KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse

KIOXIA's XG8 is powered by BiCS5 flash and is easily the world's best-performing client SSD. Join us for a full examination as we see what it can do.

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD  - Client Powerhouse
Published Sep 4, 2022 5:15 PM CDT
Manufacturer: KIOXIA (KXG80PNV2T04)
6 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 99%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

The world's best performing Client SSD.

Pros

  • + Low power
  • + Consumer workloads

Cons

  • - None

Should you buy it?

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Introduction & Drive Details

KIOXIA's newest client SSD, the XG8, is an SSD we've been eagerly anticipating. Now even though it being a client SSD means it will not be clocked as high as an enthusiast-grade SSD and therefore won't be as fast overall, we still see it as something special. Why? BiCS 5 112 Layer flash is why. Here at TweakTown, we are huge fans of BiCS flash.

It's proven over the years to be the best-performing flash media, whether in the enterprise, client, or consumer space. BiCS flash is just architecturally superior as we see it. It delivers better performance with fewer layers than its competitors, proving that more layers do not necessarily equate to better performance.

Until today the only real taste of 512 Gbit BiCS 5 paired with PCIe Gen4 we've gotten has been coming from the Western Digital camp, as they are fab partners with KIOXIA and both companies have full access to BiCS flash. Having recently tested the BiCS 5 arrayed Western Digital SN850X and being blown away with its overall performance, we are naturally eager to see what KIOXIA's similarly arrayed XG8 can do. As mentioned, KIOXIA's XG8 is a client SSD meaning it is sold to OEM system builders and not through normal consumer retail channels.

Client NVMe SSDs are typically held to tighter standards of reliability and thermal thresholds than enthusiast-grade retail SSDs. This means they use less power, have more modest clock speeds, are almost always single-sided, and do not employ an integrated heat sink. Less power consumption means less heat, longer battery life, and better reliability; all attributes OEM builders want from a storage device. So, this is where a client drive like the XG8 will differ most from a retail enthusiast SSD like the SN850X, even though both are arrayed with the same flash.

Now what we expect, based on our previous experience with BiCS 4 and now BiCS 5 flash, is that KIOXIA's newest client SSD, despite its inherent performance handicap, will be able to deliver better real-world performance than even enthusiast-grade retail SSDs arrayed with 176 Layer Micron flash.

So, let's get into the review and see firsthand what KIOXIA has got cooking with its XG8 2TB and see if it can meet our high expectations.

Drive Details

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As expected, the drive is indeed a single-sided design. The drive is arrayed with two 1TB BiCS 5 112 Layer 512 Gbit flash packages. The drive is controlled by one of KIOXIA's in-house 8-channel PCIe Gen4 x4 controllers. The XG8, as expected for any flash-based SSD with this amount of throughput features onboard DRAM.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon

KIOXIA XG7-P 2TB SSD

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$249.00$249.00$249.00
* Prices last scanned on 9/30/2022 at 5:38 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Sony PlayStation 5 - M.2 Storage Expansion

PS5 Read Performance

With Sony's wildly popular PlayStation 5 console now enabled for M.2 NVMe SSDs to be used as fast storage expansion, we include results for PS5 compatible SSDs we test as a part of our reviews going forward. We are utilizing the newest PS5 hardware and software versions.

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 05 | TweakTown.com
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 06 | TweakTown.com

For 5,500 MB/s plus capable SSDs like the XG8 that don't have an adequately sized PS5 compatible heat sink or other SSDs where the heat sink provided doesn't fit and can be removed, we both use and recommend Sabrent's unparalleled PS5 heat sink available HERE.

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 07 | TweakTown.com
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 08 | TweakTown.com

We only chart SSDs that can deliver a minimum of 5,500 MB/s read, which is Sony's original recommendation. We note that with the latest PS5 software update, even SSDs that only do 4,200 MB/s no longer trigger a low-performance warning; nevertheless, we are sticking by Sony's original recommendation of 5,500 MB/s minimum read requirement.

