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G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD World Exclusive Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 6:02 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: G.Skill

G.Skill Phoenix Blade PCIe 480GB SSD




G.Skill put together an attractive package for the Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD.




The back of the package lists product specifications, service and support contract information, and the label on the bottom right corner has the model and serial number information.




Two boxes in one!




Once you peel through the layers, you are left with the Phoenix Blade drive in an anti-static bag, a driver disk, and HH bracket.






If your company is making a grand reentrance to the SSD market, this is the way to do it. The Phoenix Blade looks and feels enterprise, like the LSI Nytro MegaRAID products we've tested.




A plate on the bottom of the drive acts as a heat sink for the two SF-2281 controllers and NAND flash just under it.




The card is actually two layers with heat sinks in key locations to keep everything cool. At idle, the Phoenix Blade consumers just 8 watts of power, but under full load that climbs to 18 watts. With a maximum operating temperature of 55C, you need to keep the inside of your computer case cool of the card may throttle or worse, fail.






A vent on the top of the card helps to dissipate heat from a heat sink under the mesh opening. It also looks really damn cool.




Air escapes through the perforated backplate. Two status LEDs let you know the drive is working.




With the cover removed, we can see the heat sinks that cover the RAID controller and top side SF-2281 flash controllers.




With the top PCB and heat sinks removed, we can see the main layer of the drive.




The backside gives us a little more information. Each SF-2281 flash controller has eight dedicated NAND flash packages. This is like having four full 120GB SF-2281 drives in RAID 0.




The daughter board holds the other two SF-2281 chips and another sixteen NAND flash packages. A heat sink keeps everything cool since all of these heat-producing components are housed so close to each other.




The RAID controller uses what is called ScaleBoost Virtualization Technology, and passes TRIM and SMART information to the host system.




The flash controllers are SF-2281 and use the VB2 stepping. This stepping reduces power and also supports DEVSLP, although I doubt the SBC RAID controller can pass DEVSLP commands to the chips in this configuration.




Toshiba single plane 19nm flash in a TSOP package rounds out the significant components list. There are 32 NAND packages on the Phoenix Blade.

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