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

7 septembre 2021 à 08:04

Review of the XPG GAMMIX S70 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

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

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

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

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

Excellent Value (Especially With the Reported Performance)

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Inclusive Heatsink is high quality AND expertly applied

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

Excellent on-board Temp Control

August ’21 Update Increased Performance Further

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

Only two capacities are available

 

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Packaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

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

ADATA GAMMIX S70

1TB – $159.99, 2TB – $299.99

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

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

Hardware Focus of the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Official Stats First

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

Brand/Series ADATA GAMMIX S70

1TB – $159.99, 2TB – $299.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

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

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

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

Brand/Series ADATA GAMMIX S70

1TB – $159.99, 2TB – $299.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

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

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

Testing the XPG GAMMIX S70 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

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

Test Machine:

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

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

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

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.34GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.94GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.34GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.91GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.46GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.85GB/s

 


 

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

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

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

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

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

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

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

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

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

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

XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD Review – Conclusion

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

 

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

Excellent Value (Especially With the Reported Performance)

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Inclusive Heatsink is high quality AND expertly applied

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

Excellent on-board Temp Control

August ’21 Update Increased Performance Further

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

Only two capacities are available

 


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Corsair MP600 Pro NVMe SSD Review – Serious Storage?

3 septembre 2021 à 01:15

Review of the Corsair MP600 Pro PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

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

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

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

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

Genuinely Impressive Performance

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

96 Layer TLC 3D NAND

Higher Durability than WD Black & Samsung 980 Pro

Consistent 7,000MB/s on ALL Capacities

Available in up to 4TB, at 2280 Length Too

IOPS figures are lower than many PCIe4 SSDs

Cache fills up quick!

Lower endurance than the Firecuda 530

 

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Packaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

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

Corsair MP600 Plus

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

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

Hardware Focus of the Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Series

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

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

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

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

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Official Stats First

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

Brand/Series Corsair MP600 Plus

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

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

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

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

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

Brand/Series Corsair MP600 Plus

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

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

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

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

Testing the Corsair MP600 Pro m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

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

Test Machine:

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

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

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

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.56GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.10GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.69GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.13GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.59GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.12GB/s

 


 

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

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

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

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

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

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

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

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

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

Corsair MP600 Pro SSD Review – Conclusion

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

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

Genuinely Impressive Performance

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

96 Layer TLC 3D NAND

Higher Durability than WD Black & Samsung 980 Pro

Consistent 7,000MB/s on ALL Capacities

Available in up to 4TB, at 2280 Length Too

IOPS figures are lower than many PCIe4 SSDs

Cache fills up quick!

Lower endurance than the Firecuda 530

 


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

1 septembre 2021 à 02:12

Review of the MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

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

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

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

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

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

96 Layer TLC 3D NAND

Higher Durability than WD Black & Samsung 980 Pro

More affordable than the Seagate Firecuda 530

Consistent 7,000MB/s on ALL Capacities

The heatsink isn’t included and run rather hot!

IOPS figures are lower than many PCIe4 SSDs

 

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Packaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

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

MSI SPATIUM M480

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 96L
Max Capacity 2TB – Single Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr

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

Hardware Focus of the MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Series

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

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

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

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

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

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Official Stats First

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

Brand/Series MSI SPATIUM M480

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

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

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

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

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

Brand/Series MSI SPATIUM M480

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

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

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

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

Testing the MSI SPATIUM M480 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

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

Test Machine:

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

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

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

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.31GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.31GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.30GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.03GB/s

 


 

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

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

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

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

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

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

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

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

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

MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Review – Conclusion

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

 

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

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

96 Layer TLC 3D NAND

Higher Durability than WD Black & Samsung 980 Pro

More affordable than the Seagate Firecuda 530

Consistent 7,000MB/s on ALL Capacities

The heatsink isn’t included and run rather hot!

IOPS figures are lower than many PCIe4 SSDs

 

 


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A Guide to Rackmount NAS – Sorted by Size

25 août 2021 à 16:00

Choosing the Right Rackmount NAS – Understanding the Importance of Depth

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

Using the Rackmount Size Guide Below

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Seagate Firecuda 530 Vs MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe4 M.2 SSD Comparison

20 août 2021 à 16:00

PCIe 4 NVMe SSD Comparison – MSI Spatium M480 vs Seagate Firecuda 530

The PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD market continues to grow into the accepted standard in 2021/2022 for performance – and the usual brands are rising to the challenge. If there is only one thing that you take from these comparisons on NVMe SSDs of late, it is that even in this relatively recent tier of Prosumer/Business storage, there is still plenty of choice. In fact, when Seagate revealed their industry beating Firecuda 530 last month, it was largely unchallenged for just a week, before MSI stepped up and formally revealed their new Spatium M480 series. What makes these two SSDs particularly interesting is that they are both based on an incredibly similar architecture and provide arguable comparable throughput too. Alongside this, professional and casual gaming consumers are having to make a choice here between Seagate (a big, BIG name in data storage) and MSI (a big, BIG name in gamer circles) – not as straightforward as you might think. So today I want to talk about these two brands, discuss what they offer in terms of performance, responsiveness, durability and endurance, and hopefully help you decide whether the Firecuda or Spatium M480 deserves your data.

 

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

MSI SPATIUM M480

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L B27 3D NAND 96L
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr 5yr
 

A quick look at the architecture of each SSDs does NOT show a huge amount of disparity between them at first. Both arrive with PCIe 4.0 M.2 bandwidth (a potential maximum 8,000MB/s), the latest NVMe 1.4 revision and utilizing the cutting edge E18 Phison controller, resulting in over 7,000MB/s performance. However, one key difference we CAN see is in the choice of NAND being used by either NVMe SSD. Though both the Seagate and MSI SSD both use 3D TLC NAND, the M480 USES 96 layer NAND, whereas the Firecuda 530 arrives with an impressive 176 layer NAND – a significant advantage in a number of areas like IOPS and Throughput in the usage of the drive (even affecting endurance). This may seem like a minor point, but the impact of this choice will bear fruit later on. Let’s compare how each drive is priced.

MSI Spatium M480 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Price & Capacity

The price tag of the Firecuda 530 and Spatium M480 respectively are both based on the most recently available pricing at the time of writing, though the MSI NVMes might change. Nonetheless, the pricing on each PCIe 4×4 SSD is actually quite comparable and the differences that appear between each capacity model and even in the currency conversion is not too bad. It should also be noted that the prices below are based o nthe M480 and FC530 without a heatsink, though both brands supply a high-quality heatsink kit version at a smaller increased cost. Overall, I would say that the MSI M480 has a lower Price per GB/TB than the Seagate drive, but that is not quite the end of the story, as both brands have providing slightly different series capacity options:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

MSI SPATIUM M480

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 M480-500GB
Price in $ and $ $139 / £119 $119 / £105 (TBC)
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 M480-1000GB
Price in $ and $ $239 / £199 $239 / £189 (TBC)
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 M480-2000GB
Price in $ and $ $419 / £379 $399 / £369 (TBC)
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ $949 / £769

Both brands have supplied the 500GB tier (i.e smaller scale gamers, caching, 2+ 4K projects for editing), 1TB (i.e professional gamers, rackmount caching/tiering, 4K/8K editing) and 2TB (i.e Pro Gamers and Streamers, Professional 4K/8K Post Production and enterprise) available in their ranges, but the Seagate Firecuda 530 is one of only around 2-3 brands that supply a 4TB PCIe Gen 4×4 m.2 4TB drive at 2280 length. This is particularly ambitious of the brand, especially when you look a the potential 4 figure price tag. However professional buyers who only want to make a purchase like this once every 5 years at least are going to be attracted to this option. Additionally, because the highest tiers of storage in NVMe are where you find the best performance (with the MASSIVE exception of when a brand uses QLC NAND of course), Seagate has clearly decided to put ALOT of backing on these drives in 2021/2022 to facilitate the biggest budget buyers. The MSI M480 is the winner here in terms of price per GB/TB, but Seagate win on Capacity and potentially on value – but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves yet.

 

MSI Spatium M480 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported Read & Write Speed

The throughout that the MSI M480 and Firecuda 530 can provide in sequential read and write are close, but on paper, Seagate win. Obviously, these are slightly more idealised benchmarks from the brands themselves and are maximums reported by their tech teams respectively, but even then you can see that the FC 530 provides a heck of a lot! Even in the Seagate Firecuda 530’s weakest tier (the 500GB model) it still outpaces the M480 noticeably. Once again, though both drives feature similar memory/SD, it is that higher-quality NAND that the Seagate features that gives it that edge. Below is a breakdown of the performance of each capacity tier on each NVMe:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

MSI SPATIUM M480

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 M480-500GB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 6500MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB 2850MB
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 M480-1000GB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6000MB 5500MB
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 M480-2000GB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 6850MB
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB  
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB

Fair play to the MSI for still providing some genuinely impressive performance, eclipsing a number of other 96 layer 3D NAND drives previously compared here. Although neither brand is using an in-house built controller, choosing to use the Phison E18-PS5018 chip, so the fact that they can both hit 7,000MB/s is not too surprising, the fact the FC530 can hit higher in 3 of its 4 available capacities at 7,3000MB/s is the clincher here. Remember, the PCIe 4.0 x4 bandwidth that this drive utilises max’s out at 8,000MB/s, which is getting increasingly close to saturation here! The Seagate Firecuda 530 clearly wins here. Next, we can look at the reported IOPS of these two drives, as this is one of the Achilles heels of the MSI M480 sadly.

 

MSI Spatium M480 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported IOPS

The IOPs ratings of each of these drives, despite their relatively similar architecture, is significantly different. IOPs, along with the endurance and durability which we will touch on later, is one of the key areas that Seagate say they focused on with the Firecuda 530 and compared with the MSI M480, it shows. Performing twice the random read IOPS at the 500GB and 1TB tiers, they soon break the 1,000,000 IOPS barrier in both random read and write in the higher tiers. Although IOPS are generally a much more business/enterprise metric, they still hold court with professional gamers and in data centre-class AI operations. The 170K random read IOPS on the Spatium M480 is especially low (given the rest of the hardware on that m.2 PCB!) and it eventually maxes out at 650/700K random read/write at the highest tiers. Here is a breakdown:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

MSI SPATIUM M480

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 M480-500GB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000 170,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 600,000
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 M480-1000GB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800000 350,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 700,000
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 M480-2000GB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 650,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 700,000
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000  
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000

Overall, it is hard to claim this as anything else but a definitive win for the Seagate Firecuda 530 over the MSI M480 in terms of IOPS. Later in 2021, we will be running extended performance testing on these drives to see how well these stats hold up over extended periods, but in all likelihood, these stats will still be comparatively distance between each drive.

 

MSI Spatium M480 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Endurance & Durability

Next up, we need to discuss how well these two drives can endure consistent write/rewrites in their predicted 5 year lifespan (i.e in their 5 year warranty period and based on the drives being in constant use). The Endurance and Durability of an SSD is an area that is overlooked often enough that I wanted to take a moment to focus a little more on this – you can thank you years from now! The importance of SSD durability and endurance in 2021/2022 is actually pretty massive. Now that the devices we use all feature incredibly powerful processors, often cloud/network hybrid AI processes and graphical handling that will be instantly bottlenecked by traditional hard drives, SSDs are no longer just the ‘boot’ drive for our OS and are now the day to day working drive. This combined with SSD being used as caching and larger SSD capacities allowing suitable substitution for HDDs entirely means that the CONSTANT concern about SSDs lifespan and the durability of those NAND cells is now quite paramount. SSDs wear out – it’s as simple as that. The more you write, the more wear those individual NAND cells suffer – degrading performance over the years and inevitably leading to drive failure. Likewise, the smaller the drive, the greater likelihood that you will be writing, then rewriting, then rewriting, time and time again. The Seagate Firecuda 530 and MSI Spatium M480 are no exception and alongside massive research and development in better controllers and interfaces to improve performance, the way NAND is improved has led to SSDs lasting lover than ever before. However, SSDs and NAND are not built equally and there is actually quite a large difference in durability between the MSI Spatium M480 and the Seagate Firecuda 530. The Storage industry typically measures the predicted durability and endurance of an SSD as TBW, DWPD and MTBF. They are:

TBW = Terabytes Written, rated as the total number of terabytes that this SSD can have written to it in its warranty covered lifespan. So if the TBW was 300TB and the warranty is 5 years of coverage, that would mean that the drive can receive on average (with deleting/overwriting data each repeatedly) 60 Terabytes per year (or 5TB a month). After this point, the manufacturer highlights that durability, endurance and performance will decline. Often highlighted as an alternative to warranty length when gauging the predicted lifespan of a SSD.

DWPD = Drive Writes Per Day / Data Writes Per Day, this is a decimalized figure that represents what proportion of the capacity of an SSD (where 1.0 = 100% capacity) can be filled, erased and/or rewritten on a daily basis. This is provided using the warranty period and TBW figure. So, for example, if a 500GB drive has a 0.3DWPD rating, that is approx 150GB of data per day

MTBF = Mean Time Between Failure, which is the interval between one failure of an SSD and the next. MTBF is expressed in hours and most industrial SSDs are rated in the Millions of Hours. MTBF and MTTF (Mean Time to Failure) have largely become overlooked in recent years in favour of TBW and DWPD in SSDs, but are still stated on most Data Sheets.

