Phison's PS3110-S10-X quad-core 8-channel controller (or S10) has emerged as the leading third-party SATA III controller on the market. More than that, though, it has emerged as a TweakTown favorite. Whether the S10 is paired with MLC or TLC flash, you can expect class-leading sequential performance. As we all know, sequential performance has a great impact on the end-user's overall SSD experience.
The MDD BP5e M.2 x2280 SATA III SSD we have on the bench today carries the same factory specifications as the 2.5" x 7mm cased model we previously reviewed. We mention this because we've seen reviews floating around on the internet showing the M.2 model as a significantly lower performing piece of hardware in comparison to the 2.5" cased model. We don't know how those reviewers arrived at that conclusion, but we will state up front that M.2 version performs just as well as the cased model.
The most appealing thing about MDD's BP5e series SSDs other than performance is a low price point. The 480GB BP5e M.2 SSD we are testing today is priced much more affordably than Samsung's 850 EVO 500GB M.2 SSD. Current pricing has the 850 EVO 500GB M.2 selling for $179.99, the BP5e 480GB M.2 for a mere $121.87; or about 60 bucks cheaper. MDD's BP5e M.2 isn't quite as fast as Samsung's 850 EVO equivalent, but we feel what the BP5e lacks in performance by comparison is more than made up for in terms of pricing. Both SSDs deliver for the most part a similar SSD experience. You get a bit more capacity from the EVO (20GB), but you will pay a lot more for an EVO. That said, we don't believe the 850 EVO and the BP5e are competitors for market share because of the price difference between them. This is why we are not comparing the two in our review.
MDD's BP5e 480GB M.2 SATA III SSD pairs Phison's S10 8-channel quad-core controller with Toshiba's 15nm 3bit (TLC) flash for a low-cost solution that still delivers high performance. We like the choice of Toshiba's 15nm TLC flash because it has proven to be better performing than 16nm Micron TLC and 16nm Hynix TLC. One of the reasons we like Phison S10-controlled SSDs when paired with TLC flash is that the S10 employs direct-to-die write. This means that instead of continually filling up the pSLC (pseudo-SLC) layer and then flushing to the NAND array, S10-powered SSDs write straight to the flash array once the fast pSLC layer is filled. This results in much better sustained write performance for planar-based TLC SSDs.
As we've stated on numerous occasions, any SSD we test must deliver at least a 200 MB/s sustained write transfer rate with our transfer testing to receive a TweakTown recommendation. This is because we feel adamant that an SSD must deliver sustained write performance that at the very least is comparable to that of a high-performance mechanical HDD. You may be under the impression that typical factory write specifications of 500 MB/s tell the whole story, but they do not. In the case of planar-based SSDs, that is just burst performance not sustained write transfer performance. Sustained write performance comes into play very often for most users when performing everyday tasks like installing games or transferring large blocks of data from one drive to another. There are a whole host of planar TLC SSDs that can only muster a 100 MB/s sustained write transfer rate.
Let's take a close at MDD's BP5e 480GB M.2 SATA III SSD.
MDD's M.2 x2280 SATA III SSD is available in three capacities: 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB. The 480GB model we have on the bench has the following factory specifications:
Sequential Read: up to 565 MB/s (ATTO). Sequential Write: up to 540 MB/s (ATTO). 4K QD1 Random Read Speed: 35 MB/s (CDM). 4K QD1 Random Write Speed: 155 MB/s (CDM).
The retail package includes a handy screwdriver and mounting screw. MDD backs the BP5e with a three-year replacement warranty. MDD does not list a TBW (Total Bytes Written) limit during the three-year warranty period. MDD's BP5e 480GB M.2 SATA III SSD is currently selling for $121.87 at My Digital Discount.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Drive Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 2 [Drive Details]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and Properties]
- Page 4 [Synthetic Benchmarks - ATTO & Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 5 [Synthetic Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks (Trace-Based OS Volume) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks (Secondary) - Max IOPS, Response & Transfer Rates]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - PCMark 8 Extended]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - 70/30 Mixed Workload]
- Page 10 [Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]