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post #1 of 30 Old 11-16-2013, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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So I had planned on testing a few drives, but between my frustrations with getting my hybrid drive to work, and the OS's unsuitability for smallish SSDs, I'm just going to stick with the stock drive for now.  But I did test the hell out of it, in a very specific way that should bring to light some of the performance advantages of hybrid drives. So bear with me as I overexplain everything, but by the end you'll see why I went through all this trouble, because unless it's done rigorously it may as well not be done at all.  Most of the other HDD/SSD comparisons you'll find around simply arent doing it right IMO, and they're probably not aware of a few things I figured out along the way, which basically invalidates any results used for comparison.

 

 

First, some basic OS booting tests.

 

Initial boot (from ps button press to all game icons fully loaded) 27.0s

Enter standby (from standby select button press to orange led) 28.3s

Resume from standby (from ps button press to all icons loaded) 32.3s

Total shutdown (from shutdown select to led off) 21.8s

 

So right off the bat there's a really odd result: it takes less time to completely shut down and restart the PS4 than to put it into standby.  And it's not a fluke:

 

2nd boot 26.7s

2nd standby 30.3s

2nd resume 31.0s

2nd shutdown 17.5s

 

3rd boot 26.8s

3rd standby 34.9s

3rd resume 31.4s

3rd shutdown 18.2s

 

Not only does standby take longer every time(which is bizarre enough), but it's quite variable, far more than the full reboot. So ignore any comparisons that test standby or shutdown speed, especially person to person, because it's not consistent enough to draw any conclusions by. With a hybrid drive, I'd expect to see all of these numbers start to decrease as they're repeated.

 

 

First game is resogun, since it loads quick and everyone has it. I specifically chose to measure to the point where the ship disappears, since beyond that it's just skippable splash screens, the actual loading is complete by then. Measuring all the way to the title screen would make faster drives seem like less of a boost than they really are.

 

Launch resogun (button press to ship disappear) 10.9s

Load resogun lvl acis (launch level to "press x to continue appears) 6.7s

 

2nd resogun launch 8.6s

2nd acis load 6.8s

 

3rd resogun launch 8.5s

3rd acis load 6.8s

 

Notice how the 2nd and 3rd launch are quicker, even though it's just a standard HDD? The only way I can explain it is that the PS4 reserves some of it's 8GB memory for use as a disk cache. Which to some degree should lessen the need for a faster drive. Again, not a fluke, the same happens with cod ghosts:

 

 

Launch cod ghosts digital version (button press to activision video plays) 11.3s

Load MP menu (button press to MP menu appears, when set to load mp by default) 17.6s

Start default local match on prison break (button press on start match to team select menu appears) 38.0s

 

2nd ghosts launch 10.8s

2nd load mp menu 18.1s

2nd start local match 35.0

 

3rd ghosts launch 10.4s

3rd load mp menu 15.7s

3rd start local match 36.1

 

You can see the general trend towards slightly shorter loads as you keep repeating.  I expect a hybrid drive to exhibit a much stronger trend though.

 

 

Now back to resogun:

 

4th resogun launch 9.6s

4th acis load 6.8s

 

As you can see, the launch speed has creeped back up (although the level load is the same as ever). This is as expected, since ghosts would have dropped it out of the disk cache.  A hybrid may have retained some resogun data it it's cache though...which is why it's important to go back and forth when testing a hybrid.  So back to ghosts again:

 

4th ghosts launch 11.5s

4th load mp menu 21.5s

4th start local match 36.3s


Just like resogun, load times have creeped back up. Would they have on a hybrid? Probably not, but my PS4 hates my hybrid, so I can't tell you for sure.  And since it's also important for a hybrid to speed up booting, I ran the boot tests again to see how much of that would have remained in it's cache:

 

4th boot 27.2s

4th standby 48.5s

4th resume 32.3s

4th shutdown 21.7s

 

On a standard HDD, it's still just as long as ever.  And seriously, over 48 seconds to go into standby? So much for that focus on instant access, for now at least.

 

 

I certainly invite anyone else to try and run the same tests as I did, but it is absolutely imperative that you run them in exactly the same order and time precisely as described. Especially with a hybrid drive, since it's caching recent reads - do anything out of order, and the results are no longer comparable after the first time you mess it up. And you also need to ensure the games aren't present in your cache before you begin testing - that means you need to delete resogun and ghosts, install something else, then completely redownload them. You'd also basically need to completely reformat your HDD if you want to see how the hybrid cache impacts your boot/standby speeds. You'll need at least an hour or two to do it right.

