If you are a fan of the Fallout series you have probably already clocked in some serious gaming hours into the latest instalment of Bethesda’s hugely popular post-apocalyptic franchise. Whether you are gaming on the PC, Xbox One or PlayStation 4, one thing is certain – Fallout 4’s performance can be boosted by switching to an SSD (if you haven’t already). Both console versions of the game do a reasonable job at running Fallout 4 at 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second, with PS4 slightly edging ahead in terms of performance. Xbox One suffers with a ‘macro-stutter’ issue and is especially noticeable when entering new environments.
Even though the game has only recently been released, complaints are already mounting from users plagued by performance issues. In a response to these complaints, leading independent gaming website Eurogamer.net reported on a Digital Foundry test of the game using several storage mediums. Tests were performed on the consoles’ stock HDDs, an SSHD and an OCZ ARC 100 480GB SSD.
“Across our test clips, the 7200rpm drive seems to offer a small advantage generally over the SSHD, but there are hitches and stutters that seem to show more improvement on the hybrid drive. Both drives show a substantial uplift over the internal unit in that the 0fps macro-stutter is gone or massively reduced, but it's clear that only the SSD showed a complete fix in effect.”
“Switching to an SSD lops 30 to 50 per cent off the time taken to get back into gameplay. Loading times aren't really intrusive to the Fallout 4 experience, but it is safe to say that when they do appear, the momentum of play is compromised - and the faster we're back in the game, the better.”
It is worth mentioning that both consoles feature 500GB 5400rpm stock HDDs yet the Sony console has no similar stutter issues as the Xbox One. This may be the result of a storage bottleneck on the Microsoft platform and could be fixed in a future title update. Until then however, an SSD or a SSHD hybrid does fix the performance issues and reduce the wait time during gameplay. Xbox One actually performs better running the game on an SSD compared to the PS4 on the same SSD storage, however Xbox One still has the stock HDD to use for it's OS whereas PS4 is running all the hardware from the SSD.
Loading Times (Seconds)
Xbox One Stock Drive
Xbox One 7200rpm HDD
Xbox One SSD
PS4 Stock Drive
Exiting Vault 111
Entering Museum of Freedom
Entering Dugout Inn
So what about the PC performance? There is significant difference in performance between running Fallout 4 on a HDD compared to a SSD. ASOT has released a video comparing the differences and it is clear that a SSD on average loads 20 seconds faster. You can view the comparison video below: