet and wrap some aluminium foil on top and your good

  • +1
AkimboCurly mjk45 (on 05 August 2021)

I prefer to shove it in with my finger and then let it ping up and snap the PCI-e connectors.

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