So, now you know what those large Terbyte stats, hours and decimal point details are on the average SSD datasheet. So where do the Seagate Firecuda 530 and MSI Spatium M480 stand on this:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

MSI SPATIUM M480

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 M480-500GB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 640TB 350TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,600,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.38DWPD
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 M480-1000GB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1275TB 700TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,600,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.38DWPD
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 M480-2000GB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 2550TB 1400TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,600,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.38DWPD
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 5100TB  
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000  
DWPD 0.7DWPD

Although many users might well dismiss the TBW/DWPD of an SSD, as they do not feel they are going to refresh the data on the drive at that extreme frequency per day, it should be noted that this should also be used as a suitable benchmark for the lifespan of the NAND itself. In other words, jsut because a drive has a 5-year warranty, doesn’t mean you necessarily want to replace it in 5 years! More enduring NAND means both that the SSD will have a longer lifespan AND that it should be able to maintain it’s advertised performance for longer! High DPWD ratings are something that Seagate have been hugely supporting in their ranges for a number of years (they introduced several 1.0 and higher ratings into their Ironwolf and Nytro SSDs of late too). Again, another big win for the Seagate Firecuda 530 over the MSI Spatium M480 –  particularly when you factor in that the FC530 ALSO arrives with 3 years of data recovery services (forensic level) alongside the 5yr warranty too, in their Rescue Recovery services.

 

MSI Spatium M480 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Conclusion

It will not come as a huge shock that in comparing the Firecuda 530 and Spatium M480, that the Seagate drive is still largely dominating this comparison and potentially the entire PCIe Gen 4 m.2 market so far. The M480 from MSI is a very good drive that has clearly been geared towards providing gamers and PC professionals some high tier throughput, and it is coming from a brand they already know and trust. However, it is impossible the ignore the comparatively mature decision by Seagate to focus a great deal on endurance and sustained performance and this plays out substantially throughout how these two drives compare and how they will support you later in their lifespan. Yes, the Firecuda 530 arrives at a higher price point, but you get more for your money and the money you save on day 1 with the M480 might end up costing you more in terms of an extra few minutes here or there, every day, week, month and year. If you are on a tighter budget and your NVMe SSD storage requirements are not considered Pro, Business or Enterprise, the M480 will serve you well – but for everyone else, the FC 530 has you covered in spades.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

MSI SPATIUM M480

Best Performance  
Best Endurance/Durability  
Best Price for TB  
Best Extras  
Best Value  
Where To Buy

 

 


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


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

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Seagate Firecuda 530 vs Samsung 980 PRO SSD Comparison

16 août 2021 à 16:02

PCIe 4 NVMe SSD Comparison – Samsung 980 Pro vs Seagate Firecuda 530

One industry that continues to exceed all expectations is solid-state drives (SSD). The accepted norms of storage in terms of capacity, speed and durability have wildly eclipsed those early days of SATA and now the combined might of near-total bandwidth utilisation and sophisticated onboard controllers has resulted in an SSDs capable of 20 times the performance of the first generation flash drives (370MB/s x10) and close to 50 times the speed of regular hard drives (150MB/s x50). It sounds insane but now there are SSD that can provide well over 7000MB/s read that are not only well established and available to consumer buyers, but also surprisingly affordable. Into this slowly growing tier of NVMe M2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage, two of the biggest players are Samsung and Seagate with their 980 Pro and Firecuda 530 drives. Released almost an entire year apart, these two drives are still among the most often requested media right now in summer 2021 for gamers, video editors and high-performance storage uses. Although similar in preliminary architecture, as both utilise a significantly higher saturation of the PCIe gen4 potential 8,000MB/s bandwidth available, each brand has geared their drives respective development in a different direction and the result is two drives that may seem similar at first but wildly deviate in what they can do at even a cursory examination. So today I want to compare the Seagate Firecuda 530 against the Samsung 980 Pro to help you decide which one deserves your data. 

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Samsung 980 Pro

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.3c
NAND 3D TLC

3D TLC Micron B47R 176L

3D TLC

1xx-layer layer V6 V-NAND 3-bit TLC

Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Custom Elpis
Warranty 5 Years

5 Years

Samsung introduced the 980 Pro into the market in summer 2020, during the height of the global pandemic, the US trade war and the start of the semi-conductor shortage – so that was ALOT of early friction to overcome. Despite all of this, the drive has gone from strength to strength and is largely the drive of choice in the early client development of PCIe4 m.2 on motherboards thanks to being one of the first on the market and that custom controller allowing them to break the 7,000MB/s barrier in M.2 form factor before practically everyone else. The Seagate uses the late 2020 formally revealed Phison E18-PS5018 controller (also used by a few other SSD manufacturers), whereas Samsung has its own massive in-house R&D manufacture available and has ait’s own unique custom Elpis controller. We talk in a moment about how this impacts their respective performance, but fair play to Samsung for continuing to keep their SSD development 100% in house with this one. Both drives arrive with 5 years of warranty (though their DWPD/TBW do differ noticeably) which is quite standard, but it is worth highlighting that the Seagate Firecuda 530 also arrives with 3years of data recovery services included. Know as the Seagate Rescue Service, it allows you to access professional data recovery services in the event of accidental deletion, reversing corruption and recovery services at no additional cost (there are T& course). It’s a small extra on the face of it, but for anyone that has lost key data (in the case of this drive utility, I am talking 4K raw video, savegames, editing projects, etc), this is a very noticeable extra to have thrown in!

Samsung 980 Pro vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Price & Capacity

For most casual users, the price per GB/TB and the variety of available capacities are always going to form a decent chunk of the decision-making process! Both the Firecuda 530 and Samsung 980 Pro are available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB versions, however, the Samsung also arrives in a modest 250GB model (which may well be useful to NAS users for caching or video editors looking for a smaller, faster drive for current projects (moving them to a slower archive as they go). The Seagate Firecuda has very much gone the other way on this and provides a hefty 4 terabyte (double-sided – cells on either side of the M.2 PCB) that, although rather expensive, is still going to be very attractive to buyers who only want to make this kind of purchase ONCE and want it to suitable for long term storage convenience (Professional Gamers/Pro Streamers with larger constant libraries they need to access relatively on the fly and PS5 console owners looking to take advantage of that storage expansion slot). When it comes to the price tag, Samsung 980 PRO has a tremendous advantage with being released almost a year ago (September 2020) and that has given them a great deal of time to saturate the market with their drive and introduce a greater degree of flexible pricing now in 2021. That said, the prices are not quite as far apart as I would have thought – with around $20-30/£10-20 at each storage capacity tier. See below:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Samsung 980 Pro

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 MZ-V8P500BW
Price in $ and $ $139 / £119 $119 / £109
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Price in $ and $ $239 / £199 $209 / £179
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Price in $ and $ $419 / £379 $390 / £369
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ $949 / £769 N/A

The Samsung 980 PRO is easily going to be the lower-priced of the two, even if you ignore the RRP of each brand, the 980 PRO will be on sale at one retailer or another just as the Seagate Firecuda 530 gets out of the gate! We will talk a little more about Value later on, but if the pricetag is paramount to you (perhaps you are on a tighter budget or are buying multiple NVMe SSD units) then Samsung win this one easily. However in capacity, these two PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs are harder to compare, given they differ ever so slightly. I do like that the Samsung 980 PRO arrives in the smaller 250GB capacity model, as some hybrid storage users or those looking for their OS/Steam Library for 1-2 AAA games, will like this smaller unit at around $89/£70 (though the performance is lesser – important). However, the Firecuda 530 arriving in 4TB is an unignorable power flex from Seagate, being only 1 of 2 PCIe 4.0m.2 NVMe 7,000MB/s+ available in the market (the other being the Sabrent Rocket Plus SB-RKT4P-4TB for $999). Yes, it is a hefty price tag at $949 at launch, but it still works out as $237 per TB, has by FAR the fastest performance of any of the other drives and means you only need to make this purchase ONCE. So, overall, I think the Seagate Firecuda 530 takes the win for its approach to capacity.

 

Samsung 980 Pro vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported Read & Write Speed

NOW we are talking! Moving away from price, let’s talk about what these two top tier NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs can give you in terms of traditional Read and Write performance. Ever since we first started seeing PCIe4 SSDs arrive, it has been a case of how much of the potential 8,000MB/s they could saturate with sophisticated controllers, SDRAM and NAND. The first-gen looked good at 5,000MB/s, but was soon eclipsed when Samsung 980 PRO entered the market last summer/autumn with their 7,000MB/s Read drive. Indeed, although the 250GB and 500GB drives dip slightly to 6,400/6,900MB/s respectively, the 1TB and 2TB models can reach that 7,000MB/s mark, which is great news for gamers that prioritize reading those core game files for streaming/casual gaming. However, their write speeds (a key concern for video editors and advanced content creators in general) largely cap at 5,000MB/s for the most part – still VERY impressive and Samsung have not been secretive about this, but it is still a noticeable difference. The Seagate Firecuda 530 series, thanks to a newer revision of NVMe (NVMe 1.4 over NVMe 1.3c) as well as the 176 layer 3D NAND (improving performance and relative durability, covering later). Samsung don’t disclose the layer count but claim it to be 40% more than their previous generation at 92 layers, so it is assumed to be 128L 3D NAND. The 500GB model from Seagate drops the ball a bit in terms of write speed, at a comparatively lowly 3,000MB/s (which does make the 500GB model much less appealing) but from there, the 1TB, 2TB and 4TB models all massively surpass the majority of other SSD in the market right now, reaching 6,000MB/s – 6,900MB/s in sequential Write and smashing an impressive 7,300MB/s in sequential Read – genuinely staggering and for manufactures to be getting so close to the theoretical 8,000MB/s max of PCie 4×4 M.2 so early cannot be ignored! See below:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Samsung 980 Pro

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 MZ-V8P500BW
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 6900MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB 5000MB
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6000MB 5000MB
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB N/A

As the chart above indicates, Seagate Firecuda 530 almost completely wins the performance comparison for traditional Read/Write activity. Given its later release, slightly higher price tag and increase NAND quality/layers, this is what you would expect and unless Samsung release a new revision of the PRO SSD series in 2021/2022, the Firecuda 530 wins this round in spades.

 

Samsung 980 Pro vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported IOPS

The performance of the Samsung 980 Pro and Seagate Friecuda 530 in terms of IOPS are actually surprisingly similar. Indeed, only the 500GB model ZP500GM3A013 and MZ-V8P500BW give us much difference of note. Both drive manufacturers report that they hit the 1,000,000 input/output operations per second threshold. So that means that these drives pass through data incredibly well. I mention the 500GB model, as the Samsung 980 Pro largely dwarfs the Firecuda 530 at this tier, with twice the random read IOPS and 40% or so more on random write IOPS. I would be interested to see if this is because of NAND placement (as the larger 2TB Firecuda 530 matches the Samsung 980 PRO, but is double-sided)  or total GB per physical cell and more/less over-provisioning in place – but for now we can definitely see that buyers looking for premium IOPS on a 500GB scratch/current-projects drive will see better results on the Samsung 980 PRO (also remember that the 500GB 980 Pro also had superior traditional Write too).  Below is breakdown on the reported IOPS on each drive:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Samsung 980 Pro

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 MZ-V8P500BW
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000 800,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 1,000,000
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800000 1000000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 1000000
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,000,000
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 N/A

IOPS are always going to be a tricky measurement of an SSD. Individually (i.e the M.2 NVMe in a single drive-use environment like a console or OS), the IOPS will translate to a much more responsive system. However this is still a question of near-milliseconds and the minute you introduce multiple PCIE4 M.2 SSDs RAID’d into a single system, then the multiplication of these IOPS and bottleneck of the rest of the system will level the playing field massively. The Samsung 980 Pro easily provides the best IOPS and excellent price-vs-R/W throughput on the 500GB level and makes it the clear choice at that capacity. However, in practically all over tiers they are level for the most part and unless you are running these drives in massive sessions individually (ie a streamer or eSport professional running daily 4-6hr sessions), then either of the Samsung 980 Pro or Seagate Firecuda 530 will be a suitable choice at 1TB and higher in terms of responsiveness.

 

Samsung 980 Pro vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Endurance & Durability

The importance of IOPS and Throughput are all well and good, but how long the SSD can maintain those speeds and operation in general as the years go by is an increasing concern in 2021/2022. The Firecuda 530 and 980 PRO are rated quite differently in terms of Endurance and Durability, so I wanted to take a moment to focus a little more on this – you can thank you years from now! The importance of SSD durability is actually pretty massive. Now that the devices we use all feature incredibly powerful processors, often cloud/network hybrid AI processes and graphical handling that will be instantly bottlenecked by traditional hard drives, SSDs are no longer just the ‘boot’ drive for our OS and are now the day to day working drive. This combined with SSD being used as caching and larger SSD capacities allowing suitable substitution for HDDs entirely means that the CONSTANT concern about SSDs lifespan and the durability of those NAND cells is now quite paramount. SSDs wear out – it’s as simple as that. The more you write, the more wear those individual NAND cells suffer – degrading performance over the years and inevitably leading to drive failure. Likewise, the smaller the drive, the greater likelihood that you will be writing, then rewriting, then rewriting, time and time again. The Seagate Firecuda 530 and Samsung 980 PRO are no exception and alongside massive research and development in better controllers and interfaces to improve performance, the way NAND is improved has led to SSDs lasting lover than ever before. However, SSDs and NAND are not built equally and there is actually quite a large difference in durability between the Samsung 980 PRO and the Seagate Firecuda 530. The Storage industry typically measures the predicted durability and endurance of an SSD as TBW, DWPD and MTBF. They are:

TBW = Terabytes Written, rated as the total number of terabytes that this SSD can have written to it in its warranty covered lifespan. So if the TBW was 300TB and the warranty is 5 years of coverage, that would mean that the drive can receive on average (with deleting/overwriting data each repeatedly) 60 Terabytes per year (or 5TB a month). After this point, the manufacturer highlights that durability, endurance and performance will decline. Often highlighted as an alternative to warranty length when gauging the predicted lifespan of a SSD.

