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Hardware LTT: Does a Faster SSD Matter for Gamers?

Armorian

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SATA vs. NVME Gen 3 vs. NVME Gen 4


Conclusion?

Nobody was able to tell the difference, wich is confirmed by this video


We will see how games designed for NVME speeds will behave with next gen ports.
 

Elektro Demon

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It doesn't matter now because current games are designed with a hdd in mind.
We'll see how it's gonna affect next gen games if both systems have an ssd. But me personally think it won't have a significant effect. It's gonna be used for texture streaming for sure but I doubt it's gonna be a big performance difference between sata ssd and nvme's etc.
 

o'dium

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Yes, it matters. It matters a lot.

If both consoles have one and are barely over a gb/spec and a half difference like reported atm? No, there will be no perceivable difference.

The best thing is both next gen systems have one, and that’s awesome. If you don’t have one in your pc already you’re missing out.
 

Woo-Fu

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That's loading time. But what happens when you have a big open world and the game needs to stream textures in?
That's gonna be interesting.
The point of texture streaming is to make that load undetectable. If you can detect it the problem is your streaming tech, not your hardware. What will have an impact is the size of the area you're streaming textures into.
 

johntown

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I depends on the games you are playing too. Some have such horrible long loads times and SSD's can speed that up a lot.
 

baphomet

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Well virtually all games are programmed for physical hdds.

Until we actually start making games with nvme as a given you won't get the full potential.

But yes, it will make a massive difference.
 

Armorian

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Yes, it matters. It matters a lot.

If both consoles have one and are barely over a gb/spec and a half difference like reported atm? No, there will be no perceivable difference.

The best thing is both next gen systems have one, and that’s awesome. If you don’t have one in your pc already you’re missing out.
But where do you notice difference beside coping files? Even system startup time is pretty much the same as seen in second video I posyed (in spoiler)

It doesn't matter now because current games are designed with a hdd in mind.
We'll see how it's gonna affect next gen games if both systems have an ssd. But me personally think it won't have a significant effect. It's gonna be used for texture streaming for sure but I doubt it's gonna be a big performance difference between sata ssd and nvme's etc.
NVMEs are probably in like 0.0x% of PC and I really wonder how publisher could make them a requirement if they want to sell any copies at all. We will probably see SATA SSDs as a minimum but how they will behave? That's a good question.
 

Shin

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No, you get over the speed gains between SSD/HDD within a few days.
Playing MMO's feels just about the same, you save maybe a few seconds but like everything else once you get used to it it accounts for nothing IMO.
 

o'dium

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Armorian Armorian You have two areas that are directly linked, and those are streaming assets on the fly, and loading. But it’s not as simple as just “I can run faster so I will reach the destination quicker”. You have to take into account cpu for decompression and moving of files, controller speed and quality, memory management, type of file, size of file etc etc.

In short, you won’t see loading speed increases in EVERY game. Some games are just never going to see much improvement due to how their data is loaded. All current generation COD games for example won’t see much loading time improvement from an SSD for example. Games made for SSD tech will see an amazing improvement, but the speed difference between the two consoles won’t result in the PS5 loading instantly and the SX being some 30 second monster. You’re looking at 1 second versus 1.3, or 10 seconds versus 13. Hardly game destroying.

But streaming is a different beast again because it relies on all sorts of things to work well. If your cpu isn’t up to scratch you won’t get as far. But even then, people think the PS5 SSD will allow these massive worlds with amazing streaming and blah blah. And that’s true, they will. But so will they on the SX.

The thing is, you will never really push so much data through that it bottlenecks the SSD, and if you do, you’re doing it wrong. So for example, I’ve seen a few people here suggest that the new star citizen SSD vs HDD will be like PS5 vs SX. If you haven’t watchEd that video, watch it. The SSD machine runs fine but the HDD is too slow to load in the data. But that’s a slow mechanical drive versus an SSD, it’s no contest.

