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Samsung 980 Pro SSD Heatsink Edition PC & PS5 Review – Should You Buy it in 2022?

31 janvier 2022 à 01:37

Samsung 980 Pro SSD Heatsink Edition Review, Temperature & Benchmark

Although now in 2022, we have quite a lot of 7,000MB/s and above performing SSDs in the market to choose from, it was not always this way! Rewind back to summer 2020 and as the utility and availability of PCIe 4 M.2 NVMe motherboards and PS5 consoles were bubbling to the surface and there was really only two mainstream PCIe Gen4 NVMes to choose from at this level – the WD Black SN850 and the Samsung 980 Pro. Being the first into a new area of technology has the obvious benefit of exclusivity and commanding a higher price tag, but as more brands (Seagate, ADATA, Sabrent and more) enter the market, they have this extra time to improve their product and now over 18 months later, SSDs like the Samsung 980 Pro are in danger of being eclipsed. Now, the Samsung 980 Pro SSD still carries an excellent reputation, as well as arriving at a much more affordable price point for many (given its long time in the eShops and its components all being in-house), so it still has its place in the PCIe4 SSD food chain indeed. However, one glaring omission by the brand all those months ago when it launched was not including an SSD heatsink option (as well as not making any clear recommendations on alternative m.2 SSD heatsink’s that people should buy). Now, PCIe4 SSDs can get hot, real hot! The heat that can quickly land in the 50 degrees mark (which it can still operate but is less ideal long term) and then into the 60s and 70s where throttling can occur. Practically all SSDs face this challenge and therefore the demand and recommendation for a suitable heatsink on an SSD is tremendously important. Therefore when Samsung FINALLY announced that they has a 1st party heatsink equipped version of the 980 Pro in the works for PS5/PC gamers primarily, there was a lot of happy people and a lot of slightly less happy people saying “what took so long?”. The Samsung 980 Pro is still a popular drive, but in 2022, is the addition of a heatsink and tweaks to the firmware enough for it to continue to stand strong against the more modern released competition? Let’s review and benchmark the new Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink edition and see if it still deserves your data.

Samsung 980 Pro SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

Is the Samsung 980 Pro still a good SSD to buy in 2022? Well, yes. In the near year and a half since it was originally released, there have been several firmware updates and improved pricing to warranty it’s continued place in the top tier PCIe 4×4 SSDs in the market. The heatsink version of the Samsung 980 Pro, although arriving very late indeed to the party, arrives at a better bundle price than several other 1st party SSD+Heatsink options in the market right now, as well as performing very well indeed in terms of temperature control in our sustained PC benchmarks. Likewise, the performance of the Samsung 980 Pro in the PS5 games storage environment still does very well, though the heatsink makes less of an impact for me in the temperature control department, thanks in part to the PS5’s odd choice of storage expansion design. With discussions arising on PCIe 5 NVMe SSD storage starting to pop up in summer 2022, you can be fairly certain that brands such as Samsung, WD and Seagate are going to be among the first to produce SSD entries into the market, so if you have deep pockets and have a little patience, then it might be worth just sitting the GEN4 generation out and seeing if a Samsung 990 Pro (or similar) arrives on the scene. But if you are looking for good value, high-performance PCIe SSD storage for gaming, then the Samsung 980 Pro with the heatsink is still an excellent choice and has not lost much of its edge in the market in all this time.

SPEED - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻FINALLY, a first-party heatsink for the Samsung 980 Pro
👍🏻One of the first PS5 Expansion Compatibility confirmed SSDs
👍🏻
👍🏻Performance still stands up well in 2022 (almost 1.5yrs since original release)
👍🏻
👍🏻Impressively dense NAND for one of the earliest gen PCIe 4 SSDs still
👍🏻
👍🏻Still has some of the highest 4K Random IOPS in the market
👍🏻
👍🏻Very, VERY good temperature reports in PC use during sustained use
👍🏻
👍🏻Very Good Pricing Now
CONS
👎🏻Heat dissipation in a PS5 environment was not as good as I hoped (PS5 closed bay design at fault really)
👎🏻Traditional Write performance, even at 2TB, looks a little lacklustre against the competition in 2022
👎🏻
👎🏻Still no 4TB version commercially available

Samsung 980 Pro SSD Review – Packaging

The packaging of the Samsung 980 Pro is quite the contrast (literally turning black to white) when you look at the existing retail boxes of the original release. The heatsink is clearly the bit show-off factor here, as well as the usual brand shouting of sequential read performance (all brands do it). Though I will say that there has been a heck of a trend recently for SSDs to arrive in white and black packaging – PS5 retail design synergy? Who knows. But it’s a lovely clean design and stands out tremendously.

Opening the retail box of the Samsung 980 Pro SSD shows us the drive (with heatsink pre-applied – very important, as I will discuss later) encases in a plastic 2 piece shell.

Samsung consumer and prosumer SSDs have always arrived like this, but I always want to highlight it regardless as way, WAY too many brands cut corners here (in the age predominant eRetail, most consumers see the retail packaging AFTER buying, not before) and I like both the design of this presentation, as well as the protection this kind of kit provides. Not huge (as SSDs are nowhere near as fragile as a traditional platter and disc-based HDDs) but still a higher level of protection is afforded here than most.

Removing all of the packaging provides us with a particularly sleek and modern looking SSD+Heatsink combo indeed. You will typically find that SSDs targeted at gamers, content creators or those working in post-production fall into two aesthetical design choices. Either ‘eSports’ style that has a million LEDs and sharp edges/corners to give off an aggressive feel OR a ‘mature-professional’ look that is sleek, understated yet modernist in design. WD chose eSpots, Seagate chose ‘mature professional, PNY chose eSports and Smasung? The Samsung 980 Pro heating is very much going for professional design chic. But, let’s be honest, all of this is rather pointless in terms of how it all looks, as after Day 1 – an ideal M.2 NVMe SSD will NEVER be seen again (encased in a PC, Mac or PS5 for it’s use), so how does the Samsung 980 Pro heatsink design translate into cooling and temperature management?

First off, the solid design-block design that the casual glance would provide is quickly revealed to be actually quite heavily ventilated in a number of ways. The middle part of the heatsink is ventilated throughout the entire length via 4 channels, allowing air to pass through and assist in moving along the heat being dissipated from the Samsung 980 Pro controller, NAND, etc.

Additionally, there are two valleys on either side that help channel airflow through the heatsink and around/through the heatsink that will further assist dissipation. I think these will be tremendously useful in a PC environment, but I would be curious how the more restrictive M.2 expansion slot of the PS5 (with its much more limited airflow in this direction) would be able to take advantage of this.

Just to give you a little perspective, until the Samsung 980 Pro SSD arrived with its own first-party heatsink, Samsung would recommend that users purchased an m.2 2280 length heatsink and thermal pads when installing their drive in PC/PS5 systems (though never highlighting any specific brand/make/model). These typically range from as little as $5 to $20, depending on their complexity and active heat dissipation (some with copper piping, some with in built fans). Here is how the Samsung 980 Pro SSD heatsink compares with a popular $10 PC designed heatsink, the Eluteng, in design and built:

As you can see, the $10 also clearly tried to capitalize on active airflow, but a great deal more, substituting physical materials to draw the heat away from the SSD, in favour of allowing as much ventilation as possible to get rid of the heat as much as it can – a good design choice for an open-air and fan assisted PC, but less useful in the PS5 closed M.2 bay. Let’s open up the Samsung 980 Pro HEATSINK and take a look at the SSD.