 

So in a nutshell, standby is almost pointless (other than being able to trigger downloads or remote play), and the PS4 does some disk caching of it's own. I certainly didn't expect that, and its probably part of the reason why the OS eats up so much memory.

 

Eventually I'll update this post as I try out other HDDs in my PS4...but unless anyone wants to loan me drives to test, no telling when that will be.

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post #2 of 30 Old 11-17-2013, 07:57 PM
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I put a Seagate ST1000LM014 Hybrid in mine. No issues getting it running at all.

My concern with using an SSD is the lack of TRIM support with the PS4. You'll have to make sure any SSD you use does it's own garbage collection.

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post #3 of 30 Old 11-17-2013, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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It'd be better to have TRIM than not, but it's importance is way overstated. Even after being hammered for years, it'll still crush the speed of a HDD. It's nowhere near the issue that HDD fragmentation is.

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post #4 of 30 Old 11-17-2013, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

It'd be better to have TRIM than not, but it's importance is way overstated. Even after being hammered for years, it'll still crush the speed of a HDD. It's nowhere near the issue that HDD fragmentation is.

Until the drive starts getting near full, then it's an issue. Been there on a Macbook Pro before TRIM support was added in. It really sucks to see an SSD slow to a crawl.

At least through the PS3, Sony uses PFS which from what I understand is very much like EXT3, so fragmentation really isn't an issue.

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post #5 of 30 Old 11-17-2013, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post

You'll have to make sure any SSD you use does it's own garbage collection.

Are there ones out there that are produced now that don't? I was under the impression that they all do now
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post #6 of 30 Old 11-18-2013, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zBuff View Post

Are there ones out there that are produced now that don't? I was under the impression that they all do now

You're right, they should all be doing it. Some better than others though:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/sandisk-ultra-plus_5.html#sect0

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post #7 of 30 Old 11-18-2013, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post


You're right, they should all be doing it. Some better than others though:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/sandisk-ultra-plus_5.html#sect0

 

Yeah, but that's still just an artificial benchmark of random writes which is an almost impossible scenario on the PS4.  The only major writes will be game installs, which will be almost entirely sequential.  Most of the time it's just reads, and read speed isn't radically affected by TRIM.


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post #8 of 30 Old 11-18-2013, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

Yeah, but that's still just an artificial benchmark of random writes which is an almost impossible scenario on the PS4.  The only major writes will be game installs, which will be almost entirely sequential.  Most of the time it's just reads, and read speed isn't radically affected by TRIM.

Good point. I guess my main concern is that people will put smaller SSD's in to get the speed increase, then start running into issues when the drive fills and they have to start making decisions on what data to delete from the drive on a regular basis.

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post #9 of 30 Old 11-18-2013, 08:25 AM
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Since the partition is Fat32... couldn't you plug the SSD back into a windows 7 TRIM enabled box... and defragment it / clean it up ?

I put in a 7200 RPM HDD. I'll try benchmarking it to see how it compares.
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post #10 of 30 Old 11-18-2013, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defdog99 View Post

Since the partition is Fat32... couldn't you plug the SSD back into a windows 7 TRIM enabled box... and defragment it / clean it up ?

I put in a 7200 RPM HDD. I'll try benchmarking it to see how it compares.

 

I'm pretty sure it's not actually fat32, windows couldn't read it when I tried. It could recognize the partitions, just not access them...it must be ext3 or something similar.

 

Def benchmark it whenever you get a chance....but try and follow the way I did it as exactly as possible.


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post #11 of 30 Old 11-18-2013, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defdog99 View Post

Since the partition is Fat32... couldn't you plug the SSD back into a windows 7 TRIM enabled box... and defragment it / clean it up ?

I put in a 7200 RPM HDD. I'll try benchmarking it to see how it compares.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

I'm pretty sure it's not actually fat32, windows couldn't read it when I tried. It could recognize the partitions, just not access them...it must be ext3 or something similar.

Def benchmark it whenever you get a chance....but try and follow the way I did it as exactly as possible.


It's most likely the latest revision of Playstation File System (PFS), which from what I understand is very Ext3 like. Running the occasional "file system restore" which is fsck on a PS3 would help performance.

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post #12 of 30 Old 11-18-2013, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post



It's most likely the latest revision of Playstation File System (PFS), which from what I understand is very Ext3 like. Running the occasional "file system restore" which is fsck on a PS3 would help performance.

 

The PS4 itself has a "rebuild library" option in safe mode...its not well documented as to what it does exactly, but that might do the trick.


