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Hier — 24 septembre 2021Flux principal

The Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Hardware Review – How Cool is That?

24 septembre 2021 à 16:50

The PS5 SSD Designed Sabrent Heatsink Review – Fad or Fantastic?

Earlier this month, when we discovered that Sabrent had been working on a custom PS5 designed heatsink for SSD upgrades on the system, we were understandably surprised. Not only because they were the first company in the world to have produced this potentially game-changing component, but because the ability to utilize SSD upgrades on the PS5 had only been made available in Beta in July and only officially launched a little over a week ago. Add to this the fact that they have had this heatsink ready for consumers to see and order the day of the PS5 SSD expansion update and you really have to marvel at the speed of their design team. For those that are not aware, the m.2 NVMe SSD slot of the PS5 is a 22110 length contained/covered m.2 Key connector that allows the installation of super-fast PCIe Gen 4×4 SSDs. These SSDs can get remarkably hot when in use and in order to ensure ideal performance, maintain the durability and optimal system operating temperatures, the use of a heatsink on the SSD to dissipate the generated heat is highly recommended. Some heatsinks are larger than others and although these bigger 1st and 3rd party heatsinks do a great job of dispersing that heat, they prevent the m.2 slot metal cover from being replaced after installation and these have the potential of interrupting the designed airflow through the PS5 system. As practically all M.2 SSD heatsinks are designed for desktop PC use in 2021/2022, the bulk of them are either 2280 length only or were not technically designed to work in the PS5 hardware environment. This is where the Sabrent PS5 designed heatsinks for SSDs comes in. Designed to precisely fit the PS5 M.2 SSD cavity, it fills the whole 22110 area, also acting as an alternative to the m.2 cover and therefore managing to maintain the airflow through the PS5. At least, this is what Sabrent is claiming. So, let’s take a closer look at the Sabrent SSD Heatsink for PS5, does it do what it claims and is this the new must-have extra for your PS5 SSD storage upgrade? Let’s find out.

Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Review – Quick Conclusion

The Sabrent PS5 SSD Heatsink is near impossible to fault, both because it clearly does exactly what they claim it can and because it is a genuinely unique product in the market right now. The simple fact is that the PS5 for all its appeal arrives on the market with a questionably small amount of storage by default and even casual gamers are going to feel the storage pinch early in the systems life, as games start to arrive in the hundreds of gigabytes each. Therefore the need for a storage upgrade on the PS5 is going to be a ‘sooner or later’ decision for many gamers and Sabrent having a range of supported SSDs and currently, the ONLY PS5 specific SSD heatsink right now, is an unquestionable win for them in the market. The price tag when compared with other heatsinks is a little steep, arriving at over twice the cost of a generic heatsink, but given its niche and unique position in the market, that shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Overall, I genuinely like what Sabrent has done here and am particularly surprised that WD and Seagate (with their own rather evolved selections of SSD gamer solutions) have been pipped to the post. Respect!

PROS of the Sabrent PS5 SB-PSHS Heatsink PROS of the Sabrent PS5 SB-PSHS Heatsink
  • World’s First PS5 Specific SSD Heatsink
  • Works within the PS5 Airflow and Negative Pressure Design
  • Available in a bundle with an SSD or on its own
  • Not limited to ONLY-Sabrent SSD use
  • Supports 2280 and 22110 Length SSDs
  • Supports Double-Sided SSDs (4TB etc)
  • More Expansive than a generic M.2 Heatsink
  • Does not arrive Pre-Applied to the Bundled Sabrent SSD

Amazon.com Here – $19.99

Amazon.com Here – $189.99

 

Amazon.com Here – $369.99 

Amazon.com Here – $909.99

Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Review – Retail Packaging

The Sabrent PS5 SSD heatsink arrives in a familiar branded box. The outside highlights the advantages of this heatsink over the standard available heatsinks, but the thing that stands out is the number of times Playstation 5 is mentioned (8x in total!). They know it’s USP and are leaning as heavily as possible into it.

The contents of the box are a cardboard outer box that holds the heatsink in place, as well as the few accessories that it arrives with.

The contents include the Sabrent PS5 heatsink, a first-time setup manual, a thermal pad (that Sabrent has since informed me will be pre-applied in future revisions) and a screwdriver for installing the device. It is worth mentioning that it does NOT arrive with a screw to attach it to the PS5 chassis, as this is already included o nthe PS5 system (the PlayStation symbol embossed screw that currently secures the M.2 expansion slot cover plate.

The contents are pretty normal, but still more than enough to get things started. Let’s discuss the design, the main advantage this heatsink claims to have over its competition on PS5 SSD upgrades.

Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Review – Design

The Sabrent PS5 Heatsink is definitely a sturdy build. One thing I did not realise until I got my hands on it properly was the weight, it is a thick bit of kit!

Arriving in black and copper/rose-gold plated metal (to compliment the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus series I am sure), the heatsink is designed to be as flush with the ground level of the PS5 chassis as possible inside. This is done so that when air is being pulled throughout the PS5 system in use, it is not blocked by the heatsink in any way. The Sabrent PS5 heatsink achieves this, but also utilizes this airflow in a subtle way, but creating a ridged/teeth structure on top of the plate that results in the air passing through the top of the heatsink grooves. This means that the internal active airflow is cooling the heatsink, whilst not interrupting the existing airflow. Smart!

The angular end of the heatsink sits exactly where the original PS5 SSD bay plate would, and the screw lines up neatly. The heatsink top (the ridged top) is a fraction thicker than the PS5 existing SSD plate, but gets around this by being thinner at the screw area. This means that the SSD bay external screw is equally secured with the heatsink as it would be with the original cover/plate.

The other end of the heatsink top features the Sabrent rocket logo, but also has a small lipped portion that slots exactly into the existing PS5 SSD expansion slot top. This results in a hinged design that you then can use to close the heatsink over an SSD for it to be locked (more detail on this later).

The heatsink initial felt very tall, but a closer look shows that a fair chunk of that space is because of the perspective of those top airflow lines in the design. The part of the heatsink that directly connects with the thermal pad and heatsink is a chuck of aluminium that fills the entire length of the PS5 SSD bay.

The base of this is fairly non-descript. As mentioned, Sabrent (after contacting them) have highlighted that they plan for future revisions to have the heatsink pad pre-attached and ready on the heatsink, but this early release model had the heatsink separately. I was not hugely fussed either way on this, but perhaps if I was buying this heatsink and SSD in a bundle from Sabrent, I might want them pre-attached. However, the heatsink does not heatsink an underside panel for the SSD to sit in, so this might be a tough one to implement for them. Generally, the base of an SSD is either empty (1TB or less) or on double-sided SSDs (most 2TB and AL 4TB SSDs) this would be occupied with NAND that will be ok to get ‘warm’.

If you line up the Sabrent PS5 heatsink alongside a standard 2280 SSD in their Rocket 4 Plus series, you are immediately aware of the extra length of the heatsink. This is because the PS5 supports up to 22110 SSDs and although there are almost non-existent in PCIe 4×4 SSDs in 2021/2022, this might well change as the demand for capacity grows. So, it is a nice touch that they have ensured the heatsink can cover a full 22110 SSD later down the line if you upgrade further.

That said, the included thermal pad was still a 2280 length generic model. By no means a big deal, but still would have been good to see a longer one for this longer heatsink!

Of course, how this heatsink compares with other M.2 NVMe heatsinks is incredibly important and largely the reason for its existence! Currently, if you want to install an SSD in your PS5 with a heatsink (advised!), you have FOUR options.

1 – Buy an SSD with a heatsink pre-attached, such as the WD Black sSN850, Aorus 7000s or XPG Gammix S70. They can be diverse, good and bad! Some are too big for the PS5 SSD bay, fit but are designed around PC chassis airflow, or are vented for efficiency which is not possible in the PS5 SSD m.2 slot.

2 – You install the SSD without a heatsink and close the PS5 SSD Bay with the included cover/plate (creating a contained area) and not interrupting the PS5 airflow internally

3 – You install a regular under 12.5mm total height (including SSD) heatsink in the available bay, then reinstall the cover/plate. These heatsinks are designed for PC use and in a PC they would be in an open, fan-assisted chassis – not a slot, closed slot.

4 – You use a larger heatsink that totals over 12.5mm (such as Sabrent’s other heatsink for PC gamers) that will ensure maximum SSD heat dissipation, but clocks you from re-installing the cover/plate and also will be in the airflow path partially. This means that although the heatsink will get plenty of airflow for the SSD temperature control, it has the potential to impede PS5 internal airflow .

And this is why the Sabrent PS5 SSD Heatsink is such a big deal (and why you googled it and found this review and/or video!). The PS5 designed heatsink is made for the console, does not impede the airflow of the system, ensures maximum SSD heat dissipation and even takes a little advantage of the PS5 internal fans and draws air through the heatsink top. You can see why they are pleased about their product and it’s rather unique position i nthe market right now, given that PS5 SSD upgrades are very much in their infancy. let’s walk through the installation.

Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Review – Installation

The installation of the Sabrent PS5 SSD heatsink is as straightforward as you might imagine. Even if you purchase this heatsink in an SSD bundle alongside another Sabrent drive, the SSD does not arrive pre-attached to the heatsink. This has been the case with previous Sabrent SSD heatsinks, but makes more sense in this case as the heatsink needs to be more concerned with filling the surrounding cavity. Your SSD needs to be installed as normal inside the PS5 SSD M.2 Slot (here is a guide to installing an SSD inside a PS5 if you need it) and held in the m.2 screw bracket as normal.

After that, you need to apply the thermal pad onto the SSD, ensuring that the top of the SSD (where the controller is located) is covered. Covering the whole top of the m.2 SSD is important, but the controller is particularly susceptible to poorer performance if it gets too hot.

Next comes the Sabrrent PS5 SSD Heatsink. There is a lip at the more rectangular end of the heatsink that needs to hook/hinge in the thin slot just above the M.2 Key connector. It fits precisely (as you would expect) and this allows the heatsink to thing down.

After that, you simply hinge the Heatsink down, over the SSD and thermal pads, where the other end of the heatsink will align perfectly up with the screw hole located just above the 22110 length m.2 hole. Where you can then just screw in the heatsink to the PS5 chassis as you would the original plate cover.

It really is as easy as that. Because the height of the chips on the SSD are going to be universal among all NVMe SSDs, as well as the m.2 washer that holds the SSD in place being a universal height, that means that regardless of the SSDD, this heatsink still fit on top of any media drive and connect with the components to dissipate heat. The sabrent PS5 heatsink will then fill the same space and position on the internals of the console, jsut as the previous cover did. The diagram below shows the airflow:

The Sabrent PS5 designed heatsink is aiming to be a perfect middle ground between using a smaller heatsink and maintaining the panel/negative-pressure inside the consoles airflow or using a fatter heatsink that will dissipate more heat, but potentially impede airflow. Below is 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.

So, as you can see, there is certainly some logic to the Sabrent PS5 SSD heatsink’s design. But how well does it work? And is it better than using a small and lower-priced heatsink? Let’s run some tests.

Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Review – Temperature Testing

In order to see how well the Sabrent PS5 designed heatsink for M.2 SSDs does its job, I set up the PS5 in two separate scenarios, one with a 3rd party compact heatsink and one with the Sabrent heatsink. The test involved connecting a two-node temperature recorder to the PS5, with one node placed on the SSD controller chip (inside the heatsink, under the thermal pad) and the other node was outside the m.2 SSD bay (but still inside the larger SSD shall casing.

SENSOR NODE ON THE SSD CONTROLLER SENSOR NODE NEXT TO THE SSD BAY AND IN AIRFLOW PATH

Then numerous PS5 activities (including reading, writing and gameplay) were conducted and the results were recorded. Below is how each actual compared between a generic 3rd party heatsink and the Sabrent PS5 Heatsink.

COMING IN THE NEXT 48HOURS

A video with the FULL testing will be published shortly and will be added to this review ASAP.

Cold/Off Temp – Only Provided for Baseline and Objecivity

Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Review – Verdict

The Sabrent PS5 SSD Heatsink is near impossible to fault, both because it clearly does exactly what they claim it can and because it is a genuinely unique product in the market right now. The simple fact is that the PS5 for all its appeal arrives on the market with a questionably small amount of storage by default and even casual gamers are going to feel the storage pinch early in the systems life, as games start to arrive in the hundreds of gigabytes each. Therefore the need for a storage upgrade on the PS5 is going to be a ‘sooner or later’ decision for many gamers and Sabrent having a range of supported SSDs and currently, the ONLY PS5 specific SSD heatsink right now, is an unquestionable win for them in the market. The price tag when compared with other heatsinks is a little steep, arriving at over twice the cost of a generic heatsink, but given its niche and unique position in the market, that shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Overall, I genuinely like what Sabrent has done here and am particularly surprised that WD and Seagate (with their own rather evolved selections of SSD gamer solutions) have been pipped to the post. Respect!

PROS of the Sabrent PS5 SB-PSHS Heatsink PROS of the Sabrent PS5 SB-PSHS Heatsink
  • World’s First PS5 Specific SSD Heatsink
  • Works within the PS5 Airflow and Negative Pressure Design
  • Available in a bundle with an SSD or on its own
  • Not limited to ONLY-Sabrent SSD use
  • Supports 2280 and 22110 Length SSDs
  • Supports Double-Sided SSDs (4TB etc)
  • More Expansive than a generic M.2 Heatsink
  • Does not arrive Pre-Applied to the Bundled Sabrent SSD

Amazon.com Here – $19.99

Amazon.com Here – $189.99

 

Amazon.com Here – $369.99 

Amazon.com Here – $909.99

 

 


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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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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


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


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Test Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 : une tablette 11 pouces très séduisante !

17 septembre 2021 à 14:59

I. Présentation

Xiaomi est de retour sur le marché des tablettes après plusieurs années d'absence ! Le fabricant chinois a dévoilé deux nouvelles tablettes qui pourraient bien faire de l'ombre à l'iPad de chez Apple. En tout cas, c'est ce que dit le fondateur de Xiaomi, Lei Jui. Au programme, nous avons le droit à deux modèles : Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 (disponible en France) et Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 Pro (non prévue à l'internationale). Dans cet article, je vous propose le test de la Xiaomi Mi Pad 5, un modèle 11 pouces !

Avant d'aller plus loin, voici les caractéristiques techniques de cette tablette qui vise le milieu de gamme :

  • Écran : 11 pouces, WQHD+ (2560 x 1600 px) avec un taux de rafraichissement à 120 Hz, compatible Dolby Vision
  • Processeur : Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 (8 cœurs)
  • RAM : 6 Go
  • Stockage interne : 128 Go
  • Audio stéréo avec 4 haut-parleurs, compatible Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio
  • Module photo avant : un capteur de 8 mpx - vidéo 1080p @ 30 fps
  • Module photo arrière : un capteur de 13 mpx - vidéo 4K @30 fps
  • Connectivité : Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Batterie de 8 720 mAh
  • Chargeur de 22,5 Watts
  • Poids : 511 grammes
  • Prix : 349 euros pour le modèle 128 Go et 399 euros pour 256 Go de stockage

Quand l'on regarde la fiche technique et que l'on voit le tarif, on se dit que cette tablette pourrait bien s'imposer comme une référence. Est-ce réellement le cas ?

II. Découverte de la tablette Mi Pad 5

La boîte est plutôt sobre et ne donne pas vraiment d'informations sur la tablette : il ne reste plus qu'à l'ouvrir pour en savoir plus. À l'intérieur, nous retrouvons la tablette Mi Pad 5 bien sûr, ainsi qu'un guide de démarrage (français), le chargeur officiel et son câble USB-C. Il est à noter que le stylet Smart Pen est vendu séparément.

Dans cet article, je vous présente la version blanche de la tablette Mi Pad 5, mais elle est disponible en noir également. Ma première impression est bonne : la tablette est légère en main, l'écran de 11 pouces fait son petit effet et le dos blanc avec de beaux reflets est très classe !

Le dos de la tablette est logoté "Xiaomi" et nous retrouvons le module photo, avec un seul capteur et le flash. Et oui, au premier coup d'œil, on pourrait croire que la tablette dispose de deux capteurs photo à l'arrière, mais ce n'est pas le cas ! Par contre, il faudra acheter une coque de protection pour la tablette, car le module photo arrière dépasse un peu trop à mon goût.

À l'avant, nous avons l'écran avec ses bords noirs que je trouve un peu épais. La caméra frontale est située au centre de la bordure supérieure de la tablette, qui d'ailleurs est pensée pour être tenue à la verticale.

Si l'on regarde les différents côtés de la tablette, on peut découvrir les quatre haut-parleurs : 2 sur le dessus, 2 sur le dessous et ils sont facilement visibles, car ils sont assez larges. Pour la partie microphone, il y en a deux : 1 sur le dessus et un sur le dessous.

Sur l'un des côtés, nous avons l'emplacement pour venir positionner le stylet Xiaomi Smart Pen afin de le recharger, mais je vous rappelle qu'il n'est pas fourni avec la tablette. De l'autre côté, nous avons un connecteur pour le clavier Xiaomi, qui est vendu séparément aussi.

Concernant les boutons, il y a un bouton on/off sur le dessus de la tablette, et sur le côté droit, au-dessus de l'emplacement pour le stylet, on retrouve un bouton pour gérer le volume. Les deux boutons sont assez proches l'un de l'autre, ce qui permet de prendre des copies d'écran à une seule main, par exemple.

Remarque : si vous décidez d'utiliser la tablette en mode desktop avec un clavier, le capteur frontal qui peut servir de caméra pour vos visioconférences basculera sur le côté.

Au final, certains diront qu'il manque trois choses : le port Jack, une LED de notification et la possibilité d'ajouter une carte microSD pour étendre le stockage.

On aurait pu ajouter un quatrième élément manquant : le lecteur d'empreintes, car il n'y en a pas, que ce soit à l'arrière, sur le côté, ou sous l'écran. Par contre, la reconnaissance faciale est disponible et elle est réactive, on peut dire que ça compense bien !

Malgré que ce ne soit pas un écran OLED, mais bien un écran LED, la qualité d'affichage est satisfaisante. Le rendu des couleurs est bon et la luminosité correcte, mais il ne faudrait pas moins.

III. L'autonomie, ça donne quoi ?

Sur le papier, Xiaomi annonce une autonomie de plus de 16 heures pour la lecture vidéo, plus de 10 heures pour les jeux et plus de 5 jours pour écouter de la musique. Qu'en est-il dans la pratique ?

  • Le streaming vidéo

Pour mesurer l'autonomie en streaming, j'ai mis la tablette avec la luminosité de l'écran au maximum (indispensable pour bien voir en pleine journée), le volume à 50% et j'ai regardé plusieurs films en streaming via Internet.

Résultat, la tablette est passée de 100% à 0% au bout de 5h45 de streaming non-stop ! On est loin des 16 heures annoncées par Xiaomi.

Reste à savoir comment Xiaomi a effectué ses mesures, mais il est certain que la lecture locale ou en streaming via Internet, ça ne consomme pas la batterie de la même façon.

Il est à noter que le streaming vidéo sur Netflix et Disney+ supporte la qualité HD, ce qui est à préciser.

  • Streaming audio

Pour la lecture audio, j'ai utilisé Spotify avec le volume de la tablette à 60%. Ce que je peux vous dire, c'est qu'au bout de 10 heures de streaming, la batterie est passée de 100% à 81%. Cela laisse penser qu'on peut utiliser la batterie pendant plusieurs jours pour écouter de la musique.

  • Temps de charge

La tablette Mi Pad 5 a besoin de 2 heures pour passer de 0% à 100% de batterie.

IV. Qualité des photos

J'ai pris quelques photos avec la tablette, principalement avec le capteur arrière, afin d'évaluer la partie photo de ce modèle. Voici trois photos, prises dans les mêmes conditions. La troisième photo a été prise avec le HDR actif, ce qui a permis de bien éclairer l'arbre sur la photo, sinon il était sombre et en contraste vis-à-vis du ciel.

L'application de la caméra ne contient pas énormément de paramètres, mais il est possible de gérer le format de la prise de vue, d'utiliser le retardateur, d'activer ou non le HDR, d'appliquer des filtres en direct, d'activer ou désactiver la fonction "caméra IA", et bien sûr de gérer la qualité des photos.

Lorsque l'on utile l'appareil photo, si l'on n'utilise pas le zoom, on obtient un cliché d'une qualité satisfaisante et avec un bon niveau de netteté. Par contre, dès que l'on commence à zoomer, il y a un bruit important qui s'installe sur les photos. Le résultat est le même lorsque la luminosité diminue. Le capteur de 13 mpx ne fait pas de miracles.

Le capteur frontal quant à lui suffira pour prendre quelques selfies et effectuer des appels vidéos.

V. Performances, système, etc... : la Mi Pad 5 au quotidien

Le Snapdragon 860 épaulé par 6 Go de RAM et le système MIUI 12.5 basé sur Android 11 permettent-ils à cette tablette de répondre à tous les besoins du quotidien ? Voici mon ressenti.

Après quelques minutes d'utilisation, on se rend compte d'une chose : la navigation au sein de l'interface est fluide. Cela signifie que le SoC répond bien, mais il faut dire qu'il est bien aidé par le taux de rafraichissement de l'écran en 120 Hz. Par défaut, nous retrouvons les applications Google ainsi que les applications Xiaomi comme : Navigateur Mi, Mi Vidéo, et ShareMe. L'application WPS Office est également préinstallée.

Pour les séances de streaming, l'écran sera forcément appréciable, mais il y autre chose que j'ai beaucoup aimé : c'est la qualité de l'audio. Avec les quatre haut-parleurs, nous avons le droit à une qualité audio qui est top ! Il y a une belle profondeur sonore et c'est d'autant plus agréable pour regarder un film.

Pour exploiter la taille de l'écran, on peut compter sur les possibilités offertes par MIUI 12.5 : les fenêtres flottantes et l'affichage fractionné. Petit bémol sur l'affichage fractionné : il supporte seulement le mode 50/50. J'ai eu quelques difficultés à prendre en main la gestion des fenêtres, mais ensuite c'est appréciable.

Le Snapdragon 860 est déjà présent au sein d'autres smartphones, mais pour voir ce que cette tablette a dans le ventre, je vais faire appelle à deux logiciels de Benchmark : 3D Mark et Geekbench 5.

Par ailleurs, si l'on compare le score AnTuTu de cette tablette avec d'autres modèles, on peut voir qu'elle obtient un meilleur score que les tablettes Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 et Huawei Matepad Pro (5G)

Pour ma part, je peux vous assurer qu'elle fonctionne parfaitement pour de la navigation sur Internet, l'utilisation des réseaux sociaux, le streaming (YouTube, Netflix, Disney+ etc.), mais aussi les jeux. En termes de performances, il n'y a pas d'inquiétudes à avoir, sauf peut être pour des usages très spécifiques... Mais sinon, vous pouvez être rassuré.

VI. Conclusion

La tablette Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 propose une belle expérience et elle est agréable à utiliser pour plusieurs raisons : elle tient bien en main malgré sa taille de 11 pouces, son écran est vraiment sympa avec un rendu de l'image qui est top, et surtout elle tourne super bien !

La qualité de fabrication est bonne et le design soigné, le seul bémol sur ce point c'est l'intégration du module photo arrière qui est exposé aux rayures. À voir ce que cela peut donner dans le temps. Si l'on apporte une importance particulière à la connectique, il faut tenir compte du fait qu'il n'y ait pas de slot microSD, pas de port Jack, et il n'y a pas non plus de lecteur d'empreinte, de puce GPS, ni de LED de notifications.

Test Xiaomi Mi Pad 5

VII. Où acheter la tablette Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 ?

Pour finir ce test, parlons du prix et de l'offre de précommande de la tablette Mi Pad 5 ! Actuellement, sur le site Goboo.com (revendeur officiel et partenaire Xiaomi), il y a une belle offre valable jusqu'au 23 septembre :

  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 (128 Go) à 299 euros 
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 (256 Go) à 349 euros

Avec cette offre de précommande, vous pouvez obtenir une réduction de 50 euros par rapport aux tarifs annoncés. C'est aussi l'occasion d'avoir le modèle 256 Go au prix de la version 128 Go.

La livraison s'annonce rapide puisque les entrepôts de Goboo sont en Espagne et l'appareil bénéficie d'une garantie de 2 ans.

Si cela vous branche, voici le lien pour accéder à l'offre : Acheter Xiaomi Mi Pad 5

Voilà pour mes premières impressions au sujet de la tablette Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 après quelques jours d'utilisation, si vous avez des questions, n'hésitez pas à poster un commentaire.

The post Test Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 : une tablette 11 pouces très séduisante ! first appeared on IT-Connect.

Test X570S AERO G de Gigabyte, une carte mère pour les créateurs

17 septembre 2021 à 09:11

Test et Review de la carte mère X570S AERO G de Gigabyte. Annoncée au prix conseillé de 359 €, elle vise les créateurs équipés d'une puce AMD.

The post Test X570S AERO G de Gigabyte, une carte mère pour les créateurs appeared first on GinjFo.

Test EZ-Adapter MB031U-1SMB d’Icy Dock

10 septembre 2021 à 17:50

Icy Dock promet avec son EZ-Adapter MB031U-1SMB une solution simple pour accéder à une unité de stockage SATA au format 2,5 pouces ou M.2.

The post Test EZ-Adapter MB031U-1SMB d’Icy Dock appeared first on GinjFo.

Test HS80 RGB Wireless de Corsair

9 septembre 2021 à 10:19

Corsair a récemment enrichi sa gamme de casques gaming sans-fil avec le lancement du HS80 RGB Wireless. Positionné sur le haut de gamme, il justifie son tarif de 149 € au travers de plusieurs originalités. Remplaçant du HS70 de 2020, ce HS80 Wireless prend en charge le Dolby Atmos. Sa mécanique est compatible avec un ...

The post Test HS80 RGB Wireless de Corsair appeared first on GinjFo.

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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Test NH-P1, le premier dissipateur thermique fanless de Noctua

3 septembre 2021 à 11:41

Noctua tente l’aventure du refroidissement fanless avec le NH-P1. Disponible depuis la mi-juin, ce très imposant dissipateur thermique passif est une première pour le constructeur. Il vise les configurations orientées silence avec un argument de poids. De base, il fonctionne sans aucun ventilateur ce que le rend inaudible à l’usage. Son unique demande est d’être ...

The post Test NH-P1, le premier dissipateur thermique fanless de Noctua appeared first on GinjFo.

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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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 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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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.  

Securden's new Unified Privileged Access Management

30 août 2021 à 16:05

Privileged Access Management is increasingly important with the rise of account compromise and the resulting data breaches. Securden’s new Unified PAM solution offers an all-in-one solution for PAM in the enterprise.

The post Securden's new Unified Privileged Access Management first appeared on 4sysops.

Test X570S PG Riptide d’ASRock

27 août 2021 à 14:33

ASRock propose avec sa X570S PG Riptide une carte mère haut de gamme pour accueillir un processeur Ryzen 5000 series. La belle s’arme de solides arguments sur le papier. Si le chipset X570 existe depuis quelques années, ce nouveau modèle X570S propose une mise à jour intéressante. L’idée est d’adopter un refroidissement 100% fanless afin ...

The post Test X570S PG Riptide d’ASRock appeared first on GinjFo.

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

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

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

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Test IMILAB V1 : le premier aspirateur robot de cette filiale de Xiaomi

24 août 2021 à 16:56

I. Présentation

Le fabricant IMILAB se lance sur un nouveau marché, celui des aspirateurs robots avec l'IMILAB V1. Avec ce premier modèle accompagné d'une station de vidage automatique, IMILAB veut frapper fort. J'ai pu avoir un exemplaire de ce nouveau modèle, ce qui me donne l'occasion de vous donner mon avis à son sujet !

Pour rappel, IMILAB est une filiale de Xiaomi, spécialisée dans les objets connectés et particulièrement les caméras. La marque propose différents modèles et a vendu plus de 40 millions de caméras dans le monde. Désormais, IMILAB s'attaque au marché des aspirateurs robots, en reprenant certains éléments de chez Xiaomi et en visant directement le haut de gamme.

Ne changeons pas les bonnes habitudes, commençons par les caractéristiques d'IMILAB v1 :

- Type de navigation : navigation laser (LDS)
- Modes de nettoyage : automatique, nettoyage de zone
- Capacité du bac à poussière : 300 ml
- Capacité du réservoir à eau : 250 ml
- Batterie Li-ion 5 200 mAH
- Autonomie jusqu'à 240 minutes, soit 4 heures
- Temps de charge : 3 heures
- Puissance d'aspiration : 2 700 Pa
- Bruit : 65 dB (en mode silencieux)
- Pilotable avec l'application Mi Home de Xiaomi
- Cartographie précise et personnalisable
- Incompatible avec les assistants vocaux (pour le moment)
- Fonctions pour aspirer et laver le sol

➡Fiche du produit

IMILAB V1, le premier aspirateur robot de la marque !
IMILAB V1, le premier aspirateur robot de la marque !

II. Package et design

La boîte est assez imposante, mais c'est normal puisqu'il faut de la place pour stocker la station de vidage automatique. À l'intérieur de la boîte, tous les éléments sont correctement emballés et protégés, je n'ai rien à redire à ce sujet.

Cet appareil ressemble aux aspirateurs robots de chez Xiaomi, ce qui n'est pas une surprise, mais c'est à souligner. Le design est relativement épuré et basique, le robot est entièrement blanc et intègre seulement deux boutons, positionné sur le dessus (il y a un petit bouton reset sur le côté de l'appareil). Le bouton avec la maison sert à renvoyer le robot à la base lorsqu'il est en cours de nettoyage, et il indique également l'état de l'appareil lors de la charge.

C'est sur le dessus que nous retrouvons également le capteur laser, mis en évidence par rapport au reste de l'appareil, avec le marquage IMILAB.

Test IMILAB V1

La qualité de fabrication du robot est bonne, le seul bémol et personnellement cela me saute aux yeux, c'est le bouton avec les deux boutons qui n'est pas bien aligné par rapport à l'axe du robot (cela se voit sur la photo du dessus). C'est un détail vous allez me dire, et on l'oubliera rapidement si le robot fait bien son travail ! 😉

L'IMILAB V1 intègre de nombreux capteurs (4 capteurs anti-chutes, pare-chocs, etc.) et une roue 360° qui lui permet de s'orienter. Grâce à ses deux roues montées sur un système d'amortis, le robot est capable de franchir des obstacles de 2 cm : utile pour les tapis et les pas de porte.

