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Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash

7,450 MB/s throughput from a 4-channel DRAMless SSD? Yep, that's what we've got in the lab for today's testing with the Acer Predator GM7 1TB.

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD  - High Speed Flash
Published
Manufacturer: Acer (BL.9BWWR.118)
9 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 95%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

The first DRAMless SSD with enough throughput for the PS5.

Pros

  • + Pricing
  • + Consumer workloads
  • + PS5 / gaming

Cons

  • - None

Should you buy it?

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Introduction & Drive Details

Just recently we reviewed Acer's Predator GM7000 4TB. This high-capacity flagship model delivered quite nicely and earned the distinction of being the first 4TB SSD we've tested to score 12K on our user experience ranking. Built by BIWIN, this SSD features an InnoGrit 5236 8-channel controller, onboard DRAM and is arrayed with super-fast Micron B47R flash. Pretty conventional configuration for a typical 7,400 MB/s capable SSD.

With 7,400 MB/s being pretty much the peak of PCIe Gen4 x4 throughput, and with flash speeds so far being limited for the most part to about 1,600MT, generating throughput in the range of 7,000 MB/s is going to take an 8-channel controller to get there. 8-channels are great for fire-breathing flagship speedsters like the aforementioned Predator GM7000 because they are made for those who don't mind paying extra for extra performance.

However, for those seeking value-priced options like what the current crop of DRAMless SSDs have on offer, what you will get is a 4-channel controller, which, when arrayed with 1,600MT flash, tops out at about 5,200 MB/s. This is why we haven't seen any DRAMless SSDs capable of exploiting the full throughput of PCIe Gen4. That is until now.

What we have on our bench for testing today is the first of a new crop of DRAMless SSDs capable of fully exploiting the available throughput on offer from a PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 slot. Like all DRAMless flash-based SSDs to this point, Acer's newly minted Predator GM7 is controlled by 4-channels but, for the first time, at least out in the wild, is arrayed with 2400MT flash. 2400MT flash is 50% faster than 1,600MT flash, meaning by our calculations, a 4-channel SSD arrayed with 2400MT flash would theoretically be capable of 7,800 MB/s real-world throughput.

The Predator GM7 is full of firsts for our lab. It represents the first time we've had our hands-on an SSD arrayed with 2,400MT flash, the first hands-on with a Maxio PCIe controller, and the first SSD arrayed with YMTC flash. YMTC flash is particularly interesting because the USA has blocked shipments of chip-making technology to the Chinese flash maker but has not blocked companies from using YMTC components.

The GM7 is arrayed with YMTC Xtacking 3.0 3D NAND, and here we have a diagram of Xtacking technology we obtained from YMTC's website:

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 44

Looks very familiar to us, very much like Micron's 4D CMOS under array flash technology. YMTC's 2400MT flash comes in 128 Layer and 232 Layer flavors, or so we've been told. We thought we were getting 128L on our test subject, as that is what was indicated to us by BIWIN. Now because our review unit is cranking out much better numbers than was demonstrated by BIWIN at CES, we got curious and ran a Maxio flash ID tool for verification (Thanks Gabriel), and behold:

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 45

232 Layer flash. Okay, well, that's excellent as we see it because we can compare it with the 1,600MT 232L Micron flash that array's Micron's 2550 SSD. We are very interested in seeing how in terms of real-world performance (user experience) YMTC's newest compares with Micron's newest.

Controlling the GM7's Chinese-made flash is a Chinese-made 4-channel DRAMless controller, the Maxio MAP1602-C:

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So, what we have here is the first 100% Chinese-made SSD we've ever tested. It will certainly be the fastest DRAMless SSD we've ever tested, speedy enough to be the first DRAMless SSD to fulfill Sony's minimum 5,500 MB/s seq read requirement for the PS5. Now please understand that "fastest" or "highest throughput" is one thing and best performance or user experience is entirely another. For example, and very much contrary to popular mythology, a 10,000 MB/s SSD can be outperformed by a 3,000 MB/s SSD. So, it is undoubtedly the fastest DRAMless we've come across, but will it simultaneously be the best performing?

The Predator GM7 is yet another collaborative effort between Acer and BIWIN. BIWIN builds SSDs, many of which are sold under prominent OEM names like HP, so this team effort makes perfect sense. BIWIN brings the ability and expertise to manufacture SSDs, and Acer brings its prestigious Predator branding. Let's get into this and see what the first 100% Chinese SSD we've tested can do for you.

Drive Details

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 01

MSRP is exceptional for a TLC SSD. The endurance rating and warranty period are very good as well.

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 02
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The drive is a preferred single-sided design, as expected for a 1TB SSD. As a nice value add, Acer makes available free for use with its SSDs, a copy of Acronis OEM.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Intel Test System

AMD Test System

Because we at TweakTown like to be first at everything whenever we can, we will present our storage performance results for the test subject on both 13th Gen Intel and 7000 Series AMD platforms going forward for the foreseeable future. Because Intel still delivers the best real-world storage performance, (Look Here), our running chart will continue to be Intel-based until AMD can deliver better real-world storage performance than its rival.

Buy at Amazon

Acer Predator GM7000 1TB NVMe Gaming SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$99.99$84.99-
* Prices last scanned on 1/31/2023 at 4:40 am CST - 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.

