The PS5 SSD is said to be extremely fast. However, it is already possible on PC to far exceed its performance. Explanations.
Since the presentation of the characteristics of the Sony PS5, the speed of its SSD is debated. According to the boss of Epic Games, the new Sony console is “far superior to anything you find on PC” when it comes to its SSD. This is true for a single SSD, but it is possible on PC to override this limitation to far exceed the speed of the PlayStation 5.
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RAID multiplies performance
There is a method on PC, often little known, for combining storage spaces and pooling them to get more benefits. This principle is called RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks). In spirit, this is not far from the possibility of placing two graphics cards (SLI or Crossfire) to increase the computing power, or to multiply the cores of a processor.
In this case, there are several RAID solutions. For example, RAID 1 allows you to have a true copy from one storage to another, practicing to be sure of escaping mechanical breakdowns. Today we’re going to be more interested in RAID 0: it allows you to multiply the storage performance by making the disks work together on a single data set (without redundancy this time, therefore).
Read speed up to 32 GB / s
If the 5.5 GB / s SSD of the PS5 is indeed faster than that of any computer today on the market, this is without counting the possibility of creating a RAID 0 with SSDs and reach a speed of 32 GB / s!
Asus Hyper to the rescue
Desktop computers offering multiple SSDs on their motherboards are still particularly rare. The safest way is to go through a card that will allow you to connect up to 4 SSDs, each with 4 PCI Express lines, and connect to a 16-line PCI Express port on the motherboard.
This is exactly what the Asus Hyper M.2 card offers for less than 80 euros. The manufacturer offers two generations of cards, on one side the Hyper V2 PCIe 3.0 (up to 16 GB / s) for motherboards with PCI Express 3.0 port, and on the other the Hyper Gen 4 card (up to 32 GB / s) for PCI Express 4.0 motherboards. We are talking about AMD X570 motherboards that offer this new generation of transfer.
Then simply connect up to 4 SSDs on this card and configure the RAID to obtain the desired performance.
Which SSD to take to reach such a speed?
As we said, the Asus Hyper card is not enough, we must now add the famous SSD. Here we decided to target a speed 2x higher than that of the SSD of the PS5, that is to say 11 Gb / s in reading. For this we have chosen the Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD which offers a speed of 3.5 GB / s individually. Once we have pooled 4 SSDs, the speed of the whole will reach 14 GB / s, which easily exceeds the target.
Of course using PCIe 4.0 SSDs it is possible to go even faster.
How to configure RAID?
Please note that configuring a RAID is a more complex task than a conventional installation. First, take care to install the drivers associated with RAID management, offered by AMD or Intel, and copy them to the USB key used to install Windows.
Before that, you should especially take care to activate the RAID option in the UEFI bios settings of the computer. The option is found in the advanced settings, in the “AMD CBS” section, or “Intel RST” depending on the ecosystem. Look in particular for the “Sata mode selection” option.
When installing Windows, care should be taken to select “load drivers” when selecting where to install Windows.
Is a RAID really useful today?
The short answer is no. Today there is not really a case of using such a reading speed, especially in video games. It will likely take several years before the games are fully thought out to take advantage of the speed of the PS5 SSD. Even in this case, it is difficult to know if an SSD a little slower than the console will not be able to run these games. By then, individual SSDs should catch up with the speed of the PS5 SSD.
However, the speed of storage is not everything, the new game consoles benefit from architectures completely optimized for video games, which desktop computers cannot offer today. Just look at the Xbox Velocity Architecture which promises to multiply the performance of the Xbox Series X SSD.