we could see what the SONY PS5 console looks like on the inside, and this includes the NAND chips of its SSD and its controller, soldered on the board. As we all know, NAND chips have a useful life that depends on the erase and write cycles, and being soldered this will condemn the useful life of the console and can cause it to be unusable before its time. What is the lifespan of the PS5 SSD?
One of the features that the PS5 excels at over the Xbox Series X is its blazingly fast SSD. We weren’t sure if this solid-state device would be interchangeable or if it would be soldered, and in the video published by SONY we were sure: the main 825 GB SSD is soldered, although it is true that there is an M. 2 PCIe 4.0 available for secondary storage.
The lifespan of the PS5 is limited by its SSD
This approach presents an interesting scenario for the console. In the previous versions of the consoles, users could change their storage at will because it was nothing but a unit like that of any PC, but since it is welded to the plate, now users will not be able to change the main storage of the consoles, something that will limit its useful life to the durability of it.
All SSDs, whether soldered or removable, have a limited life that is expressed in TBW (terabytes written). Assuming that all other pieces of console hardware can live indefinitely – although they are not exempt from failure, obviously – the PS5 SSD will eventually reach the end of its useful life, fulfilling the cycles write/erase, and will inevitably make the console unusable sooner or later.
So how durable is the console SSD?
The good news is that with the NAND technology that is equipped in modern SSDs, the TBW values are very high. For example, a 1 TB WD SN750 has a value of 600 TBW, which means that we would have to write no less than 600 TB before exhausting its durability. With normal use, we could write 517 GB a day every day for 3 years to exhaust its useful life, and this is saying a lot because an SSD of a conventional gaming PC writes about 30 GB a day on average, using it for 8 hours up to date.
SONY has not revealed what is the durability of the NAND chips of the PS5, but if we assume durability similar to what we have right now in the market we can assume that this “ceiling” will be difficult to reach in the short or medium term. If we assume a normal use of the device of 50 GB per day (which is already a lot), the PS5 would have a life of approximately 30 years (and logically by then some other component will have failed, we will have tired of the console or they will have left several generations to replace it and we will have discarded it).
SONY makes it easy for us to extend the life of the SSD
It seems that SONY has taken this “problem” into account, which as we have seen it is not so much, and therefore has installed a PCIe 4.0 M.2 socket in its PS5 so that users can install secondary storage.
The idea is that we leave the main storage of the console for the operating system, saved games and the games that we use the most, having the possibility of installing other less used games in the secondary storage, which being a PCIe 4.0 SSD of course will be equally very Quick. In this way, the wear of the main storage will be significantly reduced, extending its useful life to a great extent (even though, as we have seen, it is not necessary anyway).
The SONY PS5 will be launched on the market in just over a month globally, but as you know the units are more than sold out unless you have had the opportunity to reserve the console, and this could be a good thing if you consider that you will be able to see the result and comments of those who buy the console in their initial game before deciding to buy it or not.