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post #13 of 30 Old 11-18-2013, 10:25 AM
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Using 7200 RPM 1TB drive:

Initial boot (from ps button press to all game icons fully loaded) 22.61s
Enter standby (from standby select button press to orange led) 29.3s
Resume from standby (from ps button press to all icons loaded) 26.4s
Total shutdown (from shutdown select to led off) 33.0s

(For startup, I stopped the timer when it showed the user selection icons)

The video on standby turns off at 12.79s, it just takes another 17 secs for the LED on the ps4 to turn off)


Launch resogun (button press to ship disappear) 9.5s
Load resogun lvl acis (launch level to "press x to continue appears) 6.74s

2nd resogun launch 8.4s
2nd acis load 6.32s

3rd resogun launch 8.5s
3rd acis load 6.19s


The drive is an"HGST Travelstar 7K1000 2.5-Inch 1TB 7200 RPM SATA III 32MB Cache Internal Hard Drive 0J22423"
I got on amazon.
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post #14 of 30 Old 11-18-2013, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defdog99 View Post

Using 7200 RPM 1TB drive:

Initial boot (from ps button press to all game icons fully loaded) 22.61s
Enter standby (from standby select button press to orange led) 29.3s
Resume from standby (from ps button press to all icons loaded) 26.4s
Total shutdown (from shutdown select to led off) 33.0s

(For startup, I stopped the timer when it showed the user selection icons)

The video on standby turns off at 12.79s, it just takes another 17 secs for the LED on the ps4 to turn off)

 

What model # is the HDD?

 

Definitely test resogun if you can, at least twice (I want to see how the disk caching changes things)


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post #15 of 30 Old 11-19-2013, 02:16 PM
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Updated my post.

I had an SSHD seagate on my PS3 and didn't really think it was all that fast.

So I went 7200 RPM this time around.
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post #16 of 30 Old 11-19-2013, 02:54 PM
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bd2003, just curious, but what issues were you having with your hybrid drive? DOA? Does it work right in any other system / pass diagnostic tests on a computer?

I had a hybrid on my ps3 as well, but there were times when I wondered about it a little in terms of performance. I too am thinking about going with a decent, big 7200rpm drive this time around. Doubly so if the ps4 is doing some caching of its own.
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post #17 of 30 Old 11-20-2013, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I ended up caving and picking up the seagate SSHD, I'll get it hooked up later tonight and post results.
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post #18 of 30 Old 11-20-2013, 06:57 PM
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I'm looking forward to reading your report. Thanks for your time.
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post #19 of 30 Old 11-20-2013, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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So here are the new measurements. First number is stock, second is SSHD.

 

Initial boot (from ps button press to all game icons loaded) 27.0s 25.8
 
Enter standby (from standby select to orange led) 28.3s 34.6s
 
Resume from standby (from ps button press to all icons loaded) 32.3s 31.4s
 
Total shutdown (from shutdown select to led off) 21.8s 17.2s
 
2nd boot 26.7s 24.2s
2nd standby 30.3s 28.11s
2nd resume 31.0s 29.7s
2nd shutdown 17.5s 28.0s
 
3rd boot 26.8s 23.2s
3rd standby 34.9s 32.7s
3rd resume 31.4s 25.4s
3rd shutdown 18.2s 17.4s
 
A few trends here - boot speed continued to improve after multiple runs. The SSHD was somewhat faster in pretty much every case, but it's not a huge difference to be honest.
 
Launch resogun (button press to ship disappear) 10.9s 9.6s
 
Load resogun lvl acis (launch level to "press x to continue appears) 6.7s 6.7s
 
2nd resogun launch 8.6s 8.7s
2nd acis load 6.8s 6.7s
 
3rd resogun launch 8.5s 8.4s
3rd acis load 6.8s 6.6s
 
Almost no difference here, aside from the first launch. After the second launch, it seems as if the game is small enough that the RAM disk cache is more than sufficient to cache the launch...but that's not the end of the story.
 
Launch cod ghosts (button press to activision video plays) 11.3s 11.7s
 
Load MP menu (button press to MP menu appears, when set to load mp by default) 17.6s 9.5s
 
Start default local match on prison break (button press on start match to team select menu appears) 38.0s 36.9s
 
2nd ghosts launch 10.8s 11.0s
2nd load mp menu 18.1s 11.1s
2nd start local match 35.0 29.3s
 
3rd ghosts launch 10.4s 11.1s
3rd load mp menu 15.7s 16.2s
3rd start local match 36.1 30.8s
 
The first and second launches showed healthy improvements in the MP menu load, and by the 2nd run the local match had meaningfully improved as well.  But there are a few anomalies - it seems to always launch slightly slower from the SSHD, and for whatever reason, the mp menu on the 3rd run took a long time, and the stock HDD had improved enough that it was able to beat it out.  At least the final level load maintained a decent lead for the SSHD. 
 
