While the Sony PlayStation 5 features an M.2 storage slot for memory expansion, Sabrent had released an M.2 NVMe heatsink for the PS5 that also doubles as a replacement for the metal cover of the M.2 slot. We got a chance to try it out and here are our thoughts about the product.
With the inclusion of an M.2 slot, PlayStation 5 owners will be able to install a PCIe 4.0 SSD and achieve loading speeds that are similar to the internal SSD of the console. While the slot also has enough room to house a PCIe 4.0 SSD with a heatsink, the metal cover that is used to close the M.2 slot doesn’t exactly do a good job of transferring heat that is dissipated from the drive. And this results in trapping the heat and throttling the performance of the installed drive.
Sabrent solved this problem by simply developing a CNC’d aluminum cover that features the exact dimensions of the native PS5 M.2 cover and merging it with a heatsink that is located underneath. The heatsink portion is long enough to easily reach the chips of the drive and uses a method that Sabrent calls the “Sandwich Design”, where an even pressure is applied throughout the entire SSD for an efficient and consistent heat transfer. The heatsink also comes included with a thermal pad for better heat transfer. The dimensions of the heatsink are 148.59mm x 76.2mm x 11.684mm and weight is about 82.2g. The aluminum cover also has a gamer-centric design on the top with gold accents and the Sabrent logo. However, it should be noted that most PCIe 4.0 drives have chips on both sides of the drive and the Sabrent’s PS5 heatsink design only covers the top portion of the drive.
Sabrent also included a screwdriver with the package that will be helpful for users to easily install the heatsink. We used the Kingston 2TB FURY Renegade PCIe 4.0 SSD for this review to try the Sabrent heatsink. Installing the heatsink did not take more than a minute and the aluminum cover fits just as well as the native PS5 M.2 cover. The aluminum cover does appear to protrude a bit outwards, and that’s a good thing since more airflow can reach from the native cooling fan.
The Sabrent heatsink with its aluminum cover is designed to improve the heat transfer and cooling of the PCIe 4.0 drive on the PlayStation 5. While we did not exactly have any equipment to test the temperatures of the drive during the time of review, we were able to conduct a read speed test and also loading times of the games with and without the Sabrent heatsink.
When we had tried the Kingston 2TB FURY Renegade PCIe 4.0 SSD on the PS5, we achieved a read speed of 6557 MB/s. But with the Sabrent heatsink, we got a slightly improved speed of 6559 MB/s.
As for the startup times for games, there is almost a second difference when using the Sabrent heatsink on the Kingston Renegade PCIe 4.0 SSD. We tested games such as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on the Kingston drive with Sabrent heatsink. The time taken to load game levels with the heatsink is more or less the same as using the drive without the Sabrent heatsink.
While these results only offer very small improvements, it should be noted that the aluminum heatsink helps to transfer heat efficiently to maintain the loading performance, and this is more beneficial when playing for longer gaming sessions. When using the normal metal cover in a similar situation for long gaming sessions, the heat gets trapped inside the slot, even if you have installed a PCIe 4.0 SSD with its own heatsink. And this degrades the loading performance of the drive.
In the world of PCs, the addition of a heatsink on an M.2 SSD, makes quite a difference in the read and write speeds, and this matters more when the drive is constantly used. But in the case of the PlayStation 5, the M.2 SSD slot is covered with a metal shield that doesn’t exactly allow any sort of heat transfer to the airflow from the console fan. This results in trapping the heat inside the M.2 slot itself, which isn’t exactly good for the drive. The Sabrent heatsink is the combination of a CNC’d aluminum cover and a heatsink block attached in the bottom for direct contact with the PCIe 4.0 drive. While our tests showed only slight improvements, the heat can now be efficiently transferred directly from the PCIe 4.0 SSD to the aluminum cover with direct access to the airflow from the console’s fan. And this matters more when gamers play for longer sessions.