Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review

Inland Professional also has a popular low-cost NVMe SSD Series that is perfect for budget builds.

@ChrisRamseyer
Published Wed, Oct 17 2018 10:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Jun 16 2020 4:31 PM CDT

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Hot off the heels of Inland Professional's successful low-cost SATA III SSD review, the company is back with an NVMe series designed for your budget build or upgrade.

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 47 IMAGES

The Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 x2 (shortened to Inland NVMe from this point forward) is a very low-cost series that starts at just $37.99. The series uses the Phison PS5008-E8 controller and Toshiba BiCS FLASH 3D memory just like the MyDigitalSSD SBX, Kingston A1000, and the new Corsair MP300 series.

What makes the Inland NVMe series different from the others is the price. This series costs less than the others cost yet uses the same hardware configuration, architecture, and firmware. The series falls in the emerging SATA-Replacement products designed to give shoppers an alternative to SATA with a budget-friendly NVMe M.2 option.

Specifications

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 1234 | TweakTown.com

Inland Professional is only courting a small portion of the market with this release. There isn't a 1TB option at this time, so gamers looking for a large capacity, but budget-friendly, NVMe drive will have to look elsewhere. The Inland NVMe does come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.

Performance varies by size with the highest coming from the largest capacity. The Inland NVMe 512GB tops the list with 1,550 MB/s sequential read and 950 MB/s sequential write speeds. The same drive also delivers up to 220,000 read and 150,000 write IOPS.

The Inland NVMe 256GB has a shallow performance drop off but the 128GB model steps over a cliff. Sequential read performance comes to 1,500 MB/s and 1,300 MB/s. Sequential write performance scales up to 800 MB/s on the 256GB but only 400 MB/s on the 128GB. Most modern SATA SSDs have a difficult time writing more than 400 MB/s so it's not like the Inland NVMe 128GB is a step backwards compared to drives shipping today, but some older SATA SSDs can write sequential data a little faster.

Pricing, Warranty, And Endurance

Performance is only one selling point for the Inland NVMe series. This series sells at very low price points yet still delivers strong endurance for the low-cost NVMe category.

The Inland NVMe 128GB starts at just $37.99 and gives users 100 TBW (terabyte written) coverage. The 256GB model moves the price scale up to $59.99 but doubles the endurance to 200 TBW. The 512GB model again doubles the endurance to 400 TBW, but you will need to spend $109.99.

The Inland M.2 series SSDs all ship with a limited 3-year warranty.

A Closer Look

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 02 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 03 | TweakTown.comInland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 04 | TweakTown.com

Inland ships the M.2 SSDs in a plastic blister pack that secures the drive but lacks any accessories. The drive is about as basic as you can get. Inland chose the Phison PS5008-E8 reference design and didn't change anything from the factory. The drives don't even have an Inland Professional label.

With some products, we would complain about the lack of artisanship but not with this series. Inland had one major goal, get this series to market as cost effective as possible and then leverage the bill of materials advantage to pass the savings to end users.

512GB Class Performance Testing

Product Comparison

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 300 | TweakTown.com

We pulled a number of low-cost NVMe SSDs into the charts today to compare to the Inland NVMe SSDs. In this section, we isolated the 512GB class models and paired the 256GB and 128GB drive in the following section.

Sequential Read Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 039 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 040 | TweakTown.com

Our wide mix of products for today's review comes out in our early synthetic testing. The 512GB Inland NVMe scores the lowest in this test across the queue depth (QD) range. The MyDigitalSSD SBX with older firmware performs much better in the critical low QD range in the read test.

Sequential Write Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 041 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 042 | TweakTown.com

Moving over to sequential writes the Inland scores nearly identical to the SBX and outperforms the Toshiba RC100 at QD1. As we scale the workload through queue depth, the Inland remains steady with right around 900 to 950 MB/s.

Sustained Sequential Write Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 043 | TweakTown.com

The firmware programming gives the Inland a large SLC cache for writing sequential data to the buffer. The performance doesn't fall off a cliff after just a few megabytes of data like some of the other products still shipping today with older controllers.

Random Read Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 044 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 045 | TweakTown.com

For most users, random performance is the most important metric from the four-corner tests. Having high random read performance at very low queue depths is what makes you PC feel fast. The best SATA SSDs, like the Samsung 860 EVO and Crucial MX500, deliver between 10,000 and 12,000 IOPS at QD1. Entry-level and mainstream SATA SSDs range between 5,000 and 7,000 IOPS. The 512GB Inland NVMe is right on the cusp of what we considered a premium SSD just a few years ago with nearly 10,000 random read IOPS at QD1. The performance is in line with the Samsung 850 Pro and SanDisk Extreme PRO SATA SSDs.

