With SSDs seemingly advancing by leap and bounds everyday, it’s crucial for companies to be able to get their products out to market quickly. By being on the bleeding edge, companies can exploit process and controller advantages to increase their margin or lower prices. First unveiled and announced a little over 2 months ago, Plextor’s M6S Plus series of SSDs will finally reach market and become available for purchase.
As a 2016 update of the M6S, the M6S Plus uses the newer 15nm MLC Toggle NAND from Toshiba instead of the A19nm found in the M6S. This will help Plextor bring prices down and become more competitive. The drive continues Plextor’s relationship with the 4-channel Marvell 88SS9188 with custom firmware support for TrueSpeed, TrueProtect, PlexTurbo and PlexCompressor. The drives it boasts random access speeds of up to 90,000 IOPS reads and 80,000 IOPS writes, with sequential speeds of up to 520 MB/s read and 300 MB/s, 420 MB/s, and 440 MB/s writes depending on capacity.
Given the time it took to bring the M6S Plus to market, we can expect the M7V, announced a week ago, to drop sometime in May/June. That drive features the newer 4-channel Marvell 88SS1074B1 controller paired with 15nm TLC Toggle NAND from Toshiba. Interestingly, the M7V actually features higher write speeds despite being TLC. Perhaps this is due to an improved SLC caching mechanism. Lastly, the budget M6V with the SMI 2246EN controller and 15nm MLC has also popped up alongside the M6S Plus as well.
Today’s review is a special one for me as it is the first time I get to review a PNY SSD. I got the XLR8 CS2211 2.5-inch gaming branded SSD on the test bench today and it will be interesting to see how well it does. The PNY CS2211 SSD is available in three capacities from 240GB over 480GB to 960GB from which I’ll be testing the 240GB model today.
PNY is no stranger in the SSD market and they created some great drives in the past for all sectors of the market, but they’re probably most known for their graphics cards. But we aren’t here to talk about graphics cards, it is about storage today. PNY has taken what they have learned from their previous drives and created the XLR8 branded CS2211 drive, and it shows in the performance ratings.
The drive is rated for a sequential performance of up to 565 MB/s reading and 540MB/s writing, which is about as good as it gets on the SATA3 interface. The random input-output performance is equally impressive with 95K IOPS ratings for both reading and writing. Those are at least the ratings for the larger models and the small 240GB version can’t keep fully up with that. It still comes with impressive ratings despite being a little slower ,with an 87K IOPS rating and a drop in sequential writes to 470MB/s.
It is no surprise that the drive has such good ratings as it is built with only the best components. It utilizes 15nm Toshiba MLC NAND and a Phison PS3110-S10 controller aided by 256MB DDR3 cache package
PNY gave the CS2211 the XLR8 styling as a gaming product, but the design has been toned down a bit in comparison to the previous XLR8 drive design. It is a beautiful design that makes the drive stand out and also makes in an optimal candidate for systems that proudly shows what components they are made off.
There are a lot of products that get a ‘gaming’ label in order to appeal to that market segment, but the CS2211 does deserve this label. It is a perfect gaming drive thanks to its high IOPS performance on top of the high sequential performance. You’ll copy fast, load fast, and should experience even less loading times in-game.
Feature wise we find the basic Trim and SMART capabilities, but the CS2211 also comes with background garbage collection, end-to-end data protection, and error correction code for up to 120 bits per 2K sector. Overall, we see a drive that presents itself very well and PNY agrees with a 2 million hours mean time before failure rating and a full 4-year warranty.
The 7mm slim drive is perfect for usage in both desktop and notebook systems where it also will fit well in 9.5mm drive bays thanks to the included adapter bracket. The SSD doesn’t feature the DevSleep function that I really like to see in drives, but that isn’t a deal breaker and most gamers don’t want power saving features, they want pure and raw performance which the CS2211 delivers.
Aside from the beautiful brand sticker on the top, the drive is built with a standard 2-piece snap-together enclosure that holds the PCB and doesn’t require any screws that could loosen themselves over time in high-vibration environments.
The PCB itself is a two-thirds length one with a total of eight NAND chips distributed over the front and back. The Phison PS3110 S10C controller sits firmly in the middle of the PCB. Next to it we also see the Nanya DDR3 cache chip that helps the drive to achieve the great speeds that it can.
Part Number: SSD7CS2211-240-RB
Form Factor: 2.5 inch
Interface: SATA-III 6Gb/s; backward compatible with SATA-II 3Gb/s
Max Sequential Read Speed: 560 MB/s
Max Sequential Write Speed: 470 MB/s
Max Random Read Speed: 87,000 IOPS
Max Random Write Speed: 95,000 IOPS
NAND Type: MLC
Ideal For: Gaming, Hard disk drive replacement, photo and video storage, and boot drives
Packaging and Accessories
The PNY XLR8 CS2211 solid state drive came packed in a simple black box with the PNY logo on the side.
Inside the box is the SSD itself as well as a 9.5mm adapter for usage in notebooks and laptops designed for the 9.5mm thick drives. By adding the adapter to the drive, you make sure that it’s firmly seated in the system and doesn’t rattle around.
Normally you’d get the drive in a more colourful wrapping and with an included registration key for the Acronis True Image cloning software. Review samples like this one sometimes come with a few things missing because the company is in a hurry to get the drives to us so we can test them for you – and they know that we don’t need the extras.