DWPD = Drive Writes Per Day / Data Writes Per Day, this is a decimalized figure that represents what proportion of the capacity of an SSD (where 1.0 = 100% capacity) can be filled, erased and/or rewritten on a daily basis. This is provided using the warranty period and TBW figure. So, for example, if a 500GB drive has a 0.3DWPD rating, that is approx 150GB of data per day

MTBF = Mean Time Between Failure, which is the interval between one failure of an SSD and the next. MTBF is expressed in hours and most industrial SSDs are rated in the Millions of Hours. MTBF and MTTF (Mean Time to Failure) have largely become overlooked in recent years in favour of TBW and DWPD in SSDs, but are still stated on most Data Sheets.

So, now you know what those large Terbyte stats, hours and decimal point details are on the average SSD datasheet. So where do the Seagate Firecuda 530 and Samsung 980 PRO stand on this, as the extra 10-12 months that the Firecuda spent ‘in the oven’ has seemingly produced rather large improvements in it’s predicted lifespan:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Samsung 980 Pro

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 MZ-V8P500BW
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,500,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,500,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,500,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD

Whether it is that Phison E18 controller having better-balanced wear management, the  176 layer 3D NAND or just generally more refinement of the handling as PCIe4 m.2 is explored, there is no ignoring that 0.7 drive writes per day of the Firecuda 530 being more than double that of the Samsung 980 Pro. This is not the first time Seagate have prioritized DWPD and TBW in their SSD media (their first entries into 24×7 NAS SSD featuring 1.0DWPD, practically unheard of at that tier) and given that Samsung have some of the most sophisticated and well-engineered in-house R&D operations in the world (only really challenged by WD), it is very surprising this is drive only has a 30% drive fill per day rating. I won’t focus too much on the MTBF (although clearly there are differences) as it is far less relevant as a spec these days, but in summary and in terms of durability, endurance and predicted lifespan – the Seagate Firecuda 530 wins by a country mile here.

 

Samsung 980 Pro vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Conclusion

The Seagate Firecuda 530 is the more recently released drive of the two and it shows. Samsung heavily occupied the PCIe4 M.2 SSD market when this tier of Prosumer media (at the client-manufacturer level) arrived last year. But, as incredible as it sounds, the Samsung 980 Pro is in danger of looking a little slow as the rest of the market produces their own faster and more enduring alternatives in the Firecuda 530, the MSI SPATIUM M480 and Sabrent Rocket Plus. The Samsung 980 Pro still an incredible feat of development and construction, but much like my comparison of the Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850, entering the market before full widespread adoption of your kind of product is better established can sometimes lead to competitors being given more time to overtake. Adoption of PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD is still by no means ‘standardised’ and even now, numerous mobo manufacturers taht support the technology either do so using bandwidth sharing on the board OR choose to dedicate those potential PCIe 4.0 lanes to a traditional PCIe upgrade slot over M.2.The Samsung 980 Pro is an EXCELLENT SSD and provides the best price for this kind of performance at every capacity tier (not just compared with the Firecuda 530, but against pretty much ALL of the other PCIe4 M.2s on the market right now) which is thanks in a big way to it’s earlier release than most. However, it is impossible to ignore that the Seagate Firecuda 530 has used that extra time in development very wisely and has produced a higher-performing drive for the most part, with a much more enduring lifespan and ultimately better VALUE overall. I recommend buying the Firecuda 530 right now or wait until Samsung revisit their PRO series to see how where they can push things even further!

 

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Samsung 980 Pro

Best Performance
Best Endurance/Durability
Best Price for TB
Best Extras
Best Value
Where To Buy

 

 


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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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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.  

Seagate Firecuda 530 vs WD Black SN850 SSD Comparison

11 août 2021 à 16:25

PCIe 4 NVMe SSD Comparison – WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530

If you have recently purchased a modern generation gaming PC, Video setup or new generation console, then chances are that when looking at optimal storage media for your system, you likely narrowed your choices down to the Seagate Firecuda 530 (released in summer 2021) or the WD Black SN850 (released in Winter 2020) SSD. Although these two drives look incredibly similar to numerous M.2 media that came before, these solid-state NVMe drives represent the highest-performing PCIe 4.0 that either brand’s respective gamer/prosumer series have to offer, each hitting (and in some cases exceeding) 7,000MB/s performance. Both of these drives are able to exceed pretty much all of the understood maximums thanks to several key factors in their architecture. That said, that very modern architecture varies quite wildly as soon as you take even a casual glance at the specifications and its impacts on performance, durability and capacity is actually quite significant. So, today I want to take a good look at the Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850 SSD to see whether they excel, where they fall short of their competitor and, ultimately, which one deserves your data! First up, let’s take a look at the early architecture here:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr 5yr
 

So, one of the earliest differences between each drive as we can see is the NAND being utilized and laters. Both use TLC 3D Memory (par of the course for 2021 – finding a good line between capacity, performance and durability over MLC/QLC on either side of the scale) but there Seagate Firecuda 530 uses the higher-performing 176L vertically stacked layers, allowing greater performance and greater capacity per physical cell (with the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD having a current capacity cap of 4 Terabytes and the WD Black at 50% less on 2TB). For those confirmed with endurance (which we will touch on later on) the 176L over the 96L does not result in negatives on durability (quite the opposite in fact) and both of these SSDs are managed by impressive top tier controllers. The Seagate uses the late 2020 formally revealed Phison E18-PS5018 controller (also used by a few other SSD manufacturers), whereas WD has its own massive in-house R&D manufacture available and has ait’s own unique WD Black G2 controller. We talk in a moment about how this impacts their respective performance, but fair play to WD for continuing to keep their SSD development 100% in house with this one. Both drives arrive with 5 years of warranty (though their DWPD/TBW do differ noticeably) which is quite standard, but it is worth highlighting that the Seagate Firecuda 530 also arrives with 3years of data recovery services included. Know as the Seagate Rescue Service, it allows you to access professional data recovery services in the event of accidental deletion, reversing corruption and recovery services at no additional cost (there are T& course). It’s a small extra on the face of it, but for anyone that has lost key data (in the case of this drive utility, I am talking 4K raw video, savegames, editing projects, etc), this is a very noticeable extra to have thrown in!

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Price & Capacity

For many users, the size of an SSD and the price tag is going to be the most compelling argument one way to another on the best drive for their needs. Though the price you pay and the total storage ARE important, SSD like the WD Black SN850 and Seagate Firecuda 530 are much more than that. That said, it is fair to say that the WD Black SN850 provides the best price per GB/TB on every tier (500GB, 1TB and 2TB). Although there are regional differences that go beyond currency conversion (see the 2TB in £ vs $) and recent hardware shortages because of semiconductor shortages and Chia also played their part, the fact the WD Black arrived on the market 6+ months early has resulted in the price being a little more flexible right now – leading to it being at the lower price.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013  
Price in $ and $ $949 / £769 N/A

However, there capacity differs slightly, with the Seagate Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD arriving at the larger 4TB – though at an eye-watering price point! If the cost of the SSD is an absolutely huge factor in your decision, the WD BLACK SN850 SSD clearly wins here, however it is worth taking a moment to read further to see what you get for your money – as, in some of the higher tiers, the difference between Price and Value is a great deal clearer.

 

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported Read & Write Speed

Whereas the WD Black SN850 took a remarkably strong and clear early lead over the Seagate Firecuda 530 in terms of price, things take an immediate reverse in terms of performance between them. The reported maximum sequential Read and Write throughput on these drives from either brand is almost completely a win for Seagate and the Firecuda 530 in all but the 500GB. Now some of this credit can clearly be dedicated to that Phison E18 controller and 176 layer 3D NAND, but also the 2TB and 4TB SSDs feature double-sided cells (ie the chips are on either side) disturbing the read/write activity a bit. That NAND also provides some great durability (will touch on later) but the clear increase on the Firecuda 530 over the WD Black SN850, especially in the write activity as you rise through each capacity tier is remarkably impressive and only really rivalled by similar SSDs like the MSI Spatium, Sabrent Rocket Plus and Gigabyte Aorus Gen4 7000s.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB N/A

The WD Black NVMe PCIe 4×4 SSD certainly holds its own, maintaining that solid 7000MB/s write, but reported write speeds to seem a tad inconsistent at each GB/TB tier and fall behind significantly at each comparable Firecuda 530 drive (with the exception of the 500GB WDS500G1X0E model).

 

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported IOPS

A much more SSD specific measurement, IOPS, shows us a much more even playing field on the reported performance, with advantages and disadvantages on both sides. One immediate plus for both the WD Black SN850 and Seagate Firecuda 530 is that they both break the 1 Million IOPS threshold respectively at the 1 Terabyte tier, with even the lowly 500GB WD Black SN850 managing to hit the 1M Random Read IOPS, more than double the reported Random Read IOPS of the Firecuda SN850. However the Seagate Firecuda 530 then maintains the 1M IOPS breakpoint, first in Write at the 1TB level and then continues to provide 1,000,000 Read and Write on the Terabyte tiers – with the WD Black capping at 1M/700K on those same tiers.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 680,000
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 720,000
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 N/A

Although IOPS are a tough and extremely relative-to-file’ method of measurement in real-world practice, the benefits of that E18 controller and NAND choice by Seagate here on the 530 are another win – though only JUST!

 

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Endurance & Durability

Unlike the other points in this comparison of the Firecuda 530 and SN850, the Endurance and Durability of an SSD is an area that is overlooked often enough that I wanted to take a moment to focus a little more on this – you can thank you years from now! The importance of SSD durability and endurance in 2021/2022 is actually pretty massive. Now that the devices we use all feature incredibly powerful processors, often cloud/network hybrid AI processes and graphical handling that will be instantly bottlenecked by traditional hard drives, SSDs are no longer just the ‘boot’ drive for our OS and are now the day to day working drive. This combined with SSD being used as caching and larger SSD capacities allowing suitable substitution for HDDs entirely means that the CONSTANT concern about SSDs lifespan and the durability of those NAND cells is now quite paramount. SSDs wear out – it’s as simple as that. The more you write, the more wear those individual NAND cells suffer – degrading performance over the years and inevitably leading to drive failure. Likewise, the smaller the drive, the greater likelihood that you will be writing, then rewriting, then rewriting, time and time again. The Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850 are no exception and alongside massive research and development in better controllers and interfaces to improve performance, the way NAND is improved has led to SSDs lasting lover than ever before. However, SSDs and NAND are not built equally and there is actually quite a large difference in durability between the WD Black SN850 and the Seagate Firecuda 530. The Storage industry typically measures the predicted durability and endurance of an SSD as TBW, DWPD and MTBF. They are:

TBW = Terabytes Written, rated as the total number of terabytes that this SSD can have written to it in its warranty covered lifespan. So if the TBW was 300TB and the warranty is 5 years of coverage, that would mean that the drive can receive on average (with deleting/overwriting data each repeatedly) 60 Terabytes per year (or 5TB a month). After this point, the manufacturer highlights that durability, endurance and performance will decline. Often highlighted as an alternative to warranty length when gauging the predicted lifespan of a SSD.

DWPD = Drive Writes Per Day / Data Writes Per Day, this is a decimalized figure that represents what proportion of the capacity of an SSD (where 1.0 = 100% capacity) can be filled, erased and/or rewritten on a daily basis. This is provided using the warranty period and TBW figure. So, for example, if a 500GB drive has a 0.3DWPD rating, that is approx 150GB of data per day

MTBF = Mean Time Between Failure, which is the interval between one failure of an SSD and the next. MTBF is expressed in hours and most industrial SSDs are rated in the Millions of Hours. MTBF and MTTF (Mean Time to Failure) have largely become overlooked in recent years in favour of TBW and DWPD in SSDs, but are still stated on most Data Sheets.

So, now you know what those large Terbyte stats, hours and decimal point details are on the average SSD datasheet. So where do the Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850 stand on this:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013  
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD 0.7DWPD N/A

And that is a very clear win for the Seagate Firecuda 530, with its significantly longer predicted lifespan for writing in its 5-year reported warranty period. Of course, if you are not going to be fully replacing the data on your drive on a regular basis, then you may not be concerned about the 0.7DWPD on the Firecuda 530 over the 0.3DWPD on the SN850, which is understandable. However, I would highlight that for Seagate to state that this SSD will maintain the reported performance benchmarks, as well as that durability is no small thing and although they cost more per GB/TB, you can see that this is where that extra money is seemingly going.

 

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Conclusion

Comparing two SSDs like the Seagate Firecuda 530 and the WD Black SN850, although very similar in base architecture, may seem a little mean-spirited. There is clearly more than half a year of difference in when these two SSD were introduced to the market and in terms of technology, that is pretty huge. However, now that more and more affordable motherboards are integrating PCIe Gen 4 in their systems, modern home gaming consoles like PS5 are featuring storage expansions for PCIe 4×4 m.2 and even NAS brands are slowly approaching PCIe 4 in their servers, I think more people are going to compare these two high-end drives. the WD Black SN850 is very well priced right now, providing PCIe 4.0 Speeds at the same price as many PCIe 3.0 drives, with blanket 7,000MB/s Read performance on all models, cracking the 1Million IOPS threshold even on smaller capacities and getting head start on the PCIe4x4 M.2 NVMe market. However, given the large number of 7,000MB/s Read and 6,500-6,800MB/s Write drives that have been unveiled in the last 3 months, the WD Black may have arrived the tiniest bit TOO early to the party, before manufacturers could properly catch up (blame Covid, blame shortages, blame trade wars, blame Chia, you name it, it happened!). the Seagate Firecuda 530 on the other hand has arrived at the time when the latest generation on the kit that desires this kind of storage has been re-tooled and means it is very well placed. That isn’t to say that the Firecuda 530 gets by on luck, no, the incredible durability increase, consistent high performance on R/W and even arriving with a 4TB model off the bat make it a very convincing choice to ultimately win in this comparison. The data recovery stuff (for the few people that may actually use it) is a cherry on the cake too.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

Best Performance  
Best Endurance/Durability  
Best Price for TB  
Best Extras  
Best Value DRAW DRAW
Where To Buy

 

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD Review – Gamer Ready?

