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2 years in, can we call BS on the "power of SSD" in new consoles?

PUNKem733

Member
Well cross gen games aren't going to use it. Shit this is the whole reason I don't have a next gen console I know the pandemic would fuck it up and extend last gen much longer. I'm waiting on a pro, or another year or so to get one.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
So, before this gen launched, I, among others, was sceptical that new gen was much more powerful than the previous one, but all everyone told me about was the new shinny tech we were getting: SSDs!

Those were supposed to be the revolution in the use of memory, basically allowing developers to imagine worlds and systems so complex we couldn't really understand. I thought it was just fast loads, but my take was mentioned as ignorant, at best.

Cue 2 years laters and... Yeah, I'm still waiting on this tech doing anything substantial. In fact, this entire new gen has been pushing so little boundaries that almost every game is cross gen. I have my series s as game pass machine and it's great, but I sure as hell don't buy on the power of these new consoles, and specially on those special SSD.

All games made so far can run on last gen still, with some simple downgrades, it seems.

Am I wrong? There was any game making use of this technology that i didn't got to see how big is the difference? Is the new gen disappointing for you?
Whoa, lots of games designed for last gen systems as lead platforms manage to run on last gen systems too… shocked really ;).

Disagree on both XSX and PS5, while we need a bit more time for these consoles to flex their wings we have seen games being smaller (better compression, I/O pipeline is more than just the SSD), we have seen far far lower loading times (even on BC titles, see XSX and how games like Deadly Premonition have been saved), and games streaming tons of data in and out during the game even early in the generation (see R&C on PS5, The Matrix demo, etc…).
 

MH3M3D

Member
Most game engines out there aren't optimized yet to take full advantage. Especially if you still bring out your game on the previous gen. Its a matter of time, but its always the case that you see the full power of hardware used around the mid-late period of the generation.
 

Loxus

Member
We discover that if you accept a long initial load and have a lot more ram you can avoid needing an SSD and a fast decompression pipeline to make up for the costly RAM you were not able to add to your design… 🤷‍♂️.
What he doesn't know is it has to be GDDR, not RAM. RAM is still to slow and only used to store compressed files before decompressing and sending it to the GDDR.


Some games are roughly 80 GB in size.
So 80GB of GDDR minimum, to load the entire game in VRAM.
Maybe more with RTX IO.


I can't imagine the cost of that GPU.
 

winjer

Member
What he doesn't know is it has to be GDDR, not RAM. RAM is still to slow and only used to store compressed files before decompressing and sending it to the GDDR.


Some games are roughly 80 GB in size.
So 80GB of GDDR minimum, to load the entire game in VRAM.
Maybe more with RTX IO.


I can't imagine the cost of that GPU.

Why would anyone try to fit a full game in vram?

And yes, DDR5 is slower than GDDR6. But DRR4 and DDR5 are many times faster than any SSD in the market.
So devs usually use it to stream data to the GPU.
 

Loxus

Member
Why would anyone try to fit a full game in vram?

And yes, DDR5 is slower than GDDR6. But DRR4 and DDR5 are many times faster than any SSD in the market.
So devs usually use it to stream data to the GPU.
You need to read all the replies then.
 

winjer

Member
You need to read all the replies then.

I read them.
But what you said makes no sense. There is no need to have all in vram.
The CPU can decompress data, store it in ram, and send it to the GPU as requested.
This is how it works today. Ram is fast enough to do this.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
I read them.
But what you said makes no sense. There is no need to have all in vram.
The CPU can decompress data, store it in ram, and send it to the GPU as requested.
This is how it works today. Ram is fast enough to do this.

Yes, but an HDD isn't. Isn't that the entire point you're trying to make, that if you have enough RAM you don't need fast storage? That only works up to a certain point.

