Want faster game performance – try a SSD

At GDC this week, one of the technologies that fascinated me was the faster game development and performance using Intel Solid State Drives. I spoke with Intel’s Ryan Tabrah Senior Technical Marketing Engineer in our Storage Technologies Group
and he showed me a demo his team worked on. It totally blew me away! 3 months ago his team started on a project to demonstrate the benefits of designing video games using SSDs. It was rumored to be over 10x faster than a regular hard drive.

Specs of machine used:
● Intel® Core™ i7-2600k Processor (8M Cache, 3.40 GHz) with Intel HD Graphics 3000
● 4GB Dual Channel DDR3-1333 (non-ECC, 2 x 2GB)
● Microsoft* Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
● Intel® SSD 510 Series (250GB) vs. Western Digital 7200 RPM Scorpio Black HDD (320GB)

They worked with Iron Galaxy, a Chicago based development house, using Project Offset assets and Digital Extreme’s Evolution game engine. Goals of creating this demo were :
--high resolution assets and textures that maximizes streaming data from the SSD/HDD
--big open graphically compelling world with diverse rivers and mountains
--show streaming HD video inside a video game

They thought we could do 6 different videos, but were amazed at the results! They could stream over 100 simultaneous videos!

Another case study I looked at was Digital Extremes, co-creators of the Unreal series video games, who recently replaced traditional hard disks with Intel Solid State Drives to improve their game performance on SNB. Combined with the extra bandwidth of SSD and the power of processor graphics in SNB they were able to accelerate their code build times by 46% and also speed up other production processes by 100%. This enabled faster innovation cycles. The performance they received was on that could be expected on a high end machine with discrete graphics card. Not a laptop running processor graphics!

Some more interesting demos using SSDs to check out!
Starcraft II demo
Boot Demo
Intel SSD Gaming

Are you using or planning to convert to a SSD?

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