MyDigitalSSD BPX 480GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review

MDD's BPX Series M.2 NVMe SSD is being hailed as the best value in next-gen storage. Let's find out why.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Mon, Feb 13 2017 7:20 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: MyDigitalSSD

Introduction, Drive Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

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M.2 NVMe SSDs are all the rage in enthusiast circles. It is easy to see why when you can get performance equivalent to four or five SATA SSDs in a package the size of a stick of gum. As with all new technology, the cost of entry can be very expensive. Pricing for this new technology has continued to drop, but it is still out of range for many enthusiasts. MyDigitalSSD is looking to make life in the fast lane more affordable for everyone.

The BPX is MyDigital's first NVMe SSD. The BPX pairs Phison's wildly popular E7 NVMe controller with cost effective SanDisk 2-bit MLC flash. The result is stellar performance, massive endurance, and lower cost than the competition. The BPX is priced similarly to Intel's low-cost, low-performance, TLC-powered 600p M.2 NVMe SSD, both of which are the lowest priced NVMe SSDs on the market. Choosing the BPX over the 600p is simply a no-brainer.

At $187.32, the 480GB BPX is currently selling for a full $60 less than Samsung's TLC-powered 500GB 960 EVO. Both the BPX and 960 EVO deliver quite similar real-world performance. However, the MLC-powered BPX holds a significant advantage when it comes to warranty and endurance. Samsung's 500GB 960 EVO comes with a three-year warranty and an endurance rating of up to 200 TBW. The BPX 480GB comes with a five-year warranty and an endurance rating of 1,400 TBW.

There are a lot of competing E7-powered SSDs on the market, but in terms of overall value, the BPX has them beat. The BXP has a five-year warranty; competing E7-powered SSDs have a three-year warranty. The 480 BPX comes with an endurance rating of 1,400 TBW, making it the highest endurance consumer SSD on the market. Competing E7-powered SSDs vary between 230TBW and 698TBW. And to top it all off, the BPX is priced significantly lower than similarly configured E7-controlled SSDs.

Now that we've laid out the case for why MyDigitalSSD's BPX 480GB M.2 NVMe SSD is currently the best value in next-gen consumer storage, let's see how it performs.

Specifications

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The MyDigitalSSD BPX Series M.2 x 2280 NVMe SSD is available in three capacities: 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB.

  • Sequential Read: up to 2,600 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: up to 1,300 MB/s
  • Max 4K Random Read Speed: up to 200,000 IOPS @ QD32
  • Max 4K Random Write Speed: up to 190,000 IOPS @ QD32
  • Max 4K QD1 Random Read Speed: 35 MB/s CDM
  • Max 4K QD1 Random Write Speed: 150 MB/s CDM
  • Endurance: up to 1,400 TBW
  • MTTF: 2 Million Hours
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited Warranty
  • Active Power Consumption: <7W Avg.
  • DevSlp: L1.2 power state supported
  • Data Security: AES 256-bit for User Data Encryption
  • SMART
  • TRIM
  • Garbage Collection

The BPX is currently selling at MyDigitalDiscount for: 120GB = $65.77, 240GB = $107.85, 480GB = $187.32

Drive Details

MyDigitalSSD BPX 480GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD

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The drive ships in an attractive yellow themed blister-pack. MyDigital includes a handy screwdriver and mounting screw.

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The back of the blister-pack lists the drive's features.

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This side of the drive has a manufacturer label that covers two of the drive's four 128GB SanDisk 15nm MLC flash packages.

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A view of the PCB with the label removed.

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This side of the PCB is populated with two flash packages, a Phison E7 controller, and one 512MB NANYA DDR3 1600 DRAM cache package.

Test System Setup, & Drive Properties

Jon's Consumer PCIe SSD Review Test System Specifications

We would like to thank ASRock, Crucial, Intel, Corsair, RamCity, IN WIN, and Seasonic for making our test system possible.

Drive Properties

MyDigitalSSD BPX 480GB OS Disk 75% Full

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The majority of our testing is performed with our test drive as our boot volume. Our boot volume is 75% full for all OS Disk "C" drive testing to replicate a typical consumer OS volume implementation. We feel that most of you will be utilizing your SSDs for your boot volume and that presenting you with results from an OS volume is more relevant than presenting you with empty secondary volume results.

System settings: Cstates and Speed stepping are both disabled in our systems BIOS. Windows High-Performance power plan is enabled. Windows write caching is enabled, and Windows buffer flushing is disabled. We are utilizing Windows 10 Pro 64-bit OS (Build 14393) for all of our testing except for our MOP (Maxed-Out Performance) benchmarks where we switch to Windows Server 2012 R2 64-bit. Empty Windows 10 benchmark screenshots will also be shown on our MOP page.

