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D-Link EXO AX5400 WiFi6 Router Review – Next Gen Enough?

22 septembre 2021 à 01:19

D-Link EXO AX5400 Router Review – Should You Buy It?

D-Link is no stranger to routers, but the EXO-AX DIR-X5460 Router entered the market earlier this year trying to bring something a little more inclusive to the ever-growing ranges of Wi-Fi6 routers on the market right now. If you are in the market for a Wi-Fi 6 Router, then you are almost certainly falling into three different buying categories. The first is those looking for a small, affordable home router that can replace/work with your ISP router with minimal fuss to take advantage of Wi-Fi 6. The second is those looking to buy a upgrade router that can expand the area of coverage in their home/business. And the third is those looking at a premium solution in a professional gaming or multimedia capacity that will lower latency, increase data speeds on the network and effectively give them a wireless lifestyle that can match their existing wired LAN. The EXO AX5400 Router from D-Link that is attempted to appease ALL THREE buyers with its potential shared 540MB/s bandwidth, across 6 antennae at a price that is still justifiable. Although buyers are becoming a tad warmer to the idea of paid routers over their rather limited ISP free alternatives, now that broadband speeds start to surpass the Gigabit, it is still by no means a done deal, so does the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 have what it takes to earn it’s way into your basket and your home? Does it deserve your data? Let’s find out.

D-Link EXO AX5400 DIR-X5460 Router Review – Quick Conclusion

The EXO DIR-X5460 from D-Link ticks a lot of the key boxes from buyers looking at entering the WiFi 6 market with as little friction as possible. Now that the price point of AX/802.11ax hardware is coming down and becoming a universal standard in the majority of our home hardware (the latest iPhone, the latest Pixel, the PS5, etc), then the advantages of investing in a solution like the EXO DIR-X5460 Router become increasingly obvious. In terms of physical connections, the D-Link EXO is perhaps a little bland and the software and services, though easy to use and very functional, are not going to blow you away. The D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 Router trades on its wireless speed, handling, area of coverage and customization of those networks – and in those areas, this router is a big success. Excellent value, if a little safe overall.

PROS CONS
  • 6 External and Directional Antennas!
  • Both detailed Desktop GUI and Simple Mobile App Control
  • WiFi 6 Support across 2x 5Ghz and 1x 2.4Ghz bands
  • FAST setup and inc wall brackets
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port for Storage
  • Works straight out of the box
  • In-House Expanded Mesh Support
  • Triple Core 1.5Ghz Processor
  • Free Inclusive Parental Control
  • 540MB/s (480MB+57MB) Combined Bandwidth
  • WPA3 and 128bit Encryption
  • Wall-mountable
  • Voice Control via AI Assistant Supported
  • Limited LAG support on just 2x LAN ports
  • Lacks 2.5Gbe
  • Mobile App is a little over-simplified (an Advanced Tab as found in the Desktop Browser GUI would help)

If you are thinking of buying the D-Link EXO-AX AX5400 Router, please use the links below

D-Link EXO AX5400 DIR-X5460 Router Review – Retail Packaging

The retail box for the EXO DIR-X5460 is exactly what you might expect from a router squarely aimed at gamers. Brash, loud and oozing in ‘performance’ stats. This is not D-LInks first entry into WiFi6/AX but it is one of the most recent steps into the growing cloud of professional gamer routers that have a greater focus on packet control, low latency and moving large data as quickly as possible where the different at the megabit level will be sorely felt.

The contents of the box arrive in the a-typical thinly shaped cardboard shaped crate that (I swear!) all routers arrive in. The kit includes the DIR-X5460 EXO router itself, an external PSU, 4 pre-attached antennas, 2 disconnected antennas that you can add later, first-time setup instructions, warranty information, Cat 5e 1m RJ45 LAN cable and some WiFi6/D’Link stickers (unsure why anyone would use these – but ok).

Laying out all these accessories should give you a little idea of just how big the D-Link DIR-X5460 router is. Arriving significantly bigger at 24cm x 33cm x 21cm than the 4 antennae ASUS RT-AX92U feared in a previous review which measured 15.5 x 15.5 x 5.26 cm. Alot of the physical size of the EXO DIR-X5460 would seem to be to make sure that the antenna are spaced out enough for directional use, as well as allowing passive airflow to be amply across the fanless internals (something we will touch on later).

The two additional antennae in the box are easy to attach and once screwed in, feel tight and easily adjustable. Alot of 4-6-8 antenna routers that have movable parts have a tendency to feel cheap and within a couple of months tend to lack any rigidity on each one. The EXO DIR-X5460 definitely feels like the antennae are rigidly connected.

Like a lot of hardware globally, the company includes a PSU with a changeable clip depending on your region. That is fairly standard and understood, but I always find it a shame when they ONLY include the clip for your region. I query the cost at the point of manufacture to include 1x of a pre-set region and not just all 3-4 types. It is a fantastically petty point on my part, but I would be interested to know. In the case of the EXO-AX DIR-X5460 Router, they include the UK and European connector, so better than most.

The contents of the EXO DIR-X5460 retail kit are all fairly standard and although it feels a little dull, is definitely everything you are going to need and what I would expect from this price point. Let’s talk about the design of the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 router.

D-Link EXO AX5400 DIR-X5460 Router Review – Design

As little as 2+ years ago, the design of the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 router would have been seen as crazy or a little insane, but now in 2021/2022, this shape and form of router (even outside of WiFi 6) is actually quite commonplace. Although a fair bit of that design appeal stems from the need to appear to gamers, there is actually logic behind a lot of that chassis and shape. From perfect antennae placement to prevent interference to allowing sufficient spacing to allow passive airflow, modern high spec routers are designed with the efficiency of a supercar in many ways, blending sharp modern feel with intelligent hardware operation. The front of the EXO DIR-X5460 is very branded and although the external chassis is almost entirely plastic, it doesn’t look cheap.

As you might expect, there are multiple LEDs on the front that denote the system activity, connectivity and status. They are Power activity, Internet Activity/connectivity, USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 Storage connected activity, wireless usage of the 2×2 2.4GHz band and finally wireless activity on the larger 4×4 5GHz band.

The antennas around the device are spaced a little over 2 inches apart and, as mentioned, are quite sturdy. Each one is branded with the D-Link logo and can be adjusted to best suit your network physical environment. WiFi 6 and these larger MU-MIMO coverage routers are a perfect blend of area coverage to address the reduced area that WiFi 6 works within when compared with WiFi 5 (AC/N/etc).

The bulk of the top panel of the EXO DIR-X5460 router is given to a large vent panel that is above the primary components (3 core processor, memory, flash, transistor, etc) and as this router does not feature any internal fan operation, it needs to get as much passive airflow onto these components as possible. This is useful for peak use AND for general 24×7 USE – how often do you turn your router off? Exactly!

The side of the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 router continue with further ventilation and the chassis has a triangular angled frame that allows the air to pass under the antennae and into the router vents, around the controller board with relative ease. The EXO DIR-X5460 is raise a few millimetres from table level by 4 pronounced rubber feet to assist this.

A quick look at the base of the EXO DIR-X5460 router shows a vast amount of passive cooling vents.

Also, there are wall hook cavities that allow the end-user to mount this router up high, which might be handy to those covering multiple floors of a single environment. No screws or wall plugs were included with the kit, but that isn’t a huge surprise really.

As you can see, the design of the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 Router is a clear, well vented and modern design that although is becoming more commonplace in 2021/2022 WiFi 6 Prosumer gamer routers, is still good for the price. Plus it is not trying to add any kind of flare or colouring that might divide opinion. In short – I like it! Now, let’s discuss those connections – an area that can make or break a paid router’s appeal.

D-Link EXO AX5400 DIR-X5460 Router Review – Hardware & Software Specifications

As mentioned at the start of the review, a lot of buyers will have difficulty paying for a router when they know that the majority of internet service providers (ISPs) give you one for free/inclusive of your contract – let alone paying top dollar for a premium/prosumer grade one. Therefore the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 needs to be more than a router, but an active upgrade over the freebie ISP router that just justify its investment. I can say that in MOST respects, the EXO DIR-X5460 definitely achieves this – with small exceptions that either apply to particular high-level users missing out on features or clear hardware architecture choices by D-Link to keep it in this more affordable price bracket. First, let’s go through those key hardware specifications:

  • 3x Core 1.5Ghz Processor
  • Six external antennas
  • 128MB Flash, 512MB Memory

The main processor of the router is an undisclosed (at least, not by D-Link) triple-core ARM processor at 1.5Ghz per core. The main router software in the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 does not allow any 1st/3rd party application installation, so this processor can focus on preset software and service control without needed to be too open for change. Without knowing the nature of the processor, it is hard to drill down into the workload that it handles, but 4 hours of continuous data transmission via the router and a NAS over 1Gbe and WiFi had no slow down and no problems. The CPU is partnered with a 128MB area of flash memory for the software (that has regular updates from the brand available automatically/manually) as well as 512M of DDR3 memory to keep things moving swiftly. Given the lack of any internal app center with add-on tools available (eg client backup tools, Plex Media Server, etc), 512MB is quite a heft chunk of RAM for just handling data packet transmission. This hardware architecture translates into the following coverage across those 6 antennae

  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 6/AX Router
  • AX5400 Rated (4808Mb/s + 576Mbps)
  • 4×4 5Ghz 20/40/80/160MHz Channels
  • 2×2 2.4Ghz 20/40 MHz Channels

The twin band nature of the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 Router should not be a huge surprise, as this si fairly commonplace. However, the 4×4 double 5Ghz bands is a nice little extra at this price point, as although the 2×2 2.4Ghz band will still have a little use, we are now at a point where even modest network home/office devices are moving over to the 5Ghz band. Having that wider 5Ghz coverage means that your devices that will always prioritize the available 5Ghz frequency will have more bandwidth to share. wITH A POSSIBLE 480MB/s (4808Mb) to share, there’s quite a fair bit to go round! Also, support of up to 160Mhz channels means that more modern devices will not be left out and noticeably higher performance speeds are available later in your hardware environments life as other client tools are upgraded naturally. D-link are keen to highlight how useful these will all be to multimedia streamers who wish to watch high-quality H.265 8/10bit 4K and fair play to them, I can see how this would be advantageous in the EXO DIR-X5460 router on WiFi6 devices.

The physical rear connections on the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 are an area of mixed reception. They are:

  • 4x RJ45 LAN
  • 1x RJ45 WAN, WPS Button
  • 1x USB 3.2. Gen 1
  • 1x USB 2.0

These connections are all fairly standard and I cannot really fault them at this price point. All of the network connections are gigabit and the inclusion of two USB connections for storage media to be connected (5Gb/s max on USB 3.2 Gen 1) are all well and good. The storage media can be used in a few different ways (covered later in the software section) which is nice and at this price point all perfectly acceptable. It just all seems a little tame to see the physical connections to be fairly normal when all the wireless connectivity is so high end. There IS an element of greater than gigabit connectivity on the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460, but it requires Link Aggregation/Port Trunking to be used on up to 2x 1Gbe LAN ports and a LAG supported Switch/client device, which although easy to do is not really in the ballpark of most users network hardware environment typically in 2021/2022.

Likewise, although the price point of the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 router is always going to mean that some features are absent, but the lack of 2.5GbE is a bit of a blow/ 1Gbe (100-109MB/s bandwidth) is something that has been around for upwards of 20 years and now that internet speeds are surpassing the Gigabit (not gigabyte – well, not everywhere anyway!), as well as NAS servers and gaming rigs arriving with 2.5GbE as standard, that is a bit of a shame to be unavailable here. 2.5GbE (2.5GBASE-T) and it’s possible 2.5x bandwidth potential here is something that could potentially age this router in your network environment, but not a deal breaker for most users I am sure. So, let’s discuss the software and services of the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 WiFi 6 Rouer.

D-Link EXO AX5400 DIR-X5460 Router Review – Software and Services

The software, services and control of the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 router genuinely find a decent line between the network-noob and the I.T professional. It should be added that the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 is Plug n play, so you do not immediately need to log in to set up and just connecting the WAN port to your current ISP router will allow it to be used in minutes. It is advised though to take some time to set the device up to your needs using the genuinely well-balanced software. This is achieved by providing access to the administration of the router via a simplified mobile application for iOS & Android and a much more configurable and adaptable web browser-based graphical user interface (GUI). The results are mostly good, with perhaps the mobile app oversimplifying things more than necessary at times (lacking the easy/advanced switching style of the web browser GUI) but it still proves ALOT of useful control and bespoke setup for home or business use. Key software and services in the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 router are:

  • Supports WPA/WPA2/WPA3 and 128bit Encryption
  • 6 Simultaneous streams at full bandwidth at once
  • D-Link Extension Wi-Fi Mesh Supported
  • 128-bit Encryption
  • BSS Coloring for Clear connectivity

  • Smart Home / AI Services Supported (Alexa, etc)
  • Guest SSID, QoS Control, Free Parental Control
  • VPN Services Supported
  • Web GUI & Mobile App

Let’s go through the key and (likely) most frequently used services on both the desktop and mobile client D-Link applications. The main browser GUI for the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 shows a useful topographical display of your internet, router, devices, USB and identities.

The mobile application displays mostly the same, but puts them into clickable boxes to dig down deeper if you choose.

Tapping the menu key on the top right of the mobile application displays a range of service and control options on the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 router. These are presented in a much more granular fashion, with choices in a ‘next step’, screen by screen basis.

One thing I am keen to highlight is the inclusion of parental control WITHOUT any extra/paid subscription service. Paid parental controls on routers is becoming a nasty inclusion these days, asking people to pay extra (on top of the ISP services AND a pro router!) for the ability to filter content and client hardware on your router. I am pleased to say that the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 does NOT do this and although the parental control is a tad rudimentary, it is very easy to understand and allows sleep mode, restricted device time management and precise website filtering to one/all devices with ease. The web browser GUI shows al the options on a single screen, like so:

Whereas the mobile client app presents these options as stages and although holds your hand throughout the process, is just as effective and quick to set up.

Additionally, the router includes ookla speed testing inside the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 router itself. Now, many users will argue that you can easily jsut get a speed test tool on your phone/laptop device BUT this is a speed test conducted between the router and the internet connection from your ISP – which is much, MUCH more useful for troubleshooting. Additionally, the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 factors these results into the quality of service (QoS) settings and can then apply rules to priority devices (across 3 tiers) to divide up the internet connection in the best way to make sure key devices get the lion share of the connection as needed. Pro gamers, VOIP users and those that work from home (the pandemic massively increased this of course) will see enormous benefits to this services AND it’s combination with the speed test tool.

The speed test tool is a little more simplified on the mobile app and control is less integrated with the QoS tools. QoS configuration is still available in the app, but as a separate option.

Individual connected client applications are shown on both the mobile application and web browser GUI, with options to name these devices internally, assign fixed network addresses/identities, bandwidth control, USB access, internet-only access and more.

You can even create users on the D-Link software GUI of the EXO DIR-X5460 router and then given them bespoke system, network and internet access, which is especially useful when grouping network client hardware with a particular team or family member.

The router can have its operation adjusted to your own needs, in case you are using the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 as your primary router/access point to your internet connection or ISP modem OR as an extension of your existing system. This configuration is explained well in both the browser GUI and mobile app.

You can change your router operation easily on the mobile application, but it is not advice that you play with this outside of the browser GUI as reversing this is tricker via mobile.

Another predictable but still well-executed feature is the guest SSID mode. This allows you to create a secondary wireless network that has its own name and login credentials.

Configurable on the fly, with instant changes as needed, there is also the option to restrict this guest network from having access to the wider network of devices and services, limiting it to only internet access. Which you can then continue to configure in the QoS, client and network settings too.

Internet access can also be widely configured on both the web browser and mobile application. Things getting a little more network-techie on the web browser GUI of course and although the bulk of the configuration options here are fairly predictable, they are still presented in a user friendly and clear to follow fashion.

The same goes for the firewall configuration settings, with numerous settings that are applicable to both home router users and business users who have specific office network hardware to take into consideration.

The network configuration setting is quite clear, if a little sedated. The uniform 1Gbe across the whole device means that any changes you make are going to be more a case of downsizing connectivity and access, rather than improving the wider network throughout (though there is port trunking supported on up to 2 1Gbe ports)

In the management panel, there is a statistics area that displays real-time information on the individual network connections across each band, via RJ45, as well as internet connectivity. This information is useful to have, but long term historical data is not really kept or maintained by the system to access (eg ‘data use over a previous period and how it compares against the same period on another date). It is a nice feature, if a little limited in its overall use.

Upgrading the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 router firmware can be conducted manually or the system will update itself without the need of the end-user if preferred. This can be schedule (to avoid any minor downtime). a minor feature, but surprisingly rare!

Then there is the option to connect an existing VPN tunnel with the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460. Although this is an area where things get less user-friendly and I am surprised that D-Link has not loaded a number of presets for a handful of popular VPN providers as found by a few other router/NAS manufacturers.

Finally, there are the means to connect the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 Router with your existing smart home assistant (such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home). You need to create a D-Link account (free) in order to utilize this service and access voice control and direct-to-AI notifications and more (as they need to communicate with a remote server).

In order to see how the router would compare with a traditional router in the home, I bench tested performance on 3 popular online speed test sites. Now, it should be highlighted that WiFi 6 is NOT a factor here, as the internet was being delivered was sub-Gigabit. However, the results of communication between the laptop testing the connection, at the same distance from the ISP  Router and D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 Router clearly showed that the D-Link provided notable higher performance in all three tests than the ISP router (Virgin Hub 4) in a single 5Ghz connection. Here are the Google Speed Test results, with a 16Mb increased on download and over 3Mb increased upload on the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460:

The Ookla Browser-based speed tests (connecting with the same remote server location)  showed the same improvements in Download Speed, just under 20Mb faster:

Finally the ‘FAST’ speed test was a clear 21Mb faster on the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 Router

Overall the software and services on the D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 may seem a little safe and vanilla in places, but at this price point and for 2021, these seem quite acceptable. Plus the added bonus of having both a more techie usable web browser GUI and a more user-friendLY chewable mobile application option is handy.

D-Link EXO AX5400 Router Review – Conclusion & Verdict

The EXO DIR-X5460 from D-Link ticks a lot of the key boxes from buyers looking at entering the WiFi 6 market with as little friction as possible. Now that the price point of AX/802.11ax hardware is coming down and becoming a universal standard in the majority of our home hardware (the latest iPhone, the latest Pixel, the PS5, etc), then the advantages of investing in a solution like the EXO DIR-X5460 Router become increasingly obvious. In terms of physical connections, the D-Link EXO is perhaps a little bland and the software and services, though easy to use and very functional, are not going to blow you away. The D-Link EXO DIR-X5460 Router trades on its wireless speed, handling, area of coverage and customization of those networks – and in those areas, this router is a big success. Excellent value, if a little safe overall.

