PS5 SSD speed test: slower drives work

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If the PS5’s high-speed SSD storage is already running out, a fix is ​​coming. Sony new beta update for PS5 you can expand the meager 667GB of usage by clicking a similar M.2 SSD stick that you might slide into a laptop or desktop computer. My colleague Mitchell has PS5 SSD Buying Guide here which meets all Sony recommendations, such as a speed of at least 5500 MB / s. However, it might be wondering: what about slower SSDs?

That’s why we followed ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite, one of the slowest compatible PCIe Gen4 drives we can find at 3900 MB / s and 3200 MB / s write, and attached it to the PS5 along with another drive.

The PS5 reads 3898.001 megabytes per second in the speed test

Yes, it is a 3900 MB / s drive.
Photo: Sean Hollister / The Verge

Compared the S50 Lite to both the PS5’s internal SSD and the 5,000MB / Sabrent Rocket 500GB in tests, including download times for games such as early PS5 demos Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. We also measured how long it takes to back up games to each drive by throwing Seagate’s external hard drive in for comparison because With Sony, you can now archive PS5 games and play PS4 games from a traditional hard drive.

Judgment? Surprisingly, even the slowest compatible SSD we found was almost identical to the download times that Sony included in the package. Sometimes it’s a second slower, sometimes a second or two faster, but basically it’s a perfect wash. Jump through the dimensions inside Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, I didn’t see a significant difference in the slowest SSD.

PS5 SSD charging time

Game Internal SSD Sabrent rocket XPG Gammix S50 Lite External hard drive
Game Internal SSD Sabrent rocket XPG Gammix S50 Lite External hard drive
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart 14 seconds 14 seconds 15 seconds AS
Returnal 30 seconds 30 seconds 31 seconds AS
Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5) 19 seconds 18 seconds 17 seconds AS
FFVII Remake (PS5) 10 seconds 10 seconds 10 seconds AS
FFVII Remake (PS4) 43 seconds 43 seconds 43 seconds 58 seconds
Yakuza Like a Dragon (PS5) 31 seconds 32 seconds 32 seconds AS
Yakuza Like a Dragon (PS4) 37 seconds 37 seconds 35 seconds 52 seconds

Average; measured from the PS5 home screen to active gaming.

I also didn’t necessarily see a big difference between the drives when it comes to moving games back and forth, but there was one big surprise: at least at this beta, it looks like Sony might limit the PS5’s own write speed on the internal drive. The broadcast took only 2:26 both PS5 and PS4 copies / Final Fantasy VII Remake for example, Sabrent for SSD, but 12:47 to go back to PS5 – more than five times longer.

On average, I saw a write speed of about 1100 MB / s transferring my five test games to one of my accessory M.2 drives, but only about 220 MB / s, sending the same games back to the PS5. Both are much better than the 141MB / s average transfer rate I saw when sending games to the Seagate hard drive, and the 97MB / s I saw reflecting them back – the transfer took more than half an hour (31:24) Final Fantasy 176.5GB of games back to the internal SSD. But the slower internal SSD write speed is weird, and Sony had no comment when I asked.

The bigger question so far is this: are game developers completely optimizing their games at the incredible speeds that an SSD can afford?

See, for example, our download time Final Fantasy VII Remake in the diagram above. Regardless of the drive, it takes more than four times longer to download the PS4 version! The difference is that you expect a download screen full of game tips to keep you busy, and – 10 seconds from exiting the PS5 home screen until you can move the Cloud Stripe in your recording game – you hardly see the download screen at all. The latter is incredible to watch.

See also them Spider-Man: Miles Morales numbers? The game does not always download as fast as possible. Sometimes you launch a game to see Marvel, Insomniac, and PlayStation Studios demos, which eat up a full 26 seconds, so it takes more than 43 seconds to download the game. But other times it mysteriously bypasses them and loads in more than 17 seconds, and I couldn’t understand why. I would like to change the option to disable these intros, and here I hope that more PS5 games will also bypass them.

Would you run out and buy the slowest PCIe Gen4 SSD I can buy for the PS5? I’m not so sure because Sony chose the SSD specs it recommended for a reason – while today’s games and the current PS5 don’t take full advantage of it, developers may need more space in the future. They have been promised 5,500MB / s to deliver instant game worlds, and I wouldn’t want to know that I bought the wrong drive over the years.

Plus, there may be moments already Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart where you notice the difference says Mike Fitzgerald, Insomniac’s technical director:

Microsoft also uses an SSD in the Xbox Series X, but one with a raw capacity of less than half 2.4 GB / s Instead of 5.5 GB / s for PS5. So even if developers take advantage, it’s possible that many next-generation games will never see the full benefits if they target both the Xbox and PlayStation instead of the PS5. You will probably see the most benefit Sony’s unique PlayStation Studios games, although Square Enix is ​​fast Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade charging times give more hope.

In any case, the list of SSDs that actually meet Sony’s requirements and recommendations here is our buying guide.

Photo: Tom Warren / The Verge

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