Digital Foundry: Can SSD Upgrades Boost PS3 Performance?

It's impossible to upgrade the in-game performance on your console, right? Every unit is the same, so the gameplay experience should be identical on every machine out there. While this is true for virtually every games console out there, PlayStation 3 is unique in that you can upgrade the stock hard drive with any kind of replacement you like - and that includes state-of-the-art SSD (solid state disk) technology.

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Mr2Good33143d ago

Yea a buddy of mine put a SSD into his ps3, he said it is kinda of faster. I just dont feel the extra money is worth it, they are just to damn expensive. I pulled my 80 gig out of my ps3 and put a regular 320 in.

decrypt3143d ago

Well first they are expensive and second how much percent of game time do we spend at a load screen. Its a very small percent. Hence its a waste of money imo.

It makes better sense on a PC where people need to run a heavy OS.

ChrisW3143d ago

Aside from texture pop-in, don't forget there's area loading as well. Remember Oblivion and the 1 or 2 second load screen every 5 mins when walking through a forest? It's barely even noticeable with a SSD.

So, it's all about what kind of immersion you want and how much you're willing to pay for it. IMO, it's not a waste of money.

RevXM3142d ago (Edited 3142d ago )

Very true but If current gen consoles somehow were launched with SSD of todays standard then games would be designed around and take full advantage of it.

Current gen games arent made with that in mind, but hopefully next gen consoles will come with SSD's and the games and OS will benefit from it.

SSD's should in theory contribute heavily to reduce popins and late streaming to zero loading on models and higher res textures in distances etc with no stress at all.

Also installing, saving and loading games would just take 1/4-5th of the time it does on a HDD depending on the SSD. 500+MB/s perform that well compared to standard Laptop HDDs wich have a max read of 120ish MB per second, but they are also held back by longer access times.

IMO next gen consoles must have SSD's as main drives and perhaps have a secondary slot for expansion.
But I for one would be content with a 240GB SSD for some years even if I downloaded a few games, as time goes on I would need to uppgrade but by then I hope SDD's will be cheap.
FULL AAA games ranges in sizes from 4GB to 15-20GB and that is a lot of games.

Some ps3 games are really big though, but if we can choose a partial or full install then even the biggest games shouldnt take all that much space.

steve30x3142d ago (Edited 3142d ago )

@ Mr2Good3 : In GT5 you spend a lot of time on the loading screen especially with Spec II and starting a race seems to take forever. GT5 is the only game I play on the PS3 so an SSD still wouldn't be worth it for me.

@ RexM : You will only get 500mb/s through SATA III connection. The PS3 is not SATA II so you will only get 250mb/s max.

RevXM3142d ago

@ steve30x

I know the ps3 uses the old sata, If it wasnt clear enough that everything after "SSD should in theory" is about "Next gen" hardware and possibilities and some of my thoughts.
But about the latest SATA it has a 6Gb/s transfer speed which is 750MB/s. Ps3's old sata if Im not mistaken allows only half of that, 3Gb/s.

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mac_sparrow3143d ago

6 months ago I put a 750 in for £40 delivered. Solid State drives are nice, but it's hard to justify the price compared to that.

Series_IIa3143d ago

But now its getting hard to justify the cost of a mechanical drive in general too since the price of a HDD are creeping slowly back up to the £100($150) mark for 1TB again due to the floods in Thailand.

Compared to the £40 I bought mine for beginning of last year.

mac_sparrow3143d ago

Hadn't realised they'd gotten that high again. The only drives I've dealt with recently are at work and bought at education prices.

Tough choice, I think I'd still go with the mechanical though, but then I have used over 300GB on my ps3 through games alone.

KUV19773143d ago

Well the loading of ingame assets as demonstrated in the videos in the article is pretty nice but i agree that it is not worth the price of admission.

kaveti66163143d ago

For PC the load times are unbelievably fast with SSDs. I spent the last two years on a netbook so for me load times were very slow. But recently I got a high end PC with an SSD and I press the the power button and in 6 seconds my computer is on and ready with all start up programs like Trillian already on. Only drawback is that it's so fast my internet doesn't have time to power on before all my internet related programs do.

V0LT3143d ago (Edited 3143d ago )

Agree. I just installed a Crucial M4 128gb (Sata 6gb) in mine for a boot drive with a fresh copy of WIn 7 64bit now that the prices have came down. It is still a bit pricey per gb that you get but I think it is well worth it. From the time I press the power button im in Windows in 6 seconds ready to roll. Programs load so much faster too.

ChrisW3143d ago

Also agree. I have an Intel 80Gb for my C: and an Intel 160Gb for game drive. Oh, don't forget that SATA3 cables can help with transfer rates... Of course if your motherboard doesn't support SATA3, you can still use them but you won't get the 6Gb/s transfer rate.

SATA1 = 1.5Gb/s transfer rate. (standard)
SATA2 = 3Gb/s transfer rate.
SATA3 = 6Gb/s transfer rate.

dedicatedtogamers3143d ago

I have a pair of SSDs in RAID on my PC and it's hella fast. It's too bad that consoles don't have the power to take advantage of the technology, and they probably won't be able to take advantage of it next gen, either, not unless 5+ GB installs become a standard.

Conzul3143d ago

I just bought a Seagate Momentus XT (hybrid drive, is part SSD part HDD). Supposedly just as good as an SSD but with 750gb capacity. ~$180, replaces the 160gb that came with my limited edition Ps3.

Was going to get a 120gb SSD but they end up costing the same, and tests done so far indicate that the hybrid drive has like 90% of the performance of a straight up SSD (probably due to the fact that there's actually 6gb of actual SSD in it).

ChrisW3143d ago

So how do you use the 6Gb SSD? Games like Skyrim take close to 9Gbs.

davekaos3142d ago

The 6Gb is a storage cache for writing data so instead of the disk being hammered it will queue its jobs in the cache. Nothing is installed on that 6gb

miacosa3143d ago

These tests have been done to death since the advent of SSD. The result is always the same for the amount of money you spend and the limited amount of storage they provide versus the few milliseconds if any of benefit makes this entire endeavor futile.

Conzul3143d ago

As far as the ps3 is concerned, yes.

PC is a whole 'nother ball park.

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