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Xbox Series X SSD could be half the speed of the PS5

Captain Hero

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The new Microsoft Xbox Series X console, and the new Sony PlayStation 5, are going to be the first wee gaming boxes to ship with solid state drives as their main storage device. That could well be a literal game-changer for the next-gen consoles, and potentially a nightmare of weak-source PC ports.


But despite reports that the PS5 is going to have an SSD with “raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available for PCs” it looks like the prototype Xbox Series X consoles will have very much last-gen SSD speeds. A LinkedIn post from a former Phison employee has detailed the SSD controller that was installed into the Xbox Scarlett, and it’s a chip that only supports sequential read/write speeds equivalent to a standard PCIe 3.0 NVMe drive.

The Phison PS5019-E19T is a budget SSD controller that’s been designed specifically to connect over the PCIe 4.0 interface, doesn’t use a DRAM cache chip, and because it’s essentially been based on a PCIe 3.0 controller doesn’t have the performance we’d expect from a purestrain PCIe 4.0 device.

The post was surface on Twitter (via Sweclockers) and confirms that there will be a speedy little PCIe-attached SSD in the new Microsoft Xbox console. But if Sony thinks it’s going to have something beyond what most PC users can jam into the machines, it looks as though Microsoft is being a little more restrained about what it’s putting in its next-gen game box.

Phison itself details the PS5019-E19T as having peak sequential read/write speeds of 3,700MB/s and 3,000MB/s respectively, which isn’t far off the performance of the super-affordable Addlink S70 drive topping our list of the best SSDs for gaming. That’s a resolutely PCIe 3.0 SSD with rated read/write performance of 3,400MB/s and 3,000MB/s and uses a much older Phison PS5102-E12 contoller.

It does need to be stated that this is just the controller that’s been dropped into the Xbox Scarlett prototype box and isn’t necessarily the PCIe 4.0 controller that Microsoft will use in the final retail units. That said, dev kits are usually over-specced compared to their consumer unit cousins.


Microsoft may still drop a speedier controller into the mix, but realistically when you compare it to any console in existence today even the budget Phison controller will deliver storage performance exponentially faster than anything currently available. Just not compared to the PC, obvs.

Or potentially the PS5 which looks like it will be getting a Samsung SSD and controller. And we know how fast Samsung’s new PCIe 4.0 drives will be with the Samsung 980 Pro SSD getting outed at CES with almost twice the rated sequential performance of the Phison controller. that could be where the differentiation between the two next-gen consoles lies. With both running similar AMD technologies inside them it looks like Microsoft is aiming for a faster GPU and Sony a speedier SSD.
 
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it_wasn't_me

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This post from next-gen thread describing DRAM-less SSD

The one apparently in Scarlett is not only E19 (not E19T), it is also a DRAM-less version. DRAM-less SSDs are usually much slower with random read latency higher too.

But the benefits: 'Having no DRAM means a less complex PCB, smaller/simpler flash controller, lower power draw and overall lower cost (most noticebly on smaller capacities).'
So, lower than 3600 MB/s. Maybe IIRC leak from Windows Central is true. Up to 2-2.5 GB/s
 
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M1chl

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Wasn't previous reports that it will uses PS5018-E18? But I don't know. I have to say, that I have fresh new PC with Ryzen 3900X and M. 2 PCIe 4 SSD and I find OS/Games to have really miniscule impact over the SATA 3 SSD (which is Samsung 850 Pro) even though in syntetic benchmarks it wipes the floor with that SATA 3 drive.
 

meirl

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Misleading title. Not the SSD, but the controller.
Why is it that, when there is a misleading title, its ALWAYS PRO SONY PS5 and anti-Xbox? Is this a coincidence here? Or what’s wrong?
Like this crap that cyberpunk is hold back because of Xbox although the article mentioned both Xbox AND PS4?
Or like when people are saying Xbox one games hold series X games back MS said all games must be ported to Xbox one, which is BS because 3rd party devs can do whatever they want!
 

Mod of War

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Misleading title. Not the SSD, but the controller.
Why is it that, when there is a misleading title, its ALWAYS PRO SONY PS5 and anti-Xbox? Is this a coincidence here? Or what’s wrong?
Like this crap that cyberpunk is hold back because of Xbox although the article mentioned both Xbox AND PS4?
Or like when people are saying Xbox one games hold series X games back MS said all games must be ported to Xbox one, which is BS because 3rd party devs can do whatever they want!
Nice little narrative you have constructed there.

This is happening on both sides, and yes we have noticed both sides doing it.
 

Okami Haundo

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So what're the implications on game design here?

Not sarcasm, I genuinely don't know how one SSD being dramatically faster might play out.
 