Fast storage + a balanced amount of RAM (that you can keep fed at all times without having to waste a ton of it for just-in-case scenarios) is the far more efficient solution. I.e. what the consoles (PS5 in particular) went with. Tons of RAM with CPU decompression from slow storage is the inefficient brute force method.
 

winjer

Member
Yes, but an HDD isn't. Isn't that the entire point you're trying to make, that if you have enough RAM you don't need fast storage? That only works up to a certain point.

Fast storage + a balanced amount of RAM (that you can keep fed at all times without having to waste a ton of it for just-in-case scenarios) is the far more efficient solution. I.e. what the consoles (PS5 in particular) went with. Tons of RAM with CPU decompression from slow storage is the inefficient brute force method.

An HDD would require a larger pool of cached ram, as not to stutter.
And yes, you are correct, the best way is to have a balanced system with fast SSD, fast I/O system, fast file system, and a good amount of vram and ram.
But because MS has spent the last decade slacking off, now the PC is well behind in the I/O and file system.
Like I said in previous threads, the biggest bottleneck in PC gaming is not the hardware, it's Microsoft.
 

Corndog

Member
We discover that if you accept a long initial load and have a lot more ram you can avoid needing an SSD and a fast decompression pipeline to make up for the costly RAM you were not able to add to your design… 🤷‍♂️.
It’s just a factual statement. I’m not saying it is ideal.
The best scenario would probably be around 20-24 GBs of ram along with a average ssd. Neither console maker went that route because of cost.
 

Lognor

Banned
Faster loading times are nice but quick resume is the real game changer. I can switch between a dozen games and pick up right where I left off. That is the best thing about the ssd. Love it!
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
An HDD would require a larger pool of cached ram, as not to stutter.
And yes, you are correct, the best way is to have a balanced system with fast SSD, fast I/O system, fast file system, and a good amount of vram and ram.
But because MS has spent the last decade slacking off, now the PC is well behind in the I/O and file system.
Like I said in previous threads, the biggest bottleneck in PC gaming is not the hardware, it's Microsoft.

Yeah. But even if MS had done better on the software side, PCs still don't have the fully integrated I/O hardware pipeline the PS5 was designed with. RTX I/O + DirectStorage kinda bridges that gap, but not quite fully I believe?
 
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Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
It’s just a factual statement. I’m not saying it is ideal.
The best scenario would probably be around 20-24 GBs of ram along with an average ssd. Neither console maker went that route because of cost.
So SSD’s make sense and their power is being felt ;).

How about one does not want that initial load either or not having longer and longer fast travel times or features like quick resume? Also, more like 32 GB as in most PC’s you will waste more RAM with buffers as you move memory all over the place.

RAM is costly so you want to make sure you only use what makes a difference in games not to brute force your way around loading time issues (good luck with the initial load and any fast travel mechanism consuming tons of CPU resources and taking a long time).
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Yeah. But even if MS had done better on the software side, PCs still don't have the fully integrated I/O hardware pipeline from storage to VRAM like the PS5 was designed with. RTX I/O + DirectStorage kinda bridges that gap, but not quite fully I believe?
Not just HW, look at software support for DirectStorage on PC… we are still miles away from what console games can and are using today.

This is the problem with the PC model and making consoles more modular or having more spec profiles overlapping at any one time just moves us closer to that direction: it takes forever to get new platform breakthroughs in and used. Consoles can bring paradigm changes a lot lot faster.
 

winjer

Member
Yeah. But even if MS had done better on the software side, PCs still don't have the fully integrated I/O hardware pipeline the PS5 was designed with. RTX I/O + DirectStorage kinda bridges that gap, but not quite fully I believe?

Much is being spoken about the PS5 compression hardware. But sadly little about it's advanced file system.
I recommend reding about it on anandtech, as they did an amazing job at it.

The thing that is missing in the PC is the hardware decompression. But had MS done it's job a decade ago, SSD manufacturers would probably have created more advanced decompression hardware.
Mind you that SSDs on PC also use controllers that can compress and decompress data, since Sata SSDs.
 
Even if nothing came of the SSD's from a game design angle, the fact that console load times have gone from sometimes minutes, to seconds, well that alone would be worth it.

Agreed.

However, the problem with the SSDs that both consoles are using is that they are very expensive so storage space is much more premium than on previous generations. Backward compatible games can be ran from external SATA3 drives (SSDs and hard drives) but native PS5/Xbox Series games have to use the faster SSDs. I question whether games like NBA 2K22, FIFA 22 and Madden 23 really need to be run from the faster SSDs as, in the case of the latter, it runs perfectly fine on my PC installed to a 7,200rpm hard drive and the loading times are not that much long either (I was able to test that game on PC and Xbox Series X, thanks to GamePass Ultimate).

On reflection, I wish both Microsoft and Sony had considered the use of fast SSDs only for games that needed those and allowed for those games that don't, such as FIFA, NBA and Madden etc, to run from SATA3 drives at the expense of longer loading times. Sure, most people are happy to play a game to completion and uninstall it so are perfectly happy with the meagre amount of storage that comes with both machines but as game install sizes increase this means less games can be installed which then means people are forced to buy these expensive drives in order to have more than a few games installed at once. I mean I feel sorry for anyone that plays NBA 2K and Call of Duty on Xbox Series S because between those two games it doesn't leave a lot of space free...
 
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Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Much is being spoken about the PS5 compression hardware. But sadly little about it's advanced file system.
I recommend reding about it on anandtech, as they did an amazing job at it.

The thing that is missing in the PC is the hardware decompression. But had MS done it's job a decade ago, SSD manufacturers would probably have created more advanced decompression hardware.
Mind you that SSDs on PC also use controllers that can compress and decompress data, since Sata SSDs.
Nice, thanks for the link :).

On top of advancemente on their file system and software I/O stack, there is plenty of custom HW beside the Kraken or BCPACK decompressor units (and the OS and games take advantage of it which is the problem in the PC space, getting it agreed, available pervasively enough and used by devs). The OS and tools devs can rely on the HW support being there in every single unit and can design powerful and efficient ways for games to tap into that too.




This is what I like about both console designs, the ability to review and design an end to end solution. It is no surprise that the company with less PC legacy was able to go even further in designing custom software and HW (it is not about being smarter or not, sometimes legacy holds you back a lot).
 
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Much is being spoken about the PS5 compression hardware. But sadly little about it's advanced file system.
I recommend reding about it on anandtech, as they did an amazing job at it.

The thing that is missing in the PC is the hardware decompression. But had MS done it's job a decade ago, SSD manufacturers would probably have created more advanced decompression hardware.
Mind you that SSDs on PC also use controllers that can compress and decompress data, since Sata SSDs.

Yes, the lack of hardware decompression is an issue on PC currently as this has to be offloaded to the CPU which is why games like Spider-Man Remastered don't run as well as they should on equivalent hardware to the PS5 and require brute force to run on much more powerful hardware. This isn't an issue that is going to be easily fixed either as developers on the PC have to cater for people playing games on older hardware, including hard drives, so it will be a long time before the PC catches up with the PS5 and Xbox Series X in terms of this feature. You can work around it on PC but only by paying for it with hardware that is way above the specs of the current consoles.
 

winjer

Member
Nice, thanks for the link :).

On top of advancemente on their file system and software I/O stack, there is plenty of custom HW beside the Kraken or BCPACK decompressor units (and the OS and games take advantage of it which is the problem in the PC space, getting it agreed, available pervasively enough and used by devs). The OS and tools devs can rely on the HW support being there in every single unit and can design powerful and efficient ways for games to tap into that too.




This is what I like about both console designs, the ability to review and design an end to end solution. It is no surprise that the company with less PC legacy was able to go even further in designing custom software and HW (it is not about being smarter or not, sometimes legacy holds you back a lot).

Mind you that the PS5 controller is not some ultra customized, fixed function unit. It's a regular 3 core ARM controller.
This means it can do all compression algorithms that Sony needs to. So if a few years from now someone develops a new compression algorithm, Sony can probably just use it on their SSD with a mere firmware update.
A PC could also use a similar controller. The issue is still the software side, mostly MS and Windows.

Legacy compatibility is nice, but MS has done away with it several times. For example, just recently, MS enforced the use of TPM with W11. So lots of hardware was left behind because of that.
MS could have already introduced a more advanced file system and I/O subsystem, many years ago. But they are too busy filling up Windows with bloatware and spyware.
If you read that anandtech article, you will see mentions to a Linux file system, reminiscent of what Sony has done in the PS5. They had done it several years before MS.

MS is slacking off so much, that even on their flagship console, there is still no games with support for Direct Storage. Two years after release.
On the PC we have RTX/IO hardware since 2018, with Turing GPUs. But 4 years later and there is still no game that uses it, because devs were all waiting for MS.
And now it's going to take a while for devs to get a handle with it. So adoption will be slow.
 
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Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Mind you that the PS5 controller is not some ultra customized, fixed function unit. It's a regular 3 core ARM controller.
This means it can do all compression algorithms that Sony needs to. So if a few years from now someone develops a new compression algorithm, Sony can probably just use it on their SSD with a mere firmware update.
The Kraken unit is a HW decoder so yeah they can side step it but the other ARM cores (they have a custom SSD controller + the custom I/O SoC) handling memory mapping, coherency, fine grained cache invalidation, etc… would then need to pick up the slack.

A PC could also use a similar controller. The issue is still the software side, mostly MS and Windows.

Legacy compatibility is nice, but MS has done away with it several times. For example, just recently, MS enforced the use of TPM with W11. So lots of hardware was left behind because of that.
MS could have already introduced a more advanced file system and I/O subsystem, many years ago. But they are too busy filling up Windows with bloatware and spyware.
If you read that anandtech article, you will see mentions to a Linux file system, reminiscent of what Sony has done in the PS5. They had done it several years before MS.
I read it, again another ecosystem which less of a forever BC legacy as Windows, but good plot :).

MS is slacking off so much, that even on their flagship console, there is still no games with support for Direct Storage. Two years after release.
On the PC we have RTX/IO hardware since 2018, with Turing GPUs. But 4 years later and there is still no game that uses it, because devs were all waiting for MS.
And now it's going to take a while for devs to get a handle with it. So adoption will be slow.
 

soulbait

Member
No, no we can't.

Generation is still early, and so far, I love having the SSD for load speeds and quick resume alone.
 

CatLady

Selfishly plays on Xbox Purr-ies X
Difference being Microsoft fans didnt expect anything that they have not delivered regarding there SSD.
I think Xbox delivered more than I expected. I didn't realize the SSD was a function of QR and I didn't think QR would be a big deal, now I wonder how we ever lived without it.

I never expected the SSD to virtually eliminate the load times on 360 era Bethesda RPGs and since those are some of my all-time favorite games with the most obnoxious loading times and frequency that's a giant benefit for me.

Also, as others have said the Series X/S SSD were never hyped to perform miracles, so thinking about it some more I would say it has over-delivered for Xbox. No the SSDs are not BS.
 

intbal

Gold Member
Games like Prey are completely transformed on 9th gen machines. Games from the PS4/XBO era which loaded large sections of the game world (rather than constant streaming) were quite unpleasant to navigate. With loads reduced to a few seconds, those games have a completely different flow to them.
So that's at least one way in which SSDs have more than proven their worth.
 

Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
I think Xbox delivered more than I expected. I didn't realize the SSD was a function of QR and I didn't think QR would be a big deal, now I wonder how we ever lived without it.

I never expected the SSD to virtually eliminate the load times on 360 era Bethesda RPGs and since those are some of my all-time favorite games with the most obnoxious loading times and frequency that's a giant benefit for me.

Also, as others have said the Series X/S SSD were never hyped to perform miracles, so thinking about it some more I would say it has over-delivered for Xbox. No the SSDs are not BS.
Indeed, quick resume is an amazing feature.
 
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