Inside is a fairly standard Samsung 980 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD, much like the un-heatsink equipped version. Though it is also worth mentioning that the later releases of this drive include the much more recent update to the SSD controller firmware, something that is considerably more difficult to update yourself without a PC + M.2 slot, as the PS5 does not include support for 3rd party SSD toolkits to be installed (and a firmware update on an m.2 SSD is not possible over USB, as a direct motherboard connection is required).

The 1TB version of this SSD is single-sided (also known as single-rank or SR), so this means that heat generated on the base of the SSD is not really going to be a concern. Even in 2-sided SSDs (2TB/4TB typically), SSDs will have the NAND (where the data lives) and maybe half of the on-board DRAM/Memory, both of which are ok to get a ‘little warm’ to work their best. It is the controller on the top (the brains on the SSD that manages all the transmission of data, not unlike the CPU of your computer) that needs to stay as cool as possible.

So, let’s get some PS5 testing started first. I installed the Samsung 980 Pro into my PS5, with 2 temperature nodes in place. The first node was located underneath the heatsink and thermal pad, on top of the SSD controller (the Elpis) and the 2nd node was located outside of the PS5 M.2 SSD expansion bay, between the storage bay and the PS5 internal fan. This 2nd node was used to check the ambient system temperature as the SSD was being used to see if heat dissipated from the SSD and into the heatsink was impacting the PS5 ambient temperature.

Then I reapplied the M.2 SSD cover over the Samsung 980 Pro SSD and then placed the PS5 side plates. As counter-intuitive a it feels to cover the SSD up in this bay, this is something Sony recommend (which I will be looking into and comparing in a future video against running it WITHOUT the cover), so I went ahead with it.

During this temperature test of the PS5 with the Samsung 980 Pro SSD, I ran several tests. I performed a sustained write activity (moving several games from the internal PS5 SSD to the Samsung 980 Pro), a gameplay session on Demon Souls for PS5 (measuring the SSD controller temperature and the ambient temperature), repeated that test with the Unreal Engine 5 Tech Matrix tech application, then performed a heavy read application (moving those games back to the PS5 internal SSD). These results were compared against the exact same test with a Samsung 980 Pro in the $10 Eluteng m.2 heatsink. Below, in the video, were the results and conclusion of that test.

The Samsung 980 Pro SSD heatsink did perform better than the $10 SSD heatsink in terms of heat dissipation and temperature control, but not hugely better and I think a lot of that comes down to the PS5 having taht closed M.2 slot. Though the ambient temperature of the PS5 was better overall with the Samsung 980 Pro heatsink installation.

So, What about the Samsung 980 Pro in PS5 deployment?

When I installed the Samsung 980 Pro into the PS5, the system immediately gave me a benchmark of 6,317MB/s, which is pretty impressive for the 1TB model. The PS5 uses a different test and benchmark algorithm than those of popular PC tools such as ATTO, CrystalDisk and IOMeter, focusing exclusively on read performance. There isn’t even a direct reference to whether this figure is based on sequential data or some PS5 game-data specific data size/frequency, so we very rarely see the 7,000MB/s sequential read figure that most SSD brands talk quite loudly of. Nevertheless, this 6,300MB/s+ figure is still very solid and repeated testing gave us 6513MB/s, 6455MB/s and 6301MB/s, so it was quite a consistent benchmark for PS5.

As you would hope, the Samsung 980 Pro immediately appears in the SP5 storage manager for us and there can be used in conjunction with the PS5’s own internal SSD (and USB drives).

Let’s see how the Samsung 980 Pro SSD compares with several PCIe4 SSDs that have been released in the almost year and a half since its release.

Samsung 980 Pro SSD Review – PS5 Benchmark

To put the Samsung 980 Pro SSD PS5 Performance Benchmark into a little perspective, here is how it compares against the Addlink A95, Adata XPG Gammix S70, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and Gigabyte Aorus 7000s – four SSDs that are all PS5 supported and VERY similar architecture very little difference between the others in this tier, it is a solid benchmark.

Addlink A95 PS5 Benchmark – 6556MB/s XPG GAMMIX S70 PS5 Benchmark – 6235MB/s
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus – 6557MB/s Gigabyte Aorus 7000s PS5 Benchmark6557MB/s

As you can see, the Samsung 980 Pro’s PS5 benchmark is in a similar bracket to these other four SSDs, though they did seem to outpace it on repeated benchmark tests, back to back. Full PS5 Testing of this SSD is available as a playlist over on the NASCompares YouTube channel. But for now, let’s carry on with looking at the hardware of the A440, how it conventionally benchmarks and how it compares with currently favourite PS5 SSDs like the WD Black and Seagate Firecuda 530,

So that is the physical design of the Samsung 980 Pro SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the Samsung 980 Pro cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

Samsung 980 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 Samsung 980 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 Samsung 980 Pro is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet, despite releasing a year earlier! Though there are some key build differences that I will touch on later. Below is how it looks:

Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink Edition

1TB – $179, 2TB – $299

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3c
NAND Samsung in-house V-NAND TLC
Max Capacity 2TB
Controller Samsung Elpis Controller
Warranty 5yrs

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 Samsung 980 Pro SSD Series

The Samsung 980 Pro SSD benefits from an almost completely ‘in-house’ architecture, which means that the NAND for storage and the controller is designed by Samsung themselves, without relying on 3rd parties such as Phison or Innogrit for its controller. This is Samsung’s PCIe Gen 4 controller called “Elpis.” It is produced on an 8 nm production process in Samsung’s factory, same as NVIDIA’s Ampere GPUs. Compared to previous controllers in 2018-2020 (such as the Phoenix which had 32, and UBX which had only 8)., Elpis can process 128 queues at the same time. At its launch, it noticeably outpaced in Phison E16 in terms of design, but now has given way in many ways to the Phison E18 controller which arrived on the production scene around the time the Samsung 980 Pro was first released. Still a solid SSD controller never the less and backed by more in-house components.

The Samsung 980 Pro also features their own LPDDR4 memory/flash chip which provides 1GB of fast DRAM storage for the controller to store the mapping tables, etc. As you would expect, this scales as the storage capacity scales.

The storage NAND of the Samsung 980 Pro is 128L Samsung TLC V-NAND v6, which has and is separated across 2x cells on the 1TB of a capacity of 512GB. (4x 512GB on the 2TB). This is one particularly interesting area that  I don’t think gets enough credit. Right now, at the start of 2022, there is a very small handful of SSDs that are using NAND of a higher layer count than the Samsung 980 Pro (ones such as the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176L), but the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 SSDs released in the last 6 months have been 96L. It’s a small factor but definitely worth highlighting and certainly thanks in part to SamsungR&D  developing their NAND in-house.