PROS CONS
  • 6 External and Directional Antennas!
  • Both detailed Desktop GUI and Simple Mobile App Control
  • WiFi 6 Support across 2x 5Ghz and 1x 2.4Ghz bands
  • FAST setup and inc wall brackets
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port for Storage
  • Works straight out of the box
  • In-House Expanded Mesh Support
  • Triple Core 1.5Ghz Processor
  • Free Inclusive Parental Control
  • 540MB/s (480MB+57MB) Combined Bandwidth
  • WPA3 and 128bit Encryption
  • Wall-mountable
  • Voice Control via AI Assistant Supported
  • Limited LAG support on just 2x LAN ports
  • Lacks 2.5Gbe
  • Mobile App is a little over-simplified (an Advanced Tab as found in the Desktop Browser GUI would help)

If you are thinking of buying the D-Link EXO-AX AX5400 Router, please use the links below

 

 

 


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Seagate Ironwolf 525 NAS NVMe SSD Revealed

20 septembre 2021 à 15:25

Seagate PCIe Gen 4 NVMe for NAS on its Way – The Ironwolf 525 SSD

Continuing their reputation for bringing new media releases to the market before everyone else, Seagate seemingly has a PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD in the pipeline for NAS/SAN server use in their Ironwolf series, known as the Seagate Ironwolf 525. Although little is publically know about this new SSD, the Ironwolf 525 has already begun to appear on numerous stock management and distribution sites in Europe, so this seems to indicate a likely release before the end of 2021. Seagate was one of the first brands in storage media to introduce a server dedicated class of SSDs for home and prosumer users (with a U.2/SAS series already in place for enterprise in their Nytro series of course) in both SATA and NVMe m.2, however even in this early leak of information, a few unique or interesting details have already emerged. So, let’s go through everything that we know so far and whether the Seagate Ironwolf 525 SSD will deserve your cache* later in 2021/2022

Seagate Firecuda 530 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Review Here https://nascompares.com/2021/08/09/seagate-firecuda-530-ssd-review-the-score-to-beat

*I’ll get my coat…..

Click to view slideshow.

The Seagate Ironwolf 525 SSD – What Do We Know?

As mentioned, details on specifications of the Seagate Ironwolf 525 NVMe SSD are remarkably thin on the ground. Clearly, release and a formal reveal should not be too far ahead, as even a casual search online reveals that a number of European sites are listing the drive:

As it stands, there are no official datasheets for the Seagate Ironwolf 525 SSD available, but a lot of the specifications that ARE available (across all listing sites), as well as going by the Seagate model ID naming convention used in the Ironwolf 510 and Firecuda seemingly indicate the following:

  • Seagate Ironwolf 525 NVMe SSD
  • Available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB Capacity
  • PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 Architecture
  • NVMe 1.3 (TBC)
  • 2280 M.2
  • 3D TLC NAND (96L or 176L TBC)
  • 0.98/1.0 DWPD (TBC)
  • 850/1800/3600 TBW (TBC)
  • 1.8M Hours MTBF (TBC)
  • 5 years Warranty
  • Rescue Data Recovery Services (2/3yrs TBC)

Of course, these should be taken with a huge grain of salt until a formal release is made, but even tentatively, compared against the Seagate Ironwolf 510 Gen 3 SSD, the Ironwolf 525 is much more comparable to the Firecuda 520 in architecture and almost certainly will feature the Pison E16 controller. A VERY important factor to keep in mind right now is that in Autumn 2021, there are very, VERY few PCIe Gen 4.0 equipped servers (and practically zero M.2 PCIe 4×4 equipped systems). PCIe Gen 4 upgrade cards are very gradually appearing, but this seemingly looks like it will be a much later winter 2021/2022 hardware change from the big names in NAS, SAN and custom servers. Therefore, as appealing as the Seagate Ironwolf 525 PCIe Gen 4×4 SSD sounds right now, it is worth remembering that very few server systems will be able to fully unlock its potential and if you are considering the Ironwolf 525 for a NAS/Server released before Summer 2021, then you would likely be better off opting for the current Seagate Ironwolf 510 NAS SSD which is PCIe Gen 3×4 and has incredibly high durability taken into account.

The Seagate Ironwolf 525 SSD – Price & Availability

Details regarding when this drive will be available to buy are incredibly thin on the ground. As mentioned, the low number of PCIe Gen 4.0 server systems, the continued high suitability of the Ironwolf 510 and the storage media market that is only starting to bounce back from over a year of shortages (at least!) all add up to the Seagate Ironwolf 525 not being a drive that needs to arrive in a hurry! The current PCIe Gen 4.0 favourite SSD, the Seagate Firecuda 530 and 520 still continue to support the existing PCIe4 client market in desktop and laptop forms, but for NAS (and indeed all server types) this switch is still very much ‘in progress’. Prices however seem to be a little clearer, with individual distributions sites appearing to agree on the pricing for each capacity at the moment of 500GB being €104 (€125 inc.TAX) 1TB at €173 (€208 inc.TAX) and 2TB arriving at €359 (€430 inc.TAX). Of course, these prices are subject to change, but do serve as an early guide on the pricing of the Seagate Ironwolf 525 and how that price sits with the Ironwolf 510 and Firecuda 520 that are currently available. We will keep an eye on this and update you on the Ironwolf 525 as we learn more, so stay subscribed! If you want to learn more about Seagate NVMe SSDs and how each drive in their current portfolio compares, have a look at the guide below:

Guide to Seagate SSDs HERE – 

 

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do use links to Amazon Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD Review – Modest Powerhouse?

20 septembre 2021 à 01:15

Review of the Titanium Micro TH7175 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

I think it would be fair to say that over the last few weeks I have seen ALOT of SSDs. Because of a myriad of industry affecting events in the last 18 months (Covid, Chia, Trade Wars, Component shortages) the usually regimented and carefully planned release schedules of the SSD brands have been thrown into utter chaos, leading to a huge number of high performing SSDs all landing into the market in the usually quiet summer period. All of these SSDs have been loud and proud about their performance, brash and shouty in proclaiming their superiority over their competitors – all except one. Titanium Micro and their TH7175 PCIe 4.0 SSD is one that you could oh so easily have missed. There is not a hugely well-known brand in the home/commercial sector and are all too often seen in business and enterprise bundled solutions. However, despite their rather modest stance on promoting their products in more consumer-friendly sectors and even the retail packaging of their drives being less number heavy, the Titanium Micro TH7175 is possibly one of the highest performing PCIe 4.0 NMe SSDs that I have reviewed on NASCompares so far in 2021/2022. However is the Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD a little too good to be true? Are there any hidden compromises and does it deserve your data/ Let’s find out in today’s SSD review.

Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

When it comes to the overall performance of the Titanium TH7175, you cannot help but be impressed, as it absolutely delivers on each of it’s claims online. Plus, the fact that the brand is so fantastically understated in its approach compared with other brands in its online marketing and product presentation is pleasingly rare. The physical drive itself is pretty underwhelming and avoids a number of the snazzy labelling for good or bad, so you really only have the performance and stats to go by on this drive, which holds up well. The Price tag, though not as low as some mid/late 2020 released PCIe4 NVMe SSD, is still quite affordable, especially when compared against some of the other Phison E18 enabled SSDs available right now. The availability of this drive is nowhere near as widespread as others tough and this may likely hurt how well it fares in an increasingly busy SSD marketplace! If you are looking for a solid, honest and reliable NVMe SSD for your PCIe 4.0 enabled system, this ticks a lot of boxes for gamers and even has a dependable write speed for those content creators and editors upgrading their storage in 2021/2022. Plus the inclusion of an especially rare yet highly reassuring 7-year warranty is not to be ignored.

PROs of the Titanium Micro TH7175 CONs of the Titanium Micro TH7175
Genuinely Impressive Performance

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

7 Year Warranty (with Registration)

Available in up to 4TB

1.2 Million Read IOPS (4TB model)

Modest Presentation is a rare treat!

Particularly powerful PC required to crack 7,000MB/s

No Inclusive Heatsink Option

Availability is lower than the bigger brands

Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD Review – Packaging

As already mentioned, Titanium Micro are NOT a particularly loud or over-sharing kind of brand. Indeed, the retail packaging of the TH7175 SSD is fantastically understated, arriving in a simple plastic shell as you might find hanging on a rack of your local grocery store. This kind of packaging is not new in computer components, but is usually found in memory modules and less commercially desirable parts. I query the protection this kind of retail packaging provides to such a delicate component, but am still just a bit surprised at the complete lack of ANYTHING related to the 7,200MB/s+ Sequential Read, 6850MB/s Sequential Write, 1.2M IOPS or anything even remotely boastful (as found in EVERY SINGLE PCIe SSD I have reviewed lately). I cannot decide if this is a good or bad thing yet!

In fact, the ONLY thing I can find on this retail packaging for the Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD that I would describe as boastful/loud is the brand highlighting that this SSD arrives with a 7-year warranty available to the buyer. Yes, SEVEN years, comprising of a 5yr standard warranty and then (if you register online) an additional 2 more years. I have criticised brands like Sabrent previously that have offered 1yr standard warranty and 5years IF you register, but this is very different with the TH7175, as you do genuinely feel like you are getting something ‘extra’ for registering, rather than the registration being required for the 5yr warranty as you find in practically ALL other SSD brands. I can see why they would make a point of highlighting this ‘longer than most’ warranty period.

Unboxing the Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD is a rather brief affair! Inside the plastic shell casing, we only find the SSD itself. The display card has all the information regarding warranty and product information links and this SSD does not feature any 1st party inclusive heatsink. NOTE – I removed the SSD label during the YouTube review to display the on-board components, so although I have attempted to re-apply it carefully/accurately, the slight blemish on the sticker was caused by myself during the reapplication.

The SSD for today’s review is the 1TB version of this series and (again) it is very understated. Lacking the metal top plate of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus or the inclusive heatsink of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s, what we find is a small label that simply denotes the model ID and logo.

Indeed, the label barely covers the NAND/Controller, not that this matters as you would 100% need to use a heatsink of a drive like this! The 1TB model of the Titanium Micro TH7175 is a single-sided SSD and does not suffer from any kind of cramming on the PCB.

The rear side of the Titanium Micro TH7175 has a little more information on the SSD, as well as the clear bocks that the 2 sided 2TB and 4TB models would utilize.

Just before we conducted the full PC benchmark testing, we took the time to test the Titanium Micro TH7175 NVMe m.2 inside the PS5 SSD expansion bay to check it’s compatibility. I am pleased to confirm that the SSD fits like a glove with plenty of room for a standard heatsink (the Eluteng m.2 2-part heatsink was used for the PS5 performance testing coming soon on NASCompares).

Performance testing of the Titanium Micro TH7175 inside the PS5 (using Beta Software 3.1) showed that this SSD benchmarked 6,557.08MB/s Read on the Playstation’s own testing. This puts it more than 1,000MB/s over the recommended minimum for a PS5 storage upgrade and faster in Read and Write than the PS5’s own internal SSD. Impressive.

So that is the physical design and PS5 testing of the Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves and how they perform in further PC testing? Does the Titanium Micro TH7175 cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the Titanium Micro TH7175 are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIE Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the Titanium Micro TH7175 is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

Titanium Micro TH7175

1TB – $279.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $999.99

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC 96L NAND
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 7yr (5+2YR with Reg.)

I know a lot of the above will seem needlessly technical, so below we can bring the most important considerations into sharper focus.

Hardware Focus of the Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Phison E18. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and Phison are one of the bigger 3rd party SSD controller manufacturers in the world! I say 3rd party, because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Whereas some brands source some/all components for their SSDs from 3rd parties – which is not necessarily a bad thing for both them and the industry (there are pros and cons on either side). Phison has been at the cutting edge of this subject for years now and the E18 was first revealed last year in 2020, but due to the pandemic making storage trends unpredictable and semi-conductor shortages, most SSDs that utilized the Phison E18 eventually arrived in 2021. This controller is one of the biggest reasons that the Titanium Micro TH7175 can actually back up it’s promises about the 7,000MB/s+ Sequential Read (sequential data = big chunks of data). However, that is not the only reason.

The NAND on the Titanium Micro TH7175 is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance of an SSD and although the Titanium Micro TH7175 does not provide the best SSD in the industry at this tier right now (that, once again, goes to the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176 layer 3D TLC NAND), it is bigger than most, arriving at 96 Layers of 3D TLC NAND. Although the majority of modern PCIe M.2 SSD use 3D TLC NAND (avoid QLC NAND like the PLAGUE btw!), most are still at 64 layers or so, so this is a big jump up for theTitanium Micro TH7175 SSD.

Much like the Controller on the Titanium Micro TH7175 being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD uses 1GB DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc.

As mentioned, all available capacities of the Titanium Micro TH7175 arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact that the 2TB can arrive on single-sided SSD boards is very impressive. Physical storage NAND is distributed evenly in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wear and performance.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the Titanium Micro TH7175 takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the Titanium Micro TH7175 use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the Titanium Micro TH7175, as it is still (2-3 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the Titanium Micro TH7175, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below). The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of both models around 20-30%!. Below is a breakdown of how each Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD compares:

Brand/Series Titanium Micro TH7175

1TB – $279.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $999.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

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

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC 96L NAND 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 7yr (5+2YR with Reg.) 5yr 5yr
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ N/A $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model 850028113318 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $259 / £215 $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model 850028113325 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $499 / £419 $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model 850028113967 ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ $999 / £820 $949 / £789 N/A
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model 850028113318 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1600000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model 850028113325 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1400TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1600000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model 850028113967 ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 3000TB 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1600000 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.7DWPD N/A

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as this drive is rated a pinch higher than the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 in terms of NAND lifespan on daily writes, likely down to that Micron 96 Layer 3D TLC NAND used, rather than t used by those used by competitors. This is an important point because the brand has significantly less pedigree in-home/business SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate and people will want to know they are going to get a product that lasts!

However, despite the use of the Phison E18 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually a noticeable degree lower than those reported by their competitors. Indeed, the Titanium Micro TH7175 is one of the few E18 SSDs that does not cross into the reported 1 Million IOPS mark, maxing out at 700k. This is still very impressive anyway, but it does make me wonder where the disparity stems from. Indeed, when you look at the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe 1.4 SSD, that feature the E18 controller and 96L (or higher) on board, it really only leaves about 4 other SSDs in the market today that this can be compared against. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, the MSI Spatium M480, the ADATA Gammix S70 and (current leader) the Seagate Firecuda 530. Of those, the only one that seemingly ‘out specs’ the Titanium Micro TH7175 is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD has been available in the market for almost 3-4 months longer and has certainly embedded itself in the market at that time a fraction more. Below is how these two drives compare:

Brand/Series Titanium Micro TH7175

1TB – $279.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $999.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

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

500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model 850028113318 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7150MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5600MB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model 850028113325 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7175MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6800MB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model 850028113967 ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7200MB 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6890MB 6900MB N/A
Brand/Series Titanium Micro TH7175 Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 700,000 680,000
1TB Model 850028113318 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 360000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 645000 1000000 720,000
2TB Model 850028113325 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 640,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 630,000 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model 850028113967 ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 660,000 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,250,000 1,000,000 N/A

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 530 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Although there are a number of micro reasons for this, the 176L NAND is the biggest factor here. Yes, that is why the Firecuda 530 commands the higher price tag. Additionally, the WD Black arriving at a better price point, higher IOPS in most tiers and the fact it does this whilst still hitting that 7,000MB/s certainly gives pause for thought. However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that holding out for the Firecuda or WD Black SN850 is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Let’s get the Titanium Micro TH7175 on the test machine!

Testing the Titanium Micro TH7175 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The Titanium Micro TH7175 was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the Titanium Micro TH7175 over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 38C between each test being conducted.

The first tests were conducted using the ATTO disk benchmark software. The first was a 256MB test file size and below is a breakdown of the transfer rates and IOPS. The 2nd Test was a 1GB test file and finally, the last test was with a 4GB test file. The system was given 1-minute cool downtime between tests, no screen recording software was used (remove overhead) and a heatsink was used throughout (no reboots)

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.58GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.08GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.57GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.12GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.52GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.12GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Test were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write task to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

Next, I switched to AS SSD benchmark. A much more thorough test through, I used 1GB, 3GB and 5GB test files. Each test includes throughput benchmarks and IOPS that are respective to the larger file sizes (important, if you are reading this and trying to compare against the reported 4K IOPS from the manufacturer).

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5907MB/s Read & 5433MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5874MB/s Read & 5389MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5874MB/s Read & 5411MB/s Write

Overall, the Titanium Micro TH7175 was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were a little lower than I expected, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context.

Titanium Micro TH7175 SSD Review – Conclusion

When it comes to the overall performance of the Titanium TH7175, you cannot help but be impressed, as it absolutely delivers on each of it’s claims online. Plus, the fact that the brand is so fantastically understated in it’s approach compared with other brands in it’s online marketing and product presentation is pleasingly rare. The physical drive itself is pretty underwhelming and ashews a number of the snazzy labelling for good or bad, so you really only have the performance and stats to go by on this drive, which hold up well. The Price tag, though not as low as some mid/late 2020 released PCIe4 NVMe SSD, is still quite affordable, especially when compared against some of the other Phison E18 enabled SSDs available right now. The availability of this drive is no where near as wide spread as others tough and this may likely hurt how well it fares in an increasingly busy SSD marketplace! If you are looking for a solid, honest and reliable NVMe SSD for your PCIe 4.0 enabled system, this ticks a lot of boxes for gamers and even has a dependable write speed for those content creators and editors upgrading their storage in 2021/2022. Plus the inclusion of an especially rare yet highly reassuring 7 year warranty is not to be ignored.

 

PROs of the Titanium Micro TH7175 CONs of the Titanium Micro TH7175
Genuinely Impressive Performance

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

7 Year Warranty (with Registration)

Available in up to 4TB

1.2 Million Read IOPS (4TB model)

Modest Presentation is a rare treat!

Particularly powerful PC required to crack 7,000MB/s

No Inclusive Heatsink Option

Availability is lower than the bigger brands


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SSD Caching On A NAS? What Is It and Should You Use It?

17 septembre 2021 à 01:17

Should you bother with SSD cache in on a NAS?

Most modern generation network attached storage NAS drives include the option of utilising SSD cache, which promises to improve file access and general system performance in a number of ways. Is by no means a new concept and has existed in one shape or form for more than a decade in modern server utilisation. However, in order to take advantage of SSD caching on your NAS, there are a number of hurdles that will often increase the price point of your ideal solution and potentially lower the capacity that you can take advantage of long-term. This leads many users into wondering whether SSD caching is anywhere near as beneficial as brands like Synology and QNAP would have you believe. So today I want to discuss what SSD caching is, who can benefit from it, who definitely won’t and hopefully help you decide whether you should consider SSD caching on your NAS.

What is SSD caching on a NAS?

The majority of NAS systems are comprised of multiple hard drives supported in a single enclosure that are combined together in efforts to increase capacity, performance and redundancy in a configuration commonly known as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks). The more hard drives you have, the larger and more advantageous the RAID configurations you can create. However, these only marginally increase the performance available to you, multiplying performance on hard drives by a factor of the total number of hard drives. Ultimately, you are still using hard drives for your file system which will always pale in comparison to the performance available via solid-state drives SSD but this group of HDDs will result in higher throughput than any single hard drive. The obvious alternative of course is to replace all of the hard drives in your NAS with SSD and therefore reap the benefit of both SSD performance and RAID combination advantages. However, in practice, the main reason that no one does this is that the price point of SSD is significantly higher than hard drives and although the performance benefits would be greatly increased, the price would rise 5-10x times higher at least and the total available capacity would be significantly reduced – as general commercial and SMB SSDs currently max out at 4TB capacity, rather than the 18/20TB available in modern hard drives. NAS/Servers being fully populated with SSDs is still done though on less common setups which are highly enterprise and more commonly known as flash servers – fast but fantastically expensive!

