At $699.99, the G.Skill Phoenix Blade costs significantly more than a typical 512GB capacity SSD. We talk a lot about two different classes of SSDs on the market, value / mainstream, performance and the hyper drives. In the value market, you find drives like the Crucial MX100, SanDisk Ultra II and so on and they cost around $210 in this capacity size. Then you have the next step up with the M550, Samsung EVO and other drives that cost roughly $230 to $260. The last set, the hyper drives consist, at this time, of the Samsung 850 Pro and SanDisk Extreme PRO, and prices range between $300 and $400.
OCZ built the RevoDrive series, but the prices were always a quantum leap over the SATA models. At this time, the RevoDrive 350 480GB costs $799.99. G.Skill was able to undercut the RevoDrive 350 by $100 at the time of writing, and even deliver higher performance.
Before we get to the intended market performance, I want to first look at consumer application performance. On the previous pages, we saw the G.Skill Phoenix Pro outperform the other PCIe all-in-one RAID drives and by some margin. In this review, I talked briefly about how using enterprise storage sometimes slows your consumer workloads since the hardware is designed for intensive applications and high queue depth loads. In this chart, we see the latency, one of the most important tests in the review today. The red line on the bottom is the SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB, the best performing SATA III consumer drive on the market when it comes to delivering low latency - running right with it is the G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB. When I say the two drives are running right together, I mean they are like two snakes in a make out session, overlapping and twisting around in places. This is important to note because there isn't a penalty for running regular desktop applications and the Phoenix Blade is a contender for the fastest drive in those applications.
You might then ask, why spend the additional money when you could buy a SanDisk Extreme PRO and get the same desktop performance?
If you can use the extra performance because you run applications that take advantage of it, then you can surpass the 100K IOPS performance limit of SATA and go into enterprise territory. Granted, the high random numbers are not steady state numbers, but represent idle time between load, like what you have in a workstation environment. Again, the drive doesn't just magically make this happen, you have to have the applications, or combination of applications running at the same time to push the Phoenix Blade to perform at high speeds.
What we're left with is a prosumer SSD that competes with the best consumer SSDs in consumer workloads, outperforms existing prosumer PCIe SSDs in prosumer workloads and costs less than same existing PCIe prosumer SSDs. It doesn't get any better than that until we get prosumer NVMe based SSDs sometime next year.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||96%|
|Bundle and Packaging||95%|
|Value for Money||94%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||96%|
The Bottom Line: G.Skill's Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD performs amazingly well in both consumer and prosumer applications. The drive is the best we have tested at mixed environments, without a penalty on either side.
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- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 2 [G.Skill Phoenix Blade PCIe 480GB SSD]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - Sequential Performance]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads]
- Page 7 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test]
- Page 8 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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