The facts are really simple. Is the PS5 SSD better than the SX? Yes, without question. Will it’s improvements be a game changer and provide results the SX simply cant do? No, not at all. Is it amazing BOTH machines have an SSD? AB-SO-FUCKING-LUTELY.

We should all be happy. Shit is about to hit the fan, and unlike previous generations, we will ALL be covered the same amount.
 
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Mista

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Yes it matters. I used to use external HDs and then switched to SSDs and saw how the loading times got better significantly
 

Armorian

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Armorian Armorian You have two areas that are directly linked, and those are streaming assets on the fly, and loading. But it’s not as simple as just “I can run faster so I will reach the destination quicker”. You have to take into account cpu for decompression and moving of files, controller speed and quality, memory management, type of file, size of file etc etc.

In short, you won’t see loading speed increases in EVERY game. Some games are just never going to see much improvement due to how their data is loaded. All current generation COD games for example won’t see much loading time improvement from an SSD for example. Games made for SSD tech will see an amazing improvement, but the speed difference between the two consoles won’t result in the PS5 loading instantly and the SX being some 30 second monster. You’re looking at 1 second versus 1.3, or 10 seconds versus 13. Hardly game destroying.

But streaming is a different beast again because it relies on all sorts of things to work well. If your cpu isn’t up to scratch you won’t get as far. But even then, people think the PS5 SSD will allow these massive worlds with amazing streaming and blah blah. And that’s true, they will. But so will they on the SX.

The thing is, you will never really push so much data through that it bottlenecks the SSD, and if you do, you’re doing it wrong. So for example, I’ve seen a few people here suggest that the new star citizen SSD vs HDD will be like PS5 vs SX. If you haven’t watchEd that video, watch it. The SSD machine runs fine but the HDD is too slow to load in the data. But that’s a slow mechanical drive versus an SSD, it’s no contest.

The facts are really simple. Is the PS5 SSD better than the SX? Yes, without question. Will it’s improvements be a game changer and provide results the SX simply cant do? No, not at all. Is it amazing BOTH machines have an SSD? AB-SO-FUCKING-LUTELY.

We should all be happy. Shit is about to hit the fan, and unlike previous generations, we will ALL be covered the same amount.
I probably misread your previous post, to me it looked like you said that there is substantial difference between NVME and SATA SSDs on PC. Because right now it isn't.

About PS5 and XSX I completly agree, even if PS5 storage is 2x faster it won't make much difference if at all.

Games will load faster, thats it. Don’t believe Sony’s lies.
Not if it's also used as virtual memory, but that applies to XSX too

 
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LordOfChaos

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We will see how games designed for NVME speeds will behave with next gen ports.

Exactly this, it's still up in the air.

Games that are still pretty much built assuming hard drives don't see much advantage. But games and entire file systems built around a fully flash storage might be a different matter, plus where they're using it as another layer in virtual RAM, speed might matter more.


Spinfoil hat time:

Cerny: . “The raw read speed is important,“ Cerny says, “but so are the details of the I/O [input-output] mechanisms and the software stack that we put on top of them. I got a PlayStation 4 Pro and then I put in a SSD that cost as much as the PlayStation 4 Pro—it might be one-third faster."

Again: "Rather than treating games like a big block of data [on PS5], we're allowing finer-grained access to the data"


Oftentimes it's not a big 20GB transfer that's going to be hitting an SSD, it's the unpredictable accesses to smaller files that really choke their performance, you're probably not hitting your drives max sequential rate most of the time.

What else gets rid of block level access and reaps big IOPS gains?

On Software Defined Storage:

"Our measurements show that SDF can deliver approximately 95% of the raw flash bandwidth and provide 99% of the flash capacity for user data. SDF increases I/O bandwidth by 300% and reduces per-GB hardware cost by 50% on average compared with the commodity SSD-based system used at Baidu," reads a 2014 study.

Thought for food
 

Birdo

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Well, at least with SSD, you don't have to hear the seeking sound of a HDD chugging around.

(I game in a quiet room).
 