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dvdvideo

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This just in, the xbox series x may be three times as fast as ps5, and make you breakfast too. This post has as many facts as the originating one.
 
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Captain Hero

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Misleading title. Not the SSD, but the controller.
Why is it that, when there is a misleading title, its ALWAYS PRO SONY PS5 and anti-Xbox? Is this a coincidence here? Or what’s wrong?
Like this crap that cyberpunk is hold back because of Xbox although the article mentioned both Xbox AND PS4?
Or like when people are saying Xbox one games hold series X games back MS said all games must be ported to Xbox one, which is BS because 3rd party devs can do whatever they want!

Oh wow .. dude I don't give a fuck about fanboys war I was about to post the same title like in the source but I deleted some words just to make it short and everything written in the thread you can read it right ? ..

I'm outside and post this one via my phone I'm just posting news that's it .. don't care what you feel
 
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Gavin Stevens

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So what're the implications on game design here?

Not sarcasm, I genuinely don't know how one SSD being dramatically faster might play out.
Not that much. The SSD will allow you to move data about a lot quicker, so it’s two fold: loading, and calling items into memory. However, other constraints in the system dictate this.

In theory, you would think that everything means the Xbox will be very slow at loading or doing these tasks, when the fact of the matter is you’re looking at Barely any difference at all. Neither console will approach instant loading of anything, but it will be very quick - on both systems.

Truthfully though, you could be looking at shaving a second or so off a loading screen. And you could, in theory, load items directly into memory faster, if the system is balanced enough to handle it.

But these are big “ifs” and neither console will manage this perfectly well, because you’re talking about perfect cases where everything happens in perfect harmony at peak levels.

So in short... it doesn’t mean much of anything. Both systems have decent SSDs, and that’s the important thing to take away - both will be a shit load better than this generation.

There’s a reason through all of the bullshit, the fanboy crap, the fake insiders etc... there’s a reason why the one thing that keeps coming back time and time again is that both systems are very close.

I wouldn’t worry too much on the SSD. It won’t effect you too much. CPU/GPU grunt and memory, now that’s a different beast altogether, and it seems both systems seem to have major pros and cons here (from what’s been said anyway).

Truthfully though, despite all this... Nobody knows anything, as anything and everything can change, and nothing is official.
 
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demigod

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This other thread is quite hilarious with clueless folks claiming victory already with 7gb/s nvme. Looks like their dreams are already dead before it got powered.

 
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Amaranty

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What are the benefits of having a faster SSD for gaming other than faster load times?
 

Branthrax

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This other thread is quite hilarious with clueless folks claiming victory already with 7gb/s nvme. Looks like their dreams are already dead before it got powered.

So the speculation that fits the narrative you want to spin is correct.

Gotcha.
 

Gavin Stevens

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A sidenote: this is good news only for some warriors. The closer the two consoles to each other, the better. I don't think most of us want to have one console hold back the other in case of third party titles.
Have you not heard? The SX only plays Xbox One games uprezzed 🤣🤣

But no, you’re absolutely correct.
 
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Spukc

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Misleading title. Not the SSD, but the controller.
Why is it that, when there is a misleading title, its ALWAYS PRO SONY PS5 and anti-Xbox? Is this a coincidence here? Or what’s wrong?
Like this crap that cyberpunk is hold back because of Xbox although the article mentioned both Xbox AND PS4?
Or like when people are saying Xbox one games hold series X games back MS said all games must be ported to Xbox one, which is BS because 3rd party devs can do whatever they want!
maybe make a thread about how the neogaf mods are paid by sony.
just to be sure 🤔
 

makaveli60

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Have you not heard? The SX only playing Xbox One games uprezzed 🤣🤣

But no, you’re absolutely correct.
Yeah, I don't like that. I hope they get rid of current-gen consoles faster than they imply. I want proper nextgen games on the nextgen consoles.
 
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vpance

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And the implications of this are?
Potentially more pop-in on textures vs almost none. Worst case is the maps are less detailed, but I doubt that would be something common. Multi platform titles will be evened out.

The simplest observation would be double the load times.
 
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CJY

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I've no doubt games can be created that are simply impossible on a slow HDD. We might potentially even see new genres crop up.

The difference between 3GB/s and 6GB/s might not be that significant in the grand scheme of things, but I'm confident we're going to see new games and concepts that take advantage of the SSD a lot quicker on PS5 through SWWS, seeing as Xbox Studio games are mostly still being designed with the OG Xbox One in mind. Xbox games are also all coming to Game Pass on PC if I'm not mistaken. I don't have stats, but my guess is that over 95% of the PC audience are on SSD/HDD with speeds of less than 1GB/s.
 