RECOMMENDED SSDs FOR SSD Caching
SATA SSD HOME NVMe SSD BUSINESS SATA SSD BUSINESS
WD RED SA500

Available in SATA 2.5″ and mSATA

Affordable and Large Capacity Options

NAS Optimized

SEAGATE IRONWOLF 510

VERY High Durability of 1.0 DWPD

Data Recovery Services Included

Read Caching Optimized

SEAGATE IRONWOLF 110

Very High Durability

SSD Over Provisioning Ready

Data Recovery Services Included

SSD caching was designed as a hybrid storage media solution to this dilemma and involves pairing a small percentage of SSD storage space together with a larger area of hard drive storage space. Typically recommended at around 10% SSD to 90% hard drive, the NAS system will gradually learn over time which files on the total storage system are the ones being accessed most frequently. These files can range from tiny system files, indexes, thumbnails, directories and minor background data, all the way through to larger files that are in shared drives between multiple users, OS-related files that live on a central server and website files that are constantly being referenced for your domain (depending on the I/O configuration of your SSD cache). As the system constantly learns which files are the ones being constantly accessed, copies of these files are made on the area of SSD cache and in future when these files are requested by connected hardware clients, these faster-accessing copies will be targeted instead. Although this is a large oversimplification of the process, it is generally accurate. Not to be confused with tiered storage, which moves commonly accessed files to areas of SSD (not making a copy in 2 locations), SSD cache has numerous advantages and disadvantages that many users would do well to learn before embracing this storage media process. Let’s discuss this a little further, as there are multiple types of SSD cache options available from most modern brands.

Image Credit: techtarget.com

What is Read SSD Caching on a NAS?

The easiest but least beneficial type of SSD cache for a mass is read-only cache. This can be implemented with even a single SSD and much like the description above, involves the system moving copies of the most frequently accessed data onto the SSD. Read-only SSD cache on a NAS prevents editing or modifying of files that are being accessed on the area of the cache. Read-only cache is only of benefit to users who are accessing larger databases of preset data that is not often modified and although improves access to these more common files, limits the overall benefits of SSD caching in most NAS systems long term. Also known/referred to as Write-around SSD caching, this too writes data to the primary storage first instead of to the cache. This gives the SSD cache time to analyze data requests and identify the most frequently and recently used data. The SSD cache efficiently caches high priority data requests without flooding the cache with infrequently accessed data

What is Write Caching on a NAS?

Write Caching on a NAS can actually be broken down into two types. The first, Write-through SSD caching, writes simultaneously to the SSD cache area and to primary storage. The cache enables faster data retrieval, while the primary storage writes safely retains the data even if a system interruption affects the cache (eg a power failure). Write-through SSD caching does not require additional data protection for the cached data (so you can use one or more SSD in a Single/RAID 0 Config), but does increase write latency (i.e write time). The alternative is Write-back SSD caching, which writes ONLY to the SSD area first, then confirms that a block is written to the SSD cache, and the data is available for usage before writing the block to the main storage RAID array of HDDs afterwards. The method has lower latency than write-through, but if the cache loses data (i.e. critical system failure, power loss, etc) before the data writes to primary storage, that data is lost. Typical data protection solutions for write-back SSD caching are redundant SSDs or mirroring (i.e. MASSIVELY recommended or enforced that SSDs in a Write Through config are in a RAID 1/5 at the very least).

The application and customization of SSD caching in modern NAS software are incredibly diverse and in most cases, you can create a very bespoke SSD caching config for your system that integrates one or more caching read/write methods taht are best suited to your system setup, data types and access routines. So, now you know what SSD caching is and the types that most commonly exist, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Guide to Seagate SSDs Guide to WD SSDs

What Are The Advantages of SSD Caching on a NAS?

The benefits of SSD caching on a NAS are often tough to measure, as the resulting improvements are the culmination of multiple smaller improvements at once. So the benefits are more often FELT than actually seen, as latency will be reduced throughout the overall access of the data on your NAS. Compressed data like thumbnails, indexing information and system reference files that a NAS will refer to in a given process will be turned around much quicker in the background and therefore will reduce wait times on instructions given by you to the NAS. Typically larger databases in scale rather than individual file volume will reap the most benefits, and therefore the advantages of SSD caching on a NAS are:

  • Faster Access to Larger databases made up for many smaller files
  • More cost-effective than an all-SSD system
  • Write-Cache/Write-Through Caching benefits more traditional one-way activity
  • Cache is largely self-managed, so once set up, will choose/drop important cached data on its own
  • The bulk of Porsume/SMB and higher NAS hardware arrive with dedicated SSD Cache bays, so no loss of traditional storage bays
  • SSD caching is becoming increasingly available on ARM-powered devices

What Are The Disadvantages of SSD Caching on a NAS?

It is very important to understand that SSD caching is not some kind of magic wand that will suddenly make your NAS significantly faster. Indeed, SSD caching will be of little to no use to the majority of home and prosumer users on a smaller scale, as larger files will rarely be moved to areas of cache and most home users will use a NAS predominantly for multimedia use, large-scale backups and surveillance in home or office environments. Not only do these processes use significantly less frequently accessed data (more likely resulting in the CREATION of new data) but as they are often more ad-hoc in nature, aside from some early write-caching, the benefits of SSD caching will be all but useless to you. Then there is the added cost, added system overhead resource use and more. Here are the main disadvantages of SSD caching on a NAS:

  • Increases Costs of your Storage Setup
  • Not all NAS M.2 NVMe SSD bays are the same bandwidth, some are capped to 1000-2000MB/s, bottlenecking some SSDs
  • Cache Data benefits are HEAVILY dependant on storage user type/files
  • Some Cache methods (i.e Write-Back) store data in the cache, THEN move to the system as it is written and susceptible to loss in the event of a power failure

M.2 SSD Vs SATA SSD Caching on a NAS?

As mentioned in the introduction to today’s article on SSD caching, the majority of NAS drives in the market right now support SSD caching. However, though many have adopted NVMe M2 SSD bays to allow users dedicated ports to do this, many other more affordable or smaller scale NAS hardware systems (2-Bays, ARM CPU devices, etc) still require the end-user to occupy existing traditional hard drive media bays for SSD media for caching instead. Obviously, this can be a significant disadvantage to your overall total maximum capacity when losing main storage bays to smaller capacity SSD for caching. But is there any difference in performance benefits by opting for significantly faster M2 NVMe PCIe SSDs for caching over traditional SATA SSD? Well yes and no. The data stored on the SSD cache has the potential to be delivered to the NAS physical interfaces at whatever maximum speed the SSD can output, so NVMe SSD will always technically push that data faster. Likewise, as the library of cached data and metadata is compiled in the system’s usage, its creation will be markedly faster on the NVMes than SATA SSD which is going to be advantageous to numerous types of write-caching. However, if you are only utilising one or more gigabit ethernet connections, then the difference felt by the end-users when read-write caching is applied between either SSD media type will be practically unnoticeable. Therefore the noticeable differences between SATA SSD and M2 NVMe SSD caching only really apply to use us who take advantage of a larger external network interface or are running larger database operations inside the NAS architecture, containers and virtual machines. 

RECOMMENDED SSDs FOR SSD Caching
SATA SSD HOME NVMe SSD BUSINESS SATA SSD BUSINESS
WD RED SA500

Available in SATA 2.5″ and mSATA

Affordable and Large Capacity Options

NAS Optimized

SEAGATE IRONWOLF 510

VERY High Durability of 1.0 DWPD

Data Recovery Services Included

Read Caching Optimized

SEAGATE IRONWOLF 110

Very High Durability

SSD Over Provisioning Ready

Data Recovery Services Included

It is also worth remembering that despite many NAS systems releasing with NVMe SSD bays, their architecture might not have sufficient PCIe lanes on the CPU and assigned chipset to allow maximum NVMe SSD performance. In short, not all NVMe slots are created equal and although you may purchase a 3000-4000MB per second SSD for your NAS and its caching, don’t be surprised if that PCIe m.2 physical revision caps your performance much lower (I strip-down of the hardware inside most home/prosumer NAS systems like the DS920+, TS-473A or Lockerstor 4 will show that the M.2 NVMe slots inside can only reach 1000-2000MB/s at most as they are PCIe 2×2, PCIe 2×4 or PCIe 3×2. In short, NVMe SSD slots for caching are a good thing and can certainly provide better performance over SATA SSD in a number of ways, just be aware that sometimes the way you use it or the hardware of the NAS itself will potentially limit this.

 

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do use links to Amazon Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD – PS5 EXPANSION GUIDE & TEST RESULTS

16 septembre 2021 à 10:01

PS5 SSD Expansion Testing with the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD

Always a big name in the world of computer components and gaming PC architecture, Gigabyte is a stalwart brand in motherboards but their recent M.2 NVMe SSD is the focus of today’s article. The Gigabyte Aorus 7000s is one of the higher tier SSDs on the market right now and very much in the sights of PS5 SSD upgraders right now (largely because of it’s high specs, it’s affordable price and it’s included premium quality heatsink). 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD and how they compare with the internal PS5 loading the same game. If you want to watch the full videos that cover PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD at the initialization of the system:

What Are the Specifications of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD?

Before we go through the load time testing of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s can be accessed changes.
  • IOPS – These represent the number of individual operations the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD:

Brand/Series

 

AORUS Gen4 7000s

1TB – $249.99

AORUS Gen4 7000s

2TB – $549.99

PRICE GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Price in $ and $ $199 / £189 $359 / £399
Throughput GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6850MB
IOPS GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350,000 650,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 700,000
ENDURANCE GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1400TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,600,000 1,600,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.38DWPD

So, now you know the hardware specifications of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD and you also know that (at the time of writing!) the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s is supported by the PS5 SSD expansion bay.

IMPORTANT – This article contains ALOT of gifs to demonstrate the loading times of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD with the PS5 – Test Parameters

All of the tests of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 2 Test

This test was loading to the Smithing Grounds of Demon Souls, comparing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 1 Test

This test was loading to the first main area of Demon Souls, comparing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test I

This test was loading to the starting area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Castle Loading Test I

This test was loading the Castle Area of Resident Evil Village, comparing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Stronghold Loading Test II

This test was loading the Stronghold of Resident Evil Village, comparing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Testing – Doom Eternal Level Loading Test I

This test was loading a level in Doom Eternal from the title screen, comparing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Testing – Control Level Loading Test I

This test was loading to an early area of the game from the title screen on Control, comparing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Testing – Destruction Allstars Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the first arena of Destruction Allstars from the title screen, comparing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Testing – Destiny Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the first area of Destiny 2 from the title screen, comparing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s vs the internal PS5 SSD:

Full Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD PS5 Test Videos

If you want to see the FULL testing of every PS5/PS4 game with the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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!

Brand/Series

 

AORUS Gen4 7000s

1TB – $249.99

AORUS Gen4 7000s

2TB – $549.99

PRICE GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Price in $ and $ $199 / £189 $359 / £399
Throughput GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6850MB
Gigabyte Aorus 7000s PS5 SSD Test 1

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s PS5 SSD Test 2

 


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

WD Black SN850 SSD – PS5 EXPANSION GUIDE & TEST RESULTS

15 septembre 2021 à 01:13

PS5 SSD Expansion Testing with the WD Black SN850 SSD

A you are considering buying the WD Black SN850 for your PS5 because of Mark Cerny’s recommendations or because it is currently floating around for a good price online? Either way, it is currently one of the most popular choices for those looking at upgrading their Playstation 5. 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 reseaching before pulling the trigger at checkout before spending hundreds on the WD Black SN850 only to find 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 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 SSD and how they compare with the internal PS5 loading the same game. If you want to watch the full videos that cover PS5 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 SSD at the initialization of the system:

What Are the Specifications of the WD Black SN850 SSD?

Before we go through the load time testing of the WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 can be accessed changes.
  • IOPS – These represent the number of individual operations the WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 SSD:

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC
Controller WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4100MB 5300MB 5100MB
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,750,000 1,750,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD

So, now you know the hardware specifications of the WD Black SN850 SSD and you also know that (at the time of writing!) the WD Black SN850 is supported by the PS5 SSD expansion bay.

IMPORTANT – This article contains ALOT of gifs to demonstrate the loading times of the WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 SSD with the PS5 – Test Parameters

All of the tests of the WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 2 Test

This test was loading to the Smithing Grounds of Demon Souls, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 1 Test

This test was loading to the first main area of Demon Souls, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test I

This test was loading to the starting area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Borderlands 3 Full Loading Test I

This test was loading Borderlands to the Title Screen from the PS5 Main menu on Borderlands 3, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Castle Loading Test I

This test was loading the Castle Area of Resident Evil Village, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Stronghold Loading Test II

This test was loading the Stronghold of Resident Evil Village, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Dartmoor Loading Test I

This test was loading the Dartmoor level on Hitman 3, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Mendoza Loading Test II

This test was loading the Mendoza level on Hitman 3, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Terminator Resistance Level Loading Test

This test was loading Terminator Resistance Infiltrator Mode, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Dead By Daylight Bots Test

This test was loading the tutorial Bots Mode on Dead By Daylight, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Red Dead Redemption II Campaign Loading Test

This test was loading the Blackwater Area of Red Dead Redemption II in single Player, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – No Man’s Sky Creative Mode Loading Test

This test was loading No Man’s Sky in Creative Mode from the Title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 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 WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Doom Eternal Level Loading Test I

This test was loading a level in Doom Eternal from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Control Level Loading Test I

This test was loading to an early area of the game from the title screen on Control, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Plague Tale Level Loading Test I

This test was loading an early Level area of Innocence, a plagues Tale from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – WreckFest Level Loading Test I

This test was loading an early challenge in Wrecckfest from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Maneater Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the first area of Maneater from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Destruction Allstars Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the first arena of Destruction Allstars from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

 

Full WD Black SN850 SSD PS5 Test Videos

If you want to see the FULL testing of every PS5/PS4 game with the WD Black SN850 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!

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99

 

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 1

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 2

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 3

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 4

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

New Sabrent PS5 SSD Heatsink Revealed Now for $20

13 septembre 2021 à 23:20

Sabrent PS5 Designed SSD Heatsink SB-PHHS Now Available to Buy

Good news for anyone who is considering buying an SSD for their PS5 Storage expansion upgrade (currently in Beta, with the full release coming soon) with the reveal of the new PS5 designed SSD heatsink from Sabrent. For those that are not aware, the PS5 supports m.2 NVMe SSDs in its available expansion bay, however, these SSDs can get remarkably hot when in full use (as all NVMe SSDs are prone to – due to their remarkably high performance and throughput). In order to counter this, the PS5 like most gaming systems that support m.2 NVMe SSDs provide an area of space around the drive to attach a heatsink – a metallic block that is attached to the SSD that draws the heat away from the SSD and its chips, then dissipating that heat into the surrounding air. Heatsinks are generally available to buy from between $10-25 depending on build quality and indeed some SSDs arrive with a heatsink already attached. However, the bigger heatsinks are generally the most effective at dissipating heat, which is a shame given that the PS5 SSD expansion bay has a metal cover, limiting space for larger heatsinks. Many are debating whether it is better or worse when the SSD is contained inside a closed slot, as well as using heatsinks that are designed for PC environments in a PS5 hardware environment. The Sabrent SB-PHHS heatsink aims to counter this issue by being the first PS5 compatible heatsink that covers the SSD, whilst maximizing the available space in the SSD expansion slot.

Available NOW. The Sabrent PS5 Heatsink (on its own, without any SSD) will be $19.99 (or CA, £18.99 UK and €19.99 Germany) and releasing on 13th October 2021

What Makes the Sabrent SB-PHHS PS5 Heatsink Different to Other Heatsinks?

The main difference of course between the Sabrent PS5 heatsink and others is that this is the very first PS5 heatsink that is designed precisely around the available cavity in your PS5 for SSD drives. With grooves across the whole drive to facilitate airflow over the SSD and thermal pads included coating the full length of the SSD inside. Here is how the heatsink looks:

Here is how the Sabrent PS5 Heatsink fits and looks inside the PS5, as well as how it compares with a regular generic heatsink AND the original Sabrent ‘phat’ Heatsink:

Eluteng NGFF NVME Heatsink – $13.99 Click to view slideshow. Sabrent SSD Rocket Heatsink SB-HTSK – $24.99 Click to view slideshow.

Sabrent SB-PHHS PS5 Heatsink – $19.99 (TBC)

So, as you can see, the heatsink is designed SPECIFICALLY for the PS5 m.2 SSD storage bay.

How Much is the Custom Sabrent PS5 SSD Heatsink?

Prices for the Sabrent PS5 heatsink are only currently available on Amazon right now, but several prices are now available. These include the heatsink on its own, as well as bundled with Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSDs in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. They are priced as follows:

The Sabrent PS5 Heatsink (on its own, without any SSD) will be $19.99 (or CA, £18.99 UK and €19.99 Germany)

The Sabrent PS5 SSD & 1TB Rocket 4 Plus SSD will be $189.99 (or CA)

The Sabrent PS5 SSD & 2TB Rocket 4 Plus SSD will be $369.99 (or CA)

The Sabrent PS5 SSD & 4TB Rocket 4 Plus SSD will be $909.99 (or CA)

When Will the Sabrent PS5 SSD Heatsink Be Released?

Although the Sabrent PS5 Heatsink is available for pre-order in the U.S & Canadian regions (and shortly worldwide), full availability has now been confirmed as October 13, 2021. A Full review and temperature tests (how it compares with the ‘fat’ Sabrent heatsink and 3rd party regular-sized ones) will be published soon. Below is what is available on Amazon.com:

Alternatively, the bundled units that include the sabrent heatsink AND an SSD are available and have prices included, They arrive in three configurations are as follows:

Click to view slideshow.

asas

Where Can I Buy the Sabrent PS5 SSD Heatsink?

Below is a guide on where you can buy the Sabrent PS5 heatsink as well as the different configurations that are available. Each one, regardless of the bundle Includes the PS5 Heatsink, Thermal tape and an Installation guide.

 

The Sabrent SP-PHHS PS5 Heatsink Only

If you ONLY want the heatsink (you already have an SSD ready for  your PS5 installation), use the links below (only available in 4 countries right now):

Amazon.com Here$19.99

Amazon.ca Here  

Amazon.co.uk £18.99

Amazon.de €19.99

 

The Full Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD PS5 Test Videos

If you want to see the FULL testing of every PS5/PS4 game with the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 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!

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PS5 SSD Test 1

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PS5 SSD Test 2

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PS5 SSD Test 3

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PS5 SSD Test 4

 

Here is today’s YouTube video, covering the heatsink, everything we know and how it is differed from normal PS5 heatsinks:

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD – PS5 EXPANSION GUIDE & TEST RESULTS

13 septembre 2021 à 01:17

PS5 SSD Expansion Testing with the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD

Are You considering the ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD as a PS5 upgrade? 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 at checkout and spending hundreds on the XPG GAMMIX S70 only to find 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD and how they compare with the internal PS5 loading the same game. If you want to watch the full videos that cover PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD at the initialization of the system:

What Are the Specifications of the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD?

Before we go through the load time testing of the XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 can be accessed changes.
  • IOPS – These represent the number of individual operations the XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD:

ADATA GAMMIX S70

1TB – $159.99, 2TB – $299.99

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 96L
Max Capacity 2TB – Single Sided
Controller Innogrit IG5236
Warranty 5yr
500GB Model N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C
Price in $ and $ $199 / £175
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C
Price in $ and $ $399 / £355
4TB Model N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A
500GB Model N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A
DWPD N/A
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 740TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 2,000,000
DWPD 0.4DWPD
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1480TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 2,000,000
DWPD 0.4DWPD
4TB Model N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A
DWPD N/A
   
Brand/Series ADTA GAMMIX S70
500GB Model N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7400MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7450MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6800MB
4TB Model N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A
Brand/Series ADTA GAMMIX S70
500GB Model N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 720000
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 650,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 740,000

So, now you know the hardware specifications of the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD and you also know that (at the time of writing!) the XPG GAMMIX S70 is supported by the PS5 SSD expansion bay.

