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Analysis Hardware Will PC be able to replicate the new consoles SSD solution?

Xplainin

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No doubt that SSDs will now become a major part of gaming PCs as games and engines evolve to require them.

The way the consoles are designed the SSD is highly integrated into the APU. On both consoles th SSDs are connected onto the main APUs where there is custom decompression hardware that reduces the need of the CPU to decompress the data coming from the SSD which then gets sent to the RAM.
With the traditional PC design of needing to send data from the drive to system RAM, and then from system RAM to video RAM, is it going to be possible for PC to ever have that same integration of SSD and APU/GPU as this gen will have?
Will the PC be able to have hardware decompression blocks to reduce CPU usage like the consoles, or does that mean that PC wont be able to rely on compression like the consoles will?

What differences will the PC have to have compared to consoles, and how will that effect potential performance?
 

phil_t98

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No doubt that SSDs will now become a major part of gaming PCs as games and engines evolve to require them.

The way the consoles are designed the SSD is highly integrated into the APU. On both consoles th SSDs are connected onto the main APUs where there is custom decompression hardware that reduces the need of the CPU to decompress the data coming from the SSD which then gets sent to the RAM.
With the traditional PC design of needing to send data from the drive to system RAM, and then from system RAM to video RAM, is it going to be possible for PC to ever have that same integration of SSD and APU/GPU as this gen will have?
Will the PC be able to have hardware decompression blocks to reduce CPU usage like the consoles, or does that mean that PC wont be able to rely on compression like the consoles will?

What differences will the PC have to have compared to consoles, and how will that effect potential performance?
yeah it works both ways. PC have pushed console design for years and now consoles will push pc design to
 

pawel86ck

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That's a good question. MS want to port Velocity Architecture on PC, so there will be directstorage API, SFS. There will be only hardware decompression missing.
 

manzo

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There is absolutely nothing on both consoles the PC won’t be able to bruteforce when the systems launch. That’s the beauty of PC even though I don’t play on it anymore. To be financially feasible in the same amount of money, that might take some time until the parts are mass produced. Which should be around next summer. Add a 3000 series Nvidia card, an i9 and the PC dances at it’s own series again around the consoles.
 

Xplainin

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Samsung will release an ssd shortly, that will definitely be able to compete (or even outperform) the PS5s SSD

Will either the motherboard companies or the GPU companies have some way to incorporate a decompression block that will act as it does on console?
I know that eventually PC parts will surpass console, but from a technical point of view, can they do it? If So, where would it go and who would have to run with putting it in?
 

Aceofspades

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Speed of SSD is not the issue with PCs, currently there are drives faster than XsX SSD. issues are with the I/O around them to remove bottlenecks in the cycles. Having said that PCs can solve that by having large pools of Ram to solve most of these issues .
 
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cormack12

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Yes. Will it need to tho?

This, probably the more pertinent quesiton is will developers mandate SSD as the minimum requirement, as that's what will affect the design the most rather than visuals.
 

daninthemix

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All the speculation is useless until we start to get multiplatform games (like Godfall) and can test PS5 vs PC (with various storage types).
 

psorcerer

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With the traditional PC design of needing to send data from the drive to system RAM, and then from system RAM to video RAM, is it going to be possible for PC to ever have that same integration of SSD and APU/GPU as this gen will have?

Never.

Will the PC be able to have hardware decompression blocks to reduce CPU usage like the consoles, or does that mean that PC wont be able to rely on compression like the consoles will?

Everything is possible here.

What differences will the PC have to have compared to consoles, and how will that effect potential performance?

Nobody will build a multiplatform game that runs smoothly on PS5 and stalls to 1 fps on any PC, while it certainly possible to design it that way.
So the PC-ports will rely more on beefier CPUs for decompression and I/O management. That's about it.
 
