The latest generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft were designed with user-upgradable internal storage system in mind. Sony has launched upgrade SSDs for its PlayStation 5 console, and as game install sizes balloon, users are likely to need to either add to or upgrade their consoles’ storage capacity. A new Digital Foundry performance analysis on different SSDs deployed in Sony’s PS5 has shed some light on what users should expect in terms of how an SSD change may impact their experience.
Digital Foundry’s analysis compares the cheapest available drive that conforms to Sony’s specification requirements, a 250 GB Western Digital SN750 ($55) as well as one of the best SSDs currently in the market – Western Digital’s SN850 ($149 MSRP for the 500 GB capacity) against the PS5’s integrated SSD. The spec difference between these drives is not to be scoffed at – the 250 GB SN750 is rated at 3,200 MB/s reads; the PS5’s internal SSD is rated at 5,500 MB/s speeds; and the WD SN850 forges ahead with 7,000 MB/s of high-speed SSD goodness. The results, however, are far from what one would expect from those seemingly immensely different performance ratings.
When it comes to actual gaming, there was virtually no difference in performance from any of the tested drives. Even while testing Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart, an extremely taxing game for the storage subsystem (on account of it loading up entirely different maps instantaneously, after entering reality-altering rifts), frame-rate didn’t move a millimeter between the tested SSDs.