Gran Turismo 5 Load Times Significantly Reduced by PS3 SSD Upgrade

December 14th, 2010 by Jordan

Gran Turismo 5 has been found to significantly benefit from the installation of a solid-state drive (SSD) into the PlayStation 3 console, according to several reports from around the web over the past few days. One of the most organized and extensive tests was conducted by GTPlanet user padadiso. Click through his collection of graphs below, or head over to his forum topic for more discussion and analysis.

Other positive results come from civicgsir in our forums and Phil at Beyond3D. While addressing these reports, tech blog DigitalFoundry offers some insight into why GT5 gets such a boost: its massive PS3 installation is made up of tens of thousands of smaller files (more than 15,800 files in a single folder, “PDIPFS”, for example). These smaller files are better handled by a SSD, which doesn’t have to physically move any read/write heads over HDD platters to load them into memory.

If you’re willing to sacrifice drive capacity on your PS3 console, you can pick up a 30GB SSD for $66.99 at NewEgg, or choose something more sizable at a higher price point. Whether such an upgrade is “worth it” or not is entirely up to you, but if you plan on digging in to GT5 over the next few years, an SSD will ensure you’re spending more time looking at the road – not a progress bar.

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64 Comments

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  1. brainfade

    Guys this is going to sound odd but the longest loading time i ever have is around 10-15secs, theres nothing wrong with the loading times at all from what i’ve experienced

  2. I don’t think I’ll be replacing my $55, 500GB drive with a $67, 30GB drive any time soon.

  3. fsfsfsfs

    My loading times take about 6 seconds I really don’t know why it’s bad for others or is it just because they can’t sit still and wait for 6 seconds?

    • GTsimms

      I don’t understand what the complaint is about with load times. Buy NFS Shift or Forza 3 and GT5 load times will have you doing this :)

  4. A better balance is to use a 7,200 rpm drive with proven results. I have Hitahchi 500gb 7k500 and its works great. I hear the 320gb Black Westwern Digital is good too.

  5. scoop2004

    Would other things be negatively affected by SSd though? Like the playing of HD movie clips from the hard drive (such as M2TS files)

  6. I would love to get one of these but don’t know what to do with my 320GB HDD that is just about full. I could’nt stand to lose all that data.

  7. Hi, are these things easy to install? does it just slot in to the slot underneath my ps3?

  8. missionfailed

    IMHO – I enjoy the wait time, time to sip water think about what tune option to tinker with, but I often wonder why they removed ability ‘redo’ a completed loaded race like GT5P had.

    No doubt a SSD will improve load times but my PS3 is no hot hub on an exhibition floor. I think SSDs will be great for games shows just to lure the customers in and sucker them for the game.

    • Great newspost … oh and SCE didn’t improve HD RPM, move to a SSD or gee, i dunno..maybe upgrade the RAM for the “new and improved” slim verision of the PS3…because, oh that’s right, i remember we where all complaining about how big the original PS3 was and much power the thing used…
      Far out SCE…

  9. twinspark24

    btw, can we get loading times for the same track/car without instalation on the HDD? I doubt someone has chosen not to install it but still..you never know

  10. GTP_Rotang007

    Its a pitty you can’t hook sata drives up like IDE’s. 2 off the same channel, then I would have a good size HDD, then get a 100gb SSD for games.

  11. flight50

    People shouldn’t have to purchase this very expensive drive just for GT5. If by installing the game to the hard drive would actually work, we wouldn’t need a SSD. They are still fairly new but what it isn’t telling everyone is that down the road, when they start to fail the become unstable. Worst than disk equipped hard drives.

  12. Billybobreadthisfags

    SSD’s are great, if you put one in your PS3 you’ll be thanking yourself for it !! the biggest shock I had coming from PC games to PS3 again was the solid long evil load times… give me an ssd anyday .. everyone WHINE and complain bitch moan because there’s something better out there than your current hardware .. TOUGH TITTIES!!!

    • ehhh….

      Lol, troll. Didn’t even read before you wrote i’ll bet.
      Nobodies whining except for you whining about whiners.
      Sure, some said it wasn’t worth it to them, but that’s called an opinion, not whining. Nice try though.

  13. MitsuStigi

    Not worth it IMHO. The loading times are negligible, patience is a virtue. There are games that load longer.

  14. IronM@sk

    It’s also worth noting that the PS3 doesn’t have TRIM support for SSD’s so if you do a lot of installing and uninstalling you will find your expensive drive will die faster than if it was in a Windows 7 machine. How much faster? I couldn’t rightly answer.

    I still think the best drive for the PS3 so far is the 500GB Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive. Doesn’t need TRIM and the instruction set is all handled on the drive’s board.