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It will be used in a handful of exclusive games to stream stuff that cannot be streamed with a slower hard-drive.

My guess is that this probably won't affect game-design as much as the jump from 2D to 3D :messenger_smirking:
Troll post? Seriously can't tell anymore nowadays.

Custom high speed SSD's will absolutely have a major impact in game design on consoles going forward. Alot of existing and older games use cutscenes and other trickery to mask loading in game assets. Crytek have come and stated that the SSD's are indeed a game changer. If you no longer need to hide asset loading behind stuff like cutscenes, then it absolutely changes the way you approach building games. And it abso-fucking-lutely will not be limited to exclusives. What a crock of shit.
 
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ethomaz

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Wasn't previous reports that it will uses PS5018-E18? But I don't know. I have to say, that I have fresh new PC with Ryzen 3900X and M. 2 PCIe 4 SSD and I find OS/Games to have really miniscule impact over the SATA 3 SSD (which is Samsung 850 Pro) even though in syntetic benchmarks it wipes the floor with that SATA 3 drive.
Yeap let’s compare games made to mechanical HDD as base with games made with SSD as base.

PC probably won’t see these advantages unless they up the minimum specs to include SSD.
 

kruis

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I've no doubt games can be created that are simply impossible on a slow HDD. We might potentially even see new genres crop up.

The difference between 3GB/s and 6GB/s might not be that significant in the grand scheme of things, but I'm confident we're going to see new games and concepts that take advantage of the SSD a lot quicker on PS5 through SWWS, seeing as Xbox Studio games are mostly still being designed with the OG Xbox One in mind. Xbox games are also all coming to Game Pass on PC if I'm not mistaken. I don't have stats, but my guess is that over 95% of the PC audience are on SSD/HDD with speeds of less than 1GB/s.
The max throughput of a SATA SSD is 500MB/s max. And most hard drives manage only about 100MB/s.
 

M1chl

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Yeap let’s compare games made to mechanical HDD as base with games made with SSD as base.

PC probably won’t see these advantages unless they up the minimum specs to include SSD.
Because I only mention games, right? I sort of do database systemes and it simply is not not that much faster. Maybe is that, I have 64GB of Ram, but I doubt it. I don't think that OS cache everything, which is not previously used.

Besides, loading is not only about storage speed, you need to have beefed up whole memory subsystem to make it work.

To get the same perfprmance boost, you need PCI gen 4.0. 99.5% of all PC gamers don't have a brand new AMD motherboard that supports this.
What does this means, how "supports it, you mean like there is some arbitrary number, which say how fast it could be loaded? That's not how it works.
 
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kruis

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Yeap let’s compare games made to mechanical HDD as base with games made with SSD as base.

PC probably won’t see these advantages unless they up the minimum specs to include SSD.
To get the same perfprmance boost, you need PCI gen 4.0. 99.5% of all PC gamers don't have a brand new AMD motherboard that supports this.
 

ethomaz

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What are the benefits of having a faster SSD for gaming other than faster load times?
- No more pop in
- More objects in the screen
- Bigger and more detailed open world games
- Faster movement for character and camera
- More unique texture and assets (games reuse the same texture/asset in memory to not need to get a new one on disc)

It changes drastically what you can do in game development... be creative because you are not limited anymore by the texture/data streaming from the disc.
 
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ethomaz

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Because I only mention games, right? I sort of do database systemes and it simply is not not that much faster. Maybe is that, I have 64GB of Ram, but I doubt it. I don't think that OS cache everything, which is not previously used.

Besides, loading is not only about storage speed, you need to have beefed up whole memory subsystem to make it work.


What does this means, how "supports it, you mean like there is some arbitrary number, which say how fast it could be loaded? That's not how it works.
Let’s see next-gen games showing if your tests are right...
 

JLB

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- No more pop in
- More objects in the screen
- Bigger and more detailed open world games
- Faster movement for character and camera
- More unique texture and assets (games reuse the same texture/asset in memory to not need to get a new one on disc)

It changes drastically what you can do in game development... be creative because you are not limited anymore by the texture/data streaming from the disc.
now ssd is the key performance metric.
 
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Amaranty

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- No more pop in
- More objects in the screen
- Bigger and more detailed open world games
- Faster movement for character and camera
- More unique texture and assets (games reuse the same texture/asset in memory to not need to get a new one on disc)

It changes drastically what you can do in game development... be creative because you are not limited anymore by the texture/data streaming from the disc.
That sounds pretty great but is there some kind of diminishing return, when it comes to read/write speeds? Is it possible that SSD speeds be bottlenecked by other components?