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Soodanim

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Any idea worth keeping finds its way to as many platforms as possible. New SSD solution? Great, that'll find its way to PC where it can be pushed further. Consider PCs having a much wider use range than just games, and you see just how useful it will be.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I'm guessing it's almost entirely on the software side. Nothing prevented devs from requiring an SSD for their particular game over the last decade, but it never seems to show up in the minimum specs, does it? I can't remember the last time a game required a certain drive speed. At worst, there might be a message / warning that a faster drive will improve load speeds.

But designed for an SSD? Can't think of a single AAA PC game.

All that is to say: now that consoles have an SSD as the standard, AAA publishers / devs will finally bother to develop with the SSD as a baseline, and hopefully we should see level design open up and PC development improve further.
 
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Xplainin

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I'm guessing it's almost entirely on the software side. Nothing prevented devs from requiring an SSD for their particular game over the last decade, but it never seems to show up in the minimum specs, does it? I can't remember the last time a game required a certain drive speed. At worst, there might be a message / warning that a faster drive will improve load speeds.

But designed for an SSD? Can't think of a single AAA PC game.

All that is to say: now that consoles have an SSD as the standard, AAA publishers / devs will finally bother to develop with the SSD as a baseline, and hopefully we should see level design open up and PC development improve further.
Didnt Starcitizen require an SSD? I haven't played it, so I dont know if it would be considered AAA. I would like to play it however, so hopefully it might get released on console soon.
 

Bryank75

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The things isn't about having the tech... but making it accessible to a large amount of gamers.

What portion of gamers can afford to pay over 3,000 vs around 500 dollars for similar performance?

Maybe a few hundred thousand high end PC gamers vs up to 100 million or more possible sales of a console.
It is the mass production and getting that tech into the masses hands that moves gaming forward, not a few PC parts sold.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Didnt Starcitizen require an SSD? I haven't played it, so I dont know if it would be considered AAA. I would like to play it however, so hopefully it might get released on console soon.
I don't remember ssd being a requirement when I backed it years ago on KS, but I wouldn't be surprised if it requires / "strongly encourages" an SSD now.
 

Rikkori

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PC has had superior solutions for years now, it just didn't matter because games are built around base console specs and you can't bypass the software limits in place.

PC will be fine, we have mammoth amounts more vram & ram available.
 
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billyxci

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yeah of course.

as for SSD speeds. PC will overtake PS5 in no time. i think right now the fastest drives do up to 5GB/s so only 0.5GB/s slower than PS5 (which might I remind you...isn't out yet). PCIE 4.0 caps out at 7GB/s so we'll have drives hitting that soon. AMD is the only one with PCIE 4.0. Both AMD/Intel will move over to 5.0 (and DDR5 RAM) in about a year or so. We'll have SSDs capable of up to 14GB/s (again PS5 is 5.5GB/s lol) and RAM will significantly faster.

as for architecture designs. it'll not be a problem...if there is a major redesign of architecture needed then Intel/AMD/Nvidia will work together but it might not be necessary. I think it's quite possible for AMD/Nvidia to implement something kinda of acceleration on the GPU which of course has its own dedicated VRAM (consoles need to share RAM between system/gpu) which is much faster than normal RAM and right now 6-11GB is where GPUs sit capacity wise. New cards might have up to 24GB VRAM.

all these consoles are really doing is raising the standards to which developers make their games so it will give PCs something to do now with all the power they have... most games will likely now require an SSD and hopefully it will kill off people who still play with slow HDDs. it's about time SSDs become the standard and it's only now possible consoles have finally decided to add them. if there is any changes needed on PC they'll be done soon enough and long before next gen ends. PC will always overtake consoles.
 
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RaySoft

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Samsung will release an ssd shortly, that will definitely be able to compete (or even outperform) the PS5s SSD

You can´t just compare raw numbers like that though. Implementation is also key on overall performance.
It´s not enough for a std. PC SSD part to have the same, or a bit higher, throughput than the console counterparts.
It would have to be quite a bit faster to overcome the latency elsewhere in the system.
The consoles loads data straight into the GPU´s memory with minimal latency.
The PC however have to deal with it´s legacy i/o latencies and the fact that you still need to copy that data over to VRAM.