 
4th resogun launch 9.6s 8.7s
4th acis load 6.8s 6.7s
 
Even after launching ghosts, there was enough resogun in the SSHD cache that it maintained the 8 and a half second load, while the stock HDD performance had regressed back to nearly 10 seconds.
 
 
4th ghosts launch 11.5s 11.2s
4th load mp menu 21.5s 9.2s
4th start local match 36.3s 37.7s
 
And here we can see that the MP menu is again radically accelerated, although the local match actually takes longer on the SSHD. I did notice that it got hung up on "waiting for players", after it appeared to have finished loading...in retrospect I should have used a different methodology for that measurement, so I dunno how reflective that is of the drive's performance.
 
4th boot 27.2s 22.5
4th standby 48.5s 45.7s
4th resume 32.3s 25.4s
4th shutdown 21.7s 17.7s
 
And by the end all the OS tests still maintain a decent speed advantage on the SSHD.
 
Overall it's a decent upgrade, but to be honest the stock drive really isn't all that terrible, at least compared to the mechanical portion of the SSHD. I'm not sure that it's worth the upgrade on it's own (I bought the 500GB one, and honestly I might return it), but if you're going to replace the HDD with something larger, I think it's worthwhile to spend the 30 or so extra bucks on a hybrid.  But unless you bought every launch game, you're probably nowhere near the limit of the stock HDD - a relatively heavy user will still get a year or two out of the stock drive before you hit a wall, and by then hybrids will probably be even cheaper, faster and have a larger cache. Maybe SSDs will become more affordable, maybe Sony will update the OS with external drive support or game size reduction that makes a smaller SSD more viable. So I personally wouldn't recommend that anyone who isn't an absolute performance freak or super rich run out and swap the HDD day one for performance or capacity reasons, it just isn't worth it yet. Had Sony not provided a decent stock HDD the story would be different, but don't let the 5400rpm fool you - it's a very dense drive that can read sequentially as fast as 7200rpm drives like the WD black. 
 
 
And just for fun, I timed the ps3 version of ghosts on my 1st gen 500gb seagate hybrid, three runs.
 
PS3
Launch ghosts 16.0s 15.2s 14.8s
Launch mp 10.5s 9.3s 9.5s
Launch match 21s 19.6s 20s
 
You can clearly see the consistent improvement after the first run. But there's so much less data to load on current gen that it absolutely smokes the PS4 version in load speed, even on a much older and slower drive. So sit back and get used to epic load times on next gen. I don't care what promises devs make, it takes a damn long time to fill multiple gigabytes of memory vs the 512mb on PS3. Hard drives have not been able to keep up with the constant increase in memory capacity, and honestly these consoles are begging for high speed SSDs. It's unfortunate that they're still so damn expensive, but 2-3 years from now they may become a realistic option for people, and hopefully Sony/MS will update their OS to better accommodate them.
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post #20 of 30 Old 11-21-2013, 06:03 AM
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Nice job. I have a Seagate SSHD. It's fine and all but now that I see these numbers I think a 1.5TB or 2TB 7200rpm HDD would be the way to go for the money.

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post #21 of 30 Old 11-21-2013, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultracat View Post

Nice job. I have a Seagate SSHD. It's fine and all but now that I see these numbers I think a 1.5TB or 2TB 7200rpm HDD would be the way to go for the money.

I'd be careful though...it would almost certainly be slower than the SSHD, and potentially no better or even slower than the stock one if it's an older drive. I benchmarked the stock drive on my PC...it's pretty good for what it is.
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post #22 of 30 Old 11-21-2013, 08:04 AM
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Well I won't switch now, I have the SSHD already. But if I was doing it over again I would buy a 1.5TB or 2TB drive. I don't mind load times being a few seconds slower, but you get sooooo much more space : )

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post #23 of 30 Old 12-07-2013, 08:36 AM
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Has anyone tried a 10,000 rpm hdd? SSD wont show off much since it is 3gb/s and not your typical 6gb/s connection for the drive.Samsung 256gb 840pro has an amazing driver controller on it and its larger models compared to the 120gb model. You just cant make it fully useful at 3gb/s . Odd they put USB 3.0 on this but skimped on the sata connection .
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post #24 of 30 Old 12-07-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think anyone makes a 10K rpm drive that fits.