IMPORTANT – This article contains ALOT of gifs to demonstrate the loading times of the XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD with the PS5 – Test Parameters

All of the tests of the XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 2 Test

This test was loading to the Smithing Grounds of Demon Souls, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 1 Test

This test was loading to the first main area of Demon Souls, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test I

This test was loading to the starting area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Castle Loading Test I

This test was loading the Castle Area of Resident Evil Village, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Stronghold Loading Test II

This test was loading the Stronghold of Resident Evil Village, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Dartmoor Loading Test I

This test was loading the Dartmoor level on Hitman 3, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Mendoza Loading Test II

This test was loading the Mendoza level on Hitman 3, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Terminator Resistance Level Loading Test

This test was loading Terminator Resistance Infiltrator Mode, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Dead By Daylight Bots Test

This test was loading the tutorial Bots Mode on Dead By Daylight, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Red Dead Redemption II Campaign Loading Test

This test was loading the Blackwater Area of Red Dead Redemption II in single Player, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – No Man’s Sky Creative Mode Loading Test

This test was loading No Man’s Sky in Creative Mode from the Title screen, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 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 XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Testing – Doom Eternal Level Loading Test I

This test was loading a level in Doom Eternal from the title screen, comparing the XPG GAMMIX S70 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

 

Full XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD PS5 Test Videos

If you want to see the FULL testing of every PS5/PS4 game with the XPG GAMMIX S70 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!

ADATA GAMMIX S70

1TB – $159.99, 2TB – $299.99

XPG GAMMIX S70 PS5 SSD Test 1

XPG GAMMIX S70 PS5 SSD Test 2

XPG GAMMIX S70 PS5 SSD Test 3

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

OpenSSL Vulnerabilities in Synology & QNAP NAS – What Is Going On?

9 septembre 2021 à 15:06

The Current Synology & QNAP NAS and OpenSSL Security Issues Explained

As many of you may have heard, in recent weeks there were two vulnerabilities identified in the OpenSSL encryption platform, a popular SSL option for many sites and servers, that provided an opening for particularly industrious interlopers to access a site via a weakness in the platform. Although not a service that is developed by Synology or QNAP NAS, it is used in several smaller areas/applications in their respective DSM and QTS software platforms. This is not uncommon for a brand to use a third-party provider and OpenSSL is one of the most popular open-source SSL platforms in the world. This vulnerability in OpenSSL was identified in late August and although alot has happened in that time, though the vulnerability is beginning to be resolved, it is still not fully resolved on the Synology or QNAP NAS affected software and services. So, today I wanted to go through what an SSL is, what OpenSSL is, the nature of the vulnerabilities, what has been resolved, what hasn’t and ultimately explain where things are right now. Let’s get started!

What is an SSL certificate?

You know when you browse the internet and there is that little padlock next to the www.website bit? That symbol indicates that communication between your web browser and the website/server you are communicating with is encrypted. This padlock identifies the SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer and in recent years it has become heavily encouraged that any website you visit has a valid and secure SSL in place (with google warning you if you go to an ‘unsecure’ site and openly recommending SSL engaged sites higher on page 1 of Google. If you are choosing to access your NAS via the internet, then then it is recommended (and set as a default on the NAS platforms in many ways) to access your server via an SSL equipped connection, as this adds a valuable security protocol and creates an encrypted link between a web accessed server and a web browser.

What is OpenSSL?

OpenSSL is a open-source encryption tool/library – released in 1998 and REGULARLY updated, it is regularly used by both Synology and QNAP in a number of their software and services that feature a remote access component. It is not just them and many, MANY others use OpenSSL in PARTS/ALL of the architecture of their remote connections for encrypted data transfers. The use of OpenSSL is by no means a negative mark on any brand, as it has been developed over an exceedingly long time and is regularly updated.

What was the Vulnerability with OpenSSL?

In August, two vulnerabilities in the OpenSSL platform were identified and OpenSSL themselves were contacted immediately. The “CVE-2021-3711” and “CVE-2021-3712” security holes were in the as-then-latest release of OpenSSL and in their own security updates and advisory, were listed as Moderate and Severe in importance. Likewise, OpenSSL (among others no doubt) contacted Synology and QNAP to highlight this vulnerability and each brand added entries into their security advisory and posted on their own platforms about this, adding that they were working on a resolution (almost certainly to be based on the resolution formed and executed by OpenSSL themselves). The two vulnerabilities were still remarkably small and required a rigid-set scenario and knowledge in order to be in any way usable. However, they did open the door to the following negative actions and allowing attackers to:

  • Carry out DoS attacks on the server
  • Execute malicious code into the server
  • Gain remote access to the Server through a buffer overflow.

In the case of Network Attached Storage (NAS) from the likes of Synology and QNAP, it was highlighted very early on that it could only effect NAS systems with internet connectivity. On August 24th 2021, OpenSSL was able to resolve these vulnerabilities, closing the matter and issuing a patched update to OpenSSL that removed them both. However, at the time of writing, both vulnerabilities are listed as ongoing on both the Synology and QNAP Security Advisory page (where they highlight any/all security issues on their platforms that have been resolved/worked on).

What Is Synology NAS Doing About the OpenSSL Vulnerability?

Both Synology and QNAP have been updating their users on the resolution of these OpenSSL vulnerabilities, though both brands have yet to implement a full fix at this time for all vulnerabilities across their software platforms. Given that both brands use a unique/modified version of Linux to create their software and services, a simple application of the OpenSSL fix issued on the 24th August is likely incredibly difficult and modification, application and testing of any resolution needs to be conducted by both internally before a widespread software update is issued. While Synology or QNAP does not provide an estimated timeline for these incoming updates being fully concluded, last month Synology told BleepingComputer that it generally patches affected software within 90 days after publishing advisories. Fairplay to Synology publishing information on this immediately.

Product Severity Fixed Release Availability
DSM 7.0 Important Ongoing
DSM 6.2 Moderate Ongoing
DSM UC Moderate Ongoing
SkyNAS Moderate Pending
VS960HD Moderate Pending
SRM 1.2 Moderate Ongoing
VPN Plus Server Important Ongoing
VPN Server Moderate Ongoing

Indeed, below is a statement issued online from Synology to be.hardware.info responding these vulnerabilities and why the brand is handling them internally this way (translated from German to English):

Synology-SA-21:24 OpenSSL includes two vulnerabilities, CVE-2021-3711 and CVE-2021-3712.

CVE-2021-3711 does not affect most Synology devices as they do not use SM2 encryption by default. Although our NAS devices are currently sold with an affected version of OpenSSL, there can only be said to be a security risk if administrators use third-party software with SM2 encryption.

CVE-2021-3712 addresses specific functionality related to the creation of x509 certificates (used for security protocols such as https) that may cause denial-of-service on the affected device. It is difficult to abuse this as it requires administrator privileges.

Furthermore, the manufacturer emphasizes that the priority of updates is based on the frequency of the affected configurations, the complexity of exploiting the vulnerability and the extent of the potential damage that can be caused. In its own words, it should be sufficient to remedy the aforementioned risks within the usual 90-day period.

What Is QNAP NAS Doing About the OpenSSL Vulnerability?

QNAP stated on their own security advisory last month the following two potential consequences of these vulnerabilities if pushed to their fullest extent:

An out-of-bounds read vulnerability in OpenSSL has been reported to affect QNAP NAS running QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud. If exploited, the vulnerability allows remote attackers to disclose memory data or execute a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. Additionally, an additional out-of-bounds vulnerability in OpenSSL has been reported to affect QNAP NAS running HBS 3 (Hybrid Backup Sync). If exploited, the vulnerabilities allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code with the permissions of the user running the application.. QNAP is thoroughly investigating the case. We will release security updates and provide further information as soon as possible.

How To Stay Informed on Synology & QNAP NAS Vulnerabilities?

At NASCompare we provide a regularly updated list of current vulnerabilities and security issues as they are published on the respective QNAP and Synology Security advisors.

QNAP NAS Current Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]

Stack Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities in QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud Fri, 10 Sep Link
Stack Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities in QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud Stack Buffer Overflow in QUSBCam2 Fri, 10 Sep Link
Stack Buffer Overflow in QUSBCam2 Stack-Based Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities in NVR Storage Expansion Fri, 10 Sep Link
Stack-Based Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities in NVR Storage Expansion Insufficiently Protected Credentials in QSW-M2116P-2T2S and QuNetSwitch Fri, 10 Sep Link
Insufficiently Protected Credentials in QSW-M2116P-2T2S and QuNetSwitch Insufficient HTTP Security Headers in QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud Fri, 10 Sep Link
Insufficient HTTP Security Headers in QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud Out-of-Bounds Read in OpenSSL Mon, 30 Aug Link
Out-of-Bounds Read in OpenSSL Out-of-Bounds Vulnerabilities in OpenSSL Mon, 30 Aug Link
Out-of-Bounds Vulnerabilities in OpenSSL Improper Access Control in Legacy HBS 3 (Hybrid Backup Sync) Tue, 06 Jul Link
Improper Access Control in Legacy HBS 3 (Hybrid Backup Sync) Multiple Command Injection Vulnerabilities in QTS Thu, 01 Jul Link
Multiple Command Injection Vulnerabilities in QTS Stored XSS in QuLog Center Thu, 01 Jul Link
Stored XSS in QuLog Center Stored XSS in Qcenter Thu, 01 Jul +0800 XSS in QTS Thu, 01 Jul Link
XSS in QTS DNSpooq Vulnerabilities in QTS Thu, 01 Jul Link
DNSpooq Vulnerabilities in QTS Command Injection in QTS Thu, 24 Jun Link
Command Injection in QTS Insecure Storage of Sensitive Information in myQNAPcloud Link Wed, 16 Jun Link
Insecure Storage of Sensitive Information in myQNAPcloud Link SMB Out-of-Bounds Read in QTS Wed, 16 Jun Link
SMB Out-of-Bounds Read in QTS Out-of-Bounds Read in QSS Fri, 11 Jun Link
Out-of-Bounds Read in QSS Inclusion of Sensitive Information in QSS Fri, 11 Jun Link
Inclusion of Sensitive Information in QSS Improper Access Control in Helpdesk Fri, 11 Jun Link
Improper Access Control in Helpdesk Post-Authentication Reflected XSS in Qcenter Thu, 03 Jun Link
Post-Authentication Reflected XSS in Qcenter

 

SYNOLOGY NAS Current Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]

Synology-SA-21:26 Photo Station Important Resolved 2021-09-07 10:03:01 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:25 DSM Moderate Ongoing 2021-09-01 14:04:01 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:24 OpenSSL Important Ongoing 2021-09-14 11:57:06 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:23 ISC BIND Not affected Resolved 2021-08-20 10:43:23 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:22 DSM Important Ongoing 2021-09-01 14:08:26 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:21 Audio Station Important Resolved 2021-06-16 16:05:29 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:20 FragAttacks Moderate Ongoing 2021-05-12 18:26:08 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:19 SRM Important Resolved 2021-05-11 14:23:32 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:18 Hyper Backup Moderate Resolved 2021-05-04 13:37:52 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:17 Samba Moderate Ongoing 2021-05-06 11:28:17 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:16 ISC BIND Moderate Ongoing 2021-05-03 10:34:51 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:15 Antivirus Essential Important Resolved 2021-04-28 08:12:48 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:14 OpenSSL Not affected Resolved 2021-03-29 08:56:36 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:13 Samba AD DC Important Resolved 2021-07-08 17:14:55 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:12 Synology Calendar Moderate Resolved 2021-06-19 10:53:03 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:11 Download Station Important Resolved 2021-06-19 11:15:17 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:10 Media Server Moderate Resolved 2021-06-19 10:55:28 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:09 WebDAV Server Moderate Resolved 2021-02-23 11:18:19 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:08 Docker Low Resolved 2021-06-13 11:21:28 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:07 Synology Directory Server Moderate Resolved 2021-02-23 11:17:51 UTC+8

 

ASUSTOR NAS Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]


05 24 2021 Security advisory for FragAttack
03 29 2021 ASUS ASMB8-iKVM and ASMB9-iKVM Firmware Security Update for ASUS Server Products
03 24 2021 ASUS SMM Privilege Security Update (CVE-2021-26943) for ASUS SKL Notebook PCs
03 09 2021 Security advisory for DNSpooq
07 10 2020 ASUS ScreenPad 2 Upgrade Tool Security Update (CVE-2020-15009) for ASUS PCs with ScreenPad 1.0 (UX450FDX, UX550GDX and UX550GEX)
04 14 2020 ASUS Update Regarding Mitigation for Known Intel CPU Vulnerabilities
04 09 2020 ASUS Device Activation Security Update (CVE-2020-10649) for ASUS Notebook PCs
03 18 2020 Security Advisory for CVE-2019-15126 (Kr00k)
03 09 2020 Security Notice for CVE-2018-18287
02 14 2020 ROG Gaming Center Package Security Update
11 26 2019 New firmware update for wireless router RT-AC1750_B1 RT-AC1900 RT-AC1900P RT-AC1900U RT-AC86U RT-AC2900 RT-AC3100 RT-AC3200 RT-AC51U RT-AC51U+ RT-AC52U B1 RT-AC66U RT-AC66U B1 RT-AC66U_WHITE RT-AC67U RT-AC68P RT-AC68R RT-AC68RF RT-AC68RW RT-AC68U RT-AC68U 2 Pack RT-AC68U_WHITE RT-AC68W RT-AC750 RT-AC87R RT-AC87U RT-AC87W RT-N66U RT-N66U_C1 RT-N14U
11 15 2019 Important information about ASUSWRT security:
10 21 2019 ATK Package Security Update (CVE-2019-19235) for ASUS Notebook PCs
06 14 2019 BIOS Update Announcement for ASUS Notebook PCs
05 16 2019 New firmware update for wireless router RT-AC1750_B1 RT-AC1900 RT-AC1900P RT-AC1900U RT-AC2900 RT-AC3100 RT-AC3200 RT-AC51U RT-AC5300 RT-AC56S RT-AC56U RT-AC66U RT-AC66U B1 RT-AC66U_WHITE RT-AC67U RT-AC68P RT-AC68R RT-AC68RF RT-AC68RW RT-AC68U RT-AC68U 2 Pack RT-AC68U_WHITE RT-AC68W RT-AC750 RT-AC86U RT-AC87R RT-AC87U RT-AC87W RT-AC88U RT-N18U RT-N66U RT-N66U_C1
05 02 2019 Latest software announcement for ZenFone devices
08 14 2018 Security advisory for OpenVPN server
08 07 2018 Latest software announcement for ZenFone ZenPad devices
06 08 2018 Security advisory for VPNFilter malware
04 03 2018 Security Vulnerability Notice (CVE-2018-5999, CVE-2018-6000) for ASUS routers
10 31 2017 Update on security advisory for the vulnerability of WPA2 protocol
10 18 2017 Security advisory for the vulnerabilities of WPA2 protocol
2021 & 8711;
2020 & 8711;
2019 & 8711;
2018 & 8711;
2017 & 8711;
2016 & 8711;

 

And Lastly, please, please, please:

 

 

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do use links to Amazon Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

New Asustor 2.5Gbe Unmanaged ASW205T Switch Released – The Switch’nstor

8 septembre 2021 à 12:50

Asustor Reveal the Switch’stor ASW205T 2.5Gbe Unmanaged Network Switch

Already a well-established brand in the world of network-attached storage (NAS), Asustor has just launched their first network switch, the ASW205T 2.5Gbe Unmanaged 5 port switch. Named the Switch’stor (in line with their recent NAS releases in the Lockerstor, Drivestor and Nimbustor), the ASW205T arrives in an incredibly compact, fanless silent design and unsurprisingly features 2.5-gigabit ethernet on all ports. I say it is unsurprisingly as they were one of the very first brands to full integrate 2.5Gbe across their entire hardware range and currently the majority of their solutions offer 2.5GbE at the same price point as others offering 1Gbe. Therefore if/when they were going to enter the switch market, they were always going to have 2.5G as the minimum baseline. So, what do we know about the Asustor ASW205T, how does it compare with QNAP’s own 2.5Gbe offering in the QSW-1105-5T switch and is this the start of a new range of solutions from one of the best value brands in NAS? Let’s have a look.

Highlights of the Asustor 2.5Gbe Network Switch:

  • Contains Realtek 2.5GbE controllers for efficient performance
  • Red 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet ports for an Enthusiast vibe
  • Double network performance by combining with a 2.5GbE NAS and USB adapter
  • Five 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet ports – Providing 25 gbps in total performance
  • Compatible with Cat 5e cables
  • Silent and fanless – seamless in any environment
  • Can be mounted on walls
  • Durable and aesthetically pleasing metal housing

What are the Asustor Switchstor ASW205T Switch Specifications?

As you might expect from an unmanaged 5 port switch, the specifications for the Asustor ASW205T Switchstor are quite modest, but they still manage to make an impression on this scale. One of the most important factors of upgrading to 2.5Gbe is that it is a smooth transition from an existing 1Gbe network. Unlike the larger scale up to 10Gbe for most home/business users, 2.5Gbe is considered a smaller upgrade and therefore there is a balance of hardware cost vs necessity to keep in mind. Below are the specifications of the Asustor ASW205T network switch:

• Management Type: Unmanaged

• Chipset : RTL8731+RTL8221B

• Number of Ports:5

• Speed: 2.5Gbps /1Gbps / 100M

• Jumbo Frames: 12K

• Supported Standards =  IEEE 802.3bz (2.5GBase-T), IEEE 802.3x (Full-Duplex Flow Control)

• Switching Capacity: 25Gbps

• MAC Address Table: 16K

• Total Non-Blocking Throughput: 12.5Gbps

• Packet Buffer Memory: 4.1Mbit

• Packet Forwarding Rate:18.6Mpps

• Advanced Features: IEEE 802.3X Flow Control

• Dimension: 90 x 140 x 28 (mm)

• Power Supply Description: External Adapter

• Max. Power Consumption: 10W

• Fanless: Yes

• LED Indicators =  Power, Speed / Activity

Now, the ASW205T is incredibly similar to the QNAP QSW-1105-5T switch and genuinely, in terms of hardware you are going to have very little to choose between here. However, QNAP has a few more years of experience in network switches under the belt, but all pricing indications seem to point that the Asustor Swithstor will come in at $10 less.

When Will the Switch’stor ASW205T Asustor 2.5Gbe Switch Be Released?

All indications point that the Asustor Switchstor ASW205T 2.5Gbe network switch is available to order right now, though the only outlet listing it is their own accessories site at this stage. You can find out more information on this here – https://shop.asustor.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=18_116&product_id=110/

 

How Much will the Asustor 2.5G ASW205T Switch’stor Switch be?

Although 2.5Gbe is not new, it is still worth highlighting that the cost of 2.5 in most cases is still a tiny fraction more than 1Gbe alternatives. This is understandable, given the 2.5x potential bandwidth, but still, buyers expect that 2.5Gbe should be the default standard in hardware right now in 2021/2022. The current pricing shows the Asustor ASW205T Switch is available for $129, which although cheaper than most a 1G+10G unmanaged combo switch or PoE alternative, is still perhaps a pinch higher in price than some might like.