Embedding a dedicated decompression block inside the PC CPU would be easy enough as it wouldn´t introduce any legacy problems elsewhere in the system, wich is key.

The PC´s biggest problem though is the adoption rate. Devs can´t make any games that would requre this kind of tech before the adoptrate is at a satisfactory level. So all you (early adopters) get is the «byproduct» of the tech, wich is faster loadtimes, since the gameengine has to cater for a myriad of different specs. (The game also has to work for people without the hw decompression)
 
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Bonfires Down

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Would be interesting to see a comment from someone who actually knows their shit rather than PC stans going ”of course lol”. Hopefully DF will create a video about this. It does seems unlikely that developers will create games without taking PC hardware into account as even standard PC SSDs are a huge upgrade from mechanical drives. There will also be an extended cross-gen period anyway.
 
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Xplainin

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PC has had superior solutions for years now, it just didn't matter because games are built around base console specs and you can't bypass the software limits in place.

PC will be fine, we have mammoth amounts more vram & ram available.
As a non PC player, if you had 64GB of system RAM, and a game that was say 30gb in size, can you make the PC load the entire 30gb of the game into system RAM, which then act as a super speed SSD when loading into VRAM? Or do you not have control over how much of the game gets fed into system RAM and when?
 

Rikkori

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As a non PC player, if you had 64GB of system RAM, and a game that was say 30gb in size, can you make the PC load the entire 30gb of the game into system RAM, which then act as a super speed SSD when loading into VRAM? Or do you not have control over how much of the game gets fed into system RAM and when?

Yes, that's called a RAMDisk. That's a very brute-force approach, but there are other more elegant ones, for example on Vega GPUs you have HBCC which can make your RAM act as additional VRAM. That's something both AMD & Nvidia have but so far it's only been enabled on Vegas, probably because even at 4K tapping 8 GB of Vram is very difficult, and the 11+ GB even more so (for cards like x80 Tis etc).

In the past I used RAMDisk for heavily modded games like Rome 2 Total War where even on SSD it didn't load fast enough, but that's more of a niche case I guess. Still, that's the power of PC - options.
 
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Xplainin

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There is nothing special in console ssd tech. A gaming pc will br able to brute force anything consoles have to offer. Don't believe the marketing spiel from md and sony.
I'm not saying the PC wont match the consoles, my question is if it can get the same level of integration with the decompressor on the APU, and how that would be done.
 
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psorcerer

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Bro, this is what they are saying. This hasn't been confirmed officially by an independent tester. Once the console is released and we have true confirmation of this, then I'll believe it.

I don't see why not.
We cannot deny that there's a specialized hardware, explained in the specific patent applications, that's there.
 

GenericUser

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please excuse my bad english
You can´t just compare raw numbers like that though. Implementation is also key on overall performance.
It´s not enough for a std. PC SSD part to have the same, or a bit higher, throughput than the console counterparts.
It would have to be quite a bit faster to overcome the latency elsewhere in the system.
The consoles loads data straight into the GPU´s memory with minimal latency.
The PC however have to deal with it´s legacy i/o latencies and the fact that you still need to copy that data over to VRAM.

Embedding a dedicated decompression block inside the PC CPU would be easy enough as it wouldn´t introduce any legacy problems elsewhere in the system, wich is key.