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 07
Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 08

For 5,500 MB/s plus capable SSDs that don't have an adequately sized PS5 compatible heatsink or other SSDs where the heatsink provided doesn't fit right and can be removed, we both use and recommend Sabrents unparalleled PS5 heatsink available here.

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 09
Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 10

We only chart SSDs that can deliver a minimum of 5,500 MB/s read, which is Sony's original recommendation.

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 11

At a head-turning 6,547 MB/s read performance, the DRAMless Predator GM7 is returning by far the best effort ever for any BIWIN-made SSD. Unexpected and impressive as hell, considering this drive is the only 4-channel SSD appearing on this chart - an excellent choice for the PS5.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO

CrystalDiskMark

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As expected, the Predator GM7's synthetic throughput is by far the best we've ever seen from a flash-based DRAMless SSD. 7,451 MB/s seq read is again head turning. Wow.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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12K points here is just outstanding, but not entirely unexpected as this SSD is arrayed with the fastest flash we've had in hand to date.

As expected, max random read performance is the best we've obtained from a flash-based DRAMless SSD.

ATTO

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 23
Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 24
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More than anything else, ATTO gives us a clear picture of what transfer sizes a particular SSD favors in terms of sequential throughput. The Predator GM7 favors sequential transfers of 512KB or larger when serving data to the host (reading) or when programming (writing) data.

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

Transfer Rates

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 27
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Our 100GB data transfer test is not your ordinary 100GB of data. Ours is a crushing mix composed of more than 62K files. Write performance random or sequential, is an infrequent operation, and as such, we do not consider it to be an important performance metric in the consumer space. An example being how many times is a game installed vs. how many times it's played. We knew it would be good, but this is even better than expected.

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 30
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Again, and very much expected, our test subject sets the bar for a flash-based DRAMless SSD. Okay, now that we are done with our throughput-reliant benchmarks, let's get into performance that matters so we can determine if the Predator GM7 is simultaneously the fastest and best-performing DRAMless SSD. Additionally, we will be able to accurately determine how good YMTC's flash architecture really is.

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.
Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 33
Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 34
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Gaming is a performance metric that matters to the majority of DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. Yet again, the Predator GM7 proves it is BIWIN's best-performing SSD. Impressive.

As mentioned, from here on out, we are looking for more than just where the Predator GM7 lands on our charts. We are closely comparing it with Micron's 1TB 2550 SSD and the WD Black 1TB SN770, both are DRAMless, and both are arrayed with 1,600 MT flash that might be architecturally superior to the faster YMTC 2,400MT flash that array's our test subject. These three final tests will clearly show us who has architectural superiority.

Here we observe our test subject beating the 112 Layer 1,600MT BiCS5 arrayed SN770 1TB and falling behind Micron's 232 Layer 1,600MT B58R arrayed 1TB 2550 SSD.

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

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 36
Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 37
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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.

Our test subject delivers outstanding performance here, again demonstrating that it is indeed the best-performing SSD BIWIN has brought forth to date. However, this time our test subject gets soundly defeated by both the SN770 1TB and the 2550 SSD 1TB.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 39
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This score is exactly midrange. Not good, not bad either. However, with this result, we can say without reservation that in terms of architectural superiority manifested as performance that matters, YMTC 2,400MT 232 Layer is very good but not as architecturally advanced as BiCS 5 or Micron B58R.

Final Thoughts

As we always say, it's all about the flash. Controllers are just enablers of flash, and while important, they have very little to do with how well an SSD performs. For example, on the chart below, compare the TeamGroup MP44L to the Micron 2550. Both are E21T controlled, and both are arrayed with 1,600MT flash. Performance is top of chart vs. bottom of the chart, with the difference being 2-word line B47R vs. 6-word line B58R. So yeah, it's all about the flash.

So now that we've explained the role of flash as it relates to real-world performance, let's get back to the subject of this review, the first 100% Chinese SSD we've ever tested. This drive, thanks to the super-fast YMTC flash it's arrayed with, is something special indeed for the following reasons:

  • At up to 7,450 MB/s, it is the fastest DRAMless SSD to date in terms of throughput.
  • First DRAMless SSD capable of satisfying the PS5 recommendation of 5,500 MB/s read.
  • Best price-to-performance ratio at MSRP we've ever seen.
  • Best performing SSD BIWIN has ever made.
Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 42

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 13K or more to verify an SSD as a TweakTown Elite performer. While it doesn't make TT Elite, it does clearly demonstrate that it is the best-performing SSD BIWIN has ever made by beating the BIWIN-made HP FX900 Pro 2TB. Incredible for a 4-channel DRAMless value SSD.

Acer Predator GM7 1TB SSD Review - High Speed Flash 43

Overall, we rank Acer's Predator GM7 1TB as the third best-performing flash-based DRAMless SSD we've ever had in hand. This drive is definitely one to take a close look at, as it is the only DRAMless to date that can be utilized in all potential use case scenarios without the slightest reservation. Editor's Choice.

Performance

95%

Quality

95%

Features

95%

Value

95%

Overall

95%

The Bottom Line

The first DRAMless SSD with enough throughput for the PS5.

TweakTown award
95%

Acer Predator GM7000 1TB NVMe Gaming SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$99.99$84.99-
* Prices last scanned on 1/31/2023 at 4:40 am CST - 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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