The PS5's SSD is so fast that Epic had to rewrite parts of Unreal Engine 5

midian182

Posts: 5,759   +46
Staff member

By utilizing PCIe 4.0, Sony says its custom SSD can shift compressed data at a maximum of 9 GB/s—twice as fast as the Xbox Series X's 4.8 GB/s. After being decompressed, it can be processed at 5.5 GB/s, which again is about twice as fast as the 2.4 GB/s that Microsoft’s console can manage.

Epic recently showed off the Unreal Engine 5 tech demo, which was running on a PlayStation 5. In an interview with VG247, Nick Penwarden, VP of engineering at Epic Games, explained why a PS5 was used.

“The PlayStation 5 provides a huge leap in both computing and graphics performance, but its storage architecture is also truly special,” he said.

Penwarden went on to say that the SSD is so fast that Epic had to rewrite parts of Unreal Engine 5 to take full advantage of it.

“The ability to stream in content at extreme speeds enables developers to create denser and more detailed environments, changing how we think about streaming content. It’s so impactful that we’ve rewritten our core I/O subsystems for Unreal Engine with the PlayStation 5 in mind,” he added.

Slow loading times have long been an issue with consoles, but with the next-gen machines moving to NVMe SSDs, in-game tricks such as long elevator rides and ‘squeezing through tight spaces’ animations should become a thing of the past. Ed Boon, co-creator of the Mortal Kombat series and creative director on Mortal Kombat 11, says consumers shouldn’t underestimate what this means for games.

While the Unreal Engine has been rewritten because of the PS5, Epic boss Tim Sweeney tweeted that all platforms will benefit from the upgrade.

Permalink to story.

 
  • Like
Reactions: goHolly

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 2,870   +2,594
Basically what you're talking about is having the newest SSD technology which has been stress tested for endurance running without all the background clutter and performance drains of an Operating system like Windows 10. I have no doubts it will be fast and work efficiently with other components.

But there's two main things that determine how good it will be: the quality of the games and the dedication of the developers. They have to take advantage of all that speed and deliver a product that delivers a standardized and corporatized experience for buyers.

The new consoles may offer console players the fastest speeds they've ever seen, but I truly doubt PC Enthusiasts will be wowed.
 

Xex360

Posts: 6   +12
Is the actual console going to be an SSD with the PS5 logo on it?

Cause I hear so much talk about the SSD, and have no idea about the physical hardware.
They lost the power game to Microsoft so they focus on their SSD, like in the previous generation where Microsoft focused on TV, because their console was powerless compared to the already rubbish PS4 hardware.
It's just marketing as usual.
 

BoboOOZ

Posts: 34   +29
I have a fast SSD on my PC and, since on PC present games are made for hard drives still, I don't have time to read the tips in the loading sections, they stay on the screen quite less than one second, I can see there's a tip but I can only grab 2-3 words before it goes away...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Milest

dangh

Posts: 111   +150
They lost the power game to Microsoft
really? how do you know? or you think maybe that tflops is the indicator of 'power'?:)
Because we know that Radeon VII, 14 tflops is more powerful that nVidia 2080 super, 11 tflops!.

oh wait...
lol.;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: TempleOrion

Red999

Posts: 100   +36
I guess it's the preemptive load mechanism. With higher ssd speed and bigger ram, the engine will likely to preload more files than before
 

dangh

Posts: 111   +150
Is the actual console going to be an SSD with the PS5 logo on it?
Cause I hear so much talk about the SSD, and have no idea about the physical hardware.
I recommend to listen to Cerny's presentation.
And if this is not enough insightfull, this guy (frostbyte engine developer) made a very good video commenting information from Cerny and putting them into professiona context:

in short, option to put data from drive directly into the memory in gpu readable format with on-fly decompression is a game changer. All data in any PC have go through CPU to RAM, then CPU have to decompress it, then copy it from RAM to GDDR. Huge overhead, so even .m2 raid, with theoretically higher throughput will be slow down by cpu / gpu driver bottleneck:
 
really? how do you know? or you think maybe that tflops is the indicator of 'power'?:)
Because we know that Radeon VII, 14 tflops is more powerful that nVidia 2080 super, 11 tflops!.

oh wait...
lol.;)
That is a really bad analogy. This is more like a 2080 Super (PS5) vs 2080ti (Xbox), where the PS5 is using higher clock speeds and the Xbox is going with more compute units. This analogy uses the same architecture, about equivalent difference in power, and similar approaches to how the GPU achieves it's power. The Xbox will be more powerful than the PS5, but it will come down to who uses their available power better.

As far as the PS5 SSD it will be interesting but I think it will only be actually pushed by first party devs and by devs who are paid by Sony to fully utilize it.

 
  • Like
Reactions: NightAntilli

Puiu

Posts: 3,903   +2,415
The biggest difference between Xbox Series X and PS5 in terms of features will be VR support. We should see new Sony VR hardware for PS5 too. MS is being very silent about VR on consoles.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Reehahs

Ben1978

Posts: 30   +20
Basically what you're talking about is having the newest SSD technology which has been stress tested for endurance running without all the background clutter and performance drains of an Operating system like Windows 10. I have no doubts it will be fast and work efficiently with other components.

But there's two main things that determine how good it will be: the quality of the games and the dedication of the developers. They have to take advantage of all that speed and deliver a product that delivers a standardized and corporatized experience for buyers.

The new consoles may offer console players the fastest speeds they've ever seen, but I truly doubt PC Enthusiasts will be wowed.
Moving playing Metro Exodus with its long chapter loading screens on a HDD, to a SATA SSD I noticed a big reduction in loading times. Then moving from a SATA SSD to a PCIE 3 nvme ssd I noticed no change.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Digitalzone

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 2,870   +2,594
Moving playing Metro Exodus with its long chapter loading screens on a HDD, to a SATA SSD I noticed a big reduction in loading times. Then moving from a SATA SSD to a PCIE 3 nvme ssd I noticed no change.

HDD are simply the slowest because they require moving parts.

Sata SSD is leaps and bounds beyond HDD. I'd say the only limiting factor is the operating system.

PCIE has less of a physical gap than Sata and higher transfer capability. On a human scale you may not be able to notice the performance difference, but it is there.

PS5/ XSX owners who've never experienced SSD speeds before will be blown away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Reehahs and Ben1978

neeyik

Posts: 996   +959
Staff member
It is not only about loading times, it is about nearly using the SSD as extra VRAM.
Follow dangh's links, basically, the SSD becomes almost VRAM, and VRAM becomes almost cache.
Let's not get too excited about this. Sony are claiming that, with compression and a few other tricks, the peak bandwidth of the SSD could hit 9 GB/sec. While that's way better than any HDD and PCIe 3.0 SSDs, it's a cosmic void away from the local memory on any graphics card. The GeForce GT 1030, miserable as it is, hits a peak of 48 GB/sec and the likes of the Radeon RX 5700 XT reaches 10 times that figure.

The Level 2 cache in the Navi 10 chip transfers up to 256 bytes per clock to the L1 cache, and 512 bytes per clock to the local memory controllers. So at a core speed of, say, 1900 MHz, that's a peak internal cache bandwidth of 475 to 950 GB/s. The PS5's GDDR6 memory bandwidth is 448 GB/s, so at least that aspect is reasonably cache-like. Or it would be, if it wasn't for the fact that DRAM has far bigger latencies than SRAM.

So while there is no doubt that the PS5's SSD system is a vast improvement on the PS4's SATA HDD interface, one does have to take the marketing hyperbole with a few grains of salt.
 

BoboOOZ

Posts: 34   +29
So while there is no doubt that the PS5's SSD system is a vast improvement on the PS4's SATA HDD interface, one does have to take the marketing hyperbole with a few grains of salt.
First of all, I'm basing my information on leaks coming from developers, rather than marketing information. But I agree with you that the PS5 SSD is not a substitute to VRAM, there's no argument there.
My post is meant for people who reduce the PS5 SSD to shorter loading times. We are already getting shorter loading times on PC, but solid-state memory directly linked with the VRAM is much more than that, and there are some rumors that we might see SS memory enhanced graphic cards in the future. That exists already, for the professional market.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TempleOrion

brucek

Posts: 388   +433
but it will come down to who uses their available power better.
Maybe I'm too cynical, but I feel like for most games most of the time, it will come down to the lowest common denominator, because other than exclusives most developers will be publishing on both consoles and will have limited enthusiasm for any development spending that doesn't apply to both.

