So the other night after working on the putting the thermal pads on my NVMe, I took a look at some of the performance data while running DCS, just to see what was really being used. For reference, here are my graphics settings, which will give an idea of the demand on the system. I’ve covered where SSDs improved DCS in my build before, but here are some as-we-play numbers.
Hollo Pointe North, running Offensive Posture (Caucasus), F/A-18 to fly CAP.
Mission Load -> Idle Ready to Taxi:
Data read from DCS-only NVMe SSD: 9 Gigabytes.
In-Flight + Camera Work Test 1:
- Cockpit View
- F2 Camera, of own aircraft
- Shift+F11 Free Camera, moving at 56,500kn around entire map
Data read speeds: approximately 20MB/s to 150MB/s (when needed)
Interesting to note with this is that a typical desktop hard drive (using some numbers from WD’s spec sheets and user benchmarks) would have a peak sequential transfer speed of 150-200MB/s. Sequential implies a single, large, defragmented file. Reading of many smaller files, like what DCS would have to do for various textures would be substantially slower, potentially even less than half the max sequential read. Citing numbers for random reads really depends upon quantity, size and fragmentation of the files.
In-Flight + Camera Work Test 2:
- F2 Camera, viewing all aircraft mission will allow to cycle through
- F11 Airfield camera, all airfields cycled
Peak read speed: 333MB/s.
Total data read: 13GB.
Other System Resource Status:
- 21.9GB of RAM
- VRAM ~7 out of 8GB
Other numbers of interest:
- SATA III 6Gbps (Gibabit) to MBps (Megabyte):
- Cheap SATA3 2.5" SSD: (Kingston SSD Now A400 240GB: https://www.newegg.ca/kingston-a400-240gb/p/N82E16820242400) - Also available at same spec for M.2 in SATA Mode.
Up to 500MB/s Read and 350MB/s Write**
- Cheap PCIE Mode M.2 SSD: (WD Blue SN500 500GB: https://www.newegg.ca/western-digital-blue-sn500-nvme-500gb/p/N82E16820250116)
Up to 1700MB/s read, 1450MB/s Write**
- Expensive PCIE Mode M.2 SSD: (Samsung 970 Evo 500GB: https://www.newegg.ca/samsung-970-evo-500gb/p/N82E16820147690)
Up to 3400MB/s read, 2700MB/s Write**
**Speeds are give as maximum sequential speeds, random speeds are measured in IOPs.