5 août 2021 à 16:00

Review of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

2021 has been a real boom year for super-fast SSD storage and one drive that has seemingly come out of nowhere to being EVERYWHERE is the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD. Although it could be argued that many areas of consumer technology has stagnated during the pandemic in terms of research and development, solid-state drives (SSDs) have gone from strength to strength and this year we have seen some of the biggest and fastest evolutions in this technology arrive in front of consumers worldwide, with few creating the same waves of surprise of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus! Sabrent, who was once better known for their enclosures and docking stations, a few years ago go to made big moves into their own range of affordable yet high performing PCIe4 SSD and their latest release has really thrown a cat among the bigger pigeons of Samsung, WD and Seagate. Arriving with the new cutting edge Phison 18 controller, Micron 96 layer 3D TLC NAND and PCIe Gen 4 x4 architecture, it is easy to see why this comparatively unheard of brand in SSD has got a lot to shout about. This has increased considerably now that the PS5 Storage Upgrade update is available to many users and the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is fully compatible, leading to many users comparing this drive against the Samsung 980 Pro, WD Black SN850 and Seagate Firecuda 530 for their big console upgrade! Today we want to talk about what you get for your money, what the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus can do and what it can’t do. Let’s find out if the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus deserves your data.

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is not a drive that exaggerates on its spec sheets. With a number of new PCIe 4 M2 SSD arriving throughout 2021, you could easily assume that this SSD and its comparatively short pedigree in the solid-state drive industry when compared against giants like Samsung and Seagate, would get lost in the noise. I’m pleased to confirm that the Rocket 4 Plus is as high-performing as the brand states and now it has appeared on the PS5 SSD compatible storage list, is definitely worth checking out. It is by no means perfect, with reported IOPS noticeably lower than its competitors in the 980 Pro and Firecuda 530, as well as a noticeable price increase over the previous generation SSDs (somewhat unavoidable I guess), the Rocket 4 Plus may seem like something of a gamble for those who who have remained brand loyal with longer-established brands till now. However the performance of this SSD more than justified its existence and as long as you are prepared to overlook a rather awkward warranty registration hurdle, I can certainly recommend the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus for PC Gamers, Video Editing Professionals and Playstation 5 Console Upgrades in 2021/2022.

PROs of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus CONs of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus
Genuinely Impressive Performance

One of the Affordable 7,000MB/s Drive on the Market

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Decent Amount of DDR4 Memory Cache

96 Layer 3D TLC NAND Hugely Beneficial

One of the Earliest Phison E18 SSDs

Surpasses Samsung/WD PCIe 4 SSDs in some key areas

IOPS rating is noticeably lower than most competitors

Endurance (DWPD/TBW) has dipped noticeably since it’s predecessor

Still Outperformed by the Firecuda 530

Warranty (1yr unless registered) seems needlessly complex

 

SABRENT Rocket 4 + SB-RKT4P-1TB

SB-RKT4P-2TB

SB-RKT4P-4TB

Price in $ and $ 1TB – $200 2TB – $469.99 4TB – $999.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND B27 3D NAND 96L B27 3D NAND 96L B27 3D NAND 96L
Capacity 1TB Single-Sided 2TB Double Sided 4TB Double Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD Review – Packaging

When Sabrent sent me the Rocket 4 Plus SSD, one of the first things that struck me was that the retail box is absolutely tiny. I know that should not come as a big surprise given how small formed factor m2 actually is, but even in 2021, these drive will typically arrived in boxes 3 or even for times this size and normally because they include additional manuals, as well as structured packaging that ensures that SSD is projected in transit. So the fact that this £1,000 SSD arrived in a box this small definitely gave me pause for thought.

However, my fears were immediately put to rest as soon as I opened the box and found that the Rocket 4 Plus SSD arrives in a rather smart looking metal hinged box casing. This rose gold packaging contained the SSD, surrounding pre-cut foam and installation guide. This was definitely a nice touch and certainly a step up in presentation when compared to do numerous other m2.SSD reviewed in the past.

Important – The photos for this review were taken AFTER the video review took place. I wanted to highlight this as during the video review I removed the adhesive labels on either side of the SSD in order to show the individual components onboard. This has resulted in the branded label and metallic front panel being less flush than it was when the drive was originally received and I take full responsibility for this. In particular, the metal panel was a great deal smoother before I got my grubby paws all over it.

The front logo display label on this SSD is actually quite a sturdy metallic panel that covers a number of key PCB components. This again is something I have not really seen any other brand do and although it is by no means industrial in quality, still quite impressed with this neat little design touch and I would argue assisted heat dissipation a tad too.

The other side is a little more mainstream and features A branded and model identifying sticker for this SSD. It is worth highlighting that removing either of these labels will result in the SSD potentially avoiding it warranty due to tampering, so although I am going to remove these labels 2 to give you a better look at the controller, NAND and other components, I do not recommend you do this.

As the model being reviewed today is the 4TB (4000GB) Rocket 4 Plus Sabrent SSD, it is worth highlighting that this is a double-sided SSD. This should definitely be a factor for those who wish to utilise additional keep thermal padding and heatsinks around this SSD in their PC, NAS or PS5 systems. Indeed, there is an additional high-quality sync available to ensure this Drive maintains optimal operational temperatures in your system for around £25. However this heatsink raises the height of the M.2 connector a couple of millimetres, so be aware (mainly PS5 owners)

The storage NAND, Phison E18 controller and DDR4 memory that this Drive arrives with as are well distributed on either side of this SSD and you are not left feeling like this is a cheap, sub-brand product. Let’s take a moment to have a closer look at the key SSD components that help this SSD break the proposed 7,000MB/s Sequential Read barrier.

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

Given the length of time that the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus has been available (since March/April 2021), it is very surprising how similar the hardware it features compares to SSDs released in the last few months (such as the MSI M480, Gigabyte AORUS 7000s and Corsair MP600). iNDEED, Sabrent were one of the very first PCIe 4 M.2 SSDs on the market to take advantage of the Phison E18-PS5018 high-end controller. Alongside this, they are using noticeably denser NAND than many others and are even one of the very very M.2 PCIe SSD on the market right now at 2280 length available in 4TB (which most capping at 2TB). Let’s take a look at the architecture of the range:

SABRENT Rocket 4 +

SB-RKT4P-1TB

SB-RKT4P-2TB

SB-RKT4P-4TB

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND Micron B27 3D NAND 96L Micron B27 3D NAND 96L Micron B27 3D NAND 96L
Capacity 1TB Single Sided 2TB Double Sided 4TB Double Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018
Memory 1GB 2GB 4GB
Size 2,280 2,280 2,280
Warranty 5yr 5yr 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 Sabrent 4 Rocket Plus 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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus can actually make 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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 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 Sabrent SSD.

Much like the Controller on the Rocket 4 Plus being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The Sabrent SSD uses 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, 2TB and 4TB SSD you use, but starts at an impressive 1GB of DDR4 at the lowest tier.

As mentioned, all three available capacities of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact they were able to get 4TB on a 2280 SSD (and still not useless useful QLC NAND to make up the difference) is very impressive. The 2TB and 4TB models both use double-sided NAND distribution (so the cells are on either side), in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wearing and performance. Do remember that this means you will need to provision heat dissipation on both sides of the NVMe M.2 SSD, using a metal surrounding heatsink OR thicker base level thermal heat pads.

Fianlly, 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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, as it is still (4 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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, 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.

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD arrives in three capacities at 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. That last one is quite impressive, especially given that very few brands of M.2 NVMe SSD at 2280 arrive above. 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 and Chia have affected SSD availability in the last 12 months. Below is a breakdown of how each rocket 4 plus SSD compares:

 

SB-RKT4P-1TB

SB-RKT4P-2TB

SB-RKT4P-4TB

Price in $ and $ $199 / £180 $469 / £419 $1099 / £999
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1400TB 3000TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1600000 1600000 1600000
DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.4DWPD
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350000 650000 650000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700000 700000 700000
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7100MB 7100MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6850MB 6850MB

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 Sabrent has previously been noted at having lower durability in earlier releases in their portfolio and this is a marked improvement.

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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is the only SSD not to 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 Corsair MP600, 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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the Sabrent SSD has been available in the market for almost 5 months longer and has certainly embedded itself in the market in that time. Below is how these two drives compare:

SSD Family/Brand
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-1TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6000MB 5500MB
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-2TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7100MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 6850MB
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-4TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7100MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 6850MB
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-1TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800000 350000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 700000
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-2TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 650000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 700000
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-4TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 650000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 700000
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-1TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1275TB 700TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1600000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.4DWPD
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-2TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 2550TB 1400TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1600000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.4DWPD
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-4TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 5100TB 3000TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1600000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.4DWPD

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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus on the test machine!

 

Testing the Sabrent Rock Plus 4TB m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4TB 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 and an additional test was conducted on a Samsung 980 Pro 250GB and Seagate Firecuda 120 1TB SATA SSD in order to give then tests some perspective of scale (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 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 6,980MB/s 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.

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 Read and Write easily hit the 6,000MB/s+ area and hit 6,590MB/s Read and 6,250MB/s. However, the bottleneck of my system capped this in ATTO quite noticeably. Additionally, the IOPS benchmarks in ATTO for the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus were good, but as expected, not breathtaking. Next, I repeated these tests with a 4GB test file.

The larger test file, unsurprisingly, produced higher results of sequential Read/Write at 6,600MB/s and 6,300MB/s respectively. The IOPS still maintained the same level as before.

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 10G test file. These were noticeably better, both in transfers and 4K random:

The AS SSD 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), when I tested the 4GB test file routine, we saw increased benchmark scores 6,979MB/s Read and 6,741MB/s Write, as well as increased IOPS reported.

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 n board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance of 5,947/5,405MB/s on 16GB file testing:

Overall, the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 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.

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD Review – Conclusion

There is no denying that the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is an impressive SSD! Despite the wide range of solutions open to most SSD buyers, Sabrent has managed to do an incredible job of not only standing out from their contemporaries but also massively exceed them! Though it still lives marginally in the shadow of more expensive SSDs, like the Seagate Firecuda 3530, it still manages to massively outpace a number of big releases from Samsung and WD in 2021. With a consistent Performance of 6.9GB/s performance in our test area, it is no slouch and although the IOPS ratings are less than man recent releases, it makes up for it with a better price point in the lower tiers. Indeed, it is quite hard for most home and prosumer users to fault the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus. The warranty procedure could certainly do with a change in-house and the oddly imbalanced price vs TB price point will hopefully level out when shortages level out, but overall I am quite pleased with what the Sabrent NVMe SSD bring to the table and recommend to home users, gamers and professionals who want a single drive that does exactly what it says on the tin

PROs of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus CONs of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus
Genuinely Impressive Performance

PS5 Compatible

One of the Affordable 7,000MB/s Drive on the Market

Decent Amount of DDR4 Memory Cache

96 Layer 3D TLC NAND Hugely Beneficial

One of the Earliest Phison E18 SSDs

Surpasses Samsung/WD PCIe 4 SSDs in some key areas

IOPS rating is noticeably lower than most competitors

Endurance (DWPD/TBW) has dipped noticeably since it’s predecessor

Still Outperformed by the Firecuda 530

Warranty (1yr unless registered) seems needlessly complex

 

SABRENT Rocket 4 + SB-RKT4P-1TB

SB-RKT4P-2TB

SB-RKT4P-4TB

Price in $ and $ 1TB – $200 2TB – $469.99 4TB – $999.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND B27 3D NAND 96L B27 3D NAND 96L B27 3D NAND 96L
Capacity 1TB Single Sided 4TB Double Sided 4TB Double Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018

 


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Seagate Firecuda 530 Vs Sabrent Rocket Plus PCIe4 M.2 SSD Comparison

2 août 2021 à 01:52

PCIe 4 NVMe SSD Comparison – Sabrent Rocket Plus vs Seagate Firecuda 530

The speed of more modern NVMe SSDs in 2021/2022 has been a hot topic of late and nowhere more than in the realm of PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs. No sooner had brands cracked through the 500K IOPS and 5,000MB/s read performance barrier, less than a year later we now have 7,000MB/s+ and 1 Million IOPS drives commercially available and two of the fastest drives available to buy right now in PCIe Gen 4 x4 M.2 are the Firecuda 530 from Seagate and the Rocket Plus from Sabrent. Now, I am willing to bet that 99% of you have heard of Seagate Technology – they have been in the business of data storage in one form or another for a little over 40 years! Whereas Sabrent is a comparatively unknown company, releasing numerous docking stations, hubs, memory card readers and enclosures in the last decade, who have seemingly taken all this knowledge from devices centred AROUND the storage and (presumably using 3rd party NAND manufacturers) designed their own series of SSDs. Despite the somewhat David vs Goliath nature of these two brands in this comparison, I will say that the Sabrent and the Rocket Plus brings quite an impressive range of hardware specifications, performance and choice to the table that challenges Seagate Firecuda 530 in a number of areas, though durability and endurance (as noted in earlier Sabrent SSDs over the years) is truly what let’s this drive down a tad. So, today I want to compare these two high performing NVMe SSDs to see which one deserves your data.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Sabrent Rocket Plus

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L B27 3D NAND 96L
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided 4TB Double Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr 5yr
 

Even a casual glance at the architecture of both the Seagate Firecuda 530 and Sabrent Rocket Plus shows us that these two SSDs (released approx 3 months apart in 2021) have very similar base-line hardware on their respective PCB. With both using the latest NVMe 1.4 revision, both using that insanely high performing Phison E18 controller, are both available at 4TB (particularly rare right now in this storage tier) and really the only thing that stands out in the chart above is that NAND of choice in either SSD. The Sabrent features 96 layer 3D NAND, which is perfectly respectable, though somewhat dwarfed by the 176L 3D NAND in the Seagate Firecuda 530 – this NAND is precisely where the increased performance, durability and endurance will play out later in the comparison, but overall you still have to give props to these two drives for keeping it relatively cutting edge in 2021/2022. Let’s look at the price of these two SSDs and the storage options.