    • devonuto

      Sounds good. Have you got this in your PS3 (slim/fat)? Can you confirm any improvement in peformance?

  15. I’d wait till SSD prices come down some. I thought about swapping my 120gb vertex2 into my ps3 and just running my computer on my 600gb raptor. But ended up keeping the 640gb WD hard drive I have in the ps3 now. When SSD’s are pushing AFFORDABLE 1TB price range(probably in the next 5 years, YAY GT6), then I’ll get an SSD.

  16. Really?

    Lol So to get the most of this 60 dollar game..

    You need a 300 dollar wheel, and a 70 dollar solid state drive…..

    Absolutely retarded..

    • occasionalracer

      Preferably Kaz would like you to indulge in the official GT wheel for $500, PS Eye, and while your at it a Sony Bravia 3D TV. How they managed to exclude PS Move compatibility is beyond me. No but that’s alright, I’m not one to moan about money-making marketing strategies, but I can’t understand why this wheel hasn’t been released. Like does that thing need more development time or what? We already saw it alongside the box it’s packaged in.

  17. My God the both are very slow compared to my PS3 320GB:
    HDD – 30.10sec
    SSD – 20.00sec
    MY PS3 – Between 5.00-10.00sec Max and don’t need to full the loading bar to the Max.

    • how is your 320gb faster? lols
      like is yours a 7200 rpm hdd cuz i thought ssd was faster than even the 7200rpm ones

    • Alex Leighton

      Hmm I just did the exact same test he did in the video, and I clocked 23-25 seconds with a stock 120gb slim.

      I don’t doubt that a ssd will be faster, but it seems to me that the savings might not be as great as they seem.

    • @XTRGT – I’ll just copy/paste my post to the topic in the forum….

      Since larger capacity HDDs are faster than smaller ones of the same type because of denser platters.. or higher “areal densities”, I wonder what the difference would be compared to a 360 GB or larger 7200rpm drive?

      If I upgrade from my 120GB slim I think I’ll still get a 7200 rpm 500GB or larger drive just because of the price/performance ratio advantage over a SSD. Even though the SSD might have higher overall performance, the difference would still be less than the above test.

  18. Does anybody know if this works at all WITHOUT losing the GT5 savegame? I thought it’s write protected so you can’t use the PS3 backup utility to back it up to a usb key etc.

    Is it possible to do a 1-1 sector copy of the stock drive to a SSD and use it that way?

    • McClarenDesign

      As of this morning, the save is still locked/protected, but I don’t know how instalation works, and if it copies everything regardless.

  19. Nato_777

    Why buy a 60gb SSD when for the same sort of $ you can buy a 1TB HDD which is much faster than the standard HDD anyway. SSD are still too small and expensive yet – give it a few years and it might be a better option.

  20. The only question I’m left with is why he decided to purchase a Fiat 500 F ’68.

  21. Bounkazz

    Sorry, I’m not paying $150 or a 64GB SSD. LOL.

  22. Well you don`t really need an SSD for that. Just switch to an 7200rpm HDD (like me) and you get similar results. Full installation on my PS3 about 25min (watched one episode How i met your mother).

    • Installation is one thing but I doubt you get the same results while playing the game.

      SSD drives do not have moving parts and seek times in directories with 15k files in it will be MUCH faster than any non-ssd drive

    • Not the same results, but similar.
      Btw. i was wrong :) My new PS3 HDD is a 5400 too. But its performance must be much better than the standard PS3 HDD. Maybe i`ll try loading the same track as above and stop the time.

    • I also changed to a fast 7200 rpm drive and it is much faster than the standard PS3 drive. Load times are minimal. SSD drives have there own reliability issues, they have a limited number of write cycles for each bit, unlike a magnetic drive.

  23. Ferrari

    Eh
    too bad they’re so expansive

    I think I’ll just wait a couple years and wait for the prices to go down 1/3 the price

    • Ferrari

      just watched the video and 10 seconds doesn’t worth the extra $ at all lol

    • GTracerRens

      There will be patches to reduce load times, I’n sure of it. :P And if not, not worth the money and effort indeed. But a nice comparison though!

    • occasionalracer

      These drives have already dropped to half their price since last year, and as more electronics will use SSD as standard, mostly Camcorder sand Laptops prices will fall drastically. Next year by this time they’ll be half the price they are now guaranteed.

  24. D_Shark10

    Any aspects of the PS3 or other games where the SSD could turn out detrimental? I’ll get it assuming it’ll work great overall, not just GT5, and from what I’ve read SSDs have regular HDDs beaten in most areas. Am I wrong?

    • devonuto

      SSDs will eventually replace all disc based HDDs, it’s only a matter of how long.