However, it is important to remember that there are only about 3-4 5 Port 2.5Gbe unmanaged switches on the market right now and that rarity is clearly reflected in the price, as it will allow most 1Gbe users right now to gradually scale their network hardware clients up in a much more modular fashion. Add to that the fact that the majority of modern Asustor NAS solutions and ASUS hardware solutions released recently all have 2.5Gbe (as well as Asustors own 2.5Gbe to USB 3.2 Gen 1 adapter for $25-30 that is supported by NAS, PC, Linux and Mac) and that price tag becomes a little more palatable as a who network environment upgrade. We hope to provide a full review and testing of the Asustor Switch’stor ASW205T soon for our final verdict.

You can check if the Asudtor ASW205T Switchstor 2.5Gbe is available on Amazon in your region by clicking the link below:

 


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

 

ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – The NEW Score to Beat?

7 septembre 2021 à 08:04

Review of the XPG GAMMIX S70 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

2021/2022 has been an unbelievable fruitful year for NVMe SSDs! After the initial reveal of a small handful of PCIe4 enabled drives, the sheer onslaught of brands and models that have arrived on the scene to tempt the commercial and prosumer sector has been particularly heavy. With this deluge of releases, the consumer confusion as so many incredibly similar SSDs arrive at once was going to be inevitable and when so many brands and their drives are making similar promises on similar hardware, it is going to take something special for any one particular SSD to stand out. However, that is exactly what the XPG GAMMIX S70 from ADATA has managed to do. Most users who have pre-built devices in their homes or offices stand a better than average chance of having it feature ADATA memory inside and although it is not a big/known name in the conventional sense as Samsung or Seagate, they ARE an incredibly well established and implemented brand in the background. They have supplied numerous SSD devices over the years, but their PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD is the one that has really, REALLY got peoples attention. Arriving with a very unique controller that challenges the Phison E18 that most competitors have opted for, along with an inclusive heatsink, advanced LDPC and a price tag that is noticeably lower than its competitors, straight off the bat it has made a significant impact. Then you see that the performance benchmarks supplied from ADATA seemingly indicate that this drive is one of, if not THE highest-performing SSD in the market right now within its tier. Is the ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD too good to be true? Or does it live up to it’ bold reputation? Let’s find out.

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

Is the ADATA GAMMIX S70 NVMe SSD the best PCIe SSD to buy right now? It is really hard not to think so! Arriving at a price point that is a noticeable degree lower in price than its competitors, arriving with a higher sequential Read and Write than most of its competitors AND arriving with an included and high-quality heatsink – it is REALLY tough to argue with that! It is by no means perfect, with reported IOPS appearing only a pinch higher than average and fairly standard durability, but these are always going to be factors that are of a specific concern to VERY specific types of buyer. With impressive temperature control, enough architectural differences to stand out from an increasingly busy crowd of PCIe 4 SSDs right now, I think this and the Seagate Firecuda 530 come to an incredibly tied first place for me and even then, the GAMMIX S70 from ADATA still gains an upper hand by virtue of being the better all-round choice for the majority of buyers in 2021/2022. If you are considering buying the ADATA GAMMIX s70 – stop considering and just buy it already!

PROs of the XPG GAMMIX S70 CONs of the XPG GAMMIX S70
Genuinely Impressive Performance

Excellent Value (Especially With the Reported Performance)

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Inclusive Heatsink is high quality AND expertly applied

Innogrit Controller is Unique vs the many Phison E18 SSDs out there

Excellent on-board Temp Control

August ’21 Update Increased Performance Further

The heatsink is 15mm high and uniquely shaped, so physical installation should be checked first

Only two capacities are available

 

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Packaging

The retail box that the Gammix S70 arrives in is shiny. No, that is not enough. It’s REALLY shiny, covered in holographic sheen and is oozing with gamer focus branding! The box makes a bold impact and although the majority of PCIe 4.0 SSDs in 2021/2022 are quite loud and brash in their presentation, this is a big step up still., especially given that ADATA is generally quite a ‘background’ company in most other components.

The top left of the retail box highlights a number of the drive’s key features that, although fairly standard in PCIe4 M.2 NVMes of late in most cases, still has a few stand out specs. 

Opening up this retail gives us JUST the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD. No instructions, warranty information (displayed on the rear of the box) or screws, just the SSD+1st party pre-attached heatsink in a plastic shell.

it certainly is a beefy looking SSD in that heatsink, measuring 15mm in height, maybe check the location of where you plan on installing this SSD, as in some cases the height of the heatsink can interfere with your CPU FAN/Heatink physically. It’s a wonderfully unique looking heatsink though and given its inclusion in the price, whilst still remaining competitively prices vs other M.2 PCIe 4 NVMe SSDs, it is a very positive mark in their favour.

Getting a closer look at this SSD and Heatsink, the ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 is a chunky drive indeed. Unlike most heatsinks that form a single solid rectangular mass of shaped metal formed for vertical vents, this official heatsink is designed in a far more angular fashion, as well as utilizing a closed vent structure.

Looking at the heatsink ‘down the barrel’ and you can see that 1, that heat is directed in a curve from the base and 2, it is then fanned out over a shingled layer curve so that each tier is unobstructed in its heat dissipation. In testing the result was that although the heat of the drive was a pinch warmer than most in idle (measured by CrystalDisk), it never hit the same height as other heatsinks in the most intense tests. This might even be arguable more beneficial, as it will keep the NAND warm but not keep the controller hot (temp graph further blow in the tests)

Nonetheless, this IS a very tall heatsink and can certainly see it being problematic in shuttle/mini-ATX setups.

The base of the heatsink is quite basic, featuring the model IS/Manufacturer details, as well as the usual certification stamps. Additionally, you can make out a thermal pad under the SSD, despite the drive being single-sided.

For those of you who have been considering the ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 for installation in the PS5 SSD expansion slot to increase storage, I am pleased to confirm that this SSD is 100% supported by the system (currently in software beta, but the Gammix S70 will definitely be on the compatibility list of the full software update release. However, the physical installation needs highlighting.

That unique, inclusive and highlight effective is certainly a nice unit, but in terms of PS5 installation – a bit OTT! Completely filling the slot up to the 2280 mark, it protrudes from the bay and although you can still attach the consoles external panels, you cannot apply the metal bay cover.

Installing the ADATA Gammix S70 in the PS5 M.2 SSD bay at startup allows you to run a benchmark on the drive. Oddly, despite the high performance of this SSD, the PS5 rated the drive at 6,235MB/s in its initial benchmark. Later testing brought this figure much higher to 6,651MB/s, however in the spirit of fairness against other SSD, I am recording the first attempt.

The included heatsink on the XPG Gammix S70 is held in place by 2 SSDs on one side (locked in under a metal lip on the other side) and is very firmly held in place.

Removing the top part of the heatsink revealed the assortment of onboard chips that I will touch on later, but it is definitely worth revisiting the subject of heatsinks and the advantages of ones that are applied by the same manufacturer as the SSD.

As you can see from the thermal pad shape and placement below, it has been specifically made to cover the most important components in their precise location (rather than a general large strip of thermal padding that is much less efficient at the expense of trying to cover everything!

The fact that ADATA includes the heatsink with your purchase of the XPG GAMMIX S70 will always be attractive to buyers who want hassle from installation, as well as doing so at no additional cost and STILL arriving at a lower price point than many competitors is inarguably appealing. So that is the physical design of the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the XPG GAMMIX S70 cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the XPG GAMMIX S70 are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIE Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the XPG GAMMIX S70 is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

ADATA GAMMIX S70

1TB – $159.99, 2TB – $299.99

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 96L
Max Capacity 2TB – Single Sided
Controller Innogrit IG5236
Warranty 5yr

I know a lot of the above will seem needlessly technical, so below we can bring the most important considerations into sharper focus.

Hardware Focus of the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Innogrit RainIer IG5236. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and although Inoogrit has produced several high profile SSD controllers in the last few years, this is their first PCIe 4.0 controller. This is a particularly big deal when most reports and measurements seemingly indicate that the Innogrit IG2536 is higher in performance than the Phison E18 controller used by most other recent PCIe 4 M.2 NVMe SSD, as well as because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Indeed, the XPG Gammix S70 is one of very, VERY few SSDs that are using this controller in the home/prosumer gamer sector.

Earlier in 2021, CDRLabs ran performance testing with CrystalDisk on the Gammix S70 SSD, comparing against a Phison E18 SSD of similar architecture (96L 3D TLC NAND, DDR4 RAM, NVMe 1.4, etc) and largely surpassed it by hundreds of Megabytes in Sequential Read and Write performance. So these results tend to back up the increased performance benchmarks that ADATA provide on the XPG S70. This is further improved with a recent software/firmware update for this drive released in August 2021 that further improved the write performance.

The NAND on the XPG GAMMIX S70 is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance of an SSD and although the XPG GAMMIX S70 does not provide the best SSD in the industry at this tier right now (that, once again, goes to the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176 layer 3D TLC NAND), it is bigger than most, arriving at 96 Layers of 3D TLC NAND. Although the majority of modern PCIe M.2 SSD use 3D TLC NAND (avoid QLC NAND like the PLAGUE btw!), most are still at 64 layers or so, so this is a big jump up for the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD. Although detailed information on the NAND used is not readily available online, we observed that the XPG GAMMIX S70 featured two blocks of ADATA NAND modules.

Much like the Controller on the XPG GAMMIX S70 being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD uses DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD controller provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc.

As mentioned, all available capacities of the XPG GAMMIX S70 arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact that the 2TB can arrive on single-sided SSD boards is very impressive. Physical storage NAND is distributed evenly in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wear and performance.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the XPG GAMMIX S70 takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the XPG GAMMIX S70 use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the XPG GAMMIX S70, as it is still (2-3 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the XPG GAMMIX S70, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below). The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of both models around 10-20%!. Below is a breakdown of how each competitor drive and the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD compare:

Brand/Series ADATA GAMMIX S70

1TB – $159.99, 2TB – $299.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

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

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 96L 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 2TB – Single Sided 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Innogrit IG5236 Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ N/A $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $199 / £175 $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $399 / £355 $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A $949 / £789 N/A
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 740TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 2,000,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1480TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 2,000,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD N/A

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as this drive is rated a pinch higher than the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 in terms of NAND lifespan on daily writes, likely down to that 96 Layer 3D TLC NAND used, rather than t used by those used by competitors. This is an important point because the brand has significantly less ‘end user’ recognition in-home/business SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate and people will want to know they are going to get a product from a brand that they have heard of.

However, despite the use of the Innogrit Rainier IG5236 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually a noticeable degree lower (for the most part) than those reported by their competitors. Indeed, the XPG GAMMIX S70 is one of the few SSD/Memory focused brands with a PCIe 4.0 SSD that does not cross into the reported 1 Million IOPS mark, maxing out at 740k. This is still very impressive anyway, but it does make me wonder where the disparity stems from. Indeed, when you look at the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe 1.4 SSD that feature the E18 controller and 96L (or higher) on board, it really only leaves about 4 other SSDs in the market today that this can be compared against. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, the MSI Spatium M480, the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s and (current leader) the Seagate Firecuda 530. Of those, the only one that seemingly ‘out specs’ the XPG GAMMIX S70 is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD has been available in the market for longer and has certainly embedded itself in the minds and budget’s of PC/PS5 gamers who think the Firecuda 530 is too expensive and the others are less impress – it makes a very appealing middle ground. Below is how these drives compare in terms of throughput and IOPS:

Brand/Series ADATA GAMMIX S70

1TB – $159.99, 2TB – $299.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

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

500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7400MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7450MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6800MB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 6900MB N/A
Brand/Series ADTA GAMMIX S70 Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 700,000 680,000
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 720000 1000000 720,000
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 650,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 740,000 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 530 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Although there are a number of micro reasons for this, the 176L NAND is the biggest factor here. Yes, that is why the Firecuda 530 commands the higher price tag. Additionally, the WD Black arriving at a better price point, higher IOPS in most tiers and the fact it does this whilst still hitting that 7,000MB/s certainly gives pause for thought. However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that holding out for the Firecuda or WD Black SN850 is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Remember that you can get 1TB of XPG GAMMIX S70 for the same price as 500GB of the Firecuda 530 – which given the similarity of that performance means that you are getting incredible value! Let’s get the XPG GAMMIX S70 on the test machine!

Testing the XPG GAMMIX S70 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The XPG GAMMIX S70 was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the XPG GAMMIX S70 over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out a little higher in idle than most previously tested SSD, HOWEVER, the ADATA Gammix S70 heatsink kept the drive at a consistent temp of late 40’s for most of the tests and did an incredible job of maintaining a working temp without spiralling too high between each one being conducted.

The first tests were conducted using the ATTO disk benchmark software. The first was a 256MB test file size and below is a breakdown of the transfer rates and IOPS. The 2nd Test was a 1GB test file and finally, the last test was with a 4GB test file. The system was given 1-minute cool downtime between tests, no screen recording software was used (remove overhead) and a heatsink was used throughout (no reboots)

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.34GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.94GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.34GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.91GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.46GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.85GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Test were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write task to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

Next, I switched to AS SSD benchmark. A much more thorough test through, I used 1GB, 3GB and 5GB test files. Each test includes throughput benchmarks and IOPS that are respective to the larger file sizes (important, if you are reading this and trying to compare against the reported 4K IOPS from the manufacturer).

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5861MB/s Read & 5039MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5874MB/s Read & 5127MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5881MB/s Read & 5218MB/s Write

Throughout the testing, the XPS GAMMMIX S70 SSD started at a slightly higher than average temp, but maintained a good operational temperature throughout the whole testing:

Overall, the XPG GAMMIX S70 was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were a little lower than I expected, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context.

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Conclusion

Is the ADATA GAMMIX S70 NVMe SSD the best PCIe SSD to buy right now? It is really hard not to think so! Arriving at a price point that is a noticeable degree lower in price than its competitors, arriving with a higher sequential Read and Write than most of its competitors AND arriving with an included and high-quality heatsink – it is REALLY tough to argue with that! It is by no means perfect, with reported IOPS appearing only a pinch higher than average and fairly standard durability, but these are always going to be factors that are of a specific concern to VERY specific types of buyers. With impressive temperature control, enough architectural differences to stand out from an increasingly busy crowd of PCIe 4 SSDs right now, I think this and the Seagate Firecuda 530 come to an incredibly tied first place for me and even then, the GAMMIX S70 from ADATA still gains an upper hand by virtue of being the better all-round choice for the majority of buyers in 2021/2022. If you are considering buying the ADATA GAMMIX s70 – stop considering and just buy it already!

 

PROs of the XPG GAMMIX S70 CONs of the XPG GAMMIX S70
Genuinely Impressive Performance

Excellent Value (Especially With the Reported Performance)

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Inclusive Heatsink is high quality AND expertly applied

Innogrit Controller is Unique vs the many Phison E18 SSDs out there

Excellent on-board Temp Control

August ’21 Update Increased Performance Further

The heatsink is 15mm high and uniquely shaped, so physical installation should be checked first

Only two capacities are available

 


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Corsair MP600 Pro NVMe SSD Review – Serious Storage?

3 septembre 2021 à 01:15

Review of the Corsair MP600 Pro PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

Of all the PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD that have arrived on the market in 2021, few promised the blend of value vs quality that the Corsair MP600 Pro has. It is no secret that this summer has seen a large number of 7,000MB/s m.2 SSDs have dropped into the consumer and prosumer market either to capitalize on the growing trend of professional/next-gen gamers or delayed till then due to the pandemic, hardware shortages and chia. The Corsair MP600 Pro media drive on the other hand is one of a small handful of PCIe4 SSD is one of a very small contingent of drives that brands were able to sneak out for release between the closing stages of 2020 and Spring 2021. With around 6 months longer on the shelves than many alternative drives like the Firecuda 530 and SPATIUM M480, this has led to this drive being a popular choice indeed, as well as more time to get flexible with its pricing. With PCIe4 equipped motherboards now becoming considerably more affordable and the PS5 M.2 SSD expansion slot activation growing closer, the appeal of this highly-compatible drive has grown even further. Add to that the Corsair MP600 Pro’s inclusive custom heatsink and impressive availability (in spite of shortages elsewhere) and now seems like a perfect time to Review this SSD and find out if the Corsair MP600 Pro deserves your data in 2021/20222?

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

It is genuinely very hard not to like the Corsair MP600 Pro NVMe SSD. Even when it did not quite hit 7,000MB/s in some of my testing, I got the impression was my system not having the ‘umpf’ to break that number and not the SSD hitting any kind of internal barrier. Likewise, the price point of this SSD (thanks to its earlier release and large availability) means it is easily one of the best value PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs that you can buy right now and although its durability & write performance is still overshadowed by the Seagate Firecuda 530 and its IOPS are a tad eclipsed by the WD Black SN850 & Samsung 980 Pro, these are very industry-specific factors that most home and prosumer gamers will never need to factor into their long term storage use. The inclusive heatsink is high in quality, application and utility – something most brands would include as an optionally charged extra, Corsair include and still arrive at a price point lower than most, only really challenged meaningfully on this score by the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s. The SLC caching (raised often in other reviews) seems a little underwhelming in size and realistic recovery when compared to everything else, but still compares well against others in this bracket nonetheless. Additionally, there is a non-PRO version that although lower traditional throughput performance, addresses/remedies concerns of endurance etc. Overall, the Corsair MP600 Pro is a standout drive amoung the growing crowd of PCIe4 SSDs being released right now and I can easily recommend it.

PROs of the Corsair MP600 Pro CONs of the Corsair MP600 Pro
Impressive Inclusive Heatsink

Genuinely Impressive Performance

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

96 Layer TLC 3D NAND

Higher Durability than WD Black & Samsung 980 Pro

Consistent 7,000MB/s on ALL Capacities

Available in up to 4TB, at 2280 Length Too

IOPS figures are lower than many PCIe4 SSDs

Cache fills up quick!

Lower endurance than the Firecuda 530

 

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Packaging

The retail packaging of the Corsair MP600 Pro is very gamer aimed and quite slick. With an embossed mesh design, performance stats adorning the bottom and a neat grey, black and neon yellow colour scheme, it certainly stands out.

A closer look at the reported performance statistics at the base of the box shows us that this drive is making a few rather bold claims. Now, on the face of it (at the time of writing in September 2021), these stats are actually not so unique. Indeed, with around 8 very distinct M.2 NVMe PCIe4 SSDs launched in Summer 2021, these seem standard. However, back in Feb/March 2021, these were not so common and the MP600 Pro was one of only 3-4 SSDs to take advantage of the Phison E18 controller (that makes this performance throughput possible) commercially.

Opening up the retail box shows us rather neat, today and secure contents. The SSD (with heatsink attached that I will touch on shortly) arrives in a pre-cut hard-foam surround (which I very much approve of, when most SSDs arrive in simply cut card or plastic shell they are easily crushed). The drive also arrives with a couple of paper docs regarding initial use and warranty information (5 years included).

I really want to add that the foam, pre-cut surround for the MP600 Pro is genuinely unique and in the 13-14 SSD I have reviewed this year on NASCompares, NONE of them arrived in such well-protected packaging. This is a minor point I know, but I will always give bonus points to a brand that actually spends a little more on retail/shipping packaging, as it shows they are willing to spend a little more now to save time/money later on RMAs and issues. Tick!

Removing the SSD in it’s entirety shows us the full 2280 Corsair MP600 Pro drive, with it’s lovely unique heatsink. The drive is branded with the manufacturer logo and model ID, as well as the heatsink fully surrounding the drive in a screwless, hard-clip design.

Looking at the heatsink at an angle, you can see the rather unique vent structure that Corsair has employed here and it is one that you can see a semblance of in a number of premium Corsair memory modules. I am also surprised that this heatsink does not use screws, but instead is latched on at 4 different points with metal clips. We did manage to get the drive removed from the heatsink later in the review, but it was attached remarkably firmly and almost certainly at the point of manufacturer, in bulk on a production line.

Much like a number of other Phison E18 PCIe4 SSDS, the larger controller chip on the PCB has been placed right at the top, millimetres from the m.2 key connector. However, I am pleased to confirm that this heatsink toes the line nicely between amply covering the controller, whilst not obstructing the M.2 connector over-lap (surprisingly more common than you would think). That is one of the primary benefits of buying an SSD that has the heatsink included, it often (but not always, see Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus) means that the thermal pads between the heatsink and drive are SPECIFICALLY applied to the most important components in a bespoke fashion and not one long covering strip as found in generic 3d party heatsinks. Additionally, as it is applied at the point of manufacture/production, it will likely have been done far more accurately and in a dust/airflow controlled environment. It’s a tall heatsink, but the width and depth of coverage on the SSD is still very good and not compromised upon.

Indeed, looking at this heatsink at an angle shows us just how deep this is. The SSD measures quite tall with this pre-installed Heatsink and in testing for a separate video and article here on NASCompares coming soon involving testing this drive with the Sony PS5 console gaming system, the heatsink was too tall to allow the installation of the m.2 cover panel after the drive was connected. The system could still be used with the drive uncovered (but the larger system console cover panels on), but this is still a very important consideration to factor in.

So that is the physical design of the Corsair MP600 Pro SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the Corsair MP600 Pro cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the Corsair MP600 Pro are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIE Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the Corsair MP600 Pro is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

Corsair MP600 Plus

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 96L
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr

I know a lot of the above will seem needlessly technical, so below we can bring the most important considerations into sharper focus.

Hardware Focus of the Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Phison E18. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and Phison are one of the bigger 3rd party SSD controller manufacturers in the world! I say 3rd party, because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Whereas some brands source some/all components for their SSDs from 3rd parties – which is not necessarily a bad thing for both them and the industry (there are pros and cons on either side). Phison has been at the cutting edge of this subject for years now and the E18 was first revealed last year in 2020, but due to the pandemic making storage trends unpredictable and semi-conductor shortages, most SSDs that utilized the Phison E18 eventually arrived in 2021. This controller is one of the biggest reasons that the Corsair MP600 Pro can actually back up it’s promises about the 7,000MB/s+ Sequential Read (sequential data = big chunks of data). However, that is not the only reason.

The NAND on the Corsair MP600 Pro is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance of an SSD and although the Corsair MP600 Pro does not provide the best SSD in the industry at this tier right now (that, once again, goes to the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176 layer 3D TLC NAND), it is bigger than most, arriving at 96 Layers of 3D TLC NAND. Although the majority of modern PCIe M.2 SSD use 3D TLC NAND (avoid QLC NAND like the PLAGUE btw!), most are still at 64 layers or so, so this is a big jump up for the corsair MP600 Pro SSD.

Much like the Controller on the Corsair MP600 Pro being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The Corsair MP600 Pro SSD uses 1GB DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc. As mentioned, all available capacities of the Corsair MP600 Pro arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact that the 2TB can arrive on single-sided SSD boards is very impressive. Physical storage NAND is distributed evenly in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wear and performance.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the Corsair MP600 Pro takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the Corsair MP600 Pro use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection. Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the Corsair MP600 Pro, as it is still (2-3 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the Corsair MP600 Pro, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The Corsair MP600 Pro SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below). The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of both models around 20-30%!. Below is a breakdown of how each Corsair MP600 Pro SSD compares:

Brand/Series Corsair MP600 Plus

1TB – $199.99, 2TB – $399.99, 4TB – $949.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99.

WD Black SN850

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

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 96L 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ N/A $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model MP600-1TB ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $225 / £185 $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model MP600-2TB ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $435 / £364 $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model MP600-4TB ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ $1055 / £915 $949 / £789 N/A
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model MP600-1TB ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,700,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model MP600-2TB ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1400TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,700,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model MP600-4TB ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 3000TB 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,700,000 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD N/A

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as this drive is rated a pinch higher than the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 in terms of NAND lifespan on daily writes, likely down to that Micron 96 Layer 3D TLC NAND used, rather than t used by those used by competitors. This is an important point because the brand has significantly less pedigree in-home/business SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate and people will want to know they are going to get a product that lasts! It is also worth highlighting that the Corsair MP600 Pro arrives in an impressive 4TB version that, although clearly more expensive, is a relative rarity compare with many of the current top-tier PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSDs (with only 3-4 brands having this option and most being noticeably more expensive)

However, despite the use of the Phison E18 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually a noticeable degree lower than those reported by their competitors. Indeed, the Corsair MP600 Pro is one of the few E18 SSDs that does not cross into the reported 1 Million IOPS mark, maxing out at 700k. This is still very impressive anyway, but it does make me wonder where the disparity stems from. Indeed, when you look at the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe 1.4 SSD, that feature the E18 controller and 96L (or higher) on board, it really only leaves about 4 other SSDs in the market today that this can be compared against. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, the MSI Spatium M480, the ADATA Gammix S70 and (current leader) the Seagate Firecuda 530. Of those, the only one that seemingly ‘out specs’ the Corsair MP600 Pro is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the Corsair MP600 Pro SSD has been available in the market for almost 3-4 months longer and has certainly embedded itself in the market at that time a fraction more. Below is how these two drives compare:

Brand/Series Corsair MP600 Plus

1TB – $199.99, 2TB – $399.99, 4TB – $799.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

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

500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model MP600-1TB ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model MP600-2TB ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6550MB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model MP600-4TB ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6850MB 6900MB N/A
Brand/Series Corsair MP600 Plus Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 700,000 680,000
1TB Model MP600-1TB ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 360000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 780000 1000000 720,000
2TB Model MP600-2TB ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 660,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800,000 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model MP600-4TB ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 650,000 1,000,000 N/A

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 530 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Although there are a number of micro reasons for this, the 176L NAND is the biggest factor here. Yes, that is why the Firecuda 530 commands the higher price tag. Additionally, the WD Black arriving at a better price point, higher IOPS in most tiers and the fact it does this whilst still hitting that 7,000MB/s certainly gives pause for thought. However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that holding out for the Firecuda or WD Black SN850 is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Let’s get the Corsair MP600 Pro on the test machine!

Testing the Corsair MP600 Pro m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The Corsair MP600 Pro was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the Corsair MP600 Pro over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 41C between each test being conducted.

The first tests were conducted using the ATTO disk benchmark software. The first was a 256MB test file size and below is a breakdown of the transfer rates and IOPS. The 2nd Test was a 1GB test file and finally, the last test was with a 4GB test file. The system was given 1-minute cool downtime between tests, no screen recording software was used (remove overhead) and a heatsink was used throughout (no reboots)

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.56GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.10GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.69GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.13GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.59GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.12GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Test were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write task to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

Next, I switched to AS SSD benchmark. A much more thorough test through, I used 1GB, 3GB and 5GB test files. Each test includes throughput benchmarks and IOPS that are respective to the larger file sizes (important, if you are reading this and trying to compare against the reported 4K IOPS from the manufacturer).

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5894MB/s Read & 5461MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5874MB/s Read & 5450MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5887MB/s Read & 5450MB/s Write

Overall, the Corsair MP600 Pro was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were a little lower than I expected, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context.

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Conclusion

It is genuinely very hard not to like the Corsair MP600 Pro NVMe SSD. Even when it did not quite hit 7,000MB/s in some of my testing, I got the impression was my system not having the ‘umpf’ to break that number and not the SSD hitting any kind of internal barrier. Likewise, the price point of this SSD (thanks to its earlier release and large availability) means it is easily one of the best value PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs that you can buy right now and although its durability & write performance is still overshadowed by the Seagate Firecuda 530 and its IOPS are a tad eclipsed by the WD Black SN850 & Samsung 980 Pro, these are very industry-specific factors that most home and prosumer gamers will never need to factor into their long term storage use. The inclusive heatsink is high in quality, application and utility – something most brands would include as an optionally charged extra, Corsair include and still arrive at a price point lower than most, only really challenged meaningfully on this score by the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s. The SLC caching (raised often in other reviews) seems a little underwhelming in size and realistic recovery when compared to everything else, but still compares well against others in this bracket nonetheless. Additionally, there is a non-PRO version that although lower traditional throughput performance, addresses/remedies concerns of endurance etc. Overall, the Corsair MP600 Pro is a standout drive amoung the growing crowd of PCIe4 SSDs being released right now and I can easily recommend it.

PROs of the Corsair MP600 Pro CONs of the Corsair MP600 Pro
Impressive Inclusive Heatsink

Genuinely Impressive Performance

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

96 Layer TLC 3D NAND

Higher Durability than WD Black & Samsung 980 Pro

Consistent 7,000MB/s on ALL Capacities

Available in up to 4TB, at 2280 Length Too

IOPS figures are lower than many PCIe4 SSDs

Cache fills up quick!

Lower endurance than the Firecuda 530

 


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MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe4 SSD Review – Game Breaking or Game Making?

1 septembre 2021 à 02:12

Review of the MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

There has been a remarkable deluge of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSDs hit the market in the middle of 2021 and for many users who have been looking at upgrading their high-performance gaming storage or post-production editing, this has come as something of a mixed blessing. The fact that the MSI Spatium M480 SSD arrives amidst a bunch of other alternative drives from brands like Seagate, Gigabyte and Sabrent gives buyers a great deal of choice right now, but when is too much choice a bad thing? The relative similarity of the MSI Spatium M480 in hardware architecture to the Corsair MP600 Pro, Gigabyte Aorus 7000S and Sabrent Rocket plus in the controller, NAND, price and availability has the potential for this new SSD release to arrive with a whiff of ‘old news’ about it. However, with the Spatium M480 arriving from one of the biggest and recognizable names in pro-PC builder architecture gives it a certain air of quality to its name and in today’s review of the MSI M480 SSD, I want to work out whether this new PCIe NVMe drive deserves your data, or if it is just a lot more of the same with a different label on top? Let’s go!

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

The MSI Spatium M480 SSD is an SSD that, if it had been released even 4-5 months earlier, would have made a much bigger splash than it has. This is not MSI’s fault. The massive range of market damaging events that have plagued the storage market for good or bad in the last 24 months (ranging from the pandemic, semi-conductor shortages, changes in buying trends, US-China trade war, Chia and more) have led to a large number of releases that ordinarily would have been released in a more appropriate/spaced-out manner has led to a downpour of 7,000MB/s SSD releases to hit the market back to back within 3-4 months. Some brands were luckier than others to sneak limited available storage releases at the closing of 2020 and start of 2021 – Looking at you Samsung, WD and Sabrent) and a big result of this is that although the MSI Spatium IS a good SSD that provides EXACTLY what it promises, it does it whilst appearing near identical to about 6 other SSDs from fellow big brands that do the same thing – at a slightly lower price. The MSI Spatium IS a GOOD drive and if you are looking for an NVMe M.2 SSD that can push through more than enough data to largely saturate the potential 8,000MB/s of PCIe 4×4, then this can do it. It is just a little harder to pinpoint what makes this drive stand out from the crowd right now that have similar promises.

PROs of the MSI SPATIUM M480 CONs of the MSI SPATIUM M480
Genuinely Impressive Performance

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

96 Layer TLC 3D NAND

Higher Durability than WD Black & Samsung 980 Pro

More affordable than the Seagate Firecuda 530

Consistent 7,000MB/s on ALL Capacities

The heatsink isn’t included and run rather hot!

IOPS figures are lower than many PCIe4 SSDs

 

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Packaging

The packaging is pretty understated, with the drive arriving in a black carton hanging retail slider. The box is quick to highlight that this drive arrives from MSI, with their instantly recognizable logo appearing loud n proud at the top, alongside the promised 7,000MB/s Seq’ Read speed. This is one of the few M.2 PCIe SSD drives that I have reviewed in the last few months that actually downplays the text on the front, with most brands heavily hammering boastful text on the front. They mention the 7,000MB/s reported read – and that’s it.

Indeed they don’t even present it with a pile of caveats and exclusions. The read of the box details things more of course, but fair play to the brand for keeping it nice, clear and simple.

Opening up the retail kit provides suitably simple content. Anyone that has ever purchased an MSI hardware component that they have a huge body of online resources that is the preferred source for assistance and setup guidance, so this does not come as a massive surprise! Inside we find the drive in a sealed surrounding plastic shell and information on the 5 years inclusive warranty and light setup information. For today’s review, we are featuring the 1TB model, but not the 1st party heatsink version that is around $30-35 more.

The drive itself arrives with the fairly standard layout for a 1TB. Single-sided NAND/System processors, with a branded label over the top. I am a little sad that it is not a metallic label as you find on the Sabrent Rocket series or even a metal surround as found on the Gigabyte 7000s, but this is all fairly standard otherwise.

The m.2 connector o this NVMe 1.4 rev drive is nice and clear, without any overhand at the top of the drive. The controller is located right there at the top, so definitely make sure that heatsink and thermal padding you install on this drive when you install it is right up to the top!

The rear of this single-sided NVMe SSD is pretty standard, detailing the worldwide classifications and utility. Oddly, I noticed the mentioning of warranty support refusal if the label is removed. This is always a peculiar thing, given that many users remove these labels to ensure the connectivity of heatsinks and thermal panels (so they can see the key components are amply covered). This is largely irrelevant in the case of a single-sided 1TB, but I would be interested in how this is addressed and handled in larger versions.

So that is the physical design of the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the MSI SPATIUM M480 cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the MSI SPATIUM M480 are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIE Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the MSI SPATIUM M480 is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

MSI SPATIUM M480

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

I know a lot of the above will seem needlessly technical, so below we can bring the most important considerations into sharper focus.

Hardware Focus of the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Phison E18. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and Phison are one of the bigger 3rd party SSD controller manufacturers in the world! I say 3rd party, because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Whereas some brands source some/all components for their SSDs from 3rd parties – which is not necessarily a bad thing for both them and the industry (there are pros and cons on either side). Phison has been at the cutting edge of this subject for years now and the E18 was first revealed last year in 2020, but due to the pandemic making storage trends unpredictable and semi-conductor shortages, most SSDs that utilized the Phison E18 eventually arrived in 2021. This controller is one of the biggest reasons that the MSI SPATIUM M480 can actually back up it’s promises about the 7,000MB/s+ Sequential Read (sequential data = big chunks of data). However, that is not the only reason.

The NAND on the MSI SPATIUM M480 is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance of an SSD and although the MSI SPATIUM M480 does not provide the best SSD in the industry at this tier right now (that, once again, goes to the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176 layer 3D TLC NAND), it is bigger than most, arriving at 96 Layers of 3D TLC NAND. Although the majority of modern PCIe M.2 SSD use 3D TLC NAND (avoid QLC NAND like the PLAGUE btw!), most are still at 64 layers or so, so this is a big jump up for the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD.

Much like the Controller on the MSI SPATIUM M480 being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD uses 1GB DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc.

As mentioned, all available capacities of the MSI SPATIUM M480 arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact that the 2TB can arrive on single-sided SSD boards is very impressive. Physical storage NAND is distributed evenly in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wear and performance. Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the MSI SPATIUM M480 takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the MSI SPATIUM M480 use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the MSI SPATIUM M480, as it is still (2-3 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the MSI SPATIUM M480, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below). The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of both models around 20-30%!. Below is a breakdown of how each MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD compares:

Brand/Series MSI SPATIUM M480

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

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

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

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 96L 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 2TB – Single Sided 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
500GB Model M480-500G ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $119 / £99 $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model M480-1000G ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $225 / £185 $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model M480-2000G ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $435 / £364 $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A $949 / £789 N/A
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model M480-1000G ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,700,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model M480-2000G ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1400TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,700,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD N/A

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as this drive is rated a pinch higher than the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 in terms of NAND lifespan on daily writes, likely down to that Micron 96 Layer 3D TLC NAND used, rather than t used by those used by competitors. This is an important point because the brand has significantly less pedigree in-home/business SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate and people will want to know they are going to get a product that lasts!

However, despite the use of the Phison E18 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually a noticeable degree lower than those reported by their competitors. Indeed, the MSI SPATIUM M480 is one of the few E18 SSDs that does not cross into the reported 1 Million IOPS mark, maxing out at 700k. This is still very impressive anyway, but it does make me wonder where the disparity stems from. Indeed, when you look at the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe 1.4 SSD, that feature the E18 controller and 96L (or higher) on board, it really only leaves about 4 other SSDs in the market today that this can be compared against. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, the MSI Spatium M480, the ADATA Gammix S70 and (current leader) the Seagate Firecuda 530. Of those, the only one that seemingly ‘out specs’ the MSI SPATIUM M480 is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD has been available in the market for almost 3-4 months longer and has certainly embedded itself in the market at that time a fraction more. Below is how these two drives compare:

Brand/Series MSI SPATIUM M480

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

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

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

500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model M480-1000G ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model MP600-2TB ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6550MB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 6900MB N/A
Brand/Series MSI SPATIUM M480 Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 700,000 680,000
1TB Model M480-1000G ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 360000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 780000 1000000 720,000
2TB Model M480-2000G ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 660,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800,000 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 530 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Although there are a number of micro reasons for this, the 176L NAND is the biggest factor here. Yes, that is why the Firecuda 530 commands the higher price tag. Additionally, the WD Black arriving at a better price point, higher IOPS in most tiers and the fact it does this whilst still hitting that 7,000MB/s certainly gives pause for thought. However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that holding out for the Firecuda or WD Black SN850 is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Let’s get the MSI SPATIUM M480 on the test machine!

Testing the MSI SPATIUM M480 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The MSI SPATIUM M480 was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the MSI SPATIUM M480 over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 43C between each test being conducted.

The first tests were conducted using the ATTO disk benchmark software. The first was a 256MB test file size and below is a breakdown of the transfer rates and IOPS. The 2nd Test was a 1GB test file and finally, the last test was with a 4GB test file. The system was given 1-minute cool downtime between tests, no screen recording software was used (remove overhead) and a heatsink was used throughout (no reboots)

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.31GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.31GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.30GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.03GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Test were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write task to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

Next, I switched to AS SSD benchmark. A much more thorough test through, I used 1GB, 3GB and 5GB test files. Each test includes throughput benchmarks and IOPS that are respective to the larger file sizes (important, if you are reading this and trying to compare against the reported 4K IOPS from the manufacturer).

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5356MB/s Read & 5855MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5313MB/s Read & 5835MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5383MB/s Read & 5855MB/s Write

Overall, the MSI SPATIUM M480 was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were a little lower than I expected, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context.

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Conclusion

The MSI Spatium M480 SSD is an SSD that, if it had been released even 4-5 months earlier, would have made a much bigger splash than it has. This is not MSI’s fault. The massive range of market damaging events that have plagued the storage market for good or bad in the last 24 months (ranging from the pandemic, semi-conductor shortages, changes in buying trends, US-China trade war, Chia and more) have led to a large number of releases that ordinarily would have been released in a more appropriate/spaced-out manner has led to a downpour of 7,000MB/s SSD releases to hit the market back to back within 3-4 months. Some brands were luckier than others to sneak limited available storage releases at the closing of 2020 and start of 2021 – Looking at you Samsung, WD and Sabrent) and a big result of this is that although the MSI Spatium IS a good SSD that provides EXACTLY what it promises, it does it whilst appearing near identical to about 6 other SSDs from fellow big brands that do the same thing – at a slightly lower price. The MSI Spatium IS a GOOD drive and if you are looking for an NVMe M.2 SSD that can push through more than enough data to largely saturate the potential 8,000MB/s of PCIe 4×4, then this can do it. It is just a little harder to pinpoint what makes this drive stand out from the crowd right now that have similar promises.

 

PROs of the MSI SPATIUM M480 CONs of the MSI SPATIUM M480
Genuinely Impressive Performance

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

96 Layer TLC 3D NAND

Higher Durability than WD Black & Samsung 980 Pro

More affordable than the Seagate Firecuda 530

Consistent 7,000MB/s on ALL Capacities

The heatsink isn’t included and run rather hot!

IOPS figures are lower than many PCIe4 SSDs

 

 


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New 8TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 7000MB/s+ SSD Revealed

31 août 2021 à 07:58

New Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 8 Terabyte PCIe4 M.2 3D TLC SSD Revealed

Good news for anyone looking to upgrade their PCIe4 m.2 NVMe enabled PC editing or gaming machine with the sneakily quiet reveal that Sabrent is working on an 8TB model to their popular Rocket 4 Plus series of SSDs. This is particularly interesting, given that till now the largest drive we have seen on the market has been an impressive 4TB of storage (from several brands) and although there have been 8TB models of M.2 SSDs available (even in PCIe4), they have been provided with one especially large compromise in the NAND department that has massively downgraded their performance and durability to a point where they are designated as lesser drives and therefore hardly comparable to the top tier SSDs in their premium ranges. This Sabrent SB-RKT4–8TB Rocket 4 Plus 8TB drive though is a very different beast and potentially one of the first drives in the world to manage to balance the scales and provide high storage, high performance, high durability and open the gates commercially to the next tier of M.2 PCIe4 SSD storage. Let’s go through everything we know.

Review of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4TB Model HERE https://nascompares.com/2021/08/05/sabrent-rocket-4-plus-ssd-review

What Are The Hardware Specifications of the Sabrent 8TB Rocket 4 Plus SSD?

At this time it appears the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 8TB model is not especially close to full release and wit that the specifications at this stage are largely unavailable. We DO know that the drive is part of their highest tier NVMe SSD series and therefore a lot of the existing architecture we can already ascertain. Below is everything we know, what we can estimate and how the 8TB model might compare with the rest of the Sabrent Rocket Plus 1, 2 and 4TB models:

Note – Where ‘(est.)’ is stated, I am still awaiting confirmation on these specifications, which are supplied below as based on the previous 4TB release and are provided for general guidance and not from the brand/testing

SABRENT Rocket 4 + SB-RKT4P-1TB

SB-RKT4P-2TB

SB-RKT4P-4TB

NEW = SB-RKT4P-8TB

Capacity 1TB / 1000GB 2TB / 2000GB 4TB / 4000GB 8TB / 8000GB
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND B27 3D TLC NAND 96L B27 3D TLC NAND 96L B27 3D TLC NAND 96L B27 3D TLC NAND 96L
Capacity 1TB Single Sided 4TB Double Sided 4TB Double Sided 4TB Double Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018
Memory 1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB
Size 2280 2280 2280 2280
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr 5yr
  SB-RKT4P-1TB SB-RKT4P-2TB SB-RKT4P-4TB SB-RKT4P-4TB
Price in $ and $ $179 / £155 $359 / £305 $999 / £810 $1999 / £1699 (est.)
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1400TB 3000TB 6000TB (est.)
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1600000 1600000 1600000 1600000 (est.)
DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.4DWPD (est.)
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350000 650000 650000 650000 (est.)
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700000 700000 700000 700000 (est.)
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7100MB 7100MB 7100MB (est.)
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6850MB 6850MB 6850MB (est.)

One very important detail that needs focus here is the use of 3D TLC NAND on the new 8TB Sabrent SSD. Now, as mentioned, Sabrent has had an 8TB PCIe4 NVMe M.2 SSD available already, known as the Sabrent Rocket Q4 which is their much more affordable PCIe 4.0 SSD tier. It is labelled as such as it takes advantage of the much more economy sensitive QLC NAND (Quad Layer Cells) which are able to squeeze in a larger amount of data onto the NAND blocks on the PCB board of the SSD. However, the application of QLC NAND, although noticeable lower in price-per-TB, results in significantly lower throughput (i.e Read and Write) than TLC (Triple Layer Cell) NAND that is largely the NAND build of choice for Prosumer/Business SSDs. It also results in a much lower insurance rating (i.e TBW and DWPD) meaning the timeframe for the lifespan of the drive and sustained lifetime performance is much lower. THIS is one of the BIGGEST reasons that the 8TB Rocket 4 Plus model being revealed is such a big deal because it is arriving with 3D TLC NAND and therefore will be expected to hit that 7,000MB/s+ Sequential Read Speed and 6,850MB/s+ Sequential Write as featured in the 2TB and 4TB models (perhaps even possibly surpass it). We still need to wait for full official details on this drive to become public, but it’s a very intriguing and compelling reason to keep the Sabrent 8TB Rocket 4 Plus on your radar in 2021/2022.

When Will the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 8TB SSD Be Released?

There is practically no details on when this Sabrent 8TB Rocket 4 Plus SSD media will release, but given the deluge of PCIe4 M.2 NVMe drives released in the last 2 months (as the market catches up from delays and setbacks in the pandemic, semi-conductor shortages, supply chain corrections and existing release roadmap’s being forced to adapt on the fly!) it will be interesting to see if Sabrent can get this drive out to market before big names like Samsung, WD and Seagate can challenge the 8TB tier on these drives. PCIe4 x4 M.2 is going to be around for a while and although PCIe5 is now in discussion and slow implementation will be on the horizon in 2022, it will be by no means mainstream enough to substantially interrupt the growth of PCIe4 M.2 any time soon. With that in mind, Sabrent might well have the time to work on this and not rush it to the door. Perhaps a more formal reveal before the end of the year with something more substantial as a confirmed ETA to follow.

How Much Will the Sabrent 8TB Rocket 4 Plus SSD be?

With so many factors, ranging from the fact that 8TB NVMe PCIe4 m.2 SSD with 3D TLC NAND (96layer) is almost completely industry unheard of at this m.2 length, to the previously mentioned market hurdles in the last 12-18months, if Sabrent can get the 8TB Rocket 4 Plus SB-RKT4P-8TB to market before many of it’s competitors, they will be in a position to be quite high in their pricing. Recent months have led to the price tiering on 1TB, 2TB and 4TB drives no longer strictly adhering to the “doubling your storage means you pay less per TB” and in fact in many cases, a 4TB costs more per terabyte than a 2TB, which in term can be more than a 1TB. Given the relative obscurity of a drive of this type, we will be seeing a drive that will almost certainly weigh in at $1500-2000 at even a conservative estimate. However, until Sabrent make a more formal announcement of this drive and its availability, this is all still very much up in the air!

 

 


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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch Review

27 août 2021 à 02:00

Ovolink 8-Port PoE OL-GS1110P Managed Switch Review – Too Good to be true?

Even as you read this you almost certainly have a device that is similar in architecture to a switch in your home or office. From your ISP router to a basic box creating a private network for your devices, you are almost certainly using a switch or hub network of devices in one form or another. Ethernet switches are a physical and dedicated representation of that and have been available almost from the moment that Ethernet came into existence. This only makes sense. Without a switch, an Ethernet cable is only useful for connecting one device to another. If you’re trying to create a network, that’s a non-starter. But there have been significant advances in the technology since that time. The most obvious advances have been in speed. The first Ethernet cables and switches only operated at 10 Mbps. Since then, we’ve gotten 100 Mbps, and now Gigabit, which works out to 1,000 Mbps. But there have been other advances that are almost as important. One of these advances is the advent of power over the internet (PoE). With POE technology, you can connect network devices without the need to plug them into an outlet. This eliminates tangled cables. And it means you can avoid having to put power outlets in awkward locations, like over a hung ceiling. But PoE requires specialized hardware that’s capable of pushing an electrical current through an Ethernet cable. Today, we’ll be looking at one such device, the OvoLink 8 PoE Port Smart Managed Gigabit Switch. As its name implies, this is an 8-port switch that provides gigabit speeds with PoE. But what else is it capable of? We dug deep and found out. But to get the most out of your gigabit Ethernet, you’re going to need gigabit Ethernet in your PC. Not long ago, we reviewed the Best PCIe Gigabit Ethernet NICs that money can buy. Any of those choices will have you well set-up to get the most from your gigabit connection.

Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch – Quick Conclusion

To begin with, it’s very well-engineered, even by enterprise standards. The operating temperature range, for example, is truly insane. When are you ever going to see temperatures below -40, or higher than 167? Even if you’re running a server farm in the Sahara desert without air conditioning, you’ll be just fine. The configuration software is also a great feature. Most switches allow some level of customization, but few offer this many enterprise-grade features. Homeowners probably won’t need to change any settings. But for professional network engineers, these features are essential. The OvoLink 8 PoE Port Smart Managed Gigabit Switch is one of the more interesting devices I’ve seen lately. It was nice to be able to present people with a viable option for a PoE switch. But there’s a lot more to recommend this switch than just a few watts of power.

Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch PROS Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch CONS
  • Good Price Point for a PoE Switch
  • An affordable Managed Switch Entry point for NAS
  • SFP+ inclusion is a nice touch
  • Robust Physical Design
  • Impressive Low Heat generation considering it’s PoE
  • Additional 1Gbe Uplink Port is a nice extra
  • Software GUI is a little basic and Dated
  • PoE output seems a little low/SMB for more than Home Users at 120W

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Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch Review – Packaging

The retail box of the Ovolink PoE switch is pretty understated, to say the least. It is a rather underwhelming and what I would have expected from a piece of hardware that is more focused on functionality than an aesthetical appeal on the shelf of your local IT store. It’s quite a compact box, even for something as compact as a network switch and the contents are pretty well separated structurally.

The switch is located at the top as soon as you open and underneath the accessories and instructions are in divided partitions in the cardboard outer. The Plastic bag that the ovolink PoE managed switch was little cheap looking, but this could well just be because I had a sample for this review.

When I unboxed the whole contents, the first thing that stood out for me was that PSU. This shouldn’t be a big surprise, as this device requires additional power for the power over ethernet service, but still, it is a rather bg PSU. Alongside this, there is also an instruction manual, warranty information, screws and brackets.

The external PSU is fairly standard and is also a 2 piece setup, with a standard 3 pin kettle plug connector, which will be different depending on your country of purchase. It’s fairly non-descript unsurprisingly kept as an external PSU to keep the heat low whilst the device is in operation. Typically PoE switches do get a little hot and this will serve as a means to keep this under control.

Overall, the retail kit of the Ovolink 8-port PoE switch is fairly standard and, although a bit underwhelming, is fairly normal for a device of this nature.

Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch Review – Design

The OvoLink 8 PoE Port Switch measures 8.1 inches in width, 4.1 inches in depth, and 1.1 inches in height. This is less than half the width of a standard server rack. So while the OvoLink has the necessary screws and threaded holes for mounting, you’ll need an adapter. Alternatively, you can mount this switch on a wall, or simply set it on a desk or another flat surface. It weighs only 2.78 pounds, so it’s lightweight enough that weight is not going to be a concern.

The case is constructed from anodized aluminium, with a textured black finish that’s very durable. On both sides, you’ll find the mounting screws and threaded holes. There’s no fan inside since none is required. The OvoLink runs cool, and won’t overheat under any normal conditions. This keeps it quiet, so you can use it in an office or other workspace without causing any distractions.

 

The aluminum case is also resistant to corrosion, so you won’t need to worry about rust. This will be true even if it’s exposed to humidity. On the back, you’ll find a port for the power supply. You’ll also find a gigabit Ethernet input port, 8 gigabit Ethernet output ports, and an SFP port. Each of the Ethernet ports has a pair of LED lights next to it. The green light indicates that there’s an active data connection. The yellow light indicates that the switch is sending PoE to that device.

The SFP port is a particularly attractive feature. While most devices will connect via Ethernet, you may need a fiber-optic connection. Through the SFP port, you can attach adapters for fiber-optic and other different connection types. You’ll be perfectly positioned to use just about any type of connection imaginable. That said, many of these connections will require some tweaking in the cloud-based configuration software. We’ll talk about configuration a bit more towards the end.

The OvoLink Switch is designed to operate under just about any conditions. It’s rated to function in temperatures from -40 to 167 degrees Fahrenheit. It will also operate in anywhere from 5 to 95 percent humidity without developing any condensation. Now, data centers are climate-controlled, so this typically shouldn’t be necessary. However, your switch may not be located in a data center. If you happen to need a switch in an outbuilding or other non-climate-controlled space, you’ll still be just fine. You’ll also receive excellent surge and lightning protection. The surge protector on the OvoLink is capable of absorbing up to 6KV of extra voltage. So even if lightning strikes your data center, it won’t fry all your connected devices.

Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch Review – Performance

All eight of the OvoLink’s ports are adaptive. This means that they’ll switch automatically between 10, 100, and 1,000 Mbps depending on what type of device is connected. They also support a wide variety of Ethernet standards. These include standard Ethernet, 100Base-TX, 100Base-FX, Flow Control, 1000Base-T, and both 802.3af and 802.1at Ethernet PoE standards. To put that in plain English, you can plug just about anything into the OvoLink, and it will be plug-and-play. The power input on the OvoLink provides 60 volts of power, more than you’ll need for PoE purposes.

That said, the total wattage is your main limitation. Each individual device can draw up to 30 watts. However, the total limit of the entire OvoLink switch is 120 watts. So you’ll only be able to connect up to 4 devices at a full 30 watts. That said, not all devices are going to draw anywhere close to 30 watts. If you need 15 watts or less, you’ll be able to power all eight devices without any issues.

But let’s say you need more than 120 watts of total power. How are you going to make that happen? The answer is to use a gigabit PoE injector. These tools will add additional power to the Ethernet line, powering more devices.

Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch Review – Software

Like most advanced Ethernet switches, the OvoLink can be configured with a wide variety of different options. This isn’t strictly necessary. If you’re running a simple home network, the default settings should work just fine. But corporate networks often have special equipment that requires their own special protocols. In this case, you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck by configuring your switch manually. To that end, the OvoLink works with cloud-based configuration software that offers plenty of options.

To begin with, you can switch between multiple protocols. These include SNMP, STP, LACP, ARP, DHCP, and LLDP. If that sounds confusing, don’t worry about it. As we said, home users aren’t going to need to worry about this. But enterprise users will appreciate the ability to set up individual ports to use discrete protocols. So you can use different settings for routers and switches than you would for connected “internet of things” devices.

There are also additional security features available through the OvoLink management software. You can prevent broadcast storms, which is what happens when there’s too much data going over the wires at once. These incidents are the bane of network engineers everywhere, and it’s nice to see OvoLink taking that into account. On a similar note, you can perform basic network optimization tasks. Prioritize some connections over others, or simply set limits to the speed of individual devices. These tools can go a long way towards maximizing your network’s efficiency.

The primary limitation of Ethernet is its limited range. At anything past 100 feet, the signal quickly starts to degrade, quickly reducing your speeds to dialup levels or worse. For a run of that length, you have a couple of options. First, you could install additional switches and routers. These will boost the signal, allowing for longer range. But each switch or router you use is going to introduce some level of latency. Over very long distances, this is simply untenable. Thankfully, there’s a solution. You can use fiber connections for these longer runs, vastly improving performance. If that’s what you need, consider adding an Ethernet fiber media converter to your network. These devices make it easy to build a network that’s part Ethernet, part fiber-optic.

Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch Review – Conclusion

The OvoLink 8 PoE Port Smart Managed Gigabit Switch is one of the more interesting devices we’ve seen lately. We review a lot of PoE devices. So it was nice to be able to present people with a viable option for a PoE switch. But there’s a lot more to recommend this switch than just a few watts of power.

To begin with, it’s very well-engineered, even by enterprise standards. The operating temperature range, for example, is truly insane. When are you ever going to see temperatures below -40, or higher than 167? Even if you’re running a server farm in the Sahara desert without air conditioning, you’ll be just fine. The configuration software is also a great feature. Most switches allow some level of customization, but few offer this many enterprise-grade features. Homeowners probably won’t need to change any settings. But for professional network engineers, these features are essential.

Finally, it’s just plain versatile. Want to mount it in a rack? You can do that easily. Want to set it on a flat surface? It will stay put. Want to hang it on the wall? Knock yourself out! You aren’t tied into any one configuration, so you can easily make the OvoLink work for your needs.

Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch PROS Ovolink 8-Port PoE Smart Managed Switch CONS
  • Good Price Point for a PoE Switch
  • An affordable Managed Switch Entry point for NAS
  • SFP+ inclusion is a nice touch
  • Robust Physical Design
  • Impressive Low Heat generation considering it’s PoE
  • Additional 1Gbe Uplink Port is a nice extra
  • Software GUI is a little basic and Dated
  • PoE output seems a little low/SMB for more than Home Users at 120W

A Quick Request to You – Yes, you reading this!

If you plan on buying your NAS Drive from Amazon, please use the links below for the best prices and Availability


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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A Guide to Rackmount NAS – Sorted by Size

25 août 2021 à 16:00

Choosing the Right Rackmount NAS – Understanding the Importance of Depth

There was once a time when owning any kind of rackmount based storage and/or computer equipment was squarely aimed at high-end business and data centres. Unlike the desktop PC, laptop keyboard or touch screen device that you are likely reading this on, a rackmount scale hardware device is HUGE, can be noisy and is designed for a 24×7 environment that we once considered business-only in both price and size. However, fast forward to 2020/2021 and we find that because of the advances in both the efficiency and capability of the hardware, that rackmounts are affordable to even the most modest of home user – often rivalling the suitability of a more commonplace desktop/tower device. However, rackmounts are generally very awkward in size – either too long, too wide or too deep for most normal deployment. Luckily most NAS hardware developers (Synology and QNAP more so than most) have provided a huge range of different scaled rackmount devices, that vary in capacity, power and (most important of all for today’s article) in physical size. They have produced so many options in fact, that there are now too many to choose from. So, today I want to look at all of the more compact rackmount NAS servers and help you choose the right one for your physical hardware environment.

Using the Rackmount Size Guide Below

Much like looking at any physical object, there are the typical parameters of measuring scale (generally measures in millimetres or inches), but in the case of rackmount NAS there are also more hardware-specific ways to measure the suitability of a rack mount NAS device. Here are the ones you need to focus on:

Height – This is a figure that is measured in two ways. First is the physical height that is increased as more and more bays are included for storage. Generally 44mm for a 4-Bay, the 88mm for an 8/12-Bay, 130mm for a 16-Bay and 175mm for a 24-Bay. However, they also use the measurement of 1U, 2U, 3U, etc. These correspond to the number of ‘slots’ in a rack cabinet.

Width – In most cases, this is largely identical on all NAS devices, as a rackmount is designed in rows of 4 bays horizontally, at 481mm – but there are exceptions as you will need to factor in rails and if some devices have handles and/or rails pre-attached.

Depth – This is incredibly important and one of the main driving forces behind how rackmount NAS has evolved. In most cases, the more powerful the NAS – the deeper it is (in order to fit in larger CPU+Heatsinks, Increased PSUs and larger internal cooling). The majority of half depth rackmounts on the market arrive with mid-range hardware inside, but recent years have provided quite a few 10Gbe and Large solutions from companies like QNAP and Synology.

Below is a breakdown of the available rackmount solutions that you can sort by their size.

