PS5 Memory Guide | Everything You Want To Know
Many PS5 users, or who wish to be one, ask varied questions about PS5 memory, how to upgrade/expand it and what the best memory brands are for the PS5 that help get additional storage space.
Well, these questions are usually asked by non-savvy users who confuse ‘storage’ with ‘memory’ and don’t know the real difference between the two, as storage devices may be sometimes referred to as ‘memory’ as well (e.g. USB flash memory and SD card memory.)
In this article, we’ll answer these PS5 memory questions taking into consideration the confusion between ‘storage’ and ‘memory’.
PS5 Memory vs. PS5 Storage
When you address the specs of a system like the PS5 that contains different types of data-retaining devices, the term ‘memory’ refers to the component within your PS5 that allows for short-term data access. You may recognize this component as DRAM, or dynamic random-access memory, whereas storage is the component within your PS5 that allows you to store and access data on a long-term basis. In PS5, ‘storage’ comes in the form of a solid-state drive.
Technically, the difference between ‘storage’ and ‘memory’ appears when addressing the specs of a system, such as a computer or a game console. But when talking in general and non-technically, the difference fades away, and you can use the term ‘memory’ to describe ‘storage’. That’s why USB flash drives and SD cards are broadly defined as ‘memory’ on the market, although they’re long-term data-retaining devices.
PS5 GDDR6 Memory
The PS5 console, whether it’s a digital or disc-based edition, comes with a large enough 16GB GDDR6 w/ 265-bit bus memory that suits the needs of enthusiasts and power users. It’s bandwidth speed is 448GB/sec. This type of memory is not changeable or upgradeable, which means you won’t be able to increase its size at all.
The PS4 and PS4 Pro models use 8GB of GDDR5 memory, while the Xbox One and Xbox One S deploy 8GB of DDR3 memory. The Xbox One X beefed this up to 12GB of GDDR5 memory.
With the PS4, because the base hard drive was slower, most of the game assets had to be stored on the 8GB GDDR5 memory and would just sit there taking up space. With the PS5, the assets can be streamed in much faster, so only a fraction of the new 16GB GDDR6 memory has to be allocated to the assets.
The GDDR6 is short for graphics double data rate type six synchronous dynamic random-access memory. It is specialist technology that addresses different tasks than conventional system memory. GDDR6 offers more bandwidth and speed than its predecessors, and it’s manufactured in larger amounts.
PS5 Primary SSD Storage
The PS5 has a total 825GB custom NVMe SSD storage capacity that offers almost only 667GB of usable space to install your games. The PS5 primary SSD I/O throughput is 5.5 GB/s (Raw) and 9 GB/s (Compressed).
There’s an additional slot for secondary SSD storage that can increase the total storage space of the PS5 system with up to 4TB of capacity (i.e. you’ll have in total 4TB + 825GB storage capacity).
PS5 Memory Upgrade
As stated earlier, the PS5 GPU GDDR6 RAM memory cannot be upgraded to a larger size. It’s not optional like custom computers and you have to accept it as it is for the entire life of PS5. So, if you want to add more memory to your PS5, you can only consider expanding the internal storage capacity or adding an external storage device to your console.
As for the PS5 internal system storage, it can be upgraded with up to 4TB of space. This is possible by adding a new PS5-compatible NVMe SSD to your console by following the proper PS5 storage upgrade instructions.
Be noted that the original PS5 internal system storage device can’t be removed/upgraded. You can only put a new SSD chip into the secondary storage slot inside the PS5 (watch the official PlayStation video below for more details.)
PS5 External Memory Expansion
If you need more space on your PS5 and don’t want to upgrade the internal storage, you can connect an external memory and move all your games onto it. You can even play PS4 games straight from the external memory, meaning that they never have to take up space on your PS5 again.
Be noted that the external memory you want to use with the PS5 must be compatible (read more), as not all external storage devices will work.
PS5 External Memory Options
There are four options of external memory you can use with your PS5, that are:
USB External SSD
This is the most powerful and fastest external memory solution for your PS5. It offers blazingly fast speed and large storage capacity that fits the needs of almost all PS5 enthusiasts and power users.
There are two types of this kind of storage device available for PS5, that are:
- SATA 2.5″ SSD: That is much slower compared to the second, but much faster compared to a classical external hard drive.
- NVMe M.2 External SSD: This is the most recommended external storage device for PS5. It’s 10x faster than the regular SATA SSD and comes in huge capacities that can reach 8TB and more.
USB External HDD
Although this is the most popular option among PS5 users for its low expense, we don’t recommend it unless you want to use it mainly for backup purposes, as it’s the slowest storage option among all storage devices and the less reliable one. Otherwise, if you want to play PS4 games from it, it’s not really a great option to go for.
USB Flash Memory
This is one of the most popular memory options for PS5. It features a lightweight, small-size, portable, high-speed (not as speedy as a regular external SSD though), and an easy-to-install memory solution for PS5. Some flash memories offer up to 2TB of space with a pleasant speed which makes them a preferable option for most users.
Micro SD Memory Card
Micro SD memory cards can be used with PS5 as an external memory solution, but you’ll need an SD card reader such as Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD Card Reader and it will work just like any USB flash drive.
We don’t really recommend this memory solution for the PS5, and if you’re looking for a highly portable option, go for a USB flash drive instead.
While you can’t increase the PS5 GPU GDDR6 memory size, as it’s fixed and unchangeable, there’s an option to increase the internal storage of your PS5 by adding a secondary M.2 SSD expansion or use the extended storage option by going for an external storage solutions.