Overall the build of the Samsung 980 Pro is still pretty strong compared with most SSDs in this performance tier and the inclusive heatsink certainly makes it be even more appealing for some. You really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the Samsung 980 Pro, as it is still (even 16-18 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read 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 Samsung 980 Pro, as although the performance seems stellar at sequential Read and 4K random IOPS numbers, there are areas such as write and endurance when compared with its main rivals that it perhaps falls a little short.

Samsung 980 Pro SSD Review – Official Stats First

Right now at the start of 2022, the Samsung 980 Pro is continuously being compared by buyers with two other big-name SSDs, the WD Black SN850 and the Seagate Firecuda 530. Both these SSD’s arrived with optional Heatsink versions on Day 1, though the WD was released much close to the Samsung 980 Pro release (with the Seagate SSD arriving in Summer 2021). Below is how these three SSDs compare in the traditional hardware architecture and durability.

Brand/Series Samsung 980 Pro H/S

1TB – $179, 2TB – $299

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 1.3c NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND Samsung 128L 3D TLC 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 2TB 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Custom Elpis Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
500GB Model

MZ-V8P500BW

ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $119 / £109 $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model MZ-V8P1T0BW ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $209 / £179 $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model MZ-V8P2T0BW ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $390 / £369 $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A $949 / £789 N/A
500GB Model

MZ-V8P500BW

ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 300TB 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,500,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model MZ-V8P1T0BW ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 600TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,500,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model MZ-V8P2T0BW ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1200TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,500,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 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

Some differences are quite easy to understand, such as the NVMe revision, as the update between NVMe 1.3 and 1.4 happened around the time of the Samsung 980 Pro release. Then there is the pricing differences between these three SSDs, with the Seagate Firecuda arriving at a noticeably higher price point. The price difference here can be attributed to several factors, such as the longer time being available at retail and both the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black 850 in-house component built. However, one of the other big reasons for that differing price is in the durability of the Seagate over the WD and Samsung SSD, with its terabytes written over its lifespan and drive writes per day arriving at more than double. What about random performance and sequential throughout?

Below is how the Samsung 980 Pro, Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850 compare in performance, based on maximum possible and directly from the brands:

Brand/Series Samsung 980 Pro H/S

1TB – $179, 2TB – $299

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

MZ-V8P500BW

ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5000MB 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model MZ-V8P1T0BW ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5000MB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model MZ-V8P2T0BW ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5100MB 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 Samsung 980 Pro H/S Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850
500GB Model

MZ-V8P500BW

ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800,000 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 700,000 680,000
1TB Model MZ-V8P1T0BW ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 1000000 720,000
2TB Model MZ-V8P2T0BW ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 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

Between all three SSDs, in terms of sequential Read and Write performance, the Samsung 980 Pro (for the most part) sits in third place here pretty consistently. That said, it is still very close to the WD Black in most cases. In terms of random 4K IOPS, things fare a little better for the Samsung 980 Pro and although still outpaced by the much later released Seagate Firecuda 530 in traditional Read and Write performance, it comes out consistently 1st place in IOPS overall. So, now that is the manufacturer supplied performance figures done, let’s do some of our own tests on a mid-range PCIe 4 M.2 enabled Windows PC for some benchmarks.

Testing the Samsung 980 Pro m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The Samsung 980 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 Samsung 980 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 44C between each test being conducted. Much like the PS5 temperature testing, the Samsung 980 Pro was able to get rid of the heat it had gathered very quickly. Additionally (as the grahy below shows) in the more open air based PC environment, the temperatures of the Samsung 980 Pro and it’s heatsink were considerably better than inside the PS5 closed storage bay:

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  = 6.16GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 4.97GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.14GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 4.96GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.14GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 4.92GB/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) = 5400MB/s Read & 4382MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5345MB/s Read & 4408MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5422MB/s Read & 4490MB/s Write

Overall, the Samsung 980 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 with the PC used and not the monster machine that most brands feature for their printed benchmarks (i.e 8-12 core Ryzens).

Samsung 980 Pro SSD Review – Conclusion

Is the Samsung 980 Pro still a good SSD to buy in 2022? Well, yes. In the near year and a half since it was originally released, there have been several firmware updates and improved pricing to warranty it’s continued place in the top tier PCIe 4×4 SSDs in the market. The heatsink version of the Samsung 980 Pro, although arriving very late indeed to the party, arrives at a better bundle price than several other 1st party SSD+Heatsink options in the market right now, as well as performing very well indeed in terms of temperature control in our sustained PC benchmarks. Likewise, the performance of the Samsung 980 Pro in the PS5 games storage environment still does very well, though the heatsink makes less of an impact for me in the temperature control department, thanks in part to the PS5’s odd choice of storage expansion design. With discussions arising on PCIe 5 NVMe SSD storage starting to pop up in summer 2022, you can be fairly certain that brands such as Samsung, WD and Seagate are going to be among the first to produce SSD entries into the market, so if you have deep pockets and have a little patience, then it might be worth just sitting the GEN4 generation out and seeing if a Samsung 990 Pro (or similar) arrives on the scene. But if you are looking for good value, high-performance PCIe SSD storage for gaming, then the Samsung 980 Pro with the heatsink is still an excellent choice and has not lost much of its edge in the market in all this time.

SPEED - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻FINALLY, a first-party heatsink for the Samsung 980 Pro
👍🏻One of the first PS5 Expansion Compatibility confirmed SSDs
👍🏻
👍🏻Performance still stands up well in 2022 (almost 1.5yrs since original release)
👍🏻
👍🏻Impressively dense NAND for one of the earliest gen PCIe 4 SSDs still
👍🏻
👍🏻Still has some of the highest 4K Random IOPS in the market
👍🏻
👍🏻Very, VERY good temperature reports in PC use during sustained use
👍🏻
👍🏻Very Good Pricing Now
CONS
👎🏻Heat dissipation in a PS5 environment was not as good as I hoped (PS5 closed bay design at fault really)
👎🏻Traditional Write performance, even at 2TB, looks a little lacklustre against the competition in 2022
👎🏻
👎🏻Still no 4TB version commercially available
PROs of the Samsung 980 Pro CONs of the Samsung 980 Pro
FINALLY, a first-party heatsink for the Samsung 980 Pro

One of the first PS5 Expansion Compatibility confirmed SSDs

Performance still stands up well in 2022 (almost 1.5yrs since original release)

Impressively dense NAND for one of the earliest gen PCIe 4 SSDs still

Still has some of the highest 4K Random IOPS in the market

Very, VERY good temperature reports in PC use during sustained use

Very Good Pricing Now

Heat dissipation in a PS5 environment was not as good as I hoped (PS5 closed bay design at fault really)

Traditional Write performance, even at 2TB, looks a little lacklustre against the competition in 2022

Still no 4TB version commercially available

 


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CES 2022 Data Round Up – New PCIe 5 SSDs, WiFi 6E Releases, USB 4, PHISON E26 Speeds, New QNAPs and More

10 janvier 2022 à 01:11

The Highlights of CES 2022 for those interested in Data

The consumer electronics show (CES) was once again held in Las Vegas last week and though a number of the big names were still physically present at one of the biggest tech events on the calendar, CES 2022 was still a combination on-site and digital arrangement, with a number of regular yearly attending brands switching to e-stands or giving it a miss entirely. That said, there was still plenty of new and exciting tech to be shown off for 2022 and 2023 that covered practically every facet of home and business electronics. To go through them all here would take an article 20x longer than this one, plus do you really come to NASCompares for information on a new and exciting toothbrush? No! You came to learn about what you and your data will be able to do in 2022. So, these are my highlights of CES 2022 for those that are interested in NAS’, routers, switches and the big developments in PCIe 5 M.2 NVMe SSDs for later this year. As coverage and the wrap up of CES 2022 happens, I will update this page with anything else in the world of personal/business data that I think you should know. Let’s go through the best bits.