The PC´s biggest problem though is the adoption rate. Devs can´t make any games that would requre this kind of tech before the adoptrate is at a satisfactory level. So all you (early adopters) get is the «byproduct» of the tech, wich is faster loadtimes, since the gameengine has to cater for a myriad of different specs. (The game also has to work for people without the hw decompression)
we still have to see if that compression stuff does really show in real game scenarios, or if it's just pr bluff. I hope it'll be the former, but I woudn't bet on it. I agree with the rest you said. At least 95% of the gaming pcs out there will not be able to match the ps5 ssds speed when it launches.
 

diffusionx

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Most gamers have had SSDs in their PCs for a long long time, to start, even if they are slower than the theoretical max of the consoles. In any case, SSDs of similar speed and faster are already available, and prices will continue to drop. MS’ SSD-related APIs are coming to DirectX 12, in fact they may have been recently added. PCs already have more RAM than both consoles - I’ve had 11GB of VRAM and 32GB of regular RAM for years, almost 3x what is in the consoles. It’s really not a big deal.

People should read this article to learn a bit more about what is actually in the consoles as opposed to hype and speculation.

 

TheContact

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The pci 4.0 tech is already there. Linus did a video on it. The SSD looks like a graphics card. The problem is, it's incredibly expensive. So yeah the tech is there but it's not really consumer ready.
 

T-Cake

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Yes, that's called a RAMDisk. That's a very brute-force approach, but there are other more elegant ones, for example on Vega GPUs you have HBCC which can make your RAM act as additional VRAM. That's something both AMD & Nvidia have but so far it's only been enabled on Vegas, probably because even at 4K tapping 8 GB of Vram is very difficult, and the 11+ GB even more so (for cards like x80 Tis etc).

In the past I used RAMDisk for heavily modded games like Rome 2 Total War where even on SSD it didn't load fast enough, but that's more of a niche case I guess. Still, that's the power of PC - options.

I used to do this back in the old MS-DOS / Windows 3.11 days. Does it still take an aeon to copy things into the RAMdisk though? I would hope it would be much quicker copying something from an SSD to RAMdisk for use with Steam, for example.
 

psorcerer

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Yes, that's called a RAMDisk. That's a very brute-force approach, but there are other more elegant ones, for example on Vega GPUs you have HBCC which can make your RAM act as additional VRAM. That's something both AMD & Nvidia have but so far it's only been enabled on Vegas, probably because even at 4K tapping 8 GB of Vram is very difficult, and the 11+ GB even more so (for cards like x80 Tis etc).

In the past I used RAMDisk for heavily modded games like Rome 2 Total War where even on SSD it didn't load fast enough, but that's more of a niche case I guess. Still, that's the power of PC - options.

RAM disk implementations are not as fast as you think.
Just benchmark it with https://github.com/microsoft/diskspd
 
Mar 23, 2018
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It's not worthless when you need to go faster than 7GB/sec hw limit.

Then PC can compress also. the SSD outputs at 5,5gbps and that's it. Also there is no 7gbps hardware limitation. Dunno why you people keep insisting on that it exists. And even if it did its still faster then what a PS5 SSD offers.
 

Miles708

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The things isn't about having the tech... but making it accessible to a large amount of gamers.

What portion of gamers can afford to pay over 3,000 vs around 500 dollars for similar performance?

Maybe a few hundred thousand high end PC gamers vs up to 100 million or more possible sales of a console.
It is the mass production and getting that tech into the masses hands that moves gaming forward, not a few PC parts sold.

Exactly, no one will design a game entirely around a niche enthusiast market.
That also makes you wonder if anyone will actually bother seriously with this tech until it's really mainstream. Could take years.

I mean, to this day you still can't release a game on blu-ray, on pc.
 
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Mar 23, 2018
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No doubt that SSDs will now become a major part of gaming PCs as games and engines evolve to require them.

The way the consoles are designed the SSD is highly integrated into the APU. On both consoles th SSDs are connected onto the main APUs where there is custom decompression hardware that reduces the need of the CPU to decompress the data coming from the SSD which then gets sent to the RAM.
With the traditional PC design of needing to send data from the drive to system RAM, and then from system RAM to video RAM, is it going to be possible for PC to ever have that same integration of SSD and APU/GPU as this gen will have?
Will the PC be able to have hardware decompression blocks to reduce CPU usage like the consoles, or does that mean that PC wont be able to rely on compression like the consoles will?