Separately, I am starting to believe there could be a real system improvement by having this channel textures running directly from storage into GPU RAM with hardware compression, thus saving the rest of the system from being interrupted by it. Anyone know if there's anything like that coming for PCs?
 

NightAntilli

Posts: 355   +270
really? how do you know? or you think maybe that tflops is the indicator of 'power'?:)
Because we know that Radeon VII, 14 tflops is more powerful that nVidia 2080 super, 11 tflops!.

oh wait...
lol.;)
You can't compare TFLOPS from different architectures, but you can compare them for the same architectures, and both the PS5 and XSX use RDNA2.

The XSX is the more powerful console. The PS5 SSD might be able to transfer more data, but ultimately, all that data still needs to be processed by the CPU and GPU. Even if the PS5 can have more detailed textures (which I doubt), this can be off-set by the additional compute power in the XSX, creating similar (if not better) visuals with the additional processing power.

The only reason the SSD is in the forefront of everything is because it's the only advantage the PS5 has. And Playstation is a more popular brand than Xbox, so, naturally, everyone is going to want to talk about the SSD. Before the PS5 was revealed, the whole internet was bragging about how the PS5 was going to have more TF than the Xbox. That should tell you everything.
 

Gars

Posts: 267   +12
So, basecly, you load NFS:MW and got cought instant by the cops.
Not good :)
NFS is never ending desire, for both games and HW
 

neeyik

Posts: 996   +959
Staff member
there are some rumors that we might see SS memory enhanced graphic cards in the future. That exists already, for the professional market.
Yes, the Radeon Pro SSG. The NAND flash present doesn't automatically enhance the local memory in that implementation, unfortunately - it requires the use of a specific API and still requires data to be copied to the local memory at least once, before it can be accessed against from the NAND (although this is an OS restriction, not a hardware one). It definitely provides better access in cases where data sets would saturate the native PCI Express interface in the CPU/motherboard, but this is in situations that aren't going to be seen in a gaming situation any time soon (and probably not within the lifespan of the PS5).
 
  • Like
Reactions: TempleOrion

Edster

Posts: 12   +13
I am actually skeptical in how much advantage the supposedly amazing PS5 SSD and the supposedly better XBX processing power is going to be for games that fanboys of both sides talk about endlessly. Kinda feel like this is just comparing clones.

People harp on and on about XBX's better teraflops, how many Devs will actually take the time to make any meaningful difference; and how much tangible difference would the PS5 SSD give anyone beyond slightly faster loading time,especially when it when people use extended storage. And when you consider that people are more likely to develop for the weakest link first.

I will also put out the question for XBX's processing superiority. Sony and MS basically use the same architecture as they both went from AMD and their RDNA2, so how powerful these consoles are in a way, purposefully chosen as I doubt AMD went for any favoritism. If you go for power, you need to back it up with the proper cooling which would raise cost; so too would the SSD very likely. Both packages are compromise between performance and cost; I think anyone who thinks that MS managed to get a more powerful processing by their design team, and likewise for Sony's SSD, is just blinded by fanboyism.

Remember. PS3 was supposedly powerful, it was powerful for its time, but it didn't win the console war for its generation. PS4 won this generation without overwhelming power, it won by having a good price (and MS own goals, PS2 vs Xbox is not a fair comparison). Recent reports of PS5 is that it might cost lower than most expect, I haven't heard mich about XBX's cost. But I fully expect the more competitively priced consoles to win. Most console gamers aren't blinded by specs like the PC crowd is.
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,738   +1,601
I am actually skeptical in how much advantage the supposedly amazing PS5 SSD and the supposedly better XBX processing power is going to be for games that fanboys of both sides talk about endlessly. Kinda feel like this is just comparing clones.
Yep, one will be able to do Ray-Tracing better (Xbox) and one will load games slightly quicker (PlayStation).

That will be the only difference.
Most console gamers aren't blinded by specs like the PC crowd is.
No but as someone from the PC crowd, Microsoft have given me no reason to buy their console since I can get most Xbox games on PC now. Sony's lineup of games is far more appealing so I'll be getting a PS5 even if it was more expensive.
 

brucek

Posts: 388   +433
As enthusiasts we get to enjoy debating the hardware pros and cons.

For most consumers in the real world, I think they buy the system that has the network their friends are on.