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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
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TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: G.Skill

G.Skill Phoenix Blade PCIe 480GB SSD

 

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

 

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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.

 

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Two boxes in one!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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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