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I/O Performance Upgrade Boosts Developer Productivity by up to 40 Percent

"The [Kingston] Predator SSDs help us provide the cutting-edge I/O performance our developers need to deliver high-quality games on schedule."

Louis Porco, Director of IT, Eidos Montreal

The Customer
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Eidos Montreal (Eidos) is a successful Canadian video game development company. It built its reputation by consistently delivering a quality gaming experience; that means creating engaging games complete with impressive graphics, animations and bug-free play.

The Challenge

For Eidos, development iterations correlate to quality in the form of user-satisfying game play and enticing graphics. However, the slow input/output (I/O) performance of developers’ workstations limited the extra iterations needed to meet targeted quality standards.

“Our developers are constantly reading or writing hundreds of gigs of data at a time. So to maximize their productivity–and ultimately ensure the high quality of our games–we had to find a way to overcome the I/O data bottleneck.”

Louis Porco, Director of IT, Eidos Montreal

That was a problem because customer gaming expectations pushed the firm’s spinning-drive-equipped workstations to their limits. Managers attempted to overcome this challenge by implementing a spinning-disk RAID. When that solution failed to produce satisfactory performance, they tested high-performance, PCIe-compatible solid-state drives (SSDs.)

The Solution

After thoroughly testing four SSD brands in their environment, IT managers selected the Kingston HyperX® Predator SSD. The Eidos IT team installed them in 75 developer systems for use in the most recent game development cycle.

High I/O performance

The Kingston drives yield I/O read speeds up to 1400MB/s and write speeds up to 1000MB/s.

Non-disruptive installation

“The Kingston SSDs yielded the best mix of performance, cost and reliability among the four drives we evaluated.”

Louis Porco, Director of IT, Eidos Montreal

The Kingston SSD installations averaged five minutes. That including initializing the disk and reprogramming applications to use it automatically. Notably, no changes were made to users’ workflow.

The Results

After implementing the Kingston HyperX Predator SSDs managers realized a number of benefits. These include:

The Kingston SSD solution improved user output by increasing I/O performance from 15 to 40 percent depending upon the task. As a result, developers complete more work daily.

“Our users experienced a significant productivity increase using the Predator SSDs. They have much less downtime and finish more development iterations during the workday.” 

Maxime Gagnon Smith, IT Service desk Supervisor, Eidos Montreal

Promotes on-time completion of projects

By improving developer productivity and ensuring that nightly game engine compilations do not interfere with the next day’s work, managers increased the probability of completing projects on time.

“By significantly reducing our risk of going over schedule, we increased the likelihood of an on-time product launch. To us that means we start collecting revenue on schedule and avoid costly development overruns.”

Louis Porco, Director of IT, Eidos Montreal

By upgrading legacy systems with greater I/O performance, IT managers extended their service life to save the company the cost of purchasing new computers.

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