ADATA Elite SE920 USB4 External SSD

Originally uncovered at their annual even in the second half of 2021, ADATA followed it up with further information on the new ADATA Elite SE920 external SSD, a USB4 powered NVMe SSD in an enclosure that promises to provide up to 4,000MB/s read speeds. Thanks to a combination of the M.2 NVMe storage inside and the 40Gb/s performance bandwidth of USB4, this would be the fastest USB-bus powered single drive external enclosure in the world! Adata says its new SE920 SSD is the world’s fastest portable storage. The drive combines Intel Thunderbolt 3 and USB4 to push up to 4,000MB/s transfer speeds and features proprietary ‘Heat Conduction’ technology to keep temps in check. Like most of its other product announcements, Adata didn’t go into detailed specifics or pricing information of the drive. It also highlighted the 7,400MB/s transfer speeds of the upcoming Legend PCIe 4.0 SSD, which — on paper — makes it top-tier in terms of consumer-grade internal storage.

Highlights of the ADATA SE920 External SSD are:

  • 40Gb/s External Solid State Drive
  • Built In Fan & Thermal Heat Dissipation Build
  • PCIe NVMe SSD inside and a PCI-Express to USB bridge
  • 4x faster than the SanDisk Extreme or Samsung T7
  • USB Powered

Although USB4 is by no means mainstream yet, the SE920 is a great indication of where the humble USB is going and after the rather slow uptake of Thunderbolt 4, this is likely going to be a much more appealing choice of future upgrade. With maximum transfer speeds that are four times faster than regular USB 3.2 drives, ADATA’s SE920 USB4 SSD is a monster. With access to such incredible performance and ADATA’s proprietary heat conduction technology, the SE920 is ready for practically any workload, making this drive an excellent choice for workstation and prosumer workloads. USB4 is receiving rapid adoption on the latest PCs, with Intel supporting USB4 under their Thunderbolt 4 banner. Thunderbolt 4 is, effectively, Thunderbolt 3 with higher minimum speed requirements and full support for USB4. Over the next year, USB4 is expected to become more easily available on high-end motherboards and laptops.

QNAP HS-264 Silent NAS Drive

Although already rumoured and highlighted as a potential release over on the NASCompares YouTube Channel last year, the new QNAP HS-264 silent NAS has now been confirmed. Using the familiar architecture of the most recent TS-x64 hardware releases (the TBS-464 and TS-364), this new 2-Bay desktop NAS system is designed to be compact, fast and (most important of all) as quiet as possible. The HS-264 does not feature an internal fan, relying on the top of the chassis acting as a wide-spreading heat dissipation panel. The design of the HS-264 Silent NAS is using a modified version of the HS-251+ chassis and although it lacks a few of the flourishes of the HS-453DX (as well as 10Gbe), it is still a remarkably nice looking piece of kit.

Click to view slideshow.

QNAP has released entries into their Silent NAS series for a almost a decade now and each iteration has brought something new and fresh to the series. That said, the HS-264 is much more comparable to a mainstream NAS (featuring 2.5GbE, a Quad Core Intel Processor, 8GB DDR4 memory and NVMe SSD slots to combine with the 2 HDD bays), although the 10GbE of it’s predecessor is absent (almost certainly due to the system needing those CPU PCI resources elsewhere to keep it more balanced). Here are the key hardware specification highlights:

QNAP HS-264 Silent NAS – £TBC

  • 2021 Gen Intel Celeron N5105 CPU
  • 2.0-2.9GHz Quad Core Processor
  • Integrated Intel UHD Graphics
  • 8 GB DDR4 (non-expandable)
  • 2 x 3.5“ HDD Bays
  • 2x 2.5GbE Network Ports
  • 2x HDMI 2.0 for 60Hz 4K
  • 2x USB-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb)
  • 2x USB-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb)
  • Fanless Design, 60W PSU

We are expecting the QNAP HS-264 Silent NAS to arrive in early spring.

A Wi-Fi 6E USB Dongle (RTL8832CU) & Wi-Fi 6E/BT Combo Solution (RTL8852CE)

Last year, we saw D-Link release it’s USB-to-WiFi6 adapter (we reviewed the D-Link DWA-X1850 here) and even now at the start of 2022, it is only one of two USB connected 802.11ax wireless adapters on the market. Now, a lot of this is thanks to component manufacturers working on controllers that bridge the hardware architecture of new wireless protocols with existing expansion ports and slots on modern computers. Although WiFi 6 upgrades via PCIe slots have been around for a few years, the convenience of USB upgrades to AX Wii cannot be understated. Therefore now that the world is moving towards WiFi 6E (comparable to WiFi 6, but with several upgrades in transmission and usage of the 6Ghz frequency band), with several hardware client manufacturers starting to spec out their new hardware with it, controller and general component brands such as Realtek are incredibly important.

At CES 2022, Realtek revealed several of their planned controllers that range from coverage of 10GbE, 5GbE and intelligent switch internal management. Of all of these, two particular planned releases stood out. Realtek are now working on releasing a planned architecture for USB-to-WiFi 6E adaters (as well as improved Bluetooth coverage) that bulld on the existing AX-over-USB, ensuring that access to WiFi 6e is going to be considerably easier from the start. Using its 160MHz bandwidth and the cleaner 6GHz band, RTL8832CU peak throughput is up to 1.8Gbps. A 2GB file transfer would be expected to complete in 15~20 seconds. With 6GHz support in Wi-Fi 6E, the RTL8852CE increases overall Wi-Fi performance to achieve the highest throughput for a better speed experience with lowest latency. The integrated BLE Audio, with support for multistream and broadcast audio, further reduces power consumption to bring a better overall listening experience to consumers.

The World’s Smallest 5Gb Ethernet Controller (RTL8157/RTL8126/RTL8251B)

Alongside the WiFi 6e to USB developments, Realtek will launch a 5GbE Single-Chip Ethernet Controller Series compatible with IEEE 802.3bz Multi-Gigabit functions at the end of 2022, supporting 5G/2.5G/1G/100M/10Mbps network bandwidths. The network environment permits easy upgrade to 5Gbps network bandwidth over existing network cabling (Cat 5e). Realtek 5Gb Ethernet products provide various interfaces for PCIe (RTL8126 Series), USB (RTL8157 Series), and PHY (RTL8251B Series) to meet a wide range of applications (e.g., PC, PON, Cable Modem, Wi-Fi 6 AP router, switch, CPE, built-in and external network card, PCIe/USB-to-Ethernet accessories, etc.). Realtek’s 5Gb Ethernet IC adopts the Quad Flat No-lead (QFN) Package, is lightweight, and is easy to handle. This form factor will be the smallest 5GbE solution in the world.

New Phison E26 PCIe Gen 5 x4 NVMe SSD Controller Revealed

Phhison had already been trailing this for the bulk of December, but at the CES 2022 event they revealed developments on three big projects that are nearing full integration/release in some of your future hardware. The big one of these three was, of course, the Phison E26 (PS5026-E26) SSD controller for PCIe 5.0 x4 media. Phison made an enoughmous impact with their E16 and E18 controllers in the PCIe 4.0 x4 generation of SSDs and the new E26 controller seemingly builds considerably on that, with indications of greater throughput of 13,000/12,000MB/s Seq Read/Write, 1.5/2.0Million 4K random Read/Write IOPS, up to 32TB supported and arriving with NVMe 2.0 compliance. Images of the E26 in situ were provided by Phison below:

Click to view slideshow.

Key specifications of the Phison E26 architecture were also provided:

Controller Phison PS5026-E26
Interface PCIe 5.0 x4, 32GT/s
NVMe Rev NVMe 2.0
Processor 2x ARM Cortex-R5 & 3x Proprietary CoXProcessor
DRAM Support DDR4/LPDDR4 (32bit)
Capacity 32TB
NAND Supoort 3D TLC, QLC
Flash Transfer Rate 2,400MT/s
Security AES 256, SHA 512, RSA 4096
ECC Support Yes, LDPC & RAID
Seq Performance 12GB/s Read, 11GB/s Write
4K IOPS Random 1.5M Read, 2.0M Write

Key highlights from Phison at CES 2022:

PS5026-E26 – Phison’s first PCIe Gen5 SSD architecture

The E26 SSD solution provides a best-in-class combination of performance and low power consumption using Phison’s unique architecture. The E26 is a configurable SSD platform designed for PCIe Gen5 that will cover the enterprise and consumer markets. The company’s first Gen5 controller will come in a variety of form factors and features that can scale to over 10 GB / s while meeting the power requirements for everyday computing. Phison will debut the E26 at CES 2022 for the first time.

PS5021-E21T – Phison’s New DRAM-Free PCIe Gen4 High-Performance Solution

The E21T showcase will showcase Phison’s new DRAM-free architecture as the future leader in next-generation mobile gaming. The E21T, the successor to the E19T, and the E21T BGA, the successor to the E13T, breakthrough performance barriers using Gen4 to set new standards for user experience.

PS5013-E13T – Phison BGA for Mobile Games

Xiaomi opted for the Phison E13T BGA SSD for its superior performance and efficiency for the Black Shark 4 gaming phone series. Xiaomi reckons the E13T BGA delivers a 69 percent increase in read and write performance, showing that NVMe is redefining mobile gaming. Phison will show the Xiaomi Black Shark 4 at CES 2022 in a first-person Zoom demo.

In testing, the Phison E26 and its PCIe Gen 5 m.2 NVMe architecture was shown off in CrystalDiskMark benchmarks below:

Phison controllers are used in the majority of PCIe 4 NVMe SSDs in the market right now and therefore we can comfortably assume that adoption of the Phison E26 when PCIe m.2 NVMe SSDs are further established in the second half of 2022 will be very high once again.

Netgear MS108EUP Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Plus Switch

Although Netgear revealed several new hardware solutions at CES 2022 (new WiFi 6E solutions for the most part), the Netgear MS108EUP really stood out for me, arriving with a rare combination of 2.5GbE, on 8-Ports and with PoE support. NETGEAR Plus Switches with PoE meet business networks growing needs by providing fundamental network features such as simplified VLANs, QoS set-up and IGMP Snooping that will help optimize the performance of business networks. Plus Switches are the perfect upgrade from the plug-and-play unmanaged switch, delivering essential networking features at a very affordable price. The new model MS108EUP supports 2.5 Gigabit speed connectivity and Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) that can provide up to 60W/port. The new switch model can power devices such as VoIP phones, surveillance IP cameras, wireless access points and many other applications. This new Plus switch includes advance PoE control to help optimize the performance and troubleshooting of business networks. The new and improved business-friendly GUI allows easy management and simple configuration.

  • Multi-gigabit copper ports : 8 (1G/2.5G)
  • Number of PoE+ (802.3at) ports : 4
  • Number of PoE++ (802.3bt) ports : 4
  • Total PoE Power budget : 230 Watts

  • Uninterrupted PoE : Yes
  • Max MAC entries : 16K
  • Buffer size : 1.5MB
  • VLAN (Number Supported) : 64
  • EEE : Yes
  • DoS Prevention : Yes
  • Internal/External PSU : External
  • Max power (worst case, all ports used, line-rate traffic) : 230W
  • Fans : 0

The price tag for the Netgear MS108EUP at $400 does seem a pinch high, but this is one of the very few PoE+/PoE++ switches on the market that are 2.5GbE equipped.

Adata Nighthawk and Blackbird PCIe 5 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD

Alongside the other big SSD names, ADATA also took the opportunity a CES 2022 to reveal their two PCIe Gen 5 x4 SSDs, codenamed Nighthawk and Blackbird). Much like their current XPG GAMMIX series, these new ADATA SSDs step away from the use of the Phison controller and instead the new Adata Nighthawk will be using a new Silicon Motion SM2508 PCIe5 controller and the Adata Blackbird will be using Innogrit’s new PCIe controller, the IG5666. Adata already has a strong connection with Innogrit, so when they announced work on a PCIe 5.0 controller, it was heavily anticipated that ADATA would be one of the first adopters. Here are the full specifications of each SSD:

  ADATA Nighthawk

ADATA Blackbird

Controller Silicon Motion SM2508 InnoGrit IG5666
Interface PCI Express 5.0 x4 PCI Express 5.0 x4
Sequential reading upto 14 000 MB/s upto 14 000 MB/s
Sequential write upto 12 000 MB/s upto 10 000 MB/s
4K random read upto 1 800 000 IOPS upto 2 000 000 IOPS
4K random write upto 1 600 000 IOPS upto 1 400 000 IOPS
Capacity upto 8 TB upto 8 TB

The two prototypes ADATA PCIe Gen5x 4 SSDs made an appearance at the ADATA CES booth. The ‘Project Nighthawk,’ and its Silicon Motion SM2508 controller is capable of delivering sequential read/write performance of up to 14/12GB/s, and ‘Project Blackbird’ and InnoGrit IG5666 controller is capable of delivering read/write performance of 14/10GB/s. Both SSDs sports capacities of up to 8TB at 2280 m.2 length.

Samsung PM1743 PCIe Gen5 SSD

Although by no means an industry secret that Samsung have had PCIe 5.0 SSDs in development, CES 2022 was able to provide more information on the new Samsung PM1743 enterprise SSD. Samsung themselves had this to say about their new PCIe 5.0 x4 SSD developments: “For over a decade, Samsung has been delivering SATA, SAS and PCIe-based SSDs that have been recognized for outstanding performance and reliability by leading enterprise server customers including corporations, governments and financial institutions. The introduction of a PCIe 5.0 SSD, along with PCIe 6.0-based product developments that are underway, will further solidify our technological leadership in the enterprise server market. Intel has been working with Samsung to test Samsung’s newest PCIe NVMe SSD, the PM1743. Together, we have jointly resolved complicated technical issues encountered with PCIe 5.0 during this initial evaluation period. The performance potential of Gen5 is truly impressive. In the near future, we strongly believe that PCIe Gen5 systems with high-speed NVMe SSDs will have the ability to transform applications such as AI/ML and high-performance databases,” said Jim Pappas, Director, Technology Initiatives, Intel Corporation. “Looking ahead, we are confident that Intel and Samsung’s continued commitment in industry leadership will provide these and other benefits to our mutual customers.”

PCIe 5.0 offers a bandwidth of 32 Giga transfers per second (GT/s), doubling that of PCIe 4.0. Leveraging a proprietary controller designed to support the latest PCIe standard, the PM1743 will deliver outstanding read and write speeds to accommodate the rapidly increasing performance requirements of data centers. Specifications for the PM1743 (in two forms) are below:



  PM1743
(15.36TB)
PM1733
(15.36TB)
Form Factor U.2 or E3.S U.2
Interface PCIe 5.0 x4, NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe
Controller Unnamed Samsung PCIe 5.0 Samsung S4LR014 PCIe 4.0
NAND Flash Samsung 128L TLC (TBC) Samsing 96L TLC
Sequential Read 13000 MB/s 7000 MB/s
Sequential Write 6600 MB/s 3500 MB/s
Random Read
IOPS
2500k 1500k
Random Write
IOPS
250k 135k
Active 30 W? 20 W
Idle TBC 8.5 W
Write Endurance TBC 28 PBW
1.0 DWPD for 5 Years

Experience up to 13,000 MB/s or double the read and write speed of the previous generation, PM1733. With a proprietary controller, the PCIe 5.0 PM1743 strengthens performance and reliability, providing enterprise users with expanded system capacity suitable for heavy workloads. The latest form factor EDSFF E3.S improves signal integrity and boosts performance while featuring category-leading capacity of 15.36TB within the category. A thin 7.5 mm enables higher storage density in enterprise servers while increasing performance and enhancing power efficiency. Additionally, the Samsung PM1743 supports both 2.5-inch and E3.S form factors.

The Samsung PM1743 that was demonstrated was still in its tech/prototype form, so it wasn’t much to look at – as well as being injected in the Intel-powered test machine via an adapter card. Luckily Ryan Shrout was able to demo some of the early performance and how it compares with the current PCIe 4 speed via Twitter below

Perks of the job! Was going to save this demo for #CES2022 but with that off the table, why not just share it with everyone right now?! Here’s a 12th Gen ⁦@intel⁩ Core i9-12900K system paired with a new ⁦@Samsung⁩ PM1743 PCIe 5.0 SSD getting over 13GB/s!! pic.twitter.com/oyL08KzDtV

— Ryan Shrout (@ryanshrout) December 30, 2021

We are still a fair way away from Samsung launching a commercial/prosumer SSD in simple m.2 form (perhaps a Samsung 990 Pro), but these are all solid and interesting developments to look forward to in 2022/2023.

 

The QNAP TS-464T4 Thunderbolt 4 NAS

If you are a thunderbolt user and have been looking at network-attached storage (NAS) in the last few years, then it would have been impossible to avoid QNAP. They have been one of the very few brands that have been able to merge the use of your own private server with the utility, speed and convenience of Thunderbolt. Well into its 4th (or maybe even 5th technically) generation of Thunderbolt NAS systems, they have now released at the CES 2022 event their new Thunderbolt 4 equipped 4-Bay NAS solution, the QNAP TS-464T4. Arriving in a similar form as the more affordable thunderbolt 3 NAS system from 2018, the TS-453BT3, this new system is utilizing a lot of the new build specifications of the slowly appearing TS-x64 series, but then ramps things up significantly with the inclusion of 3 types of connectivity (all higher than gigabit), as well as two media bay types, 10Gb USB and a sturdy and cost-effective Intel Celeron processor. The QNAP TS-464T4 certainly has a lot to live up to (following the high acclaim that the TS-453BT3 has achieved) but if they can get the price right on this NAS, then we could well be looking at one of the best entry points for users who want to jump on board the thunderbolt NAS scene that we have seen yet. Let’s discuss everything we know about this nifty little device.

Click to view slideshow.

As mentioned earlier, the hardware specifications of the QNAP TS-464T4 is not really going to be the beastly architecture of the TVS-472XT or TVS-1288X, as this NAS is designed to be used by smaller creative business users. The system features four hard drive media bays (SATA) that support RAID 0,1,5,6,10, as well as two additional m.2 NVMe SSD media bays that can be used for caching, direct storage or tiered storage in conjunction with the larger HDD bays. The system also arrives with two Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB-C) that will no doubt be backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3, this means that two users will be able to connect with the TS-464T4 directly over thunderbolt to access it’s storage, as well as the NAS remaining accessible by countless users via the network/internet. This is thanks to the system ALSO features 10GbE and 2.5GbE network ports. These appear to be native (i.e. not via a PCIe card as found on the TS-453BT3), so this means the TS-464T4 will almost certainly be as compact in it’s 4-Bay chassis as the TS-453BT3, TS-464 and TS-453D. Finally, the system also includes an HDMI 2.0 output for a 4K 60FPS monitor, as well as multiple USB ports that are no doubt going to include USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) as found in the rest of the TS-x64 series so far. This is all built on an architecture of the Intel Celeron currently found in the TS-x64 series, the Intel N5105 or N5095A, which is an embedded graphics enabled, x86, 64bit, quad-core chip. Given the memory/cache hungry nature of thunderbolt, the TS-464T4 will likely ship with at least 8GB of memory by default. So, in summary:

QNAP TS-464T4 4-Bay NAS – £TBC**

  • Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 CPU
  • 2.0-2.9GHz Quad Core Processor
  • Integrated Intel UHD 600 Graphics
  • 8GB DDR4 SODIMM (16GB Maximum, 2-Slots)*
  • 4x SATA 3.5″ HDD Bays (20TB Current Max)
  • 2x TB4 USB-C Ports
  • 2 x M.2 NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3×1 / 3×2*)
  • 10GbE Network Port
  • 2.5GbE Network Port
  • HDMI 2.0 (60FPS 4K)
  • **Estimate £999

QNAP has been a little quieter on the eventual release price and planned launch date for the TS-464T4 NAS, however, we can make some educated guess! First and foremost, the pricetag will need to sit well with the hardware on offer and the rest of the thunderbolt portfolio. So, given the £900-1000 price tag of the TS-453BT3, we can comfortably assume that this will be a target figure for the TS-464T4. Regarding the release date, QNAP has been gradually releasing the TS-x64 series in the closing stages of 2021 (with the TS-364 and TBS-464 being released in Nov and Dec). With the reveal of the TS-464T4 and HS-264 at the CES 2022 event lining up neatly in Jan ’22, I think we are likely to see a release of the TS-464T4 in the first quarter of 2022

 

QNAP TS-H1290FX PCIe 4 U.2 Desktop Flash Server NAS

One of the most high-end QNAP desktop solutions that we have seen in years, at CES 2022 we finally go to see the BEAST that was the TS-h1290FX. a PCIe 4 equipped Flash Server that can utilize 12 U.2 SSDs in it’s default chassis (as well as more drives via expansions), featuring an 8/12 Core AMD EPYC processor, up to 1TB of DDR4 memory and even features 2x 25 Gigabit Ethernet ports. For those looking at flash storage and the removal of all internal or external bottleneck’s, this is a MONSTER release. The system even features multiple PCIe Gen 4 upgrade slots, which allows further enhanced network port upgrades and storage upgrade cards. Here is how the TS-h1290FX looks:

Click to view slideshow.