Sabrent Rocket Plus vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Price & Capacity

In terms of available capacity, both the Seagate Firecuda and the Sabrent Rocket Plus arrive at a maximum 4TB, which is quite impressive for an m.2 form factor drive AND for a relatively new-gen PCIe 4 x4 drive too (with current;y only 2-3 commercially available 4TB drives comparable to these available from other brands). Though it is worth highlighting that 4TB on a drive like this will cost you quite a hefty sum. Oddly, despite the Sabrent being the relative underdog in this NVMe SSD comparison, they have opted to skip the 250GB/500GB tier on their Rocket Plus series, something available from both WD Black SN850, Samsung 980 Pro and just the 500GB on Seagate Firecuda 530. Given the current premium on PCIe Gen 4×4 SSD at this performance threshold, having a more affordable entry point for smaller-scale editors, gamers, console owners and more might have been a misstep by Sabrent here. Below is a breakdown of the respective prices of each:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Sabrent Rocket Plus

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013  
Price in $ and $ $139 / £119  
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-1TB
Price in $ and $ $239 / £199 $199 / £180
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-2TB
Price in $ and $ $419 / £379 $469 / £419
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-4TB
Price in $ and $ $949 / £769 $1099 / £999

One thing that should become very apparent as soon as you start comparing the price for TB of the Seagate Firecuda 530 and Sabrent Rocket Plus (even the currency conversion too) is that right now there is practically no stability to the price models! Notwithstanding the effects of semi-conductor shortages, shockwaves in the industry of Chia and the effects of the pandemic on the supply chain, there is just little or no consistent pricing on the Sabrent Rocket Plus series, despite it being available since April 2021. This is not really the brand’s fault and although they are widely available from a large number of eShops worldwide, you will easily find that prices change on a dime! Seagate has only relatively recently launched the Firecuda 530 series and therefore the pricing is a great deal more stable. Additionally, the Price per GB/TB on each model as you rise through the capacity tiers (500GB>1000GB>2000GB>4000GB) becomes lower as you would expect. Overall, I would have to give this round to Seagate and the Firecuda 530 SSD.

 

Sabrent Rocket Plus vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported Read & Write Speed

After price, let’s be honest – THIS is the area that will garner the most attention when comparing the Sabrent Rocket Plus and Seagate Firecuda 530. It will not come as a massive surprise to find out that the Seagate Firecuda 530 is the higher performer here, even with Sabrent stating that the Rocket Plus can maintain the 7,000MB/s+ Sequential Read. As previously stated in other comparisons, the Seagate FC 530 500GB model write speed has always seemed a bit of an anomaly at 3,000MB (half the reported maximum of the 1TB model) but given Sabrent have ignored this capacity tier – it’s not massively relevant. However, it is still impressive to see how close the Sabrent Rocket Plus comes to the reported maximum Read/Write to the Seagate Firecuda 530:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Sabrent Rocket Plus

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB  
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB  
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-1TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6000MB 5500MB
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-2TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7100MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 6850MB
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-4TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7100MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 6850MB

I mean, CLEARLY, the Seagate PCIe 4×4 m.2 drive wins overall here. However, if Sabrent can back up these claims on maximum performance, this is remarkably close in both Write (slightly less so on ‘Read). How this is played out in the SSDs life when you factor the endurance on the NAND on the Rocket Plus is still up for debate, but nonetheless, this is impressive. Real praise here needs to go to Phison and the E18 controller of course, but both Seagate and Sabrent have designed some great SSD architecture here to largely saturate the potential 8,000MB/s of PCIe 4×4. How does this reflect on individual operations? Let’s discuss the IOPS.

 

Sabrent Rocket Plus vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported IOPS

Despite the impressive specifications of these drives and how close the comparison of the Firecuda 530 and Rocket Plus have been up until this point, it has to be said that in terms of individual operations per second handled by these drives (more commonly referred to as the IOPS – input/output operations per second), the Sabrent NVMe drops the ball noticeably here. IOPs is a good indication of how the drive will behave in busy environments, being passed thousands of small instructions at any one time and although it is very much an industry metric, still holds significance in sustained operations. Although Seagate, WD and Samsung have surpassed 1,000,000 read and write random IOPS on their PCIe 4×4 drives, Sabrent peaks at 700,00 and is actually rather underwhelming at 350,000 random read IOPS (yes, read) at the 1TB tier – less than half of the Seagate Firecuda 530. See below:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Sabrent Rocket Plus

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000  
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000  
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-1TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800000 350000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 700000
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-2TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 650000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 700000
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-4TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 650000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 700000

If you take a look at the reviews online for Sabrent’s rocket range of SSDs (both the PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.0 versions) you will see that there are notable examples of users being unimpressed by the consistent performance of their SSDs, even in single but sustained system usage. Part of this is detailed in the endurance and durability section below, but there is no avoiding that the low IOPS on these drives is less than you would expect – especially when you look at the Seagate Firecuda 530 utilizing the same Phison E18 controller. Part of this can be put down to memory management on the SSD (1GB DDR4), but the multi-layer NAND difference between the two drives is the biggest clincher. Once again the Seagate Firecuda wins this round. Let’s discuss the durability of these drives and the lifespan vs performance sustainability of the Firecuda 530 and Rocket Plus.

 

Sabrent Rocket Plus vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Endurance & Durability

Just because an SSD can reach a reported MB/s performance level, does not mean it can necessarily HOLD that performance over an extended time. There are many factors that govern this but the quality of the NAND + the handling of wear internally is a big, big part of it. The Seagate Firecuda 530 and Sabrent Rocket Plus are quite different in their workload/usage lifespan. The importance of SSD durability and endurance in 2021/2022 is actually pretty massive. Now that the devices we use all feature incredibly powerful processors, often cloud/network hybrid AI processes and graphical handling that will be instantly bottlenecked by traditional hard drives, SSDs are no longer just the ‘boot’ drive for our OS and are now the day to day working drive. This combined with SSD being used as caching and larger SSD capacities allowing suitable substitution for HDDs entirely means that the CONSTANT concern about SSDs lifespan and the durability of those NAND cells is now quite paramount. SSDs wear out – it’s as simple as that. The more you write, the more wear those individual NAND cells suffer – degrading performance over the years and inevitably leading to drive failure. Likewise, the smaller the drive, the greater likelihood that you will be writing, then rewriting, then rewriting, time and time again. The Seagate Firecuda 530 and Sabrent Rocket Plus are no exception and alongside massive research and development in better controllers and interfaces to improve performance, the way NAND is improved has led to SSDs lasting lover than ever before. However, SSDs and NAND are not built equally and there is actually quite a large difference in durability between the Sabrent Rocket Plus and the Seagate Firecuda 530. The Storage industry typically measures the predicted durability and endurance of an SSD as TBW, DWPD and MTBF. They are:

TBW = Terabytes Written, rated as the total number of terabytes that this SSD can have written to it in its warranty covered lifespan. So if the TBW was 300TB and the warranty is 5 years of coverage, that would mean that the drive can receive on average (with deleting/overwriting data each repeatedly) 60 Terabytes per year (or 5TB a month). After this point, the manufacturer highlights that durability, endurance and performance will decline. Often highlighted as an alternative to warranty length when gauging the predicted lifespan of a SSD.

DWPD = Drive Writes Per Day / Data Writes Per Day, this is a decimalized figure that represents what proportion of the capacity of an SSD (where 1.0 = 100% capacity) can be filled, erased and/or rewritten on a daily basis. This is provided using the warranty period and TBW figure. So, for example, if a 500GB drive has a 0.3DWPD rating, that is approx 150GB of data per day

MTBF = Mean Time Between Failure, which is the interval between one failure of an SSD and the next. MTBF is expressed in hours and most industrial SSDs are rated in the Millions of Hours. MTBF and MTTF (Mean Time to Failure) have largely become overlooked in recent years in favour of TBW and DWPD in SSDs, but are still stated on most Data Sheets.

So, now you know what those large Terbyte stats, hours and decimal point details are on the average SSD datasheet. So where do the Seagate Firecuda 530 and Sabrent Rocket Plus stand on this:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Sabrent Rocket Plus

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 640TB  
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000  
DWPD 0.7DWPD  
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-1TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1275TB 700TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1600000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.4DWPD
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-2TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 2550TB 1400TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1600000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.4DWPD
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 SB-RKT4P-4TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 5100TB 3000TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1600000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.4DWPD

The MTBF figure, although different by around 200,000 hours, is less important. The real focus here needs to be that DWPD/TBW figure, as not only does that clearly indicate that the Seagate Firecuda 530 can comfortably be rewritten by more than half of its capacity daily (close to twice that of the Sabrent Rocket Plus), but this combined with the high IOPS ratings at 1M random R/W mentioned earlier mean that this is a drive that (based on these reported stats of course) is clearly going to be the longer-lasting drive in terms of both operation and performance. If your motivation for upgrading your storage and/or system to a PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 system was for faster task/operation completion in an environment where time = money, then the Seagate Firecuda 530 is clearly the better choice here over the Rocket Plus from Sabrent.

 

Sabrent Rocket Plus vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Conclusion

In all of my Seagate Firecuda 530 comparisons so far, this is the one that has been the most one-sIded in its conclusion. The Sabrent Rocket Plus is an impressively designed drive and to introduce this drive into the market against bigger brands like Samsung, WD and Seagate in this highly Prosumer/Enterprise market (especially now NVMe Fabric is becoming a ‘thing’) cannot be ignored in it’s ambition Likewise, they have introduced the Rocket Plus series into the market before competitor drives in the MSI M480, Adata S70 and Gigabyte Aorus, managing to garner a huge amount of recognition and kudos. However, their high performance and architecture are let down by comparatively less ensuring NAND and internal handling that ends up hugely shadowed by the Firecuda 530. Likewise, I genuinely feel that Sabrent would benefit from offering consumers 250GB and 500GB models, to act as gateways into their brand, as well as facilitating end-users whose demands for daily rotational writes and sustained hour-by-hour performance will be much lower. However, one simply cannot ignore the specifications supplied by both official brands on the capabilities of their PCIe NVMe 4.0 M.2 SSDs and clearly the Seagate Firecuda 530 wins the day here comfortably.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

Sabrent Rocket Plus

Best Performance  
Best Endurance/Durability  
Best Price for TB  DRAW DRAW
Best Extras  
Best Value  
Where To Buy

 

 


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ZFS vs EXT4 for NAS – What is the Difference in your File System?

21 juillet 2021 à 16:00

Choosing Between ZFS and EXT4 for your NAS Drive in 2020

If you have purchased or are thinking of buying a new NAS drive, it is becoming clear that setting it up in the perfect way is a little more complex than it used to be. You can go for the ‘recommended’ settings, but chances are that those ‘defaults’ won’t fit your storage needs. One of the first decisions you will need to make if you NAS is Intel/AMD powered is choosing your file system. This is non-reversible (without re-formatting all your storage) and therefore is a bit questionable. In 2020, the main file systems of choice in NAS are EXT4, ZFS and BTRFS. We will ignore BTRFS in this article today, as we have covered this alot here on the blog and YouTube (video 1 of 4 below), comparing it with EXT4 many times on the Synology NAS platform. However today with the growth of brands like QSAN and the release of the new QNAP QTS Hero ZFS powered platform, we want to help you make the choice between ZFS and EXT4 when setting up your NAS drive the first time.

ZFS may be the best-known enterprise-grade transactional file system to use storage pools to manage physical storage space. It is not the only one on the market, however. ZFS competes with ext4 for market share in the data management system world.  While both ZFS and ext4 can retain massive amounts of data in a secure, non-cloud storage pool system, the two products are not equal in capacity, management, or usability. Looking at ZFS vs. ext4, we see two distinct transactional file systems. ZFS supports advanced file systems and can manage data long term whereas ext4 cannot. 

ZFS and EXT4 for NAS – Advantages and Disadvantages

While ext4 comes embedded on Linux, it may not be the right choice for managing your data. Consider the strengths of each system in light of your needs.  On the face of it, ZFS seems better but arrives with much higher hardware requirements to run smoothly. Whereas EXT4 has much lower hardware running requirements but has it’s own limitations elsewhere. Let’s shine the spotlight on them both.

What is EXT4 and Why Should I use it on my NAS?

Linux created its original extended file system (ext) as early as 1992. It was the first to use a virtual file system (VFS) switch, which allowed Linux to support many file systems at the same time on the same system. Linux has released three updates since – ext2, ext3, and ext4. Today, ext4 – dating back to 2001 – is the default on the Linux System. EXT4 is also backwards compatible, meaning you can mount it on an ext3, ext2, or ext2 system. Since all these products were created before 2002, compatibility will not be important to most users, however. Ext4 also reduces file fragmentation, improves memory flash memory life through delayed allocation, and can handle larger volumes and files than its evolutionary predecessors. Since the beginning, it has used journaling, a system of logging changes, to the file to reduce file corruption. 

While these components of ext4 constitute an improvement over older extension file systems, the program remains limited in both capacity and engineering quality.  Because ext4 is a refurbishment of technology developed in the early 1990s, it has limited capacity to manage modern loads of data. Its once-helpful journaling system now slows down its processes as it stores more data. Plus, ext4 can support a file size no larger than 18 terabytes, making it a modest storage space for a contemporary data-driven, the digital company moving forward into 2020 (with commercial NAS hard drives from Seagate and WD now arriving at 16TB and growing).