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post #25 of 30 Old 12-07-2013, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCanada View Post

Has anyone tried a 10,000 rpm hdd? SSD wont show off much since it is 3gb/s and not your typical 6gb/s connection for the drive.Samsung 256gb 840pro has an amazing driver controller on it and its larger models compared to the 120gb model. You just cant make it fully useful at 3gb/s . Odd they put USB 3.0 on this but skimped on the sata connection .

I my not be perfectly aware of the specifics , but like USB, isn't SATA limited by the bus, meaning the big advantage of 6GB/s is throughput for multiple drives. With a single drive, do you really think the bottleneck is 3GB/s?

I have 6GB/s SATA on my desktop and when transferring between solid state devices I never see anywhere near the theoretical 700ish MB/s. I just don't feel that SATA is the bottleneck.

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post #26 of 30 Old 12-07-2013, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scubasteve2365 View Post

I my not be perfectly aware of the specifics , but like USB, isn't SATA limited by the bus, meaning the big advantage of 6GB/s is throughput for multiple drives. With a single drive, do you really think the bottleneck is 3GB/s?

I have 6GB/s SATA on my desktop and when transferring between solid state devices I never see anywhere near the theoretical 700ish MB/s. I just don't feel that SATA is the bottleneck.

Yeah I don't think it's a big deal either. The other things that go on during a load that are the real bottleneck. Otherwise the SSD would load current games 4-5x faster rather than ~50% faster.

The major difference is the nonexistent seek time on SSD vs 15ms each time the HDD head moves. SATA 6.0 would be a very minor bump in load times vs 3.0.

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post #27 of 30 Old 12-07-2013, 01:42 PM
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According to this article

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/25/5142842/best-hard-drive-for-playstation-4-video

a hybrid drive -- 1 TB platter with 8 GB SSD -- performs almost as well as a pure SSD, at a significant cost savings.
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post #28 of 30 Old 07-17-2014, 12:45 AM
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Amazon has the top rated Samsung Evo 1TB SSD on sale for $400 ($100 off, but still costs a grip). According to various tests, it can load data up to 20% faster than a good hybrid in some cases. That may not be cost effective since hybrids can be had for $80, but if you want the top speed, SSD is an option.

Here's a .gif comparison made by someone at NeoGAF, which shows an SSD loading textures a lot faster than the built-in hard drive:

Stock Hard Drive



Solid State Drive

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post #29 of 30 Old 07-17-2014, 09:25 AM
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I bought that SSD about a month ago to replace in my computer. I decided to try it out on the PS4 first as the loading times for The Show are horrible. I have a Hybrid now and never used my stock drive. The SSD was only faster by a few seconds. That was the only game I tested it on. I should of saved the times I recorded. What shocked me the most was to turn on the PS4 to finally see the pitcher for the first throw was a few minutes. Sometimes I like to squeeze a quick 5 minutes while waiting for the wife/kids but this game makes it impossible to do. Cant wait for the PS4 to have the standby mode where the game resumes right away. Much needed feature in my book.

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post #30 of 30 Old 07-17-2014, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubasteve2365 View Post
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1500015/ps4-hdd-ssd-load-speed-tests#post_24044317" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GCanada</strong> <a href="/t/1500015/ps4-hdd-ssd-load-speed-tests#post_24044317"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Has anyone tried a 10,000 rpm hdd? SSD wont show off much since it is 3gb/s and not your typical 6gb/s connection for the drive.Samsung 256gb 840pro has an amazing driver controller on it and its larger models compared to the 120gb model. You just cant make it fully useful at 3gb/s . Odd they put USB 3.0 on this but skimped on the sata connection .</div>
</div>
<br>
I my not be perfectly aware of the specifics , but like USB, isn't SATA limited by the bus, meaning the big advantage of 6GB/s is throughput for multiple drives. With a single drive, do you really think the bottleneck is 3GB/s?<br><br>
I have 6GB/s SATA on my desktop and when transferring between solid state devices I never see anywhere near the theoretical 700ish MB/s. I just don't feel that SATA is the bottleneck.
All modern SSD saturate 6Gbs SATA links, so using them onthe 3Gbs SATA ports is going to severely limit the amount of improvement theywill bring over a HDD. With that beingsaid the HDD may not be the limiting factor in the boot/load times of the PS4;this could be another reason SSD are not brining a large speedup to the system.
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