  25. tomekpl

    I have an ssd. The nurburgring loads in 18secs, and everything else is faster too. The upgrade was only $70. The best ssd is from Crucial. 60gb is around $140

  26. terminator363

    did the game have the install?

    • speedthrill

      yes, because mine had and it looks just the same! test it and you’ll see…

  27. sony stole my upgraded HDD after I sent it in for repair.. maybe I’ll get this when they send my console back for thesecond time

    • They probably sent you a replacement console. Then they’ll fix yours and send it to somebody else…

    • GTracerRens

      That’s pretty uncool…

    • @LFNY, that’s exactly what Sony did. I requested they repair my old fat, even paying more money hoping this wouldn’t happen. Guess what? The replacement they sent was broken too. I bought a collectors edition and still haven played it yet. So pissed.

    • Yea, havent had problems with my PS3 but a few years ago, before i had a PS3 my 360 got the RROD. I sent in my console and MS sent me somebody else’s old, dingy, dirty console… I complained and MS ended up sending me a brand new console.

      Too bad that turned out to be a huge piece of junk like the first one. So i bought a PS3!

  28. I wonder if it helps with the pop-in effect. It’s very noticeable on London and custom tracks.

    • speedthrill

      This right here people!!
      Go test please, because when it does help, i’m gonna buy it.
      And drive a ton more rallys in the snow!

  29. am I the only person that doesnt seem bother or effected by long load times? Everything seems to load at a good pace, sure its not instant but what is in games of this detail.

    • PlainBlandMan

      I’m not bothered, either. Then again, I’m never really in a rush.

    • viejaloca

      Well some say the loading are long in this game but there have been MUCH worse: Motorstorm and Battlefeild Bad Company 2 to name a few.

    • Early on the load times on some things were very bad but once I realized many of the load times were actually affected by the connection to the server and due to the heavy load on the servers at the time simply disabling the network connection solved that issue, the resulting load times at that point and even now with the connection re-enabled have been well within tolerable time frames.

      As for upgrading to a solid state drive, from what I can see in the comparison graphs there isn’t enough of an improvement for me personally to warrant the purchase of the currently high priced drives and I’m not willing to downgrade from my 250GB drive in order to keep it cheap. Maybe when prices drop, as they will inevitably do, I will consider upgrading to an SSD.

    • Faux Shaux

      I really don’t mind the load times for the tracks at all. They could be 5 minutes and it wouldn’t really bother me. You wanna know why? I know I’m gonna spend at least 10 minutes, probably more, racing on the track.

      The load times fail with the menus, in my opinion. I understand that all the menus look really slick and all, but I would much rather have near instant transitions from menu to menu. Unlike the track example where I spend 10 minutes or more on the track, on a menu I could spend half a second. So to have to wait 10 seconds for something I know I’ll be done with in less time is frustrating, to say the least.

  30. Shelby 427 1965

    I’ve never even heard of an SSD before D:

    • …What?

      One thing to point out – he’s got a comparison of download times for the update and it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference. The increased time is obviously simply how much (less) bandwidth he had or the server allocated him at that time.

    • shigllgetcha

      install times not download time

    • MrSkyline

      An SSD is simply the same as a USB flashdrive, but most of the time a bit faster than the average flashdrive.
      It doesn’t use moving parts like spinning discs and such, so accessing a file takes less than a millisecond, compared to the about 14 milliseconds with a regular hdd. that doesn’t seem much, but if you have thousands of files to access it adds thousands of milliseconds, making it seconds :p

      I thought about putting an ssd in my ps3, but the affordable ones are to small. :(
      Prices are dropping quite rapidly, so in about a year it could be a nice upgrade.

    • superb16

      Shelby427, in a few years everyone will be using SSD when they become more affordable. Similar to how mp3 players replaced CDs.

    • occasionalracer

      Hang on superb…CD’s haven’t been replaced by MP3. Just by new generation of kids not realizing the the mediocre audio quality. Any real music head will not settle for MP3. But as far as the SSD, it’s something to consider, I’ve got a 64GB in my Samsung Camcorder, but really have no problem being patient for 3 more seconds for load times on the PS3, but maybe in the future.

    • trollololoololsaurus

    • occasionalracer — You can put higher than CD quality MP3 or any other sound file on a SSD so you argument becomes null. Just because it’s on a CD makes no difference.

      In fact the opposite could be argued since CDs are only 700MB and SSDs are up to 500GB and larger- you could put more lossless quality tracks on a SSD than you could put on a CD or DVD.

      Basically the media type doesn’t make damn bit of difference, size does… and SSDs are bigger so you lose, LOL.


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