OCZ already showcased their Trion 150 series SSD during CES 2016 in Vegas and now it has been officially introduced. The new Trion 150 series replaces the current Trion 100 series and it is built with Toshiba’s 15nm Triple-Level-Cell NAND technology for even better performance on a budget.
Making the move from traditional mechanical hard disk drives to the faster solid state drives is simply something everyone has to experience. The difference is like day and night, but not everyone has the budget to get the flagship SSDs on the market. That is where these drives come into play as they still offer a great performance but don’t come with the heavy price.
The Trion 150 with its Toshiba controller and 15nm TLC NAND can bring you speeds of up to 550 MB/s reading and 530MB/s writing while the random performance still provides up to 91K IOPS reading and 64K IOPS writing. These specifications will decrease your boot time as well as any data access significantly and an SSD is an upgrade that every system should get. The OCZ Trion 150 will be available in capacities of 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB which should cover most people’s needs.
One of the downsides to TLC NAND is that it doesn’t have the same endurance as MLC and SLC NAND, but that isn’t something that should scare you away as a normal user. Despite the lower endurance, these drives will easily outlive their time of operation in most systems and it shouldn’t be something you need to worry about. The Trion 150 has an endurance rating of up to 240TB total bytes written which should be plenty.
The new 15nm Toshiba TLC NAND is quite a bit better than the previous 19nm thanks to the optimized manufacturing processes and it shows in this drive. Ordinary flagship drives can easily handle write loads of 50GB at once, but that’s a problem for TLC drives. They are just as fast with small area writes as the bigger brothers, but when they have to write more than a few GB in one instance, they suffer some performance loss. To combat this, a part of the NAND is being run in SLC mode as a kind of burst area. You can easily copy large amounts of data to the drive at once, but once the SLC cache has been exceeded, the performance will drop a little bit. The good news here is that the new series offers almost twice the write speed that the Trion 100 was able to offer during these scenarios.
Despite being a budget drive, the OCZ Trion 150 is still backed by a 3-year warranty and it isn’t just a normal warranty either. OCZ gave the Trion 150 the ShieldPlus Warranty for the entire time and it’s pretty much the best drive warranty you can get anywhere, especially for free and included. In the unlikely event that a drive needs to be replaced, you got a worry-free customer service experience which eliminates all the hassle and cost surrounding traditional support and warranty claims consumers often have to deal with. OCZ has you covered.
“Our Trion 100 series solid state drives quickly became a top seller for us and are popular among end users seeking a performance boost over hard drives at a very reasonable price,” said Steve Fingerhut, Sr. Vice President and GM of SSD BU, at Toshiba America Electronics Corporation. “We are continually looking for ways to improve both SSD real world performance and value to end users and are pleased to introduce the new Trion 150 series which leverages the latest Toshiba 15nm Triple-Level Cell NAND flash to deliver an even better storage solution forvalue-oriented mobile and desktop users.”
The Trion 150 is expected to be on par if not below the Trion 100 pricing, so that is great news for consumers. I also really like the new drive design, a little fresher than the previous. We will naturally have full reviews of this series ready for you shortly.
While we’ve long had M.2 SSDs, those drives have often been limited to either SATA speeds or suffered from the legacy AHCI protocol. In order to get around the legacy standard, consumer SSDs are starting to pick up NVMe, a new storage protocol designed for flash. OCZ is set to bring their own contender to the M.2 market by offering the OCZ RevoDrive 400, the first NVMe M.2 SSD.
We’ve seen what NVMe is capable of with the PCIe version of Intel’s 750. Now with 4 lanes of PCIe 3.0 through the M.2 connector, the RevoDrive can finally make use of those M.2 slots on many motherboards, giving much-needed speed without having to use up a PCIe slot. Read speeds are set to hit 2000MB/s and write speeds around 1600MB/s – 2000MB/s, pretty close to the Intel 750.
Given that OCZ is now owned by Toshiba, it’s interesting that this comes so soon after Toshiba announced their own M2. NVMe SSD from the BG1 family. Those drives however, were targetted more for OEMs and enterprise rather than consumers. At this point, all we know about the RevoDrive 400 is that it uses a Toshiba controller and 15nm MLC NAND.
No word is available on pricing but we can expect prices to probably fall near the Intel 750 so don’t expect this to be a budget drive. Intel does have one important advantage as the RevoDrive 400 maxes out at 1TB while the 750 goes a bit higher; it’s not quite fair to compare the two different form factors, though. No launch date has been revealed at this time.
Thank you TechReport for providing us with this information
Now Fixstars is back to blow us away again with the world’s largest capacity 2.5-inch standard form factor drive, sporting an incredible 6TB capacity. The drive does go beyond the more common 7mm drive height and instead uses the 9.5mm height that most 2.5-inch HDDs come in. Fixstars used that all that space and packed it with 15nm MLC NAND. Fixstars did not specify which brand of NAND they were using, but with 15nm technology it can really only be either Toshiba or SanDisk that jointly developed this.
The drive is said to perform pretty well despite the capacity with sequential read reaching up to 540 MB/s and writes reaching up to 520 MB/s. The figures come directly from Fixstars and the test environment wasn’t specified, neither was the random 4K performance (IOPS), but I’m sure those specifications will be released as the launch gets closer. The drive also supports all the basic features such as NCQ, TRIM, and SMART.
Fixstars backs the drive with a 3-year warranty and it is expected to launch in July this year. The 6TB SSD is designed mainly for video storage, medical applications, big data analytics, communications infrastructure and other industrial applications, but that doesn’t stop us power users from enjoying it too, if the price is right.