What is the PS5 SSD and how will it improve loading times? Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will use an SSD or solid-state drive, which will help with things like load times. But what does that actually mean? How does this make the PS5 more powerful? We will try to answer these questions in this guide.
What is PS5's SSD?
SSDs are storage devices just like hard disk drives (HDDs), but the main difference, at least in terms of gaming, is that they generally offer better performance. Due to their design, SSDs can access data faster than HDDs. This results in faster loading times and improved technical performance.
Another benefit of using an SSD is vastly improved storage. Due to the aforementioned faster read speeds, developers will be able to make much more efficient use of storage space. This could have a huge impact on the size and scope of games on PS5.
However, due to their inherent strengths in reading data and the way they are assembled, SSDs tend to be more expensive than HDDs. This is one of the main reasons consoles like the PS4 haven't featured SSDs out of the box. Putting an SSD in the PS5 may bump up the price of the console, but again, we won't know until the price is announced.
Either way, the bottom line is that with an SSD, games should run better than ever on PS5. Sony has already demonstrated reduced load times with a Marvel's Spider-Man demo, which shows the game running on a PS4 Pro and then next-gen hardware. Load times reduced from 8 seconds to under 1 second.
More recently, Mark Cerny said that the PS5's custom SSD would be capable of extremely fast loading times. The lead system architect is aiming for "instant" playback speeds, meaning elongated loading screens will become a thing of the past. The PS5's SSD will be able to read 5,5GB per second, which is an astronomical difference from the PS4 - and it's even faster than the Xbox Series X.
In addition, game downloads and updates will benefit from this SSD. Currently, the PS4 "copies" game data after downloading something, and this process can take a frustratingly long time. On PS5, this process will be eliminated, so you won't have to wait for the long installation phase.
Will PS5's SSD make PS4 games run better?
Sony has confirmed that the PS5 will be backwards compatible, meaning it will be able to run PS4 games. But due to the increased power of the PS5, does that mean PS4 games will run better on the next-gen console? The short answer is yes, they should.
And the PS5's SSD will help you with that. As mentioned above, SSDs read data faster than HDDs, which means games can run better. Naturally, this should apply to PS4 games as well as PS5 games, assuming they're stored on the SSD to begin with.
It's worth noting that you can already replace your PS4's hard drive with an SSD. Although other hardware limitations prevent games from performing much better, many PS4 games benefit from a performance boost when running on an SSD rather than an HDD – reduced load times are often the most noticeable improvement. If the PS4 can do it, the PS5 should be no different.
How big is PS5's SSD and can you increase the amount of storage?
The PS5's SSD is 825GB. With the ever-increasing file sizes of games, that might not last very long. Fortunately, Sony has provided a few options.
First, if you already have an external USB hard drive, PS5 will support using that hardware.
Second, you will be able to purchase and install additional SSD cards called NVMe drives. You'll need to make sure the one you buy will work with your PS5, and that might be an expensive option, but it will at least retain the increased speed of the built-in drive.
Technical specifications of the PS5 SSD
Size (storage capacity): Go 825
I/O throughput (read speed): 5,5 GB/s (raw), 8-9 GB/s typical (compressed)
Expandable Storage: NVMe SSD slot
External storage: USB hard disk support
Do you like the sound of the PS5's SSD technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and check out our PS5 FAQ for all the current information.