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 09 | TweakTown.com

It is very unlikely that an XG8 will find its way into a PS5 storage expansion slot, but it could handle the task quite well if it were to find its way there.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO

CrystalDiskMark

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We are getting significantly more throughput than factory specs indicate. This is expected especially considering KIOXIA is typically conservative-minded as it relates to factory performance specifications. Random read performance is roughly 17% lower than the SN850X, which is almost assuredly related to lower power consumption and lower clock speeds.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 14 | TweakTown.com
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 15 | TweakTown.com
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Anvil's read score has always been a very good synthetic indicator of real-world performance. Here KIOXIA's XG8 surprised us a bit by delivering a massive score of 11,700. That's even better than the SN850X and second only to the Platinum P41. Impressive.

Max random read IOPS are a full 10% better than factory specs indicate. We seldom see any SSD match factory specs here, so this is, again, impressive.

ATTO

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 18 | TweakTown.com
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 19 | TweakTown.com
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 20 | TweakTown.com

Sequential performance at QD4 is middle of the road for a Gen4 x 4 SSD. Roughly equivalent to Samsung's 980 Pro.

Real-World Testing: Transfers, 3DMark SSD Gaming Test, PCM10 Storage

Transfer Rates

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 21 | TweakTown.com
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 22 | TweakTown.com

Our 100GB data transfer test is not your ordinary 100GB of data. Ours is a crushing mix composed of more than 62K files. Overall, write performance as it applies to the consumer realm is the least important performance metric, simply because data in the consumer realm is write infrequently, read frequently. For example, how often is a game installed vs. how many times it's played?

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 23 | TweakTown.com
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 24 | TweakTown.com

Less power consumption is going to mean slower transfer rates. Rates are still plenty good enough as we see it, so no problem here.

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.
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 25 | TweakTown.com
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 26 | TweakTown.com

Gaming is a performance metric that matters to the majority of DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. This chart reveals the low-power XG8 can game slightly better than Samsung's 980 Pro. Good enough, we will take it.

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

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KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 28 | TweakTown.com

This particular test writes 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games, including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of user experience.

This is where the rubber meets the road as we see it. Consumer workloads. Here the XG8 clearly demonstrates, as we expected, that it can outperform any enthusiast-grade SSD arrayed with 176 Layer Micron flash. Outstanding. Performance that matters.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 29 | TweakTown.com
KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 30 | TweakTown.com

With this result, we feel strongly that the XG8 has shown us enough to confidently declare it to be the world's best-performing Client SSD. This is real performance; this is what BiCS is all about.

Final Thoughts

KIOXIA is the inventor of NAND flash memory, so it's no surprise that its flash-based memory products perform second to none. We find it utterly amazing that any Client SSD can run with the fastest enthusiast-grade SSDs ever made, but that's exactly what the KIOXIA XG8 has done here today. Less power, lower clocks, it doesn't matter; the core architecture of BiCS flash is so good that it can deliver class-leading real-world performance with far fewer layers than its competitors.

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 31 | TweakTown.com

We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage and 3DMark gaming storage tests. We consider a user experience score of 11K or more to verify an SSD as a TweakTown Elite performer. A cumulative score of 12,738 makes the 2TB KIOXIA XG8 the seventh best-performing flash-based SSD we've tested to date. Incredible.

KIOXIA XG8 2TB SSD Review - Client Powerhouse 32 | TweakTown.com

KIOXIA's XG8 2TB is TweakTown Elite and worthy of our highest award.

Performance

98%

Quality

100%

Features

100%

Value

N/A

Overall

99%

The Bottom Line

The world's best performing Client SSD.

TweakTown award
99%

KIOXIA XG7-P 2TB SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$249.00$249.00$249.00
* Prices last scanned on 9/30/2022 at 5:38 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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