Introduction & Drive Details
Lenovo's YOGA 9i is its latest offering on the super portable 2:1 front. This compact yet still full-sized where it matters, 14" class portable notebook/tablet PC features all the latest technology, including DDR5 DRAM, an Intel 12th Gen mobile processor featuring all the latest Intel EVO bells and whistles.
Intel's EVO technology is a feature set that enables its partner's portable offerings to be thinner, lighter, and faster than ever before. Additionally, and like we have on our YOGA 9i, you get Intel's awesome, super-fast USB Type-C charging via any of its three USB4 Type-C connectors.
All the newest Intel EVO tech is certainly awe-inspiring and does admittedly get our tech enthusiast juices flowing, but as we view things from a storage perspective, none of that matters without super-fast and efficient internal storage, which brings us to what this article is all about.
You can be assured that when it comes to Lenovo's latest and greatest offerings, they hand-select parts and partnerships to ensure the success of its product line, as expressed by customer satisfaction.
With this in mind, it's easy to see why Lenovo partnered with Union Memory for its newest release, the YOGA 9i. Founded in 2017, Union Memory is based in Shenzhen, China. It has established a leading laboratory and two modern production bases, with in-house controllers and the capacity to develop firmware, packaging, and testing chips. Moreover, Union Memory offers customized solutions for enterprises, consumer electronics, and other partners.
Union Memory has a whole range of partners across a broad spectrum of the tech industry. One of its leading partners on the non-volatile storage front is Silicon Motion, a leading third-party SSD controller company. Lenovo is partnering with Union Memory, who in turn is partnering with Silicon Motion to supply the SSD that makes the YOGA 9i tick. This highly compact 2242 form factor PCIe Gen4x4 SSD is the Union Memory A630 DRAMless, powered by a super-fast, super-efficient Silicon Motion SM2267XT controller.
As we can see from the above manufacturer cut sheet, SMI's 2267XT controller is all about efficiency, PCIe Gen4 efficiency, which is why Union Memory chose it for its A630 SSD that powers the new YOGA 9i 2-in-1 notebook PC. The fact that Lenovo chose this SSD for one of its Intel EVO-certified products says everything about its speed and efficiency.
Silicon Motion is very proud of its controller and its partnerships with industry leaders like Union Memory, so they sent over the YOGA 9i for us to evaluate its storage prowess as powered by a diminutive 256GB Union Memory SM2267XT controlled A630 DRAMless SSD. At 256GB, the A630 that powers our YOGA 9i is almost assuredly the lowest-performing model, meaning we could get even more performance from larger capacities, so this will be a true test of the A630's metal.
Our Yoga 9i can take up to a full-size single-sided 2280 SSD, so an adapter of sorts is employed to hold the half that size 2242 SSD in place securely.
Test System Specifications
CDI returns a model number of UMIS RPJTJ256MGE1QDQ for the SSD. CPUz verifies our YOGA i9 is powered by a 16-thread Intel 12th Gen Core i7 1260P BGA CPU and 8GB DDR5 5200 Memory. Delicious.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO, Blackmagic,
3,200 MB/s throughput for a 256GB DRAMless SSD is quite excellent, especially considering this is a highly power-efficient platform. Throughput is not the number we are interested in, though. We are interested mostly in low queue-depth random read performance or that 71.31 MB/s number.
71 MB/s at 4K Q1T1 is top-notch for any flash-based laptop storage device and is a clear indication that the A360 SSD that powers our YOGA 9i is capable of dishing out a superior user experience. Excellent.
Anvil's Storage Utilities
Once again, we are getting great synthetic numbers where it matters most, low queue depth randoms.
We are looking for full speed at 128K transfers. Not many SSDs can do it, but the A630 delivers its best sequential performance at 128K file size. Impressive.
If tasked with video content creation, the A630 can more than handle anything thrown its way within reason. There would be file size limitations that don't manifest by running this test. We step outside the SLC cache, and performance will drop significantly.
Real-World Testing: 3D Mark, PCM10
3DMark SSD Gaming Test
UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is in fact the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing.
In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to test an SSDs gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:
- Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
- Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
- Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
- Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
- Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
Regarding game storage duties, the A630 returns a head-turning result. Far better than we expected from a 256GB SSD and pretty much on par with what we would expect from even a full-blown performance-oriented SSD running in a notebook. Outstanding.
PCM10 Storage Tests
PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.
The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with mainstream user experience.
PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark
Although we don't imagine many people would be running 200GB worth of consumer workloads on a compact 2-in-1 PC like the YOGA 9i, if by chance someone happens to do so, A630 is definitely up for the challenge. It is punching above its weight right here.
PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark
Here again, much higher than expected performance. Performance that matters.
Lenovo's newest YOGA 9i is one hell of a 2-in-1 notebook. Even the lower-end model like we have here today delivers breathtaking user experience. Everything is lightning-fast, efficiency is off the charts, and battery life and USB Type-C charging are simply outstanding.
And making it all possible is the Silicon Motion controlled Union Memory A630 SSD at its heart. Silicon Motion is certainly at the top of its game, as thoroughly demonstrated by today's examination of Lenovo's newest YOGA 9i ultra-portable notebook PC.