We can officially say the global flash shortage is over. With just a little oversupply, prices of this precious computing resource have plummeted. Low prices are not the only indication of a market turn. The last time we experienced a condition like this the market expanded with more companies shipping SSDs than ever before.
It works like this. Silent partner SSD manufacturers have more components than they can sell in the retail market, so they look for new customers and more outlets to sell complete SSDs to. Companies like GIGABYTE pay for a complete product, pack it up and then move it through distributors and large online sellers like Newegg and Amazon. At some point, we may see GIGABYTE branded bundles featuring other products, like motherboards or video cards packaged with SSDs.
The GIGABYTE UD Pro uses a mature controller paired with 3D flash. It's a strong entry-level SSD design unlike some of the other products in this class that cause us to question long-term reliability. The series is also a step up from the many DRAMless class SSDs shipping today.
GIGABYTE released the UD Pro in only two capacities, 256GB and 512GB. This series uses a Phison PS5010-S10 8-channel SATA III controller and Toshiba BiCS FLASH (3D) memory. GIGABYTE claims the combination delivers up to 530 MB/s sequential read and 500 MB/s sequential write performance. Random reads come in at 80,000 IOPS for the larger 512GB model and 70,000 IOPS for the 256GB model. Random write performance goes up to 70,000 IOPS for the 512GB and just 40,000 IOPS for the 256GB.
Pricing, Warranty, And Endurance
Despite the entry-level specifications and four-year-old controller technology, the UD Pro carries an out of touch mainstream price at the time of writing. We found both capacities at Amazon for $109.99 and $58.99, respectively. The series ships with a 3-year limited warranty that gives users 100 terabytes of data writes per 256GB of overall capacity.
A Closer Look
The UD Pro has some mainstream features that are always nice to see. The chassis is a full metal design to increase durability. The design also helps to keep the internal components run cooler.
Inside we found a familiar design from the plethora of Phison S10-based products we've tested over the years. What makes the UD Pro different is the 3D TLC. We've tested this controller with planar MLC and TLC but this is the first model we've looked at with 3D TLC.
The design is similar to the new Seagate BarraCuda SSD we're testing in the lab now in a different capacity.
The Kingston DDR3L package may indicate GIGABYTE's manufacturer for this product series. Some of you may have an issue with Kingston from other SSDs that the company released in previous years.
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