MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD – PS5 EXPANSION GUIDE & TEST RESULTS

PS5 SSD Expansion Testing with the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD

The SPATIUM M480 from MSI is a recent release on the M.2 NVMe SSD market but one that was rather hyped up in summer 2021. Arriving from a big name in PC architecture, this new SSD promised high-performance gaming storage for desktop computer, laptop and console gamers alike. Additionally, it was one of the first confirmed PS5 expansion upgrade compatible SSDs. Whether you are looking at upgrading the SSD on your PS5 because you are running out of space or because you heard that some SSDs can increase load times for your favourite games, it is always going to be sensible to spend a few minutes researching before pulling the trigger and spending hundreds on the MSI SPATIUM M480 to avoid finding out that the benefits are negligible or, worse still, actually slow your games down! Equally, you should always factor in that the PS5 is a relatively new console and games developers are still in the early stages of maximizing how much they can do with the CPU, Memory, GPU and (of course) super-fast NVMe M.2 SSD. Therefore the commitment you make on buying an SSD upgrade to your PS5 needs to also factor in that it will still perform well in the years to come. The MSI SPATIUM M480 meets a number of the key specifications of the PS5 storage bay, but then again many, MANY SSDs do. So today I want to put this SSD through it’s paces with many games to see how well it compares against the internal PS5 SSD doing the same thing. NOTE – FULL Videos of the testing of the MSI SPATIUM M480 that combined cover more than an hour can be found at the bottom of the article. This article primarily covers the load times of games and saves on the PS5 using the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD and how they compare with the internal PS5 loading the same game. If you want to watch the full videos that cover PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 use that feature frame rates, texture swapping, asset management and more, I recommend you watch those videos at the end of this article.

Here is the PS5 internal Benchmark for the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD at the initialization of the system:

What Are the Specifications of the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD?

Before we go through the load time testing of the MSI SPATIUM M480 on the PS5, it is worth taking a look at the hardware specifications. Unlike traditional Hard Drives and SSDs that were using the PS3 and PS4 that used SATA connectivity, this new generation of SSD storage using M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 architecture. This is a very, VERY big difference physically, in terms of maximum performance and opens up ALOT of specifications that you should keep an eye on. Aside from the capacity (i.e the amount of data the MSI SPATIUM M480 can hold in gigabytes and terabytes) the key ones to factor in when buying an SSD are the following:

  • Controller & NAND – These are the brain of the SSD (handling the transfer of data as quickly and efficiently as possible) and the physical cells on the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD that hold the data. As long as you are using 3D TLC NAND (the industry preferred middle ground for price vs performance), you should be ok. Though the better the quality of NAND, generally the better the performance and durability long term.
  • Sequential Read – This is the reported maximum access speed that the data on the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD can be access when accessing large blocks of data
  • Sequential Write – This is the reported maximum speed that data can be written to the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD. As far as the PS5 architecture goes, this is much less important right now but could become important later in the system’s life as games, services and the level to which the MSI SPATIUM M480 can be accessed changes.
  • IOPS – These represent the number of individual operations the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD can handle per second, based on the smallest size possible. Again, not strictly relevant in the PS5 right now because of the way data is largely front-loaded on modern games, but may well impact how larger and evolved worlds and multiplayer games are developed in future
  • TBW, MTBF & DWPD – Terabytes Written and Drive Writes Per Day, these indicate how much the drive is designed to withstand in activity over a 5 year or daily basis (respectively), Before the drive begins to deteriorate in performance or eventually fail. The PS5 will hardly be able to hit these kind of numbers daily BUT these figures will give you a good idea of the lifespan of the SSD beyond 5 years. Given the lifespan of some consoles can cross over a decade, the higher these numbers are, the better!