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Insane Metal

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Now make the comparison with the game installs. These consoles need to install the whole game to run them. I remember the XBox taking forever to install with the PS4 being a bit better but still, both slow as all hell.
 

Herr Edgy

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Translation:

Does an SSD matter for games that wasnt made for using it?
Man, games are a lot more simple than you think. Only high end bleeding edge platform-exclusive games will ever optimize in a way that there is going to be any kind of noticeable difference from normal SSDs.
'Games that weren't made for using it' - it's literally a faster drive because of more modern technology. You don't need to put in magic to make it work. PC users have had SSDs with significant speed increases since long long ago. Acting as if somehow SSDs in the new consoles are going to somehow be 'super special' and aren't comparable to 'normal SSDs' because 'software wasn't made to use SSDs' is asinine.

When you buy a new TV with higher resolution for your console, somehow it just.. works after plugging it in? What a shocker. How does that work? Magic PS5 plugs™?

Yes, SSDs are good, yes, it's great that consoles are catching up, yes, there is some custom tech going on with console SSDs. No, it won't be much different from normal SSDs on normal PCs.
 

TUROK

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Seems like, for the time being, simply having a decent SSD (not a DRAM-less one) gets you there most of the way.
 
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There's no difference for gaming when comparing SATA vs Nvme.
Yup, I have said it since the day I got my NvME drive.

What I think is that APIs, games engines and games must be designed with that extra bandwidth in mind so that the full potential can be used in a meaningful manner.
 

Dacon

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Clearly not right now. Maybe I should named this thread "Does a faster than SATA3 SSD matter for games?" but I just used LTT title (minus one "?").
It clearly matters when I'm loading games on my SSDs, or playing games that use texture streaming. Used to take me years when loading battlefield games on my old sata, with my SSD load times are pretty much unnoticeable.
 
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lukilladog

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I´ve heard that the the xbox flash implementation has dedicated hardware data decompression and is loading data very fast. That and the new processor are gonna produce a lot of "shity" ports I´m afraid. :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 

Screamer-RSA

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I´ve heard that the the xbox flash implementation has dedicated hardware data decompression and is loading data very fast. That and the new processor are gonna produce a lot of "shity" ports I´m afraid. :messenger_grinning_sweat:
I heard Sony is not going to improve the PS4’s controller shitty battery life for the PS5. But because of the SSDs spiderman wil traverse the world faster which means less button pressing which means more battery life.
 

Spukc

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no any ssd is basically a leap from hdd.
i have the old vs the new ssd and i barely notice shit tbh
 

Armorian

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It clearly matters when I'm loading games on my SSDs, or playing games that use texture streaming. Used to take me years when loading battlefield games on my old sata, with my SSD load times are pretty much unnoticeable.
Your old SATA was HDD? No one argues that there is massive difference between HDD and pretty much any SSD (aside from old SATA 2 maybe) but between SATA 3 SSD and faster solutions? Barely any in gaming and most work done on computers.
 

killatopak

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It does and it definitely will

Star Citizen already shows the need for SSD. Now with the next gen consoles having SSD it will only be a matter of time until it creeps into the minimum spec requirement for PC games as well.

Knowing PC gamers they will definitely want better of everything.
 
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kittoo

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I depends on the games you are playing too. Some have such horrible long loads times and SSD's can speed that up a lot.
Yupe. Play FF 15 with FPS infirmation on. This monster writes at 250MB/S sometimes. Can only imagine the loading times on a HDD.
 

blly155

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not so much right now but if developers can make use of SSD now that consoles have finally decided to join PC gamers where we were in 2008 then maybe we will see some improvements.
 
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Of course it does.

For example, when the game is on an NVMe SSD, the PC version of Kingdom Come: Deliverance has much less pop-up when galloping.
 
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Shmunter

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If you’re a developer with a closed system that has an ssd that can do x, y and z. And that’s your target, you can all of a sudden do things you couldn’t do before with memory management. This new way of managing memory will have an impact on quality of assets, scene complexity and pretty much anything that benefits from more memory.