What differences will the PC have to have compared to consoles, and how will that effect potential performance?

Nvidia can slam a SSD straight on there next GPU if they cared for it. They could bolt much like nvenc for streaming a chipset on the GPU itself that handles compression with it ( nvenc chip eats 3% usage = 8 zen 2 cores encoding quality next gen version will be 16 cores to give u a idea. ). PC is highly adaptable and will do whatever favors them the most as company's take advantage off it to outperform eachother. The question however is it needed because PC has system ram + far more ram available and operates differently probably not, but we will see.

I could even see them opt to a solution of simple slamming compressed data straight from the game files into the ram and cuda cores just decompress it on the fly on even current nvidia gpus which makes all of it moot anyway.
 
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diffusionx

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Exactly, no one will design a game entirely around a niche enthusiast market.
That also makes you wonder if anyone will actually bother seriously with this tech until it's really mainstream. Could take years.

I mean, to this day you still can't release a game on blu-ray, on pc.

Right, that explains why PC games are still limited to the 9GB file size of dual layer DVDs. Only console games can be larger than that.
 
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brian0057

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Consoles have one advantage over PCs: Unity (the concept, not the engine).
When developers make games for consoles they know that every single owner of the device will have the same hardware inside. Same SSD, same CPU and GPU (or APU), same memory and so on.

For a PC, developers have to take into account that their game is gonna be played on machines that range from a few hundreds of dollars pre-built all the way up to computers with the average price of a car.

Same goes for hardware manufacturers. They don't know with what their memory, GPU, storage or whatever is gonna be paired. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, along with third parties, only have to develop for a fixed hardware so they can maximize their output and optimize it close to perfection. PC doesn't have that luxury.
 

Rikkori

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I used to do this back in the old MS-DOS / Windows 3.11 days. Does it still take an aeon to copy things into the RAMdisk though? I would hope it would be much quicker copying something from an SSD to RAMdisk for use with Steam, for example.
It's blazing fast. We're on mature DDR4 now!

RAM disk implementations are not as fast as you think.
Just benchmark it with https://github.com/microsoft/diskspd

 
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Miles708

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Right, that explains why PC games are still limited to the 9GB file size of dual layer DVDs. Only console games can be larger than that.
Don't get me wrong, I get your point, but also try to get mine: we agree SSD will get mandatory for gaming, I just have doubts about the timeframe of this shift.

The point is: until virtually everyone will have a quick AND large (meaning: expensive) ssd in their machines, most developers won't design a game requiring that hardware.

That'll probably reflect on console to, at least for multiplatform games initially.
 
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diffusionx

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Consoles have one advantage over PCs: Unity (the concept, not the engine).
When developers make games for consoles they know that every single owner of the device will have the same hardware inside. Same SSD, same CPU and GPU (or APU), same memory and so on.

For a PC, developers have to take into account that their game is gonna be played on machines that range from a few hundreds of dollars pre-built all the way up to computers with the average price of a car.

Same goes for hardware manufacturers. They don't know with what their memory, GPU, storage or whatever is gonna be paired. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, along with third parties, only have to develop for a fixed hardware so they can maximize their output and optimize it close to perfection. PC doesn't have that luxury.

The thing is, though, that virtually every game these days is designed to come out on all platforms. The amount of titles that only come out for a single console is very small. Look at PS4 - how many true exclusives have there been? 75 at most, ten a year? Microsoft is not releasing a single game exclusive to Xbox, and we don't know exactly what Sony's plans are going forward. This isn't to slight consoles or anything, but to point out it's not 2002 anymore and games and engines are designed to be multiplatform, flexible, and scalable. I'm interested in getting a PS5 but I doubt the wisdom of Sony's approach in designing the hardware for exactly this reason. How many games will actually take full advantage of their design?