Random Write Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 046 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 047 | TweakTown.com

Large SLC buffers have largely minimized the importance of random write performance for most SSD shoppers. The buffers moved the performance so high under typical workloads that every drive is a relative winner.

70% Read Sequential Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 048 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 049 | TweakTown.com

Mastering mixed workloads often requires strong processing power to handle the incoming and outgoing data as well as the data management at the same time. Entry-level SSD market controllers usually use low core count processors, so this is often a weak area.

The 512GB Inland NVMe is superior to SATA SSDs in sequential mixed workloads. The drive is on the lower performance end compared to other NVMe SSDs though.

70% Read Random Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 050 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 051 | TweakTown.com

The same is true for mixed random performance. The Inland NVMe is faster than most if not all SATA SSDs but trails the more expensive popular NVMe products shipping today.

512GB Class Real-World Performance Testing

Game Load Time

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 057 | TweakTown.com

We start our real-world application coverage with the Final Fantasy: Stormblood game load time test. All the SSDs on the chart today are superior to hard disk drives but not ever NVMe SSD is faster than the best SATA products shipping today. You can see more than 120 SSD results in our massive game load time round up here.

PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 068 | TweakTown.com

The PCMark 8 Storage Test measures performance with ten applications. We use the combined results to take a broad view look at daily-use rather than the individual application deep dive.

Of the entry-level drives in this portion of the review, the 512GB Inland NVMe comes out on top. The overall performance trails the Samsung 970 EVO by only 64 MB/s.

PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 069 | TweakTown.com

The PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test uses the same ten applications as the standard test but starts with a heavy preconditioning phase to wear the drives into a steady state. The test runs through thirteen stages in a degraded state before giving the drive five minutes to perform background operations in each of the recovery phases.

The Inland NVMe wasn't designed for the heavy workloads found in the degrade and steady-state phases, but this test allows us to see how long it takes the drive to recover from a heavy write workload. Phison controller usually performs really well in the heavy write stages, and the Inland NVMe follows suit. The drive recovers better than the MyDigitalSSD SBX we tested, but it also ships with newer firmware that is likely found on the current production SBX drives too.

SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness and Power Tests

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 074 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 075 | TweakTown.com

Users have one main goal for choosing flash over mechanical storage, and that is to improve the system responsiveness. The 512GB Inland NVMe is superior to hard disk drives in responsiveness but trails many of the popular NVMe SSDs shipping today. The drive is several responsiveness points lower than the best SATA SSDs shipping today as well.

The drive is efficient under normal desktop workloads, and that should show in our notebook battery life test.

Notebook Battery Life

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 076 | TweakTown.com

The high efficiency does carry over to our BAPCo MobileMark notebook battery life test using a Lenovo Y700-17 gaming notebook. We scored 324 minutes in a notebook designed for gaming performance rather than long battery life.

256GB Class Performance Testing

Product Comparison

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 301 | TweakTown.com

In this section, we compare the 128GB and 256GB Inland NVMe SSDs to popular 256GB class SSDs.

In most of the read centric tests, the 128GB Inland NVMe will keep pace with the larger 256GB model, but that will change in the write tests. Many companies chose to ignore the 128GB capacity starting in 2017, especially for NVMe products. In this section, we're not trying to compare the 128GB Inland NVMe to the other products but want to simply show its performance.

Sequential Read Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 077 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 078 | TweakTown.com

The smaller Inland NVMe drives trail the other drives in our sequential read test throughout the queue depth range.

Sequential Write Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 079 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 080 | TweakTown.com

The sequential write test allows us to see the performance gap between the 128GB and 256GB Inland NVMe SSDs. The larger drive has twice the number of NAND die and is able to leverage them in parallel writes to double the performance.

The sequential write test also shows how these products fall into different performance classes that is often closely associated with the cost. The Samsung 970 EVO rides high and is a premium SSD with a price to match. The SMI SM2262 drives, Adata and HP, come just under the Samsung. The 256GB Inland NVMe and MyDigitalSSD SBX trail the others and round out the premium, mainstream, and entry-level NVMe tiers.

The unicorn of the group is the MyDigitalSSD BPX with the older Phison E7 controller and Toshiba 15nm MLC flash. When this drive first came to market, it held an entry-level price but delivered mainstream to premium performance. Products like the BPX are why we keep such a close eye on the smaller companies like MyDigitalSSD and Inland Professional. You never know when these companies will release a product that shakes up the status quo.

