Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Like the 480GB model, the 240GB MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro is a strong NVMe SSD that you should consider when choosing your next storage drive. The drive delivers very good application performance in a capacity where we often see less than satisfactory results.
256GB SSDs are the new 128GB drives. The latest flash is twice the size it was just two years ago, so 256GB really is the new 128GB when you count the number of die. With SSDs, performance comes from spreading the reads and writes across a number of die. The more, the better. With companies increasing the amount of data each die can hold, we read and write to less die.
To combat the loss of parallelization, flash companies have increased the bus speed from the controller to the flash. This has helped and new 256GB SSDs are not as slow as previous generation 128GB SSDs. They just are not as fast as higher capacity models with more flash die to spread the workload.
Not all drives scale the same way from large capacities to smaller sizes. Some drives lose a lot of application performance and others, like the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro, don't seem to have much of a problem.
Expected Release Data Mid-October
The BPX Pro is shipping in three capacities already, and a large 2TB model will ship in mid-October. We welcome the "new" four-capacity lineup that includes a very large capacity option and omits the traditional 128GB class that no longer makes sense from an economic standpoint.
The sequential read performance spikes at 3,400 for all four capacities. Sequential writes scale with the capacity. The 256GB drive achieves just 1,100 MB/s and grows in 1,000 MB/s with each size to 2,100 MB/s for the 480GB and 3,100 MB/s for the 960TB and 1920TB models.
MyDigtialSSD measures claimed performance with CrystalDiskMark, so the random numbers come in the form of throughput. In our testing, we measured around 13,000 IOPS at queue depth 1 and for most desktop workloads that's the number you care about.
Even though the BPX Pro is the first product with the new Phison PS5012-E12 (E12 from this point forward in the review), we've showed performance previously in tradeshow coverage and preview articles that detail the architecture and hardware specific features.
The design is straightforward with the E12 controller and Toshiba BiCS FLASH 3 TLC memory. The controller features end-to-end data path protection. MyDigitalSSD didn't enable the user encryption modes on the BPX Pro so you will not have accelerated eDrive or TCG Opal support.
Pricing, Warranty, And Endurance
BPX Pro pricing starts at just $74.99 (240GB) with drives available on Amazon and MyDigitalDiscount.com. The 480GB sells for $129.99 and that grows to $259.99 for the 1TB model. The 2TB currently has a tentative price of $569.99 with that size shipping in the coming weeks.
The BPX Pro series carries a 5-year limited warranty. MyDigitalSSD is not trying to gouge anyone with the endurance coverage. The 1TB model gives users 1,665 terabytes written (TBW) under the warranty terms. That's more than 1,000 TBW more than the HP EX920 and Adata SX8200 in the same 1TB capacity class. The range moves steadily from 380 TBW (240GB model) to 3115 TBW (1920GB model).
A Closer Look
The BPX Pro 240GB, along with the 480GB, uses a single sided design. The two larger drives place components on both sides of the circuit board. Neither should be an issue since most motherboards and notebooks support double-sided M.2 SSDs.
256GB Class Performance Testing
The 256GB class is quite a bit different from the 512GB and 1TB+ sizes. High-density die found in modern SSDs equal the number found in 128GB SSDs just a few years ago. Modern flash is faster but like the older 128GB SSDs, there are large performance gaps between this size and the next size up.
Looking at this end of the market from the price end instead of performance, these drives are cheap. Some low-cost NVMe SSDs get very close to premium SATA SSD prices.
Sequential Read Performance
The 240GB BPX Pro is the first of the three capacities we tested to not have a strong dip at queue depth 2 and 4. There is still an issue that doesn't allow the drive to scale well in our test but, like the other sizes, this disappears with other software and even in other tests later in this review.
Sequential Write Performance
MyDigitalSSD's claim of 1,100 MB/s sequential write speeds holds true. We measured right around 1,100 MB/s across the queue depth range with the 240GB BPX Pro.
Sustained Sequential Write Performance
With a sustained QD1 write of 128KB data to the entire user LBA range, we didn't see a lot of variation even outside of the SLC buffer.
Random Read Performance
As we mentioned with the 480GB BPX Pro, the other drives lose random read performance as we move down the capacities. The BPX Pro series stays just above the 13,000 IOPSs mark at QD1 in all three sizes we tested thus far.
Random Write Performance
Like the other sizes, the 240GB BPX Pro rips through the random write test delivering high performance at very low queue depths where typical desktop workloads happen.
70% Read Sequential Performance
The deeper we get into the 240GB BPX Pro test the better it looks. The QD2 sequential mixed workload result is among the highest of our test group. The real fun comes as we ramp up the queue depth and the BPX Pro scales like your bar tab on Lady's night.
70% Read Random Performance
The 240GB BPX Pro also performs well with random mixed data. The three top drives are very close together between QD2 and QD8. The Pro outperforms all three of the SMI SM2262 drives between QD4 and 8.
256GB Class Real-World Performance Testing
Game Load Time
Of the three BPX Pro SSDs, we tested this week, the 240GB model is the only to slip back into the 14-second range in our game load time test. The result is still very good but for this capacity. Deeper down the list you can see how many of the other drives also took longer to load the game files.
PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth
PCMark 8 uses nine common applications to load ten different traces. The test provides a broad spectrum of computing with a heavy emphasis on software most of us use every day.
The 240GB BPX Pro takes the premier spot at the top of the chart. The 480GB and now the 240GB share this honor but the 960GB isn't that far behind on its page.
PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test
Difference like we see today in the three different BPX Pro capacities are why we prefer to test all sizes against others in the same class. The 240GB model is faster than the other products in the heavy workload portion of the PCMark 8 Extended Test. When we hit the recovery phases, the drive starts to fall back but only because it takes longer to recover.
SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness and Power Tests
As we mentioned in the BPX Pro 480GB section, these drives don't score well in the SYSmark 2014 SE Responsiveness Test. We noticed the original BPX was hit and miss in this test with the 480GB delivering one of the best scores we've ever recorded and the 240GB significantly lower.
Notebook Battery Life
We used our Lenovo Y700-17 with the BPX Pro 240GB and recorded 310 minutes of battery power using MobileMark. The BPX Pro isn't a great choice for notebook users that demand every last drop of battery life, but for casual users, the drive works good enough to get the job done.
The last capacity in the trio we tested this week is likely my favorite. Priced at just $75, this NVMe SSD delivers very strong performance, excellent endurance for its class, and is cheap.
At this point, there isn't a viable reason to buy a SATA SSD unless your system doesn't support NVMe technology. The new breed of low-cost NVMe SSDs have achieved near price parity with premium SATA SSDs.
These drives are superior in every way. The MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro 240GB delivers 3,400 MB/s sequential reads and 1,100 MB/s sequential write speeds. The best SATA SSDs deliver 560 MB/s reads and 550 MB/s writes. NVMe also lowers the latency by reducing the number of commands. Many low-cost NVMe SSDs fail to take full advantage of this because the architecture isn't efficient enough. The BPX Pro is one of the new low-cost NVMe SSDs that breaks past the barrier of what SATA can deliver.
As we mentioned, we've looked at all three BPX Pro capacities available today. In the coming weeks, a larger 1920GB model will arrive and likely lower the cost of 2TB class SSDs across the board. With so few 2TB class NVMe SSDs shipping we hope the BPX Pro sparks an avalanche of these similar drives. If your data requirements are not as spacious, the 240GB BPX Pro is a good choice to get you started with NVMe.
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