EXT 4 and/or BTRFS NAS Drives
Click to NAS Options Click to NAS Options Click to NAS Options

What is the ZFS and Why Should I use it on my NAS?

Many people have heard of ZFS, but are unsure what it actually is. So, what is ZFS? The Zeta File System (ZOL on Linux) is an enterprise-grade transactional file system that uses the concept of storage pools to manage physical storage space. Sun Microsystems began work on the product in 2001 and released it in 2005 as part of OpenSolaris. Even after OpenSolaris was discontinued, ZFS gained popularity since it is a user-friendly, scalable, and powerful data management system. Its strength lies in its simple administration model.  As an enterprise-grade file system, ZFS allows users to create and manage file systems with ease since by eradicating the need to edit configuration files or issue multiple commands. Users can set a quota to limit the amount of disk space used or reserve disk space for a specific file system. 

ZFS uses a hierarchical system layout defined by location- and- conductor-specific sub-module ports each of which is restricted in the locality. Basically, it manages the physical storage of data through storage pools, which allow file systems to share disk space within the pool. When users need a larger storage pool, they add disks similar to adding memory to a computer. As users add storage space, the file systems automatically use the additional memory without the user needing to configure that memory or assign individual processes. This system limits human touch, making it not only easy to use but also highly reliable. 

Most users select ZFS because it offers a simple administration model. Creating and managing file systems becomes easy with no separate volume manager commands to learn. Plus, the system manages mount points automatically. The file system’s low costs let companies create new ones for each project and user, enabling finer data management. ZFS maintains a consistent state for the file system on the disk. Instead of overwriting data, which leaves the file system in an inconsistent state, ZFS manages data with a copy-on-write mechanism. This approach means that neither power losses nor system crashes can corrupt the file system.  A checksum algorithm can verify ZFS’ data and metadata in order to protect file integrity. Rather than performing checksum verification on a per-block basis, ZFS checksums work at a file systems level. The storage pools can self-heal data by detecting bad data blocks and replacing them with a redundant copy. Essentially, ZFS can silently check data and make repairs without user involvement. 

ZFS also offers a built-in snapshot, which can grab a picture of stored data at a precise instant. Users find snapshots quick and easy. Snapshots take up no extra disk space in the pool at first, but as data evolves, they reference old data and thus consume some space. These snapshots prevent old data from slipping back into the current storage pool. ZFS can also send and receive file system snapshots, a process which allows users to optimize their disk space. 

In Summary, ZFS, by contrast with EXT4, offers nearly unlimited capacity for data and metadata storage. It can hold up to 1 billion terabytes of data. To organize that data, ZFS uses a flexible tree in which each new system is a child file of a previous system. ZFS allows users to move these files anywhere and even to attach them to the ZFS on points outside the main point. Users can separate children from parent systems, manage disk space hierarchically, and view the entire tree with a single command.  Basically, ZFS lets data managers organize and control massive amounts of information effortlessly. With one command, users can relocate a sub-tree, backup or mirror a sub-tree, or snapshot a ZFS file system and all its children together. ZFS’ auto-mount feature means files get mounted as soon as they enter the system although users can override this command. Furthermore, it automatically tracks used file space, speeding up the system’s operations and giving users a near-instant update on what’s happening with stored data. 

ZFS NAS Drives
Click to NAS Options Click to NAS Options Click to NAS Options

EXT4 vs ZFS for NAS – Conclusion

Users who store massive amounts of data and those who prefer network-attached storage systems (NAS) need an enterprise-grade transactional file system . While ext4 can get the job done, it remains a re-engineered version of a long-outdated system. Ext4 is convenient because it’s the default on Linux, but it lacks the user-friendly, up-to-date approach of ZFS.  Additionally, ZFS has higher hardware requirements for operation and many devices will not have sufficient CPU and Memory available to run ZFS with it’s compression and deduplication advantages. QNAP and their newly revealed QTS Hero file system are combatting this and drastically reducing the amount of hardware needed for their new ZFS based file system platform (making some features like deduplication optional or streamlining other services as needed). However, for many users, you will have to stick with EXT4 and it’s lower hardware requirements.

However, for users with the choice between EXT4 and ZFS, by employing ZFS, users can get a system that automatically reconstructs data after detecting an error , seamlessly combines several physical media devices into one logical volume, has snapshot and mirror capabilities, and can quickly compress data. When considering ZFS vs. ext4, users choose ZFS to enjoy a user-friendly, high-volume storage system that doesn’t need an IT technician to hold its hand. 


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Buyers Guide to Seagate M.2 NVMe SSDs – Barracuda, Firecuda and Ironwolf

19 juillet 2021 à 01:13

Choosing The Right Seagate m.2 SSD – Difference Between Firecuda, Barracuda and Ironwolf

If you are making the move from regularly SATA storage and over to the newest generation of super-fast NVMe SSD, whether it is for gaming, video editing or professional streaming, then you can suddenly be faced with an overwhelming amount of information as you trawl through the remarkably complex world of M.2 PCIe storage drives. Although many brands feature various types of M.2 NVMe media in their portfolios, few have kept things as clearly defined as Seagate. Their SSD range from home, to business and to enterprise, so today I want to go through the current five types of NVMe drive they offer in 2021/2022 and help you decide which one best suits your needs.

IMPORTANT – Remember, this is not strictly about the BEST NVMe SSD (though that is highlighted), this is about helping you which M.2 NVMe best suits YOUR needs, so in some cases, the SSD that is half the price of the others or less enduring, might still be more than suitable for you. Additionally, these are ALL M.2 NVMe SSDs, so NOT SATA M.2s (which cannot exceed 500-600MB/s). So double-check your PC/Laptop/Console supports NVMe M.2 SATA before buying anything! Lastly, ALL of the drives in today’s comparison of NVMes are 2280 in length (though longer and higher capacity 22110 models might have been released later in the year when you are reading this, so check you have a PCIe M.2 NVMe slot that can fit the drive you buy!

Seagate Firecuda, Barracuda and Ironwolf NVMe SSDs – Intended Use

Before going any further though, it is important to understand what each of the Seagate Naming conventions represents. I published a full Seagate SSD Buyers Guide last year (covering their entire range of SSDs), but when it comes to NVMe, their individual series can be detailed as follows:

Seagate Barracuda Q5 & 510 – This is their range of drives for standalone computer use. So, office computers, day to day tasks and your base operating system. They are sturdy, reliable drives that arrive at one of the most affordable tiers and give you fairly standard and performance, durability and endurance. It is worth highlighting that the Barracuda 510 appears to be slowly phasing out and leaving the Barracuda Q5 to be the only NVMe at this tier. Remember that the Q in Q5 represents the use of QLC (Quad Layer Cell) NAND. This will be important later.

Seagate Ironwolf 510 – These are drives that are SPECIFICALLY designed for use in NAS servers and for caching. When the same files on a server/NAS/SAN/etc are accessed continuously by one or more users, one way you can improve performance is to install NVMe SSDs in available slots and the system will automatically move copies of these files (big or very, very small) onto this much higher performing media. However, SSD for this task is recommended to have particularly high endurance (typically measures in DWPD, TBW and MTBF) as data will be VERY frequently refreshed/replaced on these NAS caching NVMes. That is why the Ironwolf 510 NVMes exist. They have a fantastic read speed, but write speeds are much lower (leveraging more in favour of over-provisioning and channeling towards read for even faster cache access)

Seagate Firecuda 510, 520 & 530 – The Firecuda Series is the range that Seagate produced for both gamers and high-end video editors (both live broadcast and post-production). With each generation of new architecture M.2 NVMe on the market, Seagate have released a new revision of their Firecuda Prosumer series, currently in 510 (PCIe Gen 3×4), 520 (PCIe Gen 4×4 high-end controller) and 530 (PCIe Gen 4×4 Premium End controller & NAND). These are the highest tier of M.2 NVMes from Seagate you can get, but you will be paying a premium for this level of storage.

Seagate Nytro – This is Seagate’s premium SSD series for Enterprise. However, at the time of writing, there are no strict m.2 NVMe available in the series. These typically arrive in flash server-class SATA drives, SAS and U.2 interfaces and have some of the highest R/W, IOPS and DWPD ratings than any other SSD in the market. Though, there is every possibility that a Seagate Nytro M.2 NVMe will return in future that rivals the Firedcuda 530 in performance and endurance

Fianlly, it is worth highlighting that all of the Seagate M.2 NVMe’s in today’s buyer’s guide include Rescue Recovery services from Seagate – their included data recovery services. I have covered this in more detail in my review of the Seagate Rescue service last year HERE, but I recommend you check it out, as this is a service ONLY Seagate offer and for that extra layer of recovery chance from accidental deletion, corruption, physical damage beyond your control and more.

So, now you understand the different Seagate SSDs, let’s talk about how each M.2 NVMe compares and help you choose the right one for you.

Seagate Firecuda, Barracuda and Ironwolf NVMe SSDs – Controllers, Bandwidth & NAND

Not all M.2 NVMe are built equal and although the general use of PCIe based m.2 storage has existed in the consumer arena now for 4-5 years, the general standard of hardware has MASSIVELY changed. Each M.2 NVMe available in the Seagate ranges are based on quite different architecture. From smaller changes like the revision of NVMe protocol being used (with each later revision being an improvement over the last), to bigger differences in NAND quality, controller (kind of the CPU of the SSD) and bandwidth of the PCIe architecture the M.2 NVMe uses. Below is a breakdown of how each of these five M.2 NVMes from Seagate compare and although we will go into a little detail on this, later in the guide you will see exactly how these small, component level differences result in massive disparity throughout the line up:

  Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate FireCuda 520

Seagate FireCuda 510

Seagate IronWolf 510

BarraCuda Q5

Warranty, Limited (years) 5+3yr Rescue 5+3yr Rescue 5+3yr Rescue 5+3yr Rescue 3+1yr Rescue
PCIe Gen M.2 PCIe Gen 4×4 PCIe Gen 4×4 PCIe Gen 3×4 PCIe Gen 3×4 PCIe Gen 3×4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4

NVMe 1.3

NVMe 1.3

NVMe 1.3

NVMe 1.3

So, the fact that only the Firecuda SSDs are available in PCIe Gen 4×4 should give you a good idea of how and why these are going to be the highest performers later on. The PCIe architecture is based around versions and multiplication. PCIe Gen 3 = 1,000MB/s potential bandwidth and the x4 figure simply multiply that number by four, which means PCIe Gen 3×4 = 4,000MB/s bandwidth. PCIe 4×4 in the Firecuda 520 and 530 is twice the bandwidth at 8,000MB/s, but it is always worth remembering that Bandwidth is a maximum POTENTIAL speed, it is the width of the pipe that data can travel through – it is still up to the SSD to fill this pipe with data (known as throughput and filling it is known as saturation). Likewise, the Firecuda 530 is the only drive here using the latest NVMe revision, as it was only released in summer 2021 shortly after NVMe 1.4 rev was fully available.

  Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate FireCuda 520

Seagate FireCuda 510

Seagate IronWolf 510

BarraCuda Q5

NAND Type 176L 3D NAND Toshiba 96L TLC Kioxia BiCS3 64L TLC Kioxia BiCS3 64L TLC 3D QLC
Controller E18-PS018 Phison PS5016-E16 PS5012-E12DC PS5012-E12DC Unknown

Additionally, it is worth looking at the controllers and NAND used in each drive. With the exception of the affordable barracuda Q5, all the Seagate m.2 NVMes feature 3D TLC (Triple layer NAND) – this is currently the best balance of performance, endurance and capacity you can get in 2021/2022. The Barracuda uses the QLC NAND which means data is crammed in more on each cell, resulting in weaker performance and lesser lifespan (reflected later in all other specifications). Another consideration is the number of laters each NAND cell uses (reflected in the number with L on the end, eg 64L and 96L), as this allows improvements in capacity, throughput and sustainability in the NAND, without sacrificing quality. The higher this number, the better really – though it will make the drive more expensive per GB/TB. As impactful as the NAND is though, the controller featured on these SSD is where it REALLY matters! An SSD much like a computer really and is made up of a controller (like a CPU), DRAM/SD-RAM (like computer memory) and NAND cells (like storage media) and although all of these are important, the controller is incredibly important to keep data moving to the interface/connection with the client device (so, in this case m.2 NVMe) as fast as possible.

Unlike Samsung or WD, Seagate does not use ‘in-house’ controllers and have used the Phison series of controllers in a number of high profile SSDs over the years. The current gold standard in these is the Phison E18-PS5018 and this is featured on the Firecuda 530 (as well as with a few other SSDs from other brands, but with lesser NAND and NVMe revs). Overall, it is clear here in the chats that the Firecuda has the best architecture available, but provides this at quite a high price, so although it absolutely wins things in terms of ROI if your budget can cover it, the best all-round SSDs for price AND hardware are the Firecuda 520 and 510, depending on whether you have PCIe 4 or PCIe 3 m.2 slots available.

 

Seagate Firecuda, Barracuda and Ironwolf NVMe SSDs – Capacity

For some SSD buyers, the capacity (and ultimately the price per GB/TB) can be a big factor in the purchase of their new M.2 NVMe drive. The different ranges available from Seagate are all largely available in the 500GB, 1TB and 2TB tier (with a rejig mix up on  the Ironwolf 510 – which I will touch on in a bit), but there are clearly a couple of exceptions after that. The Firecuda 510 and the Ironwolf 510 are the only drives that are available in 250/240GB, because the former can often be used for the core system drive for Gamer PCs that have one or more M.2 slots to use (at least one will be a PCIe 3X4) and the latter needs to be scalable to a NAS system and the HDDs it already has in a RAID. The Firecuda 520 and 530 are not available in this capacity tier because these premium drives already work at their best with more NAND to play with (as you will be in the performance benchmarks in a bit) and the Barracuda Q5 is already using such cost-effective price vs capacity NAND that a 250GB and 500GB model would be practically the same price ultimately. See below:

  Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate FireCuda 520

Seagate FireCuda 510

Seagate IronWolf 510

BarraCuda Q5

240GB / 250GB N/A N/A ZP250GM3A001 ZP240NM30011 N/A
2480GB / 500GB ZP500GM3A013 ZP500GM3A002 ZP500GM3A021 ZP480NM30011 ZP500CV3A001
960GB / 1000GB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP1000GM3A002 ZP1000GM3A011 ZP960NM30011 ZP1000CV3A001
1920GB / 2000GB ZP2000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A002 ZP2000GM30021 ZP1920NM30011 ZP2000CV3A001
3840 / 4000GB ZP4000GM3A013 N/A N/A N/A N/A

The other exception to the rule is that the Seagate Firecuda 530 arrives in an impressive 4TB capacity, which is especially impressive when you remember that ALL of the NVMes above are available in 2280 M.2 2280 length, not the 22110 m.2 drives that are sometimes associated with larger capacity NVMe SSDs above 2TB. Thanks to the Firecuda having the more capable controller and choice of NAND and DRAM/SD-RAM, this means that this higher 4TB also has some fantastic performance (made possible with the NAND being distributed on either side of the PCB board – so make sure you have sufficient thermal pads or purchase the custom heatsink that this drive can be equipped with. The Ironwolf 510 SSDs arrive with a slightly different capacity, as they factor in a storage technique called Overprovisioning, whereby a small % of the available storage on NAND is given to the controller/memory in order to give them more space to handle tasks. This is particularly beneficial to Read processes in queuing and as these drives are geared towards caching, the use of overprovisioning leads to much more consistent read activity being sustained. Overall, the best drive here in terms of capacity CHOICE is the Firecuda 510, but the best drive for total capacity, of course, is going to be the Firecuda 530 M.2 NVMe SSD.

Seagate Firecuda, Barracuda and Ironwolf NVMe SSDs – Read & Write Throughput Speed

The overall performance that each of these drives is capable of will almost scale upwards as you look at each tier of capacity. This is largely due to the way the NAND is distributed on the physical PCB of the NVMe SSD. That said because each series type features quite different NAND types (ranging in layering and 3D vertical layering quantity), varying controller onboard and even vary in the PCIe interface, the result is that even the highest performance of the biggest capacity Barracuda Q5 2TB and Ironwolf 510 1.92TB can barely scratch the STAGGERING 7000/3000MB/s maximum performance of the Firecuda 530. Clearly the drives get higher in total potential performance in Read and Write as we move from the more affordable Barracuda Q5 and all the way up to that FC 530. However, there is clearly an inconsistency here, can you spot it?

  Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate FireCuda 520

Seagate FireCuda 510

Seagate IronWolf 510

BarraCuda Q5

240/250GB N/A N/A ZP250GM3A001 ZP240NM30011 N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB  – –  3200MB 2,450MB – 
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB –  1300MB 290MB
2480/500GB ZP500GM3A013 ZP500GM3A002 ZP500GM3A021 ZP480NM30011 ZP500CV3A001
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 5000MB 3450MB 2,650MB 2300MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB 2500MB 2500MB 600MB 900MB
960/1000GB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP1000GM3A002 ZP1000GM3A011 ZP960NM30011 ZP1000CV3A001
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 5000MB 3450MB 3,150MB 2400MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6000MB 4400MB 3100MB 1,000MB 1700MB
1920/2000GB ZP2000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A002 ZP2000GM30021 ZP1920NM30011 ZP2000CV3A001
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 5000MB 3450MB 3,150MB 2400MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 4400MB 3200MB 850MB 1800MB
3840/4000GB ZP4000GM3A013 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB – 
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB – 

If you did spot it, well done. For the rest of you – look at the Write speed on ALL 4 capacity Seagate Ironwolf 510 M.2 NVMe SSDs! Not only does it just barely cross into 1,000MB/s in the 960GB model, it actually DIPS into 850MB/s at 2TB. Again, this is because of this drive being massively geared towards Read over Write for cache optimization (as well as durability and endurance, which we will touch on later). That means that the Ironwolf 510 is incredibly unsuitable to regular SSD use outside of NAS when compared to all the others, even compared with the Barracuda Q5. Regardless of this, as you would expect, the firecuda’s do hit all the usual highs, with each newer version breaking higher thresholds. It is also worth remembering that these are maximum Read and Write figures, so these do not fully depict sustained performance. The Barracuda performance figures will likely not maintain that height over extended periods of time, hence their suitability for day to day computer use (with more sporadic/lite activity than something like professional gaming with consistent performance requirements or video editing). Clearly, the m.2 slot your system features (e.g PCIe 3 or PCIe 4) will factor heavily in the drive your choose, but obviously, if you can afford it and have the architecture in place I would recommend the Firecuda 530. Otherwise, the FC 510 and 520 are solid choices for PCIe4 and PCIe3 m.2 repectively.

Seagate Firecuda, Barracuda and Ironwolf NVMe SSDs – IOPS Rating

Another popular way that SSD performance is typically measured is the IOPS (input, output operations per second), as M.2 NVMe SSDs and their much faster response handling of instructions from the system they are in. These are typically measures in the thousands, though the random read/write IOPS figures for the Barracuda Q5 drive were hard to find online and given their use of QLC and lower endurance rating (making me question the long term durability of the drive) I have not added any reported benchmarks for this drive. Unsurprisingly, the reported benchmarks for IOPS on each drive series and capacity scale up as you would expect, with the Firecuda 530 making an enormous jump thanks to its architecture:

  Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate FireCuda 520

Seagate FireCuda 510

Seagate IronWolf 510

BarraCuda Q5

240/250GB N/A N/A ZP250GM3A001 ZP240NM30011 N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32     210,000 100,000 UNKNOWN
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32     320,000 12,000 UNKNOWN
2480/500GB ZP500GM3A013 ZP500GM3A002 ZP500GM3A021 ZP480NM30011 ZP500CV3A001
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000 430,000 420,000 193,000 UNKNOWN
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 630,000 600,000 20,000 UNKNOWN
960/1000GB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP1000GM3A002 ZP1000GM3A011 ZP960NM30011 ZP1000CV3A001
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800,000 760,000 620,000 345,000 UNKNOWN
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 700,000 600,000 28,000 UNKNOWN
1920/2000GB ZP2000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A002 ZP2000GM30021 ZP1920NM30011 ZP2000CV3A001
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 750,000 620,000 270,000 UNKNOWN
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 700,000 600,000 25,000 UNKNOWN
3840/4000GB ZP4000GM3A013 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000       UNKNOWN
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000       UNKNOWN

Once again, the heavy read over write structure of the Ironwolf 510 has led to an enormous disparity between the random Read over Write IOPS on every capacity tier on this M.2 NVMe. When comparing it against the Firecuda 510 (also PCIe Gen 3×3) the Ironwolf 510 half 50% of the read IOPS and (staggeringly) around 4-5% of the write IOPS! If you are using your M.2 NVMe for a consistently engaged/interactive environment (eSports, Photo Editing, AI-assisted services, physics engines, etc) then the higher the IOPS ratings per second, the better – as that means that those hundreds/thousands of tiny instructions and changes you make to your live data will not be bottlenecked by the SSD.

The Firecuda series clearly wins the day here (note the Firecuda 530 comfortably cracks the 1,000,000 barriers on both read and write in the larger capacity tiers). If you care about IOPS and are using a system/setup that can make use of these response volumes (so not a day to day data entry PC or NAS unless as a storage pool drive in the latter), Firecuda 520 and 530 all the way.

Seagate Firecuda, Barracuda and Ironwolf NVMe SSDs – Endurance and Durability

Unlike the other points in this comparison of the Seagate M.2 NVMe SSD ranges, the Endurance and Durability of an SSD is an area that is overlooked often enough that I wanted to take a moment to focus a little more on this – you can thank me years from now! The importance of SSD durability and endurance in 2021/2022 is actually pretty massive. Now that the devices we use all feature incredibly powerful processors, often cloud/network hybrid AI processes and graphical handling that will be instantly bottlenecked by traditional hard drives, SSDs are no longer just the ‘boot’ drive for our OS and are now the day to day working drive. This combined with SSD being used as caching and larger SSD capacities allowing suitable substitution for HDDs entirely means that the CONSTANT concern about SSDs lifespan and the durability of those NAND cells is now quite paramount. SSDs wear out – it’s as simple as that. The more you write, the more wear those individual NAND cells suffer – degrading performance over the years and inevitably leading to drive failure. Likewise, the smaller the drive, the greater likelihood that you will be writing, then rewriting, then rewriting, time and time again. All of these SSDs need to factor in endurance and lifespan, as although they have varying quality NAND, there are no exceptions to the slow wearing it will suffer. However,alongside massive research and development in better controllers and interfaces to improve performance, the way NAND is improved has led to SSDs lasting lover than ever before. However, SSDs and NAND are not built equally and there is actually quite a large difference in durability between these drives. The Storage industry typically measures the predicted durability and endurance of an SSD as TBW, DWPD and MTBF. They are:

TBW = Terabytes Written, rated as the total number of terabytes that this SSD can have written to it in its warranty covered lifespan. So if the TBW was 300TB and the warranty is 5 years of coverage, that would mean that the drive can receive on average (with deleting/overwriting data each repeatedly) 60 Terabytes per year (or 5TB a month). After this point, the manufacturer highlights that durability, endurance and performance will decline. Often highlighted as an alternative to warranty length when gauging the predicted lifespan of a SSD.

DWPD = Drive Writes Per Day / Data Writes Per Day, this is a decimalized figure that represents what proportion of the capacity of an SSD (where 1.0 = 100% capacity) can be filled, erased and/or rewritten on a daily basis. This is provided using the warranty period and TBW figure. So, for example, if a 500GB drive has a 0.3DWPD rating, that is approx 150GB of data per day

MTBF = Mean Time Between Failure, which is the interval between one failure of an SSD and the next. MTBF is expressed in hours and most industrial SSDs are rated in the Millions of Hours. MTBF and MTTF (Mean Time to Failure) have largely become overlooked in recent years in favour of TBW and DWPD in SSDs, but are still stated on most Data Sheets.

So, now you know what those large Terabyte stats, hours and decimal point details are on the average SSD datasheet. So where do the Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850 stand on this:

  Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate FireCuda 520

Seagate FireCuda 510

Seagate IronWolf 510

BarraCuda Q5

N/A N/A ZP250GM3A001 ZP240NM30011 N/A
DWPD 0.7 0.9 0.7 1 0.2
MTBF, hours 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,800,000

This is clearly the area where the Seagate Ironwolf 510 gets to SHINE! It features a reported 1.0 DWPD (rather rare in mid-pro level m.2 NVMe) due to its lower write stats lessening the impact and over-provisioning. Over-provisioning (OP) increases SSD endurance by allowing extra space for the flash controller to manage incoming data. Over-provisioning improves wear-levelling and random write performance, and reduces the write amplification factor (WAF), thereby improving the endurance of NAND-based SSDs. That said, many users will be able to overlook the endurance rating and weigh it up against the lower write performance negatively – once again, hence its optimization for caching being rather hobbling other usage cases. The Barracuda at the end is clearly the least enduring of the bunch (already touched on) at 0.2 drive writes per day, which is reflected poorly by the performance AND the fact it only has a 3yr warranty (rather than the 5 years on the rest of the M.2 NVMes from Seagate. Overall, I am most impressed by the Seagate Firecuda 520 having it’s 0.8 drive writes per day, especially when you consider the 5000/4400MB/s top-end performance on a PCIe 4×4 m.2 bandwidth. Yes, it is only a pinch higher than the 0.7 on the Firecuda 530 and its 7300/6900MB/s, but remember these are maximum reported speeds and are very dependant on the file system and instructions being given by the client machine. Additionally, another big takeaway here is to know that these drive write per day figures are based on if you were going flat-out on these SSDs daily and within the 5-year warranty timeline. So if you are using them a tad more casually, or intermittently, these figures for durability and endurance will be considerably longer (though obviously the manufactures warranty for support only extends to 5 years)

Seagate Firecuda, Barracuda and Ironwolf NVMe SSDs – Conclusion

If there is one big, BIG takeaway that I want you to take away from this guide of Seagate m.2 NVMe SSDs, is that CLEARLY not all of them are built equally. Over on YouTube, I will constantly highlight that of all the types of modern computing technology, few areas have the diversity of use or crafted end-user design that data storage has. You have a lot of different spoons in your kitchen and they all ‘work’, but have you ever tried making a cup of tea with a wooden pasta/sauce spoon? Or cut a steak with a butter knife? The same logic is quite clear in these SSDs and although it is easy to fall into the trap of ‘most expensive must be the best’ or ‘fastest = best for everything’, but the truth is a lot more nuanced. Below is a breakdown of the best use/user for each of these drives to help you decide between Firecuda, Barracuda and Ironwolf and which Seagate NVMe SSD is the best for your needs:

  Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate FireCuda 520

Seagate FireCuda 510

Seagate IronWolf 510

Seagate BarraCuda Q5

Best For User 4K/8K Professional Editing

Professional Gamer

eSports

Current-Gen Consoles

4K Professional Editing

Semi-Pro Gamers

eSports

AI Tasks

1080p / Compressed 4K Editing

Prosumer Gamers

Professional Computing

NAS Server Caching

Virtual Machine Caching

SAN/Shared Storage

Office Computers

Home Gamers

Operating Sytems

Where To Buy

Remember, ALL of these M.2 NVMes arrive with Rescue Data Recovery services, so that’s another little bonus you get with any of these. Thanks for reading and I hope this guide helped you choose the right M.2 Seagate NVMe SSD for your gaming PC, home console (PS5?) or professional editing machine. If you need any further assistance on choosing the right storage media for your needs, take advantage of the free advice section below. It is manned by two humans, myself and Eddie the Web guy, and is a COMPLETELY FREE advice service. It might take us a day or two extra to respond to your questions, but we answer every single one and provide unbias advice that only has your storage interests at heart! Have a lovely week and stay awesome.

 


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

 

Synology Photos VS Photo Station and Moments – ALL the Differences

8 juillet 2021 à 14:22

Synology Photos Upgrade from Moments & Photo Station – Should You Upgrade?

When Synology first announced the development of DSM 7 (almost 3 years ago now), one of the biggest changes that was noticed was the move by Synology to consolidate their existing Synology Photo Station and Moments applications into a single, all-purpose tool – Synology Photos. Throughout the previews and reveals of development on DSM 7.0, Synology photos would be continued to be highlighted, with each update showing improvements in GUI, shared space management and filtering through your decades of photos being made much easier. Now DSM 7 is officially here, many users who have made the switch from DSM 6.2 (and therefore migrating from Photo Station and Moments and into Synology Photos automatically) have raised queries about how some processes are handled by the newer photo software, what it improves upon in the older apps and some areas where it appears to have taken a few steps back – at least in this DSM 7 release build. So today I want to talk about the difference between these three applications, what parts of your existing DSM 6.2 Photo Station & Moments data will be migrated and what features of Synology Photos have yet to arrive. Hopefully, this will help you decide whether to make the jump from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0, as right now the upgrade is not mandatory and you do not need to switch over if you do not want to.

What Are the Differences Between Synology Photos, Moments and Photo Station?

So, first and foremost, it is worth remembering that Synology Photos is not a completely new application in terms of what Synology has been providing in Photo Station and Moments previously. Indeed, Synology Photos is designed to centralize all the photo and image management of the NAS Drive in a single portal. The design of Synology Photos is certainly more heavily influenced by Moments in its GUI and layout, but with an important difference. The management of shared photos and albums is now switchable in the interface and allows you to manage your private/home collections parallel to your professional photography albums, shares and catalogues of images. THIS kind of design in the UX is much more equivalent to what Synology Photo provides. Below is a chart detailing the features of Synology Photos, along with from which predecessor application each design/element were incorporated:

Synology Photos

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

Target users Professional photographers,
Home users
Professional photographers Home users
DSM 7.0 Supported Not supported Not supported
Display style Folder view,
Timeline view
Folder view Folder view (view only),
Timeline view
Search features Keyword search,
Quick filters
General search,
Advanced search
Keyword search,
Advanced search
Virtual albums Supported Available in Shared Albums and Smart Albums Supported
Conditional albums Supported Supported (equivalent to Smart Albums) Not supported
Collaboration method Shared Space,
Shared albums
Album permissions Shared Photo Library
Detailed metadata information display Supported Supported Not supported
Auto-created albums Supported Not supported Supported
TV cast AirPlay & Chromecast (via the mobile app) DS photo for Android/Apple TV,
AirPlay & Chromecast (via the mobile app)
Not supported

So, on the face of it, Synology Photos seemingly does a very good job of consolidating the existing features of Moments and Photo Station 6. But let’s talk about what happens to your data when you migrate over, what parts of your existing NAS photography collections are migrated over.

Which Parts of Photo Station & Moments Can Be Migrated Over to Synology Photos in DSM 7?

Like any big firmware update on your photo, computer or console, upgrading the firmware on your Synology NAS from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0 can be slightly unnerving, as it can often lead to some applications no longer functioning the same or (very much in the case of switching from Photo Station and Moments to Synology Photos) the collections of albums, tags, shares and more being lost in the migration. Synology maintains that the majority of Moments and Photo Station metadata, shares and structured folders/albums in each application will be successfully maintained in the switch to Synology Photos in DSM 7. In cases where it is not possible, this can be down to file extension support changes in DSM 7, changes in supported AI services in the Synology Photos launch version or imply that a feature has been discontinued. Below is a breakdown of the data that will be migrated between Synology Photo Station and Moments into Synology Photos:

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

  • Metadata of photos and videos
  • Folder structures in Photo Station and Personal Photo Station
  • Manually created albums (will be transformed into folders)
  • Shared albums and smart albums (will be transformed into conditional albums)
  • Album permissions (will be transformed into folder permissions)
  • General tags
  • Location tags (will be transformed into general tags)
  • Settings to exclude certain file formats from indexing and conversion
  • Metadata of photos and videos
  • Manually created and shared albums in My Photo Library and Shared Photo Library
  • General tags
  • Edited facial recognition results and groupings

Additionally, Synology highlight that the contents of the migrated shared albums and smart albums might be changed slightly due to changes in package design. Additionally, there may be an interruption of some shared albums/collections from your NAS drive as the share links of albums will be regenerated during the migration. The original URLs will no longer be available. As smooth as the bulk of all this sounds, it is worth mentioning that the launch version of Synology Photos does have some features missing from Photo Station 6 and Moments that, although might appear in a further update to the applications soon, are DEFINITELY worth knowing about before migrating from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7 – as a couple of these might be dealbreakers for you when upgrading.

Which Features of Photo Station & Moments are NOT Currently Supported on Synology Photos in DSM 7?

Despite the beta phase of DSM 7.0 and Synology Photos back in December, the Release Candidate last month and the now full release of the firmware update and app, it has to be said that there are still a few features of Photo Station 6 and Moments that are NOT available in Synology Photos at launch. It has to be highlighted that it seems that Photo Station features are the ones that seemingly have had their wings clipped more. This appears to be largely as some features have been amalgamated into the wider DSM 7 system, but there are certainly a bunch of missing features in Synology Photos that many users are scratching their heads over. There are tiny features like the Photo Auto recolour in Moments and Slideshow control, that are arguable quick old skool and forgivable in the update. However, some remarkably cool/useful features of Moments and Photo Station that are missing in Synology Photos, such as the world map view of your collection and AI-powered subject recognition (though facial recognition is still available and enabled in a settings menu) being absent are actually rather annoying! Below is a full breakdown of the features that WERE in Moments and Photo Station, but NOT in Synology Photos right now in Summer 2021:

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

  • Account system of Photo Station and Personal Photo Station
  • Personal Photo Station (its photos and videos will be migrated)
  • Descriptions hit counts, and watermarks of albums
  • Comments, color labels, and area highlight tools in Shared Albums
  • Map view!!!!!
  • Results of facial recognition (people tags) and ratings of photos
  • Portfolio
  • Theme
  • Log
  • Blog
  • iFrame embedment
  • Settings to restrict users from public sharing
  • Photo sharing via social networks (e.g., Facebook and Twitter)
  • Speed, music, and transition effects of slideshows
  • Subject recognition!!!!!
  • Integration with Synology Drive Server and the direct viewing of files under “/home/Drive”
  • Moments Select and Similar Photos
  • Auto Color and Rotate

That said, Synology has been keen to highlight that some of the removed features from Synology Moments and Photo Station 6 may be redesigned and relaunched along with future updates of Synology Photos, so we hope that the bulk of the features above make it eventually.

If You want to learn more about what Synology DSM 7.0 bring to your NAS (not just how it will impact for good/bad on your existing Photo Station and Moments setup into Synology Moments), why not read my FULL video review of the Diskstation Manager 7.0 below:

Synology DSM 7.0 Review on NASCompares

Alternatively, you can Read the full DSM 7 review below:

Synology DSM 7 Review – The Quick Conclusion

Let’s not mince words, the Synology DSM 7 software is easily the best experience you are ever going to have when accessing your decades of data! From huge upgrades in the graphical user interface, the layout of options and even managing to improve the already exceptionally user-friendly design, DSM 7 is unquestionably the king of network software right now. Aside from a few areas of design conflict between DSM 6.2 services and DSM 7 UI, questionable changes on USB compatibility and contention over migration between in photo station and Synology photos, DSM 7.0 still very much rules the roost when it comes to the best you can get in network-attached storage software in 2021/2022.

PROs of DSM 7.0 CONs of DSM 7.0
Genuinely Impressive Latency

Very Appealing GUI

Unbeatable First Party App Support

Near Perfect Single EcoSystem

Makes DSM 6.2 Look Dated

Fast RAID Repair and RAID6 Improvements

Surveillance, VMs, Backups and Media Handling all still 10/10

Feels JUST as Secure & Safe as Ever

Hyper Backup & Cloud Sync Still Support MANY Clouds

Active Insight, Active Backup, C2 & HybridShare = Business Win

Reduced USB Support Currently

Some 3rd Party Applications have not migrated well

Synology Photos Still Lacks some Photo Station Services

Hybrid Share ONLY Supports Synology C2 (Paid Sub)

Occasional Conflict of DSM 6.2 to DSM 7 Designs at times

Synology Drive File Pining & Active Backup Still not Available for Mac

 

 


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New MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD Revealed – Another 7000MBs M.2 NVMe SSD!

7 juillet 2021 à 17:28

MSI SPATIUM M480 – New PCIe 4×4 7,000MB/s SSD for 2021

Good news for anyone who has been keeping an eye on the latest releases in SSDs in 2021/2022, with the reveal of ANOTHER PCIe Gen 4×4 SSD entering the market – the MSI M480 M.2 SSD. What makes this one stand out is that it is reported to be utilizing the new Phison E18 controller that is featured in the Seagate Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD that was revealed last week. In fact, this new MSI SPATIUM M480 SSD is actually one of THREE new SSDs that that brand has revealed and each drive is pretty much the top-end performance of what each tier of the current generation NVMe M.2 SSD have to offer right now (a fraction less so in the M370 though it has to be said. So let’s take a look at these three new PCIe SSDs and see whether they deserve your gamer or video editing data!

MSI SPATIUM M480, M470 and M370 SSD Specifications

Below is everything that was revealed on these three new SSDs, starting with the highest performing SPATIUM M480 SSD – which is likely to be another drive tipped for PS5 SSD Compatibility once Sony enables this function.

MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2

Optimized for the PCIe Gen4 interface, SPATIUM M480 SSD reaches read/write speeds up to 7000/6850 MB/s, allowing for rapid data transfer and shortened game load times.

  • Available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB – Price: $TBC
  • PCIe Gen 4×4 NVMe 1.4
  • Phison E18 Controller
  • Max Sequential Read/Write 128KB – 7,000MB/s – 6,850MB/s
  • Max Random Read/Write IOPS – 650,000 – 700,000
  • 350/700/1400 TBW Respectively
  • 1.6Million Hours MTBF
  • 5yr Warranty
Additional Features

TRIM (Performance Optimization, OS support required)
SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology)
LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) ECC Algorithm
End to End Data Path Protection
APST (Autonomous Power State Transition)
AES256/TCG OPAL2.0/Pyrite (Encryption, Data Security)

 

MSI SPATIUM M470 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2

Optimized for the PCIe Gen4 interface, SPATIUM M470 SSD reaches read/write speeds up to 5000/4400 MB/s, allowing for rapid data transfer and shortened game load times.

  • Available in 1TB, 2TB – Price: $TBC
  • PCIe Gen 4×4 NVMe 1.3
  • Phison E16 Controller
  • Max Sequential Read/Write 128KB – 5,000MB/s – 4,400MB/s
  • Max Random Read/Write IOPS – 600,000
  • 1600 / 3300 TBW Respectively
  • 1.7Million Hours MTBF
  • 5yr Warranty
Additional Features

TRIM (Performance Optimization, OS support required)
SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology)
LDPC (Low Density Parity Check) ECC Algorithm
End to End Data Path Protection
APST (Autonomous Power State Transition)

 

MSI SPATIUM M370 PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2

Optimized for the PCIe Gen3 interface, SPATIUM M370 SSD reaches read/write speeds up to 2400/1850 MB/s, allowing for rapid data transfer and shortened game load times.

  • Available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB – Price: $TBC
  • PCIe Gen 3×4 NVMe 1.3
  • Max Sequential Read/Write 128KB – 2,400MB/s – 1,850MB/s
  • Max Random Read/Write IOPS – 220,000 330,000
  • 200, 400, 800, 1600 TBW Respectively
  • 1.5Million Hours MTBF
  • 5yr Warranty
Additional Features

TRIM (Performance Optimization, OS support required)
SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology)
LDPC (Low Density Parity Check) ECC Algorithm
End to End Data Path Protection
APST (Autonomous Power State Transition)
AES256/TCG OPAL2.0/Pyrite (Encryption, Data Security)

 

When Will the MSI Spatium M480, M470 and M370 SSD Be Released?

There is still no confirmation on price or availability worldwide on these drives, though they were first revealed tentatively at the start of the year at CES 2021 when MSI formally announced they have in-house SSDs in the works (with other potential series and devices in the works). Additionally, the official pages are now up on the MSI worldwide sites with links to the usual global buy pages, however, at the time of writing, these still do not link to existing retailers that can supply! Expect these to land soon (Chia aside!!!) and though obviously, the MSI Spatium M480 will command the highest price, the growing competitor units such as the Firecuda 530 from Seagate and the older Samsung 980 Pro are both drives that promote 7,000MB/s+ too – so MSI may well err on the side of competitive pricing. Once again, keep an eye on this drive if you are a protective PS5 Storage Upgrade buyer in Summer/Autumn 2021, as it is rumoured that the long-awaited upgrade option for Playstation 5 owners internal SSD will be available in a soon-to-come update. Stay tuned!

 


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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.