Sustained Sequential Write Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 081 | TweakTown.com

The 256GB Inland NVMe shows nearly identical sustained write performance to the MyDigitalSSD SBX. The performance is in line with what we expect from the entry-level products.

Random Read Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 082 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 083 | TweakTown.com

The two smaller Inland NVMe drives both hover around the 10,000 random read IOPS mark at QD1.

Random Write Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 084 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 085 | TweakTown.com

The QD1 random writes are so high for all of the drives in the charts today that we can overlook the performance. This only plays a role in the mixed workloads in the age of very large high-speed SLC buffers. The buffers are so fast that many modern NVMe SSDs ship with higher random write specifications than random reads.

70% Read Sequential Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 086 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 087 | TweakTown.com

Reading and writing sequential data closes the performance gap between the drives. The 256GB Inland NVMe performs really well here and gets very close to the two SM2262 controlled drives. The main difference is the very low queue depth range where the other drives have a significant advantage.

70% Read Random Performance

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 088 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 089 | TweakTown.com

The low-power controller in the Inland NVMe drives is a disadvantage in the random mixed workloads test. The MyDigitalSSD BPX quad-core, 8-channel controller paired with MLC flash follows the same performance curve between QD2 and 4. So, Inland made really good progress with less resources, but the drives fall well short of the MyDigitalSSD SBX that manages to break into the top performance tier with drives that cost quite a bit more.

256GB Class Real-World Performance Testing

Game Load Time

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 095 | TweakTown.com

The smaller Inland M.2 SSDs deliver nearly the same game load-time performance as the larger model. Both drive trail the older MyDigitalSSD BPX that is no longer available.

PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 106 | TweakTown.com

The 512GB Inland NVMe SSD scored 437 MB/s in the PCMark 8 Storage Test. The 256GB drive loses around 37 MB/s over the ten-application test. The 128GB drive performance fades much more. We measured the 128GB Inland NVMe at just under 300 MB/s.

PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 107 | TweakTown.com

The PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test shows the newer firmware on the 256GB Inland to be better than the early firmware we tested on the SBX after a heavy workload. Phison and partners have reduced the amount of time it takes to recover from a heavy write session.

SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness and Power Tests

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 112 | TweakTown.com
Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 113 | TweakTown.com

With that said, the entry-level drives still deliver an entry-level user experience as seen in the BAPCo SYSmark Responsiveness test.

Notebook Battery Life

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 114 | TweakTown.com

The enhanced background activity, as seen in the PCMark 8 Extended Test, does affect overall drive power consumption. The older firmware used on the MyDigitalSSD SBX delivered 350 minutes of on-battery time. The newer firmware dropped the battery life to 323 minutes in our Lenovo Y700-17 gaming notebook.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of low-cost NVMe SSDs shipping with the Phison PS5008-E8 controller today. The controller first appeared back in February 2018 on the MyDigitalSSD SBX but more recently, Corsair's MP300 and Patriot's Scorch came to market. For the most part, all of the drives use the same hardware, but firmware varies based on your time of purchase. Some companies do a good job of keeping the latest firmware available for users to update, and others don't, both releasing the code unless users find an issue.

Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 Review 115 | TweakTown.com

For many users, the main feature of these products is simply the cost. You can pay more for a big brand name, fancy packaging, and a nice label or you can buy the cheapest one available for your budget build and ignore the fluff. The Inland Professional drives are the lowest priced Phison E8 drives shipping today and some of the lowest priced NVMe SSDs available. With prices this low, it's difficult to even look at SATA SSDs unless your system requirements don't support the low-latency protocol.

The Inland Professional NVMe drives are faster than nearly every SATA SSD where it matters. PCIe SSDs have always had a significant advantage in sequential throughput, but until recently, the low-cost products lacked random responsiveness making them less than ideal for most users. The Phison E8 with newer firmware fixed the latency issues, and these drives now give users premium SATA latencies with the sequential throughput boost.

What you get with these products is a well-rounded user experience that no longer sacrifices one to meet the other. For some, the Inland NVMe SSDs may be for budget builds but the two larger drives are likely faster and more responsive than your existing SATA SSD. We really wish Inland would release this series in a 1TB or a larger capacity. Low-cost NVMe SSDs will help usher these productsa to the mainstream, but gamers and some other users also require large capacity options to fit their existing data.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles