PS5

SSD to make PS5 an incredibly fast next-gen console

Mark Cerny in "The road to PS5"
Mark Cerny in “The road to PS5”

During the launch of PlayStation 5 hardware presentation, lead system architect Mark Cerny revealed that the new PS5 SSD will be extremely impressive, with download speeds 100 times faster.

On Wednesday morning, Sony launched a 52-minute “Road to PS5” presentation to introduce the PlayStation 5 hardware specifications. During the presentation, Sony’s Mark Cerny introduced each core part of PS5, including its CPU and GPU. However, the highlight feature of the speech belongs to the SSD of this console.

On paper, Sony lists the PS5’s internal storage as a “custom 825GB SSD”. An SSD alone is a huge upgrade over the mechanical hard drives of the PS4 generation. An 825 GB SSD is also a great start compared to when the PS4 first launched only 500 GB. But the most important word in that description is “custom”. The SSD drive in PS5 is built and engineered to improve the performance of the PS5 to an incredible degree. Sony says it can even make loading speeds 100 times faster than the PS4.

According to Sony’s initial estimates, the PS5’s SSD will have a capacity of 5.5 GB/s of performance on paper. However, due to the PS5’s custom design, which includes a 12-channel interface between the SSD and the main processor, Sony claims it will deliver 8-9GB/s of compressed throughput.

ssd speed
SSD speed

In other words, the SSD specifications of the Xbox Series X show that this console’s custom SSD is about half of that at 4.8 GB/sec of compressed throughput. If the Xbox Series X is prioritizing power, then the PS5 is prioritizing speed and agility. And the PS5 SSD and the surrounding design is the reason for that.

That is, the PS5’s CPU will be able to communicate with data on its SSDs at lightning speed. As noted, it is 100 times faster to send data from the SSD to the main chip, making download times extremely fast. However, not only that but Sony also stated that the communication time needed to search for that data could be instantaneous. It is likely when you go to a supermarket to buy an item you need and as soon as you enter you discover that the item has immediately appeared in your hand.

Right now, Sony’s getting the technical details for the PS5 out of the way. These numbers may not mean a lot to Sony’s PlayStation audience on paper. It looks like fans will just have to settle for these specifications for now. Sony will go out of its way to show just what these specifications mean for game performance in the months to come. Luckily, on paper, the numbers look great. Now Sony just has to prove that its hardware can deliver next-generation experiences.

The PS5 is still scheduled for the 2020 holiday season launch.

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