Supporting twelve U.2 NVMe PCIe Gen4/SATA SSD drives, the TS-h1290FX is QNAP’s first all-flash desktop NAS that is ideal for office environments. Equipped with an AMD EPYC™ 16 core 7302P/8 core 7232P processor and built-in 25GbE & 2.5GbE connectivity, the TS-h1290FX empowers data-intensive, low-latency applications and enables smooth file transfer, display, and real-time editing of 4K/8K media. High-performance and easily scalable, the TS-h1290FX streamlines backup, collaboration, and video editing/storage workflows. It supports installing an NVIDIA graphics card and Fibre Channel card and offers direct connectivity for up to twenty PCs/workstations when used with multiple QNAP PCIe quad-port network cards. The TS-h1290FX can also be paired with QDA-UMP4 U.2 NVMe to M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4 adapter to boost IOPS performance when configuring SSD caching and expanded with QNAP TL-D800C &TR-004 enclosures.

QNAP TS-h1290FX Desktop Flash NAS – £TBC

  • NVMe Storage QuTS Hero ZFS Platform
  • AMD EPYC 7232P 8-core 3.1-3.2 GHz
  • AMD EPYC 7302P 16-core 3.0-3.3GHz
  • 64/128/256GB RDIMM DDR4 ECC
  • (1TB Max over 16 Slots)
  • 12 x 2.5-inch U.2 PCIe Gen 4×4 NVMe (24x ? TBC)
  • 2 x 25GbE (SFP28 SmartNIC) Ports
  • 2x 2.5Gbe Copper Ports
  • 3x PCIe Gen4 x16 Slots
  • 1x PCIe Gen4 x8 Slot
  • 750W Internal PSU
  • 5yr Warranty (TBC)

Details on release seem to indicate that the TS-h1290FX will be released by QNAP very soon.

QNAP KoiBox-100W All-in-one Video Conference Solution

Running the KoiMeeter video conferencing operating system, the KoiBox-100W is the ideal replacement for costly SIP-based conferencing systems and features value-added 4K wireless projection, four-way communication, and local storage features. Creating private meetings with the KoiBox-100W provides higher security and privacy compared with public cloud meetings, and the auto-answering function provides greater convenience in certain usage environments. Besides private meetings, the KoiBox-100W streamlines communication between different platforms by allowing joining Zoom®, Skype™, Microsoft Teams®, Cisco Webex®, and Google Meet™ calls.

  • 4K wireless projection

    Present with a 4K high-resolution visual experience.

  • Four-way communications

    Multi-point video conferencing with QNAP KoiBox-100W, KoiMeeter, the KoiMeeter mobile app, and compatible SIP systems.

  • Join cloud meetings

    Use cloud-based meeting platforms almost every day? No problem! The KoiBox-100W supports well-known cloud meeting services.

  • Share mobile phone screens

    Scan the QR code on the KoiBox-100W display to quickly share your mobile phone screen.

  • Local storage

    Install a 2.5-inch SATA drive to store meeting videos, audio, and files.

    Note: SSD/hard drive sold separately.

Click to view slideshow.

Here are the specifications of the KoiBox:

Model KoiBox-100W
CPU Intel® Celeron® dual-core 1.8GHz
System Memory 4GB DDR4
Flash Memory M.2 2242 SSD 30GB
Drive Bay 1 x 2.5-inch SATA (HDD/SSD not included)
Gigabit Ethernet Port 1 x 1GbE RJ45
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201, 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.2
HDMI Output 1 x HDMI 1.4b output
USB Port 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A

 

QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S 10GbE & 2.5GbE PoE++ Switch

The QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S is a L2 PoE Managed Switch with sixteen 30-watt 2.5GbE PoE+ ports, two 90-watt 10GbE PoE++ ports. Offering a total power budget of 280 watts and two 10GbE SFP+ ports, the QSW-M2116P-2T2S not only enables a high-speed and high-power PoE network infrastructure for Wi-Fi 6 Access Points and Routers, but also provides backbone network uplinking capabilities. The QSS, QNAP Switch System with user-friendly web interface, helps IT administrators efficiently control Layer 2 and PoE networks, including wireless APs, IP Cameras and Digital Signage, core Switches and Servers. The QSW-M2116P-2T2S offers SMBs a cost-optimized and centrally managed LAN deployment solution.

  • Compliant with the IEEE 802.3bt PoE++ and IEEE 802.3at PoE+ standards. Offers 2-port 90-watt and 16-port 30-watt PoE capabilities. Can supply a total power budget of 280 watts to meet the demands of high-powered devices (PDs).
  • Compatible with 10GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T technologies to support five speeds (10G / 5G / 2.5G / 1G / 100M), the QSW-M2116P-2T2S offers higher transmission speeds when used with existing cables.
  • Two 10GbE SFP+ ports can connect to the Internet, Routers, core switches, and NAS to fulfill the high bandwidth demands of backbone network or data centers.
  • Offers a user-friendly web interface to help IT administrators efficiently control Layer 2 and PoE networks. Additionally, the overview dashboard and graphical statistics analysis show IT administrators all switch information and powered devices at a glance, making central management of high-power devices intuitive and easy.
  • Provides comprehensive Layer 2 management features (such as VLAN, LACP, QoS IGMP Snooping, and Wake-on-LAN) for IT administrators to efficiently control network bandwidth and enhance security via the user-friendly switch management web interface.
Click to view slideshow.

Here are the full specifications of the QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S switch:

Model QSW-M2116P-2T2S
Management Type Web Managed
Number of Ports 20
10GbE SFP+ 2
10GbE BASE-T (RJ45) 2
2.5GbE (RJ45) 16
Total PoE Ports 18
PoE PSE (802.3af, 15.4W) Port 1-16
PoE+ PSE (802.3at, 30W) Port 1-16
PoE++ PSE (802.3bt, 90W) Port 19-20
PoE Power Output Port 1-16 (30W), Port 19-20 (90W)
Total PoE Power Budget 280W
Power Supply Description Internal Power Supply Unit
Max. Power Consumption 350W
Input Power Type AC
Input Voltage Range 100-240VAC, 50/60 Hz
MAC Address Table 32K
Total Non-Blocking Throughput 80Gbps
Switching Capacity 160Gbps
Management Interface Web
Console RJ45

Much like the previously mentioned QNAP Flash server release, we think release of the QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S is going to be in the first quarter of 2022.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 WiFi 6E Router

Although the RAXE300 is not the brand’s first WiFi 6e hardware release (eg. the RAXE500), it is the first real/formal entry into the 6Ghz band router scene in their Nighthawk series for gamers. It allows upto 7.8Gbps speeds across the total bandwidth and opens the door for gamers to experience WiFi 6E’s new 6GHz “express lane” with the NETGEAR Nighthawk RAXE300 Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router. With eight WiFi streams and unmatched performance, the RAXE300 boosts capacity and reduces interference for smoother 4k/8K video streaming and AR/VR gaming. Your most demanding tech gets wired connections with one 2.5G and five Gigabit Ethernet ports. Sending maximum Gigabit Internet speeds across your 2,500-square-foot home, this exceptional value keeps up with everything your family does.