BrandmodelFormHeight (mm)Width (mm)Depth (mm)Height (inch) Width (inch) Depth (inch)
SynologyFS201788430.5692 3.46 16.95 27.24
SynologyFS301788482724 3.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyFS3400884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyFS3600884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyFS6400884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyRC18015xs+444805151.73 18.9 20.28
SynologyRS1219+88481.9306.63.46 18.97 12.07
SynologyRS1221+RS1221+ : 88482306.6 RS1221RP+ : 880 18.98 12.07
SynologyRS1221RP+RS1221+ : 88482306.6 RS1221RP+ : 880 18.98 12.07
SynologyRS1619xs+44480518.61.73 18.9 20.42
SynologyRS18016xs+88430692 3.46 16.93 27.24
SynologyRS18017xs+88482724 3.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyRS21744479.4295.51.73 18.87 11.63
SynologyRS2416+88430692 3.46 16.93 27.24
SynologyRS2418+88482696 883.46 18.98 27.4
SynologyRS2418RP+88482696 883.46 18.98 27.4
SynologyRS2421+RS2421+ : 88482552 RS2421RP+ : 880 18.98 21.73
SynologyRS2421RP+RS2421+ : 88482552 RS2421RP+ : 880 18.98 21.73
SynologyRS2818RP+132.3482656.55.21 18.98 25.85
SynologyRS2821RP+132.3482656.55.21 18.98 25.85
SynologyRS3617RPxs884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyRS3617xs+884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyRS3618xs884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyRS3621RPxs884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyRS3621xs+884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyRS4017xs+132.3482656.55.21 18.98 25.85
SynologyRS4021xs+132.3482656.55.21 18.98 25.85
SynologyRS815+44430.5457.5 441.73 16.95 18.01
SynologyRS81644430.5295.5 1.73 16.95 11.63
SynologyRS818+44480492.6 441.73 18.9 19.39
SynologyRS818RP+44480492.6 441.73 18.9 19.39
SynologyRS81944478327.51.73 18.82 12.89
SynologyRS820+44480492.6 441.73 18.9 19.39
SynologyRS820RP+44480492.6 441.73 18.9 19.39
SynologySA3200D884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologySA3400884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologySA3600884827243.46 18.98 28.5
SynologyUC320088430.56923.46 16.95 27.24
Qnaptds-16489u r2130.81 443.99 743.97 5.15 17.48 29.29
Qnaptes-1885u87.88 442.47 530.61 3.46 17.42 20.89
Qnapts-1232pxu-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-1232xu88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-1232xu-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-1253bu88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-1253bu-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-1253du-rp88.65 482.09 423.93 3.49 18.98 16.69
Qnapts-1263xu88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-1263xu-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-1273au-rp88.9 432.05 372.11 3.5 17.01 14.65
Qnapts-1273u88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-1273u-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-1277xu-rp88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnapts-1283xu-rp88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnapts-1673au-rp132.08 432.05 372.11 5.2 17.01 14.65
Qnapts-1673u130.05 481.08 535.94 5.12 18.94 21.1
Qnapts-1673u-rp130.05 481.08 535.94 5.12 18.94 21.1
Qnapts-1677xu-rp130.05 481.08 573.53 5.12 18.94 22.58
Qnapts-1683xu-rp130.05 481.08 573.53 5.12 18.94 22.58
Qnapts-1886xu-rp88.39 482.09 549.66 3.48 18.98 21.64
Qnapts-2477xu-rp176.28 481.08 672.08 6.94 18.94 26.46
Qnapts-2483xu-rp176.28 481.08 672.08 6.94 18.94 26.46
Qnapts-431xeu43.94 438.91 291.08 1.73 17.28 11.46
Qnapts-432pxu43.94 438.91 499.11 1.73 17.28 19.65
Qnapts-432pxu-rp43.94 438.91 499.11 1.73 17.28 19.65
Qnapts-432xu43.94 438.91 499.11 1.73 17.28 19.65
Qnapts-432xu-rp43.94 438.91 499.11 1.73 17.28 19.65
Qnapts-451deu43.94 430.02 294.89 1.73 16.93 11.61
Qnapts-453bu43.94 438.91 499.11 1.73 17.28 19.65
Qnapts-453bu-rp43.94 438.91 499.11 1.73 17.28 19.65
Qnapts-453du43.18 482.6 483.87 1.7 19 19.05
Qnapts-453du-rp43.18 482.6 508.76 1.7 19 20.03
Qnapts-463xu43.94 438.91 499.11 1.73 17.28 19.65
Qnapts-463xu-rp43.94 438.91 499.11 1.73 17.28 19.65
Qnapts-832pxu88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-832pxu-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-832xu88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-832xu-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-853bu88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-853bu-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-853du-rp88.65 482.09 423.93 3.49 18.98 16.69
Qnapts-863xu88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-863xu-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-873au88.9 432.05 372.11 3.5 17.01 14.65
Qnapts-873au-rp88.9 432.05 372.11 3.5 17.01 14.65
Qnapts-873u88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-873u-rp88.9 482.09 533.91 3.5 18.98 21.02
Qnapts-877xu88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnapts-877xu-rp88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnapts-883xu88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnapts-883xu-rp88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnapts-977xu43.18 482.6 484.12 1.7 19 19.06
Qnapts-977xu-rp43.18 482.6 505.46 1.7 19 19.9
Qnapts-983xu43.18 482.6 484.12 1.7 19 19.06
Qnapts-983xu-rp43.18 482.6 507.49 1.7 19 19.98
Qnapts-h1277xu-rp88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnapts-h1283xu-rp88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnapts-h1677xu-rp130.05 481.08 573.53 5.12 18.94 22.58
Qnapts-h1683xu-rp130.05 481.08 573.53 5.12 18.94 22.58
Qnapts-h1886xu-rp88.39 482.09 549.66 3.48 18.98 21.64
Qnapts-h2477xu-rp176.28 481.08 672.08 6.94 18.94 26.46
Qnapts-h2483xu-rp176.28 481.08 672.08 6.94 18.94 26.46
Qnapts-h2490fu88.39 481.08 510.29 3.48 18.94 20.09
Qnapts-h3088xu-rp88.39 481.08 515.11 3.48 18.94 20.28
Qnapts-h977xu-rp43.18 482.6 505.46 1.7 19 19.9
Qnaptvs-1272xu-rp88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnaptvs-1672xu-rp130.05 481.08 573.53 5.12 18.94 22.58
Qnaptvs-2472xu-rp176.28 481.08 672.08 6.94 18.94 26.46
Qnaptvs-872xu88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnaptvs-872xu-rp88.39 482.09 562.1 3.48 18.98 22.13
Qnaptvs-972xu43.18 482.6 484.12 1.7 19 19.06
Qnaptvs-972xu-rp43.18 482.6 507.49 1.7 19 19.98
Qnaptvs-ec1280u-sas-rp r287.88 442.47 530.61 3.46 17.42 20.89
Qnaptvs-ec1680u-sas-rp r2130.05 442.47 530.61 5.12 17.42 20.89
Qnaptvs-ec2480u-sas-rp r2176.28 442.47 530.61 6.94 17.42 20.89
BrandmodelFormHeight (mm)Width (mm)Depth (mm)Height (in) Width (in) Depth (in)

Still Need Help Choosing the Right Rackmount for you?

If you are still in doubt about the right sized rackmount NAS drive for your home to business needs or are worried about how accurate the size of the server will be in your chosen spot, why not contact me directly below for help.


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

 

The Amber Pro Personal Cloud Router Review

23 août 2021 à 16:00

The Amber Pro Router and Personal Cloud – Simplicity vs NAS

One of the biggest barriers that home and business users encounter when considering making the switch from convenient, but less secure subscription-based cloud services and to their own private server is the complexity involved and the general maintenance of the system moving forward. Here on the blog, I have spent years recommending network-attached storage to thousands of users as a viable and easy alternative to the likes of Google Drive and Dropbox, genuinely believing it to be a relatively low learning curve. However, many would disagree and into this arena, we find the Amber Pro by Latticework, a hybrid cloud solution that also provides prosumer router capabilities. This remarkably slick designed alternative to the arguably more intimidating NAS alternatives promises to be the most user-friendly way to make the switch from those third-party clouds, keeping things simple yet fully functional at all times. Is the Amber Pro the user-friendly option for many that tried NAS and gave up? Does it earn its £500+ price tag? Ultimately, does the Amber Pro from Latticework deserve your data? Let’s find out.

Amber Pro Personal Cloud Review – Quick Conclusion

Although the Amber Pro private cloud is not going to outperform most traditional NAS at this price point, it does manage to fulfil that simplicity that NAS in its current form may have been missing. From the simplicity of setup and integration with the included cloud services, down to the hassle-free connectivity whereby a users understanding of network storage and protocols can be zero and much like the apple time capsule releases of the past, the Amber Pro is certainly a user-friendly piece of kit. Additionally, the inclusion of docker to allow users to experiment with their own range of container applications and stretch their IT muscles a bit is a welcome inclusion. Finally, the Amber Pro is one of few systems outside of WD that includes the storage media with the unit, bundle cloud storage and roll all the hardware under a single warranty – thereby doubling down on that ease and simplicity mission statement. The router capabilities of the system and how it integrates with the available RAID enabled storage is also something I have only ever seen available in this fashion from around 5 other devices in the last decade, each of which arrived almost three times as expensive as the Amber, so kudos to them for this. However one simply cannot ignore that this system is rather modest in its available hardware architecture and services when compared to modern NAS releases, which currently feature every single application and service that the Amber offers in one shape or form. Additionally, the inclusive storage media with the Amber of just 1-2TB (also RAID dependant) of storage on standard Seagate Barracuda hard drives is pretty underwhelming for a system that promises to provide backups to a wide range of devices, as well as version retention and containers that will quickly eat up that available storage capacity. Amber counter this with optional USB external storage support and an inclusive two-year 2GB cloud storage service (which is pretty low in 2021 realistically). But all of this still adds up to an impressively designed and fantastically simple to use system that may feature a low glass ceiling for many uses down the line. Recommended to home users or the ZERO I.T knowledgeable who just wants something to sit there and do its job.

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Amber Pro Personal Cloud Review – Packaging

If there is one area that Amber clearly prioritised in it development, it is design, branding and marketing their product as something cool. Very much moving away from the more tech and I.T focused presentation of regular NAS drives like Synology and QNAP, they do succeed in providing a unit that will look attractive on your local IT shop shelf, as well as give you an understanding of the company reputation and product focus. A Slick image covered branded box containing the Amber Pro private cloud system and is very well protected for transit.

Inside we have the standard accessories that you would expect from a private cloud system. This is one of the few NAS devices I have featured here on NAScompares that has inclusive storage media, which is already pre-installed inside the Amber Pro (2x1TB or 2X2TB). The accessory box contains information on initial setup, warranty information, first-time app installation references, a cat5e ethernet cable and an external PSU. All fairly standard stuff. Indeed, you have to factor in that this system is both a private cloud and combined router system, but even then this is more than enough accessories as you no doubt have cables knocking around your home for connecting more network devices.

The PSU featured on the Amber Pro is an external 65-watt power brick. This is a fairly low powered PSU and fairly standard for modest external NAS drives at this scale. I am still a little surprised by the size of the device, especially given the PSU is external. An external PSU is always recommended for easy replacement in the event of a failure, but it still leaves me wondering what all that space in the Amber Pro is being used by.

In terms of presentation, Amber talks a big game and although it looks very slick and nice to look at, this is all fairly standard stuff once you get past the snazzy packaging. So let’s now focus more on the design of the product and whether it brings something new and exciting to the market.

Amber Pro Personal Cloud Review – Design

Up until this point, I had only really seen the Amber Pro in images across the internet and the first thing that struck me when I got my hands on it is that it is a fraction larger than I thought. Giving this system contains comparatively modest internal hardware that cannot be expanded and the inclusive storage media is 2.5″ SATA hard drives, I was expecting a unit noticeably smaller in size. Indeed when comparing the unit next to a Synology DS220+, it is arguably larger in volume.

One particular area in hardware whereby Amber Pro really doubles down on is the subject of ventilation. This might be one of the most well ventilated compact servers I have seen in a while, yet the system is pretty whisper quiet. Presumably, the system operates almost exclusively on an architecture of passive heat sinks and the cylindrical top half of the system easily dissipating warm air with a low noise fan. With ventilation on literally every side of this device, there is plenty of passive airflow potential on this router&NAS system.

That top-mounted cylindrical vent also acts as the single means of identifying the system when in operation. Similar to Drobo systems and the quirkily similar data transporter released a few years ago, the Amber Pro has an LED light system with different colours to denote system activity and status. Once again, this is fantastically understated and latticework definitely gets bonus points for style once again. At this scale, an LCD panel or numerous LEDs for drive and network services would be a touch overkill and the ‘blend in the background’ style that the Amber Pro has decided to opt with definitely better suits this understated LED light ring.

Despite the fact the system is a fraction larger than one might expect for a system that houses comparatively modest hardware specifications, you cannot really fault the style and design of this private server and router combined. Although differing in its design against traditional rectangular box NAS, this very much works to its favour in standing out uniquely to users looking for simple and attractive hardware in their home or business environment. Let’s take a closer look at the ports and connections on the Amber Pro as I think there are a few little surprises here.

Amber Pro Personal Cloud Review – PORTS AND CONNECTIONS

You would think, given the branded simplicity and understated tech nature of the Amber Pro, that they would be similarly restrained on ports and connections. However, that is one area that really surprised me the most about this device as it features a moderately impressive range of ports and connections for a device at this scale.

In line with the system being a combined router and personal cloud, we find three individual gigabit ports. One acting as the WAN connection and two additional LAN ports. Although combed services like, failover, port bonding and link aggregation are a little thin on the ground on this device, this is nonetheless another area in which this comparatively more modest scale server has broken the mould with what NAS providers put on there are more affordable 2-bay solutions in 2021/2022. My only real small critique is that these connections are 1Gbe and not the growing in popularity 2.5GBe arriving in a lot of premium routers this year. Although there is an argument that a 2-bay may not be able to fully saturate 2.5Gbe, given the emergence of this higher bandwidth connection appearing on more and more hardware in 2021, at the same cost as standard gigabit ethernet, it’s a shame that Latticeworks did not include this higher bandwidths connection on this system.

There are USB ports that allow you to attach additional external storage to the Amber Pro cloud device, arriving in both USB Type-A and USB Type-C. Although these are 5Gb USB ports, that is perfectly acceptable at this tier of storage and the fact that you can attach additional storage media for backup or in system file access is always beneficial. Another interesting inclusion on the Amber Pro is the HDMI port that allows you to cast media from your remote device to the Amber Pro and visually output it to a connected HDMI TV or monitor. There is also access to the HDMI for container applications in the supported docker area of the Amber Pro, which opens the door neatly to the media centre and surveillance applications down the line. There is an additional WPS button as standard in most routers available and of course, there is the power button. Integrated around either side of these rear ports and connections are the two SATA storage bays inside this device. Accessing them is relatively straightforward by the removal of a couple of screws and sliding the back panel away. So let’s take a look at the storage media inside this device and talk a little bit about the internal hardware architecture that the Amber Pro runs on.

Amber Pro Personal Cloud Review – Internal Hardware

As previously mentioned, the Amber Pro is a relatively modest device in terms of traditional architecture when compared against a network-attached storage device. Designed around simplicity and carefree use, the system arrives with an Intel-powered processor, DDR4 memory and RAID supported media that is included in the cost of the device. Removing that rear panel allows you to access the two included SATA hard drives that this system arrives with. Amber Pro do state that users can install alternative storage media if they like, but they are unable to provide warranty support on this media inclusive of the device.

I am still quite surprised that this system utilizes 2.5 in SATA hard drives internally, instead of SATA SSDs. Given the amount of passive cooling that this system utilizes, the scale of the device in physical size, storage capacity and just generally the price tag it arrives with, leaves me to query the choice of slower mechanical media inside this system. There are arguments that this private cloud requires drives with typically higher long-term endurance than that of SSD, but I think at this scale and with inclusive RAID, 1-2TB capacity and additional cloud storage, SSD would have been welcome and understandably expected.

Another small disappointment is that the system, when removing the drives, reveals that the Amber Pro utilizes Seagate Barracuda hard drives. Now, in Latticeworks defence, this is a RAID 0/1 equipped system and the typical RAID advantages of NAS engineered hard drive media are less vital here. However drives like this are more typically designed for laptops in single-use that although are engineered towards efficient power consumption, are less designed for 24/7 activity. Additionally, there are NAS and 24/7 optimised hard drives in the market such as the WD Red mobile or Seagate Firecuda hard drive, so these drives are a little underwhelming if you are purchasing this system solely for its private cloud capabilities with the rather aggressive price tag that this system arrives with. 

The intel CPU at the system utilizes is an N4000 dual-core processor that starts off with a modest 1.1GHz clock speed that can be burst as required for demanding tasks up to a more acceptable 2.6GHz. Even in terms of traditional storage, this is quite a modest processor and although it is an x86 64-bit with embedded UHD 600 graphics, it does look a tad underwhelming compared with the Intel J4205 inside the majority of NAS brands right now at this tier. Though in the system’s defence, throughout the entire software testing of the Amber Pro, we saw little to no slowdown of the available storage services and access when directly interacting with the system, so clearly they have done a great deal of optimisation in the Amber as to maximize this processes throughput on both this CPU and the media they selected inside. Alongside this processor, the system also arrives with 2GB of DDR4 memory. 2GB is exactly what I would expect from a system like this but the fact it cannot be upgraded is a bit of a shame, particularly if you are a user that plans to take advantage of the docker support that the Amber Pro arrives with. Still, for typical storage utilisation, home and prosumer business shares, and running a handful of containers, 2GB should get you by quite well. However, the real test of this system is how well it performs the Amber iOS software in typical utilisation. Let’s take a moment to talk about the Amber OS, what it does, what it doesn’t and if it has a place in your home or business environment.

Amber Pro Personal Cloud Review – Software GUI, Services & Apps

The software, services and simple way that Amber Pro promises to run your own private cloud is the main driving force behind their product. Ultimately the system provides several means with which you can interact with the system that vary in utility and level of technical knowledge required. The bulk of these client applications and browser-based means of access are certainly user-friendly and very clear in what they allow the user to do. From AI-assisted photo recognition to the means with which your client devices access the cloud server via the network or internet being handled without your intervention – these are two of the main appeals for the more technologically amateur looking at switching to a private server. Digging a little deeper shows a furthermore I.T savvy entry point into the system that, though more limited in the means with which it can be accessed, does allow for more configuration in the back-end of the system. Alongside all of this, the Amber Pro also allows container installation with its arguably more limited supported app centre and custom container creation options. Many brands find that achieving a balancing act between these different user groups hard to maintain and Amber Pro seemingly promises to remedy this. During this review, multiple client applications and browser portals were used. Latticework state that among other services and software, the system supports:

Safely Secure Your Valuable Data

Protect your data with automatic backups to redundant drives for maximum safety. Protect it from unwanted access with powerful encryption

Host Your Own Business Cloud

Securely access and share files with employees, contractors, and clients from anywhere on your own terms.

Application Hosting with Docker

Extend Amber’s capabilities with your own containerized applications or thousands of existing applications available on dockerhub.com.

Simplify Setup with Built-in WiFi

Speed up backups, and everything else you do wirelessly, with Amber’s powerful WiFi router.

Remote Device Monitoring

Cloud-based health monitoring and storage usage makes it easy to deploy Amber at multiple locations.

Multiple Backup Methods

Compatible with rsync, Acronis True Image, macOS Time Machine, Windows Backup, and more.