Here are the official specifications of the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD:

MSI SPATIUM M480

500GB – $169.99, 1TB – $249.99, 2TB – $549.99

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 96L
Max Capacity 2TB – Single Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr
500GB Model M480-500G
Price in $ and $ $119 / £99
1TB Model M480-1000G
Price in $ and $ $225 / £185
2TB Model M480-2000G
Price in $ and $ $435 / £364
1TB Model M480-1000G
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,700,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD
2TB Model M480-2000G
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1400TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,700,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD
Brand/Series MSI SPATIUM M480
1TB Model M480-1000G
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB
2TB Model M480-2000G
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6550MB
1TB Model M480-1000G
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 360000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 780000
2TB Model M480-2000G
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 660,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800,000

So, now you know the hardware specifications of the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD and you also know that (at the time of writing!) the MSI SPATIUM M480 is supported by the PS5 SSD expansion bay.

IMPORTANT – This article contains ALOT of gifs to demonstrate the loading times of the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD versus the internal PS5 SSD, so the page/gifs might take an extra minute to load. Please be patient OR watch the videos of the full testing a the bottom of the page.

Testing the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD with the PS5 – Test Parameters

All of the tests of the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD on the PS5 were conducted in groups of 5 games at a time. In the event of a game arriving on a disc, the full disc data and all current updates were transferred over the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD. The disc might be present, but it is only for system verification and would be an identical setup to the PS5 internal SSD that it is being compared against. The SSD was tested using the latest PS5 Beta Firmware update (3.0 or 3.1 depending on the time of testing as a further update was made available during the widespread testing) and although the supported drives when the SSD expansion feature might change, the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD is fully functioning and supported on the PS5 at the time of writing. So, let’s get started on the testing of each game:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Stronghold Loading Test II

This test was loading the Stronghold of Resident Evil Village, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Oddworld SoulStorm Loading Test

This test was loading from the title screen to an early, lighting heavy area of the 2.5D platformer Oddworld Soulstorm for PS5, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – GTA V Full Game Loading Test

This test was loading the Grand Theft Auto V from the PS5 menu to gameplay on the Single Player Mode, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Subnautica Loading Test I

This test was loading from the title screen to a fresh creative mode save load on Subnautica, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Nexus Loading Test

This test was loading from the title screen to the central hub world (Nexus) of Demon Souls, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 2 Test

This test was loading to the Smithing Grounds of Demon Souls, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 1 Test

This test was loading to the first main area of Demon Souls, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test I

This test was loading to the starting area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test II

This test was loading to the first main transitional area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Borderlands 3 Full Loading Test I

This test was loading Borderlands to the Title Screen fro the PS5 Main menu on Borderlands 3, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Borderlands 3 Level Load Test II

This test was loading a save game from the title screen to the Pandora World Area, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Castle Loading Test I

This test was loading the Castle Area of Resident Evil Village, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – In Rays of the Light Loading Test I, Outside

This test was loading the outside world area of In Rays of the Light, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – In Rays of the Light Loading Test II, Inside

This test was loading the underground bunker area of In Rays of the Light, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Star Wars Fallen Order Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the Kashkykk area of Star Wars Fallen Order from the title screen, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Star Wars Fallen Order Trial Loading Test II

This test was loading a combat challenge, mid-game, of Star Wars Fallen Order from the title screen, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Testing – Doom Eternal Level Loading Test I

This test was loading a level in Doom Eternal from the title screen, comparing the MSI SPATIUM M480 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

 

Full MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD PS5 Test Videos

If you want to see the FULL testing of every PS5/PS4 game with the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD, you can watch the videos below. These tests have been grouped into 5 games per video, with each game being assessed on Loading Times, Frame Rate, Texture swapping, Asset Popping and compared against the exact game being loaded on the PS5 SSD. NOTE – These videos are being edited and published throughout September and October, so if a video is showing as ‘unavailable’ below, it might not be published yet, but should be up shortly!

MSI SPATIUM M480

500GB – $169.99, 1TB – $249.99, 2TB – $549.99

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 96L
Max Capacity 2TB – Single Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr
MSI SPATIUM M480 PS5 SSD Test 1

MSI SPATIUM M480 PS5 SSD Test 2

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review

Seagate Firecuda 530 VS MSI Spatium M480 SSD Comparison

 


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