IMILAB a mis le paquet sur les accessoires de rechange puisque nous avons une brosse latérale, 4 sacs de rechange pour la station de vidage automatique (en plus de celui déjà installé), 10 lingettes nettoyantes jetables pour le lavage du sol (en plus de celle qui est lavable et déjà installée), et 1 filtre HEPA.

Le bac à poussière et le bac à eau sont regroupés au sein d'un même module qu'il est possible d'extraire de l'aspirateur robot grâce à un bouton en façade. La poussière sera vidée automatiquement au sein de la station prévue à cet effet, tandis que le réservoir d'eau sera à remplir avant utilisation, tout comme la lingette de nettoyage. Le bloc pour la lingette peut être retiré si vous ne souhaitez pas utiliser cette fonction.

Il est à noter que les connecteurs pour recharger l'appareil se situent directement sur le bac 2-en-1. Ce choix peut surprendre puisque c'est tout proche du réservoir d'eau.

L'appareil s'installe facilement, mais il y a un sens puisque les connecteurs du robot doivent venir toucher ceux de la station d'auto-vidage (que je vais vous présenter un peu plus loin dans cet article). L'ensemble est harmonieux et assez discret. Le blanc, ça fonctionne bien !

Pour accéder au bac à poussière (et au réservoir d'eau), il faut retirer le robot de la station de charge, car l'accès se fait du côté de la station. Esthétiquement, c'est sur que c'est mieux, car on ne voit pas le bac à poussière, mais par contre c'est un peu moins pratique à l'usage. En effet, pour mettre de l'eau dans le réservoir avant de démarrer le nettoyage, cela oblige à prendre le robot, mettre de l'eau et à le remettre en place.

III. Installation, efficacité, autonomie, station de vidage

A. Installation

Passons à la phase de mise en route de l'IMILAB v1. C'est assez simple, il suffit de l'installer avec sa station, puis de le démarrer en appuyant quelques secondes sur le bouton on/off situé sur le dessus. Ce modèle ne dispose pas d'un interrupteur comme certains modèles concurrents.

La suite se passe en grande partie dans l'application Mi Home : au préalable, il faudra appuyer quelques secondes sur les deux boutons de l'aspirateur, en même temps. Cela va permettre au robot de basculer en mode association et il est détecté assez rapidement par l'application Mi Home. Pratique.

Lorsque l'assistant souhaite effectuer la connexion au Wi-Fi, l'écran n'est pas très clair ! J'ai perdu du temps bêtement sur cet écran, car je m'attendais à avoir la liste des réseaux Wi-Fi visibles, ou que l'assistant reprenne le Wi-Fi auquel j'étais connecté, ce qui n'est pas le cas. Au-delà de cette péripétie, l'installation s'effectue facilement.

Dans la prochaine grande partie de cet article, je vais revenir plus en détail sur l'application Mi Home.

B. Efficacité du nettoyage

L'aspirateur robot IMILAB V1 nettoie-t-il correctement ? Bonne question ! Voici quelques éléments de réponse. Si l'on s'intéresse à l'aspect technique, on peut voir que le robot prend en charge 4 niveaux de puissance pour l'aspiration : silencieux (700 Pa), standard (1200 Pa), moyen (1800 Pa) et enfin, puissant (2700 Pa). Pour le débit d'eau, il y a trois niveaux : petit, milieu et max.

Mon avis sur la qualité du nettoyage : le nettoyage en lui-même est correctement réalisé et la brosse ramasse bien les poussières, miettes, etc... C'est un bon point. Quant à la navigation, il y a du bon et du moins bon. Le robot navigue intelligemment et procède par zone, en faisait des aller-retour pour progresser. Néanmoins, il lui arrive d'être un peu perdu et de partir un peu dans tous les sens avant de se remettre à progresser correctement.

Note : je vous invite à regarder les copies d'écran associées à la partie cartographie pour bien comprendre et voir d'autres exemples.

IMILAB V1, exemple de navigation sur une seule zone

Personnellement, je trouve que le robot est un peu trop bruyant par rapport à ce qui est annoncé. Clairement, la valeur de 65 dB correspond au mode silencieux. En mode moyen, si l'on veut un nettoyage efficace, c'est environ 75 dB.

C. Autonomie

Le constructeur annonce une autonomie monstrueuse de 240 minutes, soit 4 heures. Dans la pratique, en fonction des modes utilisés, on est plutôt à 3h / 3h30 d'autonomie, ce qui est déjà bien. Pour espérer atteindre 4 heures, il faudra commencer par mettre le niveau d'aspiration au minimum, mais ce n'est pas pertinent pour effectuer un bon nettoyage.

D. Station de vidage automatique

La station d'auto-vidage permet de collecter la poussière, mais elle sert aussi de base de recharge au robot, disons que c'est sa maison. 🙂

Elle est entièrement blanche à l'exception de deux zones : un écran sur le haut de la façade (non tactile) et la partie basse de la façade où vient de positionner l'aspirateur lorsqu'il est au repos.

La station d'auto-vidage est relativement compacte par rapport à d'autres fabricants (elle est un peu plus large, mais moins haute), et elle prend l'apparence d'une petite poubelle. Pour être plus précis, sachez qu'elle pèse 4 kg et voici ses dimensions : 35,6 x 25 x 19,3 cm.

Pour être plus précis au sujet de la station, sachez que le sac à poussière qu'elle intègre est d'une capacité de 3 litres. De quoi tenir un bon moment. Le constructeur annonce 30 jours de son côté, mais tout dépend des conditions d'utilisation, notamment si vous avez un chien ou un chat (ou même plusieurs, ahah), cela peut changer la donne.

Parlons de l'écran intégré à la station, car je suis sûr qu'il vous intrigue ! Il intègre trois voyants différents, dont voici la signification de haut en bas :

  • L'état du sac intégré à la station
  • L'état général de la station (vidange)
  • La charge du robot (deux niveaux)

C'est un petit plus qui permet à cette station de se démarquer de la concurrence. Néanmoins, c'est dommage que le niveau de charge du robot ne soit pas plus précis : deux tranches de 50%, ce n'est pas très précis.

IV. L'application Mi Home

Pour piloter l'IMILAB V1, le centre de contrôle à un nom : Mi Home. Suite à l'initialisation effectuée précédemment, on peut piloter le robot à distance via son smartphone. La bonne nouvelle c'est que l'interface de l'application est en français, même si la traduction est très loin d'être parfaite !

Ci-dessous, les fonctions clés accessibles pour ce robot :

  • Programmer le nettoyage

Vous pouvez gérer un planning pour le nettoyage de votre domicile et pour chaque tâche planifiée, il y a plusieurs paramètres accessibles : quand doit-être effectué le nettoyage (du lundi au vendredi, le week-end, tous les jours, etc.), à quelle heure, quel mode de nettoyage et à quel endroit (toute la carte ou seulement une zone).

  • Mode télécommande

Cette télécommande virtuelle sur le smartphone sert à piloter soi-même le robot, ce qui peut s'avérer utile pour nettoyer rapidement une petite zone sans démarrer un cycle de nettoyage.

  • Gestion de la collecte de la poussière

La poussière ne sera pas forcément collectée à la fin de chaque nettoyage, vous avez le choix dans l'application en déterminant la taille de votre domicile, selon plusieurs choix prédéfinis. La station peut collecter la poussière une fois sur deux, par exemple.

  • Maintenance

Un aspirateur robot ça s'entretient ! Rendez-vous dans la partie maintenance de l'application pour en savoir plus, et savoir quand nettoyer les capteurs et la brosse centrale, mais aussi quand changer le filtre ou la brosse latérale.

Le filtre HEPA doit être remplacé au bout de 100 heures d'utilisation, tandis que ce sera 200 heures pour la brosse latérale. Quant aux capteurs, un petit nettoyage est à prévoir toutes les 30 heures pour conserver l'efficacité du robot.

  • Historique des nettoyages

À chaque fois que le robot effectue un nettoyage, une entrée est ajoutée à l'historique. Cela est bien détaillé puisque chaque session intègre plusieurs informations : la carte avec le parcours du robot, le nombre de m² nettoyé, mais aussi la durée.

  • Autres fonctionnalités

L'application sert également à gérer les mises à jour du robot, le volume des alertes vocales, le fuseau horaire, l'automatisation pour l'intégrer dans des scénarios avec d'autres appareils, la plage horaire sur laquelle le robot ne doit pas être actif, etc.

Maintenant, je vais m'intéresser à la partie cartographie. Lors du premier nettoyage, l'aspirateur robot va générer une carte de votre domicile : une fonction clé et super pratique au quotidien ! Je vous explique pourquoi...

Le fait de disposer d'une carte va permettre de créer des zones (le robot crée lui-même des zones) où l'on peut considérer qu'une zone correspond à une pièce. Ainsi, vous pouvez demander au robot de nettoyer seulement la salle et la cuisine, par exemple.

Il faut savoir que la carte est modifiable, voici les actions possibles :

  • Créer une nouvelle zone ou modifier une zone existante
  • Renommer chaque zone, avec le nom de la pièce c'est une bonne idée
  • Créer des murs virtuels pour empêcher le robot d'accéder à une zone
  • Créer des zones virtuelles que le robot ne doit pas nettoyer (ni laver ni aspirer)
  • Créer des zones virtuelles que le robot ne doit pas laver, mais qu'il doit aspirer

De quoi exploiter toute la puissance du robot ! La cartographie, c'est vraiment top !

Au moment de démarrer un nouveau nettoyage, vous avez le choix entre plusieurs modes :

  • Nettoyage complet de la carte : tout 🙂
  • Nettoyage de zone : créer une ou plusieurs zones à nettoyer, dans le cadre de cette session de nettoyage
  • Nettoyage de partition : sélectionner une ou plusieurs pièces à nettoyer
  • Nettoyage des points : nettoyer une zone ciblée, à positionner sur la carte, mais non modifiable, il n'y a pas trop d'intérêt en fait...

Le nettoyage complet et le nettoyage de partition (c'est-à-dire de pièces) sont les deux modes les plus pertinents à mon avis. Les deux autres, on aurait pu s'en passer.

Pour finir sur la cartographie, je vous invite à regarder les copies d'écran ci-dessous afin d'illustrer mes propos. Ce sera aussi l'occasion de voir que la mise en forme de l'application n'est pas parfaite, en tout cas sur mon smartphone (texte tronqué au sein du menu du bas).

Pour démarrer un nettoyage, ne cherchez pas le bouton "démarrer" ou "marche" dans l'application, car il n'y en a pas. Enfin, si, il y en a un, mais son nom est étonnant : "Juste". En appuyant sur le bouton "Juste" dans l'application, le nettoyage démarre.

L'application est satisfaisante, car elle intègre les fonctions essentielles que l'on va utiliser au quotidien. Néanmoins, il faudrait améliorer l'ergonomie et la traduction, car cela pourrait rebuter certains utilisateurs.

V. Conclusion

Le premier aspirateur robot d'IMILAB est prometteur, car même s'il est loin d'être parfait, le modèle V1 a malgré tout plusieurs atouts. Déjà, son prix de vente autour de 400 euros est attractif, car le robot est fourni avec une station d'auto-vidage : à ce prix, c'est rare.

La mission principale de cet appareil est de nettoyer votre domicile. On peut dire qu'il le fait correctement grâce à un bon système d'aspiration, bien complété par le lavage à l'eau. Ce que l'on peut lui reprocher, c'est d'être un peu trop bruyant et parfois imprécis dans la navigation.

Par ailleurs, IMILAB doit travailler son application pour améliorer la traduction, mais aussi l'interface (ergonomie, options inutiles). La bonne nouvelle, c'est qu'une mise à jour peut suffire à rectifier le tir sur ce point. J'espère que cette critique sera entendue.

Pour les adeptes du contrôle vocal avec Google ou Alexa, il faudra repasser, car ce robot est incompatible pour le moment. Là encore, on peut s'attendre à une évolution par la suite.

À l'occasion de sa sortie officielle, IMILAB propose une offre de lancement sur AliExpress (entrepôt France). Voici deux codes à essayer (non cumulable) :

  • EOSSFR35 : réduction de 35 euros
  • FRAUG030 : réduction de 30 euros
The post Test IMILAB V1 : le premier aspirateur robot de cette filiale de Xiaomi first appeared on IT-Connect.

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.

Grow Without Fear

Add as many office or remote users as you like without paying any additional fees.

Over-the-Air Updates

With OTA updates, Amber is an investment that gets smarter and more powerful over time.

Here is how each app fits into this and how I found them in the testing of the Amber Pro for this review.

Amber iX for Mobile

Almost certainly the first and most recommended app that you will install to take advantage of the Amber Pro on Day 1, Amber IX provides light system management, competent file management, synchronisation tools and generally is probably the app that most users who buy an Amber pro is going to install on their mobile device. It also provides probably the best experience of the photo AI recognition tools. Artificial Intelligence and photo recognition is not new but is still something that private server owners are only recently able to integrate into their systems in a comparable way to the likes of google photos. At the time of writing, Latticeworks highlighted that AI-powered recognition on this systems is still in development and will improve down the line, however, it did seemingly run very well with good facial recognition and although the ‘thing’ recognition was less fruitful at this stage in development, it looks promising. Aside from these elements though, along with creating an easy 3 step instant phone camera to private cloud server backup routine, the app did seem a little sparse. It still lacked a few features, such as accessing the private cloud server and online cloud services together or controlling files in anything more than a breadcrumb copy/paste way.

Amber Life Mobile

Amber life feels like it should be the premium application but in testing, although the file folder management side was very responsive and reactive to requests, accessing AI recognition folders was a little less responsive than found in the previous app. Amber life is much more media-centric and shares many of the file the backup and sharing tools of Amber IX. Neither of these tools provided quite the same level of control and customisation that the desktop client or backend browser access points allowed but these are still fairly competent (if a little overly understated in features) application to use with the system.

Amber Manager for Mobile

Amber Manager is more of a system management tool to utilise on your mobile phone and action upgrades, periodically check the system health and storage or monitor status alerts from the system. It is by no means a complex app, that still provides a little bit more analytical and backend information to the system when it’s in operation. That’s said, Amber’s backend services and more bespoke customisation options for the private server and router are exceptionally limited on all three of these mobile applications and it is only when you move on to accessing the device via the browser-based GUI that you have access to more configuration options.

This is by no means a coincidence and clearly designed so that the complexity of the system is really only available to those that have the know-how, but it’s a shame that the Amber management tool for mobile has not provided a number of key customisation and control options for the system on the fly.

Amber iX Client

For this review, we tested the Amber IX client for windows 10 and although it provides a similar user experience to that of the mobile Amber IX client, there were several key additions to its user interface that are worth highlighting. Firstly, photo management for tagging, merging and reorganization of AI-assisted folders is significantly easier to implement on the desktop client application than was possible on the mobile. Additionally, accessing and viewing synchronised folders between desktop clients and the Amber, as well as accessing the included cloud space that the system arrives with, was a great deal more intuitive using the desktop client application.

The synchronisation between your computer folders and the NAS is conducted in the background with the app and the server itself taking care of network or internet connectivity choice to ensure that synchronised directories do so with little or no interference from the end-user – always a bonus.  The thumbnail generation was slower than I would have liked, but everything else was competent and did its job as I would expect. Near we can switch on to accessing the system via the web browser.

Amber Cloud

The inclusive 2 Gigabytes of clouds storage that the Amber system arrives with can be accessed directly via the web-based GUI and allows you to have a better understanding of how that storage space is being utilised, as well as allow cross-platform access for different users and file types. It is more of a monitoring tool and the level of actual file access is arguably more primitive than the other apps, but it still handy that this isn’t just blob space acting as a backup with the 0 interaction options.

Amber System GUI and Amber Router

And now we reach the more technical access point of your Amber system, utilising the latticenode browser-based GUI. From here you can micro-manage practically every part of the systems storage, network capabilities, user access control, RAID management, drive health checks, snapshots, local/NAS/cloud/USB synchronisation and third party current shares, link other Rsync services and install/manage those container applications. There is also a separate parallel portal that allows you to manage the network configuration and security protocols of the router from this point as well.

Having both the private cloud storage and router services running parallel ensures that they can be managed and updated independently, as well as allows the configuration for one without impacted the other as much as possible. Although I know that the Amber Pro is designed around the idea of 0 technological knowledge not being a limitation of owning your own private cloud server, it has to be said that this means of accessing both the system storage and configuring the system, in general, is by far my favourite part. Up until this point, I was starting to get concerned that this system lacked the customisation and personalized configuration options that set private cloud ownership from those of public cloud services. As much as I like this access point and controlling available, it still annoys me that this is currently not accessible to a similar extent by any of the mobile apps.

Amber Docker Container Support

Finally, there is the advertised access to container installation on the Amber Pro. Arriving with several 1-click installation docker applications available that allow you to integrate media, cloud business platforms and surveillance container applications, there are a number of ways that you can graduate out of the rigid first-party services that the Amber Pro features and into the more customisable world of Docker applications. This is a rare example of this system being marketed towards the little bit more tech-savvy and although it does require an additional Amber Pro activation option in the advanced settings, it does allow the system to graduate out of a home or prosumer bracket and more into an area of SMB utilisation.

Many software-as-a-service (SaaS) users will likely not move away from the existing services when purchasing the Amber Pro and Latticework clearly understand this by allowing the server and router storage cloud hardware to act as a localised synchronisation machine with the services. There are still very few directly available one-click containers on offer in the app centre, but you can create custom docker containers very easy and with integration from repositories like github, you are able to install more services via this docker option.

Much like previously mentioned  Amber/latticework supported services, you do get the feeling that docker integration on the Amber Pro is still a little bit in development, will improve over time, is a welcome addition to a system, but runs the potential of being a tad too simplistic for NAS uses to make the switch.

Amber Pro Personal Cloud Review – Conclusion

In order to decide on whether the Amber Pro is worth your money and your data in 2021 we have to ask the following:

Is it a viable alternative to 3rd Party Clouds?

Frankly, yes! If you are someone whose full experience of remote and network server storage extends to utilising Google Drive, Dropbox and Onedrive, then the Amber Pro gives you everything that they do in terms of simplicity and user-friendly experience services without the monthly subscription fee or storage limitations which the cloud systems often include. The storage levels that both launch versions of the Amber Pro feature are perhaps a little too modest for its $499-599 price tag, but in sheer terms of easy access, available clients and home/prosumer service, I think it hits the mark that it’s going for.

Is it a viable alternative to NAS drives?

Choosing the Amber Pro as a viable upgrade from an existing NAS server or as a viable alternative to a NAS drive from the likes of Synology or QNAP is a different story. If the idea of purchasing a NAS drive is an intimidating but necessary step for you away from third-party Cloud, then the chewable and easy presentation of the Amber Pro will likely appeal substantially. However one cannot overlook that what may start out as simplicity and carefree use can easily turn into limitations and an early glass ceiling as the demands of the end-user grow in storage capacity, service and customisation. If you have even a pinch of IT knowledge, the Amber Pro may well come across as something of a diluted alternative to a NAS and potentially something you may want to give a miss until the Latticework and Amber software services are more evolved.

Is it an effective Personal Cloud and Router solution? 

As a combined solution, the Amber Pro is one of very few devices that acts as both a competent prosumer router and a private cloud storage system. Although it can be said that in both of these areas, the system is a little safe with its gigabit ethernet, lack of WiFi 6 and low capacity 2x 2.5″ storage, it still remains one of the very few devices in the market that presents these two to hardware clients as a combined solution. Though perhaps with alternatives like the QNAP Qhora-301W and QMiroPLUS-201W combined router and storage systems now available at a lower price than this system, WiFi 6, 2.5Gbe and/or 10Gbe, the Amber Pro is not quite as ‘stand out’ in its particular field as it might have been when a originally conceived. Ultimately what we have here is a competent and polished solution that will appeal to the complete network noob who has not followed the network storage industry over the years, but will be less impressive to anyone who has had even the smallest understanding of IT or followed network-attached storage over the last few years. Certainly a viable alternative to the cloud but not something I would personally recommend over a similarly priced NAS drive in 2021/2022

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DriveStor 2 Pro NAS Review – Best Budget Buy

18 août 2021 à 01:15

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Cost-Effective Cloud?

The affordable tier of home NAS solutions is one that has grown quite saturated in recent years. With the majority of NAS (Network Attached Storage) brands producing a wide range of low, medium and high-end solutions, the result has been that the value of hardware at the bottom of the list has become wildly inconsistent! At this home/entry-level point, brands could be accused of cutting a few corners in their solutions, leave out the features they deem ‘prosumer’ or ‘premium’ and ultimately leave the budget boxes to be a tad restrictive. It’s a fine line and hard to balance – however Asustor’s latest value series release, the Drivestor 2 Pro, is seemingly offering a few things that other brands have neglected to include at a similar price point. This new Realtek ARM 64bit NAS that arrives with 2.5GbE, expandability, 2GB memory and new software updates in ADM 4.0 seems to talk a big game, but is that going to be enough? Can this stand up against the QNAP TS-230 and Synology DS220J? Ultimately, does the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro deserve your data? Let’s take a look.

Other Asustor Reviews You Might Be Interested In:

Asustor AS6604T LockerStor 4 NAS Review – https://nascompares.com/2020/08/17/asustor-as6604t-lockerstor-4-nas-hardware-review

Asustor AS6510T Lockerstor 10 NAS Reviewhttps://nascompares.com/2020/01/23/asustor-as6510t-lockerstor-10-nas-review

Asustor AS5304T Nimbustor 4 NAS Review – https://NAScompares.com/2019/06/27/asustor-nimbustor-NAS-hardware-review

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Quick Conclusion

The Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the Drivestor 2 Pro device. The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T also provide a decent level of utilities and provides a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution.

PROs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro CONs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

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Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Retail Packaging

When I first unpacked the shipping container to get to the Drivestor 2, I was pleasantly surprised by the retail packaging. I shouldn’t be – Asustor has always been very graphical in their packaging, going to good lengths to detail what the units can do, the hardware specs, the software specs and generally creating a very appealing and engaging retail design. I often comment warmly on the attention many companies make on retail packaging, despite the fact that these devices are almost always purchased from online stores (so by the time you see the packaging, you have already purchased it), it would be a dull, dull world indeed if everything arrived in default brown box packaging (do you hear me Synology?).

No, my surprise was the size of the retail box. Considering this contains a 2-Bay NAS drive, it is rather small. Given this device promises a whole lot of hardware abilities, along with 2 bays of HDD storage, it seemed remarkably condensed. As minor a point as this is, I thought it would be remiss not to highlight this, as, alongside speed and capacity, factors such as noise, chassis and heat are pretty important concerns. If we open up the box, we find the following contents:

  • 1x Asustor Drivestor 2 AS3302T NAS Drive
  • 1x 65W External Power Supplier, 100V to 240VAC
  • 1x Mains Power Cable
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN Cable(Cat 5e)
  • Packed of Flat Head Screw (for 2.5″ HDD)
  • Quick Start Guide and Instruction Manual

These accessories seem all standard (perhaps I would expect Cat 6e, but at 2.5Gbe, this makes no difference), but with a very efficient PSU (especially for a 2 bay NAS) I still very much a fan of external Power suppliers, as in the event fails (and this applies to all brands, not just in NAS) the power supplier is still the most failure-prone part of any hardware (it is technically ALWAYS working) and in the 2-3 times in my working history that a PSU failed, in the case of an internal power supplier, it has been difficult and time-consuming to repair. External power bricks are jsut easier for desktop devices, plus this 65W PSU means that the Drivestor 2 will be making a very, very tiny make on your environment. Lovely stuff.

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T NAS Review – Design

Next, we need to move onto the Drivestor 2 Pro Chassis design. I have a bit of a disclaimer to add here that I should mention, I have always been a fan of this chassis since its first reveal back in 2018/2019 in the Nimbustor 2 and AS40 Series. In recent years, as NAS drives have moved ever more into home and small office environments, the old and ugly design of servers has changed into something much sleeker and appealing. The DriveStor AS3302T NAS is one of the best looking 2-Bay NAS devices I have ever seen in my opinion, so you will have to factor this personal view into the hardware review. Other releases in the meantime in the Lockerstor series have erred towards the more industrial and classic metal design.

As is a growing trend, the front panel of the Asustor DriveStor is not hinged or fixed, but can be removed easily. This means that when the device is doing its day-to-day tasks and not being physical used, it is a contained and covered unit, that looks very neat in most office environments. This removable front panel is even slightly raised and ventilated on all sides, to ensure the rear fan’s active airflow is not interrupted.

Like the modern edged design of the front panel, the sides of the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T NAS Drive have that angular edge to their surface. The chassis is only available in black and is plastic outside, surrounding a metal internal frame. Additionally, looking at the screw layout, this is a fixed frame that is not intended to be opened for upgrades/maintenance. You cannot even remove this chassis/panel to access the memory upgrade slots as this system does not allow expanding beyond the default 2GB memory sadly.

The base of the device features rubberized feet and a large ventilation slot that covers the base of the device to further assist passive airflow through the Hard Drive/SSD installed inside the Drivestor 2 NAS. Aside from this, there is little else on the base of the Asustor AS3302T NAS of note.

Removing the front panel completely and taking a closer look at the front of the Drivestor 2 reveals the media bays, LED indicators and a USB Copy Button. Although these are fairly standard across all NAS drives in 2021/2022, it is worth highlighting that many popular NAS brands have removed/simplified some/all of these in a way that has not pleased many users. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude is still very much a staple of many techies.

The front displayed LED lights and power button pretty much cover every active/passive factor you will need in the running of this NAS. The LEDs indicate the following:

  • Power/Standby
  • Network Access/Activity (one for each port)

  • System Activity (Read/Write Actions in progress)
  • Drive Activity (one for each drive, regardless of RAID)

I know LEDs are fairly standard, but the number of brands that are simplifying this for no real reason is growing and those who care about this kind of thing will notice!

Another often simple, yet overlooked hardware feature is the USB copy button. I know this seems a bit ‘meh’, but the number of users who use a NAS drive store all their files from phones, PCs, iPads, etc, then delete them from those devices to make room, thinking they have a backup (WRONG!) is pretty high. Storing all your files on a NAS is only good if you have those files somewhere else too, else what you have is the ONLY version of that file – THAT is not a backup. The easiest and most straightforward means to backup all/some files on a NAS in a portable offsite way is by connecting a USB 3.0 device and using the Asustor backup tools to make a backup. A one-touch USB copy button means that you do not even need to interact with the NAS software after the first time and after it is set up to back up the files you care the most about, you can jsut connect the USB device each time (daily, weekly, etc) and then just press the button to action a backup. Again, a simple idea that is not exactly new, but I am pleased they have kept this feature when other brands are making it button-less and fully reliant on the software. What’s wrong with having both?!

Of course, the main focus when removing the front panel is the HDD/SSD media bays of the DriveStor4 Pro AS3302T NAS. These two Bays support the very latest SATA based Hard Drives and Solid State Drives (18TB Seagate Ironwolfs/WD Red and 4TB commercially available grade respectively). The Asustor AS3302T can function with a single drive if you wish, as well as gradually/fully populated and features its own RAID handling of RAID 0 and RAID 1. Additionally, you can install a combination of Hard Drives and SSDs in individual bays, which can then be used to create separate RAID-enabled storage pools for fast/regular accessing data volumes. Alternatively, it is becoming common for small office and shop owners to use a 2-Bay with HDD and SSD installed for a large volume of storage space, supported with a portion of SSD caching. This results in an increased performance internally (and indeed externally thanks to that 2.5Gbe) when working from traditionally slower mechanical hard drives.

The trays themselves are plastic in design and (in the case of installing Hard Drives) do not require a screwdriver, featuring click and lock brackets. I tried installing larger 14TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS Drives, to see if there were any issues with their exceptionally large/enterprise frame in these bays (not uncommon) and they went in smoothly! All in all, this compact little two-bay gives you a decent scope of storage potential so far and the Drivestor 2 manages to do this with minimal space being used. Now, let’s delve a little deeper into the hardware.

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Ports and Connections

Somewhat in line with the modest and cost-effective design featured on the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro, connections on the rear of the device are similarly few. Though I will highlight that it still manages to arrive with hardware a pinch better than a number of similarly affordable price points.

The rear of the device is largely dominated by that single active cooling fan that can have its RPM adjusted automatically or manually as the system internals require. Unless you utilise particularly enterprise or large capacity media, this NAS is not going to be particularly noisy. Additionally, the fact it has an external PSU further allows the system to do a better job of maintaining improved internal temperatures and keeping that fan at the best possible level of use.

The system also supports the connection of 2 additional USB devices, although the DriveStor lacks the KVM support (as found in the likes of the Lockerstor and Nimbustor series). Alongside the attachment of USB external storage, Wi-Fi dongles, improved network interface adaptors and network-attached office hardware like printers, scanners and UPS’, the Drivestor 2 Pro also supports the 4-bay Asustor expansion chassis that allows you to expand this system by an additional 12 bays of storage across 3 connected expansions. These ports are all USB 3.2 Gen1 however and limited to 5Gb performance, though this may well be limited by the processor rather than the brand opting towards lesser connections.

Another interesting if slightly brand predictable inclusion on the Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T is that it arrives with 2.5Gbe connectivity at a price point where other brands like Synology and QNAP have opted for standard gigabit ethernet. Given that both of the 4 bay and 2-days Drivestor systems have the potential to push out 350-700MB per second internally, it is a welcome addition that externally you have a potential 270MB/s per second throughput possible with supported network hardware. Even this rather modest CPU, compared with that of the Intel and AMD in other systems, will still be able to fully saturate this external connection and it is a rare treat for the budget end of the NAS buyers market to enjoy 2.5Gbe.

For those that are concerned that the benefits of this larger bandwidth ethernet connection will be lost on them, Asustor also provides an optional USB to 2.5 GB adaptor that supports numerous operating systems and even connection to the NAS itself for further network connections (i.e add another connection in the network manager). It’s an additional purchase but at just £25+, it will hardly break the bank.

And that is really it for external connectivity on this box. The lack of a GPU embedded CPU means that HDMI support is totally absent and (sorry to repeat myself – but!) with it a lot of the KVM applications that many buyers still opt for Asustor solutions for absent here. Still, you are still getting a better than average selection of ports and connections is this modestly priced solution. Let’s discuss that internal hardware and the benefits of brings to the system software and services as a whole

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware featured on the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro is a surprisingly good value, but rather restricted level of components. There is practically no means of upgrading the internal systems and it should be highlighted that this NAS will likely consume around 25% of the available resources in just general operation. The advent of newly developed 64-bit CRM processors is something we have seen hugely benefit the private server market in recent years but it has to be said that it arrives with plenty of limitations early doors.

The Realtek RTD1296 inside the Drivestor 2 Pro NAS provides quite a good deal of the standard and first-party software+services available on the platform. Multimedia streaming, multi-tiered backups, background storage sync, security services, container installation and surveillance among many. Additionally, the system features enough hardware in that CPU architecture to make lovely transcode 4H H.265 media (HEVC) which at this price and power level is pretty impressive. Still, this is a processor that does not feature embedded graphics and because of that, some services are not supported by this CPU, such as virtual machine deployment, hardware transcoding in Plex media server, AI-assisted services and generally results in significantly more power usage to do anything with even a hint of graphical object handling. Nevertheless, with a 1.4 GHz frequency per core, the efficiency it brings allows it to do a great deal more than a 32-bit counterpart with fewer resources consumed. Additionally, it is quad-core so you do have a fairly robust processor getting the job done.

The system also includes 2GB of memory that, alongside this CPU, is actually quite good value and is enough to get a handful of decent applications running simultaneously very well. Also, this memory is DDR4 in architecture, at 2400Mhz, a noticeable upgrade over the 1GB and 512MB DDR3 at 1600Mhz in its predecessors. As good as this all sounds, the system generally will be utilising 20% of this to keep the system running in the background and the fact that you cannot upgrade this memory beyond this point does result in the system having a slight glass ceiling in terms of simultaneous users and services. Still, 2 Gigabytes a good level of base memory to be getting on with on this affordable solution.

The throughput reported by Asustor on the Drivestor 2 Pro NAS drive externally easily saturates the available to 2.5Gbe connection in regular file transmission, which isn’t a huge surprise for this RAID equipped box. Obviously, this bandwidth is shared between upload and download, so do bear that in mind when looking at these performance benchmarks. Internally the system and its software performed surprisingly well for the rather modest hardware inside and there is even a dedicated media mode that allows you to reserve 512MB of memory for dedicated use when streaming multimedia. The system does not feature dedicated SSD caching bays (e.g M.2 NVMe slots as found in the LockerStor) s and the lack of an integrated graphics CPU also means that the system will use considerably more power when handling visual tasks. But for a single user or light business backup server, the Drivestor 2 Pro NAS will provide acceptable throughput.

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Software & Services

We have discussed the latest or drive management software in previous Asustor reviews and although it features the same services and software platform, these new systems arrived with support of the latest version of this software ADM 4.0. Additionally, this software receives frequent updates to ensure that the software runs the very best it can on the DriveStor, as well as keeping up to date with security patches and application versions. We have touched on a number of the features in our Drivestor 2 and ADM 4.0 NAS software review (below) and it highlights already, but here are the highlights:

Plex – This system DOES support plex, but only as high as 1080p and without hardware transcoding (video below too)

Storage Management – Sadly there is no BTRFS Support, but there is EXT4 for the traditionalist, Multiple Snapshot storage and browsing for recovery, a large number of ISCSI and LUN target creation, fast-acting SSD caching use

Network Management – Support of LAG, Load Balancing and virtual switches, as well as maintaining top transmission over 2.5Gbe for editing or gaming over the network. As well as Jumbo Frame control, DDNS automation, Wake on LAN support and internet/external NAS access with EZ Connect

Backups – Supporting a wide range of multi-tiered backup options that can be carried out simultaneously thanks to the capable CPU in the DriveStor NAS, such as network RSync, USB Backups, NAS-2-NAS migration, Cloud Backups with Google Drive, Dropbox and Backblaze and numerous RAID levels internally for redundancy.

Content Management – Numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) and Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) available in 1st and 3rd party forms, with simultaneous operations supported by the Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS

User Account Control – Supporting over 4,000 accounts, each with their own bespoke privileges and access levels, as well as grouping methods to automate the process easily

Security – AES 256bit hardware encryption on data in/out of the device, as well as over backup methods, as well as Windows ACL permission and configuration, auto blacklisting and multiple VPN provider support

Antivirus (ClamAV) – Scheduled Scans, Automatic Virus Definition Updates, Quarantine Infected Files

Download Center – Supports BT(Torrent & Magnet Link), HTTP and FTP Downloads, Torrent Search, Bandwidth Control, RSS Subscription and Automatic Downloading (Broadcatching), ASUSTOR Download Assistant for Windows & Mac

DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive Sync – Each ADM Account is Able to Individually Log into one cloud Account, supporting Sync, Directly Upload Files to cloud from the NAS, or from cloud to NAS

LooksGood Media App –Built-in three main video library categories; movies, TV shows, home movies and smart video sorting management

    • The efficient global search function allows for searches by keywords followed by the execution of more detailed searches for the purpose of finding categories of movies, TV shows, home movies and parameters such as actors, director, year, genre, writer and title
    • Attractive poster wall and thumbnail display
    • Automatic production of video poster thumbnails
    • Centralized management and ability to configure the order of favourites and playlist history
    • The system administrator is able to configure video library and editing permissions according to user preferences
    • Can configure access permissions to share with
    • Multimedia conversion feature
    • Self-defined smart folder for video conversions
    • Supports digital TV recordings via digital
    • Easy streaming with Chromecast and DLNA
    • Supports playback of videos in Apple TV via AiVideos tvOS version

Mail Server – Each ADM Account can Become an Independent Email Account, Provides SMTP, IMAP and POP3 Mail Protocols, Spam Filter and Black List Settings, Antivirus Scanning for Emails, Exclusive Email Backup Mechanism, Auto-Forwarding and Auto-Response Protocols

Photo Gallary – “Album” and “Browse” Viewing Modes, Manage Photo Album Access Rights: Public Access, Restricted to Certain Accounts, Album Password, Multi-level Folder Structure Support, Supports Tagging of Photos, One-click Sharing to Social Media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email), Intuitive Drag and Drop Management, Slideshow Viewing Mode, Supports a Wide Range of Image Formats: JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, RAW and Supports Video Playback

Surveillance Center – Numerous channels in 720p/1080p on single live view display, On-screen camera controls including camera PTZ, manual recordings, take snapshots, configure camera settings and open Maps, Up to 4 channels of synchronous and non-synchronous playback with audio, Intelligent video analytics including motion detection and foreign object detection, Supported Browsers: Windows Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Mac Safari, Mac Firefox ESR, Event notification supports SMS, E-mail, and mobile push notification, AiSecure mobile app for iOS and Android with Push notification, Maximum IP Cam (4 Free Licenses; Additional Licenses to be Purchased)

Takeasy – Download from YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch and More, Selectable Video Type and Quality, Automatic Downloads with YouTube or Twitch Subscriptions, Preview Downloads in Progress and Online Playback

SoundsGood Audio App – Import Personal/Public Music Collection, Personal/Public Music Collection Permission Control, Playlist Editor, ID3 Tag Editor, Local Speaker Support: HDMI, USB, Audio Jack, Supported Audio Formats for Browser: MP3, WAV, Ogg, Supported Audio Formats for Transcoding Through Browser: AIFF, Flac, Supported Audio Formats for Local Speaker: MP3, WAV, Ogg, AIFF, Flac

Backup Tools – Rsync (Remote Sync) Backup, Cloud Backup, FTP Backup, External Backup, One-Touch Backup, EZ Sync, Snapshots

Lastly, for those who are curious, here is how the Asustor ADM platform compares with the Synology DSM platform:

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Conclusion

The Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the Drivestor 2 Pro device.

The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T also provide a decent level of utilities and provides a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution.

UNIT
PROs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro CONs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

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Gigabyte AORUS 7000s NVMe SSD Review – Ground Breaking or Game Breaking?

12 août 2021 à 14:45

Review of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

Remember when PCIe Gen 4 m.2 NVMes were a new thing? Doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? In fact, the first generation of M.2 SSDs to take advantage of the 8GB/s possible via PCIe 4×4 is barely a year old and in the first half of 2021, we saw the 2nd generation quickly obliterate our understanding of what an SSD can do, with the Aorus 7000s from Gigabyte is a great example of this. Although by no means the first the take a stab at the 7GB/s Seq Read SSD market (with the WD Black SN850, Samsung 980 Pro and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus getting their products to market before everyone else), it does arrive with hardware architecture, top-end performance and a price point that gives those other brands SSDs something to stop and think about. Plus it is now on the PS5 SSD compatibility list, so many keen gamers will be considering it for their next big storage upgrade. The Aorus 7000s is an SSD by motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte who know a thing or two about PC architecture, but how much of this lends well to NAND based storage? They are utilizing the popular Phison E18 controller, 96 layer 3D TLC Micron NAND and DDR4 memory on their tiny 2280 SSDs, so things look good on the spec sheet, but how good is the Aorus 7000 SSD in reality? Let’s have a close look at this SSD and decide whether the 7000S deserves your data?

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

You cannot fault the Aorus 7000s NVMe SSD for its performance in 2021/2022, as it does not over-promise on what it can do. We ran all our usual tests and it hit the highs and lows of Throughput and comparative IOPS to others, just as the brand volunteered. The Gigabyte Aorus is a mature and grown-up SSD and not one that is trying to challenge bigger drives like the Seagate Firecuda 530. Had it been released a few months earlier, it would have made a significantly bigger splash on the professional gaming and video editing market, but now runs the sight risk of getting lost in the paddock of Phison E18 SSDs that are arriving on the market around this. The Aorus’ price point and availability certainly make it appealing, but the shaky SSD market making a slow recovery from Pandemic changes, Chia stock issues and semiconductor shortages means this SSD might not be as desirable as it should be when it is not as abundant at the manufacturing level as the likes of Seagate, Samsung and WD’s offerings being so copious. This IS a good SSD and although the IOPs are a touch lower than I would like, its durability, performance at both 1TB and 2TB and inclusive slimline prosumer heatsink make it a very good drive indeed!

PROs of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s CONs of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s
Genuinely Impressive Performance

Made by a Gamer Mobo Preferred Manf

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Heatsink Included and PS5 Compatible

96 Layer 3D TLC NAND Hugely Beneficial

Phison E18 SSDs Always Delivery!

Surpasses Samsung/WD PCIe 4 SSDs in some key areas

IOPS rating is noticeably lower than most competitors

Endurance (DWPD/TBW) is unimpressive

Still Outperformed by the Firecuda 530

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Review – Packaging

The Aorus 7000S arrives in a petite 2 stage card box retail box. The shiny holographic logos and text immediately throw me back to my childhood and I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend a few extra seconds playing with it in the light- sue me! It is quite a tight fit and there is not a vast amount inside.

The Aorus arrives with an inclusive first-party heatsink which arrives pre-applied and sealed by 4 screws. I was immediately impressed by this heatsink and it toes a fine line between effectiveness and sharp design, whilst still arriving surprisingly compact. Indeed in recent weeks, I have been talking about heatsinks more and more (like the use of M.2 NVMe SSD has become increasingly mainstream and people do not know how VITAL these things are).

Let’s be clear, M.2 NVMe SSD heatsinks are NOT expensive, ranging from $8 for the most basic to higher-end engineering examples at $20-30. The Aorus SSD heatsink is compatible with many $15 examples and does certainly give you a feeling of quality. Indeed, the fact some SSDs arrive with optional heatsinks, given the affordable price point, seems crazy to me. Yes, there is the argument that users might already own their own prosumer heatsink or using a compact/custom setup that has its own heat dissipation methods, but the larger portion of the audience would have to faff about getting another one. So yeah, kudos to Gigabyte (again, motherboard manufacturers – important there!) for including this and making an effort on it!

The Aorus 7000s is a 2280 length SSD and it is completely contained in the 2 part surround heatsink.

There is a good level of ventilation space on both the top and sides of the heatsink, whilst still ensuring not to rise the M.2 key connector (something of a problem with larger heatsinks and double-sided SSDs).

Indeed, the M.2 connector is the ONLY part not completely covered in heat dissipation panels. The Aorus 7000s 1TB is a single-sided NVMe SSD, but both sides of the drive are buffed with thermal panelling.

Removing the four screws on the sides of the Aorus 7000s heatsink was quick work, however, the surrounding metal heatsink cage is tightly connected together and removing the SSD from both heatsink panels and thermal pads was actually a lot harder than you might think.

indeed, the Aorus 7000s SSD is so tightly caged in this petite heatsink that the indentation of the chips on the thermal panels is remarkably defined! There is little to no overspill and I can definitely say this is a very slick application (which I have now spoiled) and leaves me feeling confident in how well it will protect the drive in use from temp rises.

Interestingly, if you line the heatsink and Aorus 7000s up, you can see that the additional flow lines of the top line up directly over the Phison E18 and 1GB DDR4 memory, which is exactly what I like to see for focused airflow/dissipation. This is a nice little design mark and something that many could easily blink and miss.

Removing the heatsink entirely, we can take a much closer look at the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s chips on the 2280 PCB. Again this SSD is single-sided, so the distribution of the NAND, Memory and controller are all lined up neatly.

The other side is the bare board. Larger capacities will of course take advantage of this additional space.

So that is the physical design of the Aorus 7000s SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the Gigabyte Aorus 7000S cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

Brand/Series AORUS Gen4 7000s
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND B27 3D NAND 96L
Max Capacity 2TB
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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000S 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s can actually backup 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Aorus 7000S SSD.

Much like the Controller on the Aorus 7000s being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The Gigabyte Aorus 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.

As mentioned, both available capacities of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact they 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. Do remember that this means you won’t need to be so attentive in provisioning for heat dissipation on both sides of the NVMe M.2 SSD, as the 7000S includes a decent heatsink anyway that uses a metal surrounding heatsink and base level thermal heat pads, this is all largely taken care of.

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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s, 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s, 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.

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD arrives in two capacities at 1TB and 2TB. 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 Aorus 7000s SSD compares:

Brand/Series

 

AORUS Gen4 7000s

AORUS Gen4 7000s

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

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 the 64 Layer used by competitors. This is an important point because Gigabyte has significantly less pedigree in SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate (being much better know for motherboard manufacturing) 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s is one of the few E18 SSDs that does not crossing 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the Gigabyte 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

 

AORUS Gen4 7000s

AORUS Gen4 7000s

Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate Firecuda 530

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 NAND 96L B27 3D NAND 96L 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L
Max Capacity 2TB 2TB 4TB – Double Sided 4TB – Double Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr + Rescue 5yr + Rescue
Brand/Series AORUS Gen4 7000s AORUS Gen4 7000s Seagate Firecuda 530 Seagate Firecuda 530
PRICE GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013
Price in $ and $ $199 / £189 $359 / £399 $239 / £199 $419 / £379
Throughput GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB 7300MB 7300MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6850MB 6000MB 6900MB
IOPS GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350,000 650,000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 700,000 1000000 1,000,000
ENDURANCE GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1400TB 1275TB 2550TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,600,000 1,600,000 1,800,000 1,800,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.7DWPD

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. 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 release 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s on the test machine!

Testing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 1TB m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 1TB 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 Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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

ImportantIt became quite clear in early testing that my test machine, despite being quite high powered, was still not quite enough to get the truest speed out of this SSD. Factors such as my OS drive being a SATA drive, capture software, embedded graphics rather than GPU card resulting in the larger graphical file testing being fractionally capped, meaning that although this drive maxed at 6,995MB/s Seq Read on my system, it definitely felt that it could have gone a pinch higher and broken into the 7,000MB/s with a more powerful system. That said, these higher benchmarks are generally allied to larger/sequential data (i.e BIG single files) and you should really focus on smaller random benchmarks. I wanted to add this disclaimer.

REVIEW VIDEO

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.

CRYSTAL DISK SPECS

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 Read and Write easily hit the 6,000MB/s+ area and hit 6,590MB/s Read but 4960MB/s write. However, the bottleneck of my system capped this in ATTO quite noticeably. Additionally, the IOPS benchmarks in ATTO for the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s were good, but as expected, not breathtaking. Next, I repeated these tests with a 1GB test file.

The larger test file, unsurprisingly, produced higher results of sequential Read/Write at 6,590MB/s and 4,980MB/s respectively – that write is still a pinch less than I would like to see, even at 1TB over PCIe with the Phison E18. The IOPS still maintained a similar level as before.

Finally, I completed the ATTO Benchmark tests with a 4GB Test file and the performance remained consistent:

Finally, to conclude the ATTO testing, I switched to a bigger 4GB file and re-ran the program. This ended up maxing out at a read/write of 6,590MB/s and 6,585MB/s respectively – which although still not cracking the reported 7,000MB/s is still mighty impressive.

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. 1GB file test files provided:

Although this never crossed into the 7,000MBs mark (I suspect down to my test hardware), both in the 1GB test and when I tested the 4GB test file routine, we saw increased benchmark scores 6,975MB/s Read and 5,508MB/s Write, as well as increased IOPS reported. Given the 1TB Gigabyte Aorus 7000s model is rated at 7,000/5,500MB/s, this is remarkably close to hitting the maximum reported benchmark!

Finally, I went for the biggest test file at 16GB on AS SSD and this still gave some solid results and although the IOPs were a pinch lower, this might have hit closer to that reported 700/350K with use of a Xeon test machine:

Next, I switched to AS SSD for benchmarks. First up was 1GB file testing, both on sequential and 4K random:

The results were a pinch lower than I would have liked to see, so I then moved onto the 3G test file. These were noticeably better, both in transfers and 4K random:

I decided to chase this a little further and upped the ASS SSD Test file to 5GB and was pleased with the results. Still ‘on paper’ not as high as the Crystal Diskmark tests.

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:

256MB AJA File Test Results (Max) = 5,907MB/s Read & 5,400MB/s Write

1GB AJA File Test Results (Max) = 5,881MB/s Read & 5,427MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Max) = 5,974MB/s Read & 5,372MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Max) = 5,974MB/s Read & 5,427MB/s Write

Overall, the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 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.

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Review – Conclusion

It is very hard to find any real fault in the Gigabyte Aorus. I know that sounds spectacularly restrained praise, but that is only because the Aorus 7000s finds itself in a rather more densely populated tier of the industry than it should have been! The architecture, performance, endurance and build are definitely impressive and give me a tremendous sense of confidence in the product, but because it is so similar to other SSDs like the MSI SPATIUM M480 and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, it blends in with them, rather than standing out on its own merit. I DO like the Aorus 7000s, genuinely love the inclusive heatsink (not just the fact it is included, but the quality of the thing!) and would DEFINITELY recommend it. I just wish it could stand out from the crowd a little more!

You cannot fault the Aorus 7000s NVMe SSD for its performance in 2021/2022, as it does not over-promise on what it can do. We ran all our usual tests and it hit the highs and lows of Throughput and comparative IOPS to others, just as the brand volunteered. The Gigabyte Aorus is a mature and grown-up SSD and not one that is trying to challenge bigger drives like the Seagate Firecuda 530. Had it been released a few months earlier, it would have made a significantly bigger splash on the professional gaming and video editing market, but now runs the sight risk of getting lost in the paddock of Phison E18 SSDs that are arriving on the market around this. The Aorus’ price point and availability certainly make it appealing, but the shaky SSD market making a slow recovery from Pandemic changes, Chia stock issues and semiconductor shortages means this SSD might not be as desirable as it should be when it is not as abundant at the manufacturing level as the likes of Seagate, Samsung and WD’s offerings being so copious. This IS a good SSD and although the IOPs are a touch lower than I would like, its durability, performance at both 1TB and 2TB and inclusive slimline prosumer heatsink make it a very good drive indeed!

PROs of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s CONs of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s
Genuinely Impressive Performance

Made by a Gamer Mobo Preferred Manf

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Heatsink Included and PS5 Compatible

96 Layer 3D TLC NAND Hugely Beneficial

Phison E18 SSDs Always Delivery!

Surpasses Samsung/WD PCIe 4 SSDs in some key areas

IOPS rating is noticeably lower than most competitors

Endurance (DWPD/TBW) is unimpressive

Still Outperformed by the Firecuda 530

 


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