• WiFi Technology : WiFi 6E (IEEE® 802.11ax) Tri-Band WiFi (AXE7800) 8-Stream
• 2.4GHz AX: 2×2 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256-QAM 20/40MHz, up to 600Mbps
• 5GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256-QAM 20/40/80/160MHz, up to 4.8Gbps
• New 6GHz AX: 2×2 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256-QAM 20/40/80/160MHz, up to 2.4GbpsBackwards
• with IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi
• Supports new WiFi 6E devices on 6GHz WiFi band
• WiFi Speed : AXE7800 (.6+4.8+2.4Gbps)
• WiFi Band : Tri-Band 6GHz + 5GHz +2.4GHz
• WiFi Range : 2,500 square feet
• Ethernet Ports : Five (5) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports + one (1) 2.5G/1Gbps Multi-Gig port
• 4x GbE (2x port aggregation LAN)

• 1x 1GbE Internet/LAN (configurable)
• 1x 2.5G/1Gbps Multi-Gig port (configurable)
• Multi-Gig: Ability to aggregate two Gigabit LAN ports (configurable) concurrently
• USB Ports : One (1) USB 3.0 port. Type-C for network storage
• Processor: Quad-core 1.7GHz processor
• Security: NETGEAR Armor™—Advanced cyber threat protection for your home network and your connected devices††
• NETGEAR Smart Parental Controls™—Easily manage your kids‘ time online across their connected devices∞
• Guest network access—Separate & secure
• Supports WPA3, the latest and cutting-edge WiFi security protocol
• VPN Support—Secure access to your home
• Automatic firmware update delivers latest security patches to the router

Nighthawk RAXE300 Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router, powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, is built for performance at an ultimate level. The ultra-fast processor enables the router to seamlessly handle data intensive applications such as 4K/8K UHD video streaming, VR/ AR gaming, as well as provide a stronger, more reliable WiFi experience. This powerful processor is optimized for AX making intelligent spontaneous decisions to schedule data traffic to maximize WiFi Bandwidth utilization.

Archer AXE200 Omni – AXE11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router

Called Archer AXE200 Omni, the company’s new Wi-Fi 6E router features four motorized antennas that independently move and rotate to automatically provide the strongest signal possible to your devices as they move around your home. The router serves as an alternative in needing to implement a mesh network at home – which oftentimes can burn a hole in your pocket if you live in a really big house and require multiple nodes. The most impressive feature of this new product is its four external antennas that mechanically rotate and independently adjust their angles. This automatically ensures that signals are being sent to where it’s needed the most in the house. The tri-band router has support for all the modern Wi-Fi bands from 6GHz all the way to 2.4GHz so your older devices will truly benefit from this router. To really enjoy top speeds you’d need to have devices that support Wi-Fi 6E as well, else this benefit will be moot. Powered by a 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, the Archer AXE200 Omni includes a 10G and 2.5G ethernet port which allows tethering gaming PCs and video game consoles to the internet. The Archer AXE200 Omni is definitely an innovative idea, which means it will cost more than a regular router. TP-Link hasn’t revealed the pricing of its new router yet.

Highlights of the Archer AXE200 Router:

  • Mechanically Rotating Antennas – Robotic antennas auto-adapt their orientation for the best signals.
  • AXE11000 Tri-Band – Delivers speeds up to 11 Gbps.
  • Next-Gen Processing – Armed with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core CPU.
  • 10G Port -1× 10G port offers ultra-reliable, high-speed data transmissions.
  • EasyMesh™ – Create a true seamless mesh network with EasyMesh™.
  • HomeShield – Provides comprehensive network protection, robust parental controls, and real-time loT security.

This router is certainly something I plan on keeping my eye on in CES 2022, as although TP-Link are by no means the first to crack into the prosumer WiFi 6e market, the automatic antenna rotation and motion to improve your network coverage and performance is definitely something that is new for the home. No full confirmation about release dates, but I will keep my eyes open! Additionally, alongside the AXE200, TP-Link also unveiled showed off another Archer series router for WiFi 6e deployment, the Archer AXE300. Although it lacks the automatic/motor controller antenna movement, it features greater coverage and hits a whopping 16Gb/s total bandwidth, along with featuring two 10GbE ports.

Highlights of the Archer AXE300 Router:

  • AXE16000 Quad-Band – AXE16000 Quad-Band Wi-Fi delivers Wi-Fi speeds up to an unprecedented 16 Gbps.
  • Dual 10G Ports – A 10 Gbps WAN/LAN Port and a 10 Gbps SFP+/RJ45 Combo LAN Port not only provide ultra-high-speed internet access but also open up the possibility of faster NAS transmissions over the LAN.
  • Next-Gen Processing – Armed with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core CPU.
  • Maximized Coverage – 8x antennas provide maximized Wi-Fi coverage.
  • Wi-Fi 6E Unleashed – The brand new 6 GHz band brings more bandwidth, faster speeds, and near-zero latency
  • HomeShield – Customize your home network with enhanced security and control.

I will add more interesting data related hardware releases that were unveiled at CES 2022 last week as they appear. Otherwise, you can watch the Data News of the Week special over on YouTube in which I discuss all these releases and more. You can skip ahead to chapters by using the links under the video.

Chapters in the Video (skip ahead to the product by clicking below):

01:55 – The Netgear Nighthawk AXE7800 WiFi 6E Router

02:55 – Archer AXE200 Omni Directional WiFi 6E Router

04:25 – Archer AXE300 AX16000 WiFi 6E Router

05:45 – Wi-Fi 6E USB Dongle (RTL8832CU) & Controller

07:40 – Netgear MS108EUP Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Plus Switch

09:40 – The Adata Nighthawk and Blackbird PCIe 5 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD

10:10 – ADATA Elite SE920 USB4 External SSD

11:30 – The Samsung PCIe 5 x4 NVMe SSD PM1743

13:30 – The Phison E26 PCIe Gen 5 x4 Controller

16:15 – The QNAP TS-464T4 Thunderbolt 4 NAS

17:20 – The QNAP TS-264 Silent NAS 2-Bay

18:20 – The QNAP TS-h1290FX 12-Bay PCIe 4 SSD Flash Desktop NAS

20:45 – The QNAP KoiBox-100W Conference System

22:25 – The QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S 10GbE & 2.5GbE PoE++ Switch

 


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