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SATA Express SSD/Hybrid at 16g/ps in XBox 720?

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December 2, 2012 7:08:29 PM

I read the new article about the XBox 720:

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Xbox-720-Microsoft-360...

and wondered when they'll start using an SSD instead of the old school HD?

What would all of the pros and cons be of switching to SSD in a console like the XBox 720? What is keeping Microsoft from using an SSD over an HD in the new XBox 720?

It won't be all that much longer, a couple years, until SATA 4 at 12 g/ps and SATA Express at 16g/ps comes out. Plus, we now have PCI 3.0 and USB 3.0 but, I wouldn't know if that would offer any performance increase in a gaming console like the XBox 720, would it?

16Gbit SATA Express systems coming this year
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9235229/Speedy_8...
December 2, 2012 7:12:23 PM

I've already got the latest version of the XBox 360 so, I'm curious to find out what the performance increase will really be in the new 720. My 360 runs perfect - it will be 2 years old this Christmas and still runs like new. So, I'm wondering if running out to buy the new XBox 720 is justified or not.

... of course, I realize I'll have to wait until it's actually made available before a conclusive answer may be determined.
December 2, 2012 7:13:13 PM


Here are a few comments regarding the question about SSD's thus far:

jimmysmitty "It would improve loading performance only, not gaming performance. The one issue though is that SSDs still have very limited write cycles and since the cheaper the NAND you use, the less it lasts I doubt it will be used until it is cost efficient which for now, it still not."

10tacle "That's not entirely true. Some games will perform better with an SSD. While it won't increase frame rates obviously, it can help speed up texture loading and map drawing times. I've seen a noticeable improvement in Flight Simulator X and F1 2012 with long distance scenery drawing (ground textures in FSX load quicker in the distance as does car traffic and distant scenery in F1). I couldn't really notice a difference in shooters like Crysis 2 and BF3 however. "

kinggraves "For the record, the Wii U already uses a flash based storage drive, I don't see why MS wouldn't do the same. Your view on SSDs is several years outdated. Improvements in firmware have lessened the amount of true erase cycles so most consider them a pretty safe investment outside of size limits. Games do not really require a lot of writes. You write the game once to the drive, then it is read when you play it. Set the game saves to an SD card and where's the write cycles? Improvements brought by an SSD in a console are not only load times, but the lessened heat they produce in a tiny chassis and the low electricity draw. Both are serious concerns for a console, especially with the XBox and their heating issues. I would not consider a system using a mag drive as primary storage to be a next gen console."

from
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Xbox-720-Microsoft-360...
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December 4, 2012 1:52:48 PM

yes like consolefreak said, i would probably think you will see something like seagates hybrid drives first, lower cost and still faster than most current HDD
December 4, 2012 6:22:27 PM

ahhhh, I didn't even consider hybrid drives like the Seagate drives. Now, that's not a bad idea is it?
December 4, 2012 7:11:25 PM

i have seen people use them in their PS3, which gave them good performance boost loading their files and games that are installed to hdd, ssd, did not show much more performance
December 7, 2012 4:26:31 PM

What would it take, what all upgrades would be necessary, for an SSD to be the best choice over a HD in a gaming console like the XBox 720? What performance benchmarks would it need to meet in order to do that?
December 8, 2012 11:06:00 AM

honestly if everything went downloadable content or at least majority then im sure SSD may be a good idea since all your games would be loading from the SSD. but even still, i have had a jtagged xbox 360 with a WD scorpio black drive and it loaded black ops with almost no loading times. so really it all depends if the console really needs to load something that fast, im sure if the system is significantly faster next gen then SSD may be viable, but then again they could end up getting away with a hybrid drive.
January 10, 2013 2:31:57 PM

16Gbit SATA Express systems coming this year
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9235229/Speedy_8...

So, would a SATA Express SSD or hybrid at 16g/ps be a real benefit on a console like the new XBox 720?

I've not seen anything yet that would justify running out to buy the new 720 yet. Will they use the same triple-core CPU, 512 ram etc? What is the guesstimated GPU?

Edit:

XBox 720 hardware Rumors/leaks:

"According to the poster, the Xbox 720 will feature a CPU with 8 cores, an AMD 8000-series GPU, 8GB RAM, and the Windows 8 kernel. The dev kit at the studio is also purported to contain a 640gb hard drive, which would make sense for a console heavily dependent on digital downloads. "

http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/11872/article/rumor-...

Xbox 720 Specs: Eight-core CPU, 8 GB RAM, Windows 8 Kernel?

"Treat this with a grain of salt obviously, as nothing is confirmed yet. However, these are times when insiders can leak out information for a variety of reasons. E3 2013 will be held on June 13, so not long to go before Microsoft finally unveils the system to the world."

http://www.gamechup.com/xbox-720-specs-eight-core-cpu-8...

When will XBox start using an SSD or hybrid - especially now that SATA Express at 16g/ps is coming out this year? According to the above the new XBox 720 will still be using an old school HD at 6g/ps.
January 13, 2013 3:27:33 AM

i think they may go with what they did with the xbox 360, their first generations of consoles will most likely have two seperate cores, CPU and GPU, then unify them into one APU once production costs are much lower.

again as for SSD usage even on current ratings for SATA there is really no point, unless the console can load the information fast enough into memory to play, which is why i gave the example of a WD black drive loading Black ops, i also tested with other games and loading times were quick, much quicker than off a disk or the standard 5400rpm drives.

yes you may see slight quicker load times off a SSD but its nothing to go nuts about unless the size of game information is much larger with their up coming console. similar to the PS3 i load my games for the HDD so i dont need to swap my discs. and with most exclusive games the information is massive (between 30-45gb per game), loading times are still slow due to the large size, but still not as slow as loading it all from the disc. and from what benchmarks have shown for the PS3 a SSD made only a slight increase in speed loading due to hardware limitations of the PS3.

So I think with the increase of game sizes if they get to a point where loading takes far too long from disc then they would start implementing SSD storage for games.
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