Synthetic Benchmarks - ATTO & Anvil Storage Utilities

ATTO

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.05

ATTO is a timeless benchmark used to provide manufacturers with data used for marketing storage products. When evaluating ATTO performance we focus on the drive's performance curve.

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Sequential read/write transfers max out at an impressive 2,997/2,410 MB/s. Keep in mind this is our OS volume, and it is filled to 75% of its total capacity. Both figures are higher than listed manufacturer specs. The reason for this large difference in results vs. mfg. specs is because MyDigital's advertising specs are for incompressible data; ATTO uses compressible data. Phison's E7 controller is unique among NVMe controllers in that it handles compressible and incompressible data differently.

Sequential Write

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The BPX and Patriot Hellfire perform almost identically because they are almost identically configured. The BPX and the 600p are priced similarly but perform quite differently. It's no mystery which drive is a better choice.

Sequential Read

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The Hellfire and the BPX again perform similarly, but as we look at current pricing, the 480GB Hellfire will cost you at least $40 more than the 480GB BPX. When the data is compressible, the BPX has no trouble outperforming most of the competing SSDs in our test pool.

Anvil Storage Utilities

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1.0

Anvil's Storage Utilities is a storage benchmark designed to measure the storage performance of SSDs. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test or just the read or write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4K QD16. When evaluating performance with Anvils, we focus on the total score. When evaluating NVMe SSDs, we are looking for a minimum total score of over 10K.

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Scoring

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Anvil's scoring gives a good indication of a drive's overall performance. In terms of overall scoring, the BPX gives us what we are looking for. The BPX outscores the 950 Pro, Intel 750, and the Intel 600p. The Hellfire scores slightly higher, but not enough to matter.

(Anvil) Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale

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With our configuration, we are able to attain 209K random read IOPS at QD32. Keep in mind that this is our OS disk and it is 75% full.

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The BPX, Hellfire, and 250GB 960 EVO all follow a similar performance curve at queue depths of up to 32. Intel's 600p display's inferior performance; once again showing why the BPX is clearly superior at a similar price point.

(Anvil) Write IOPS through Queue Scale

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With our configuration, we are able to attain 192K random write IOPS at QD32. Keep in mind that this is our OS disk and it is 75% full.

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Samsung's 960 EVO series SSDs display superior burst performance, but as you will see further on in the review, this doesn't necessarily translate to better moderate workload performance.

At low queue depths, the BPX takes a backseat to the majority of the SSDs in our test pool. At queues depths of 8-32, the BPX outperforms Samsung's 950 Pro, Intel's 750 and 600p.

Synthetic Benchmarks – CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD

CrystalDiskMark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0 Technical Preview

CrystalDiskMark is disk benchmark software that allows us to benchmark 4k and 4k queue depths with accuracy. Note: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 Technical Preview was used for these tests since it offers the ability to measure native command queuing at QD4. When evaluating CDM results, we focus on 4K random performance at QD1 and QD4.

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The SanDisk flash employed on the BPX is slightly slower than the Toshiba flash used on the Patriot Hellfire, which is the reason the BPX is considerably cheaper. However, the difference is only displayed by slightly lower synthetic performance as we will see when we get to our moderate workload testing.

With our configuration, we are getting much better 4K QD1 random read performance than quoted by MyDigital. They quote 35 MB/s; we are getting 47 MB/s, and this is with the drive loaded up with data, which does have a significant negative impact on CDM results.

With this version of CDM, sequential performance is measured at QD1 which is the reason sequential rates are lower than My Digital's quoted numbers which are measured at QD32.

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Again, the Hellfire has a slight advantage over the BPX.

AS SSD

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.7.4739.38088

AS SSD determines the performance of SSDs. The tool contains four synthetic as well as three practice tests. The synthetic tests are to determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. We evaluate AS SSD performance in terms of overall score.

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AS SSD is a demanding test, and the BPX has no problem dispatching it with ease. Again, the Hellfire delivers slightly better results. The BPX does manage to outscore OCZ's powerful RD400, and of course the feeble 600p by a country mile.

Benchmarks (OS) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8

Moderate Workload Model

We categorize these tests as indicative of a moderate workload environment.

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.0.0

The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty vs. filled vs. steady state.

We run Vantage three ways. The first run is with the OS drive 75% full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's consumer guidelines. Steady state testing simulates a drive's performance similar to that of a drive that been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test with the test drive attached as an empty, lightly used secondary device.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

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OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

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Secondary Volume Empty - FOB

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There's a big difference between an empty drive, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state.

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The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State" and "OS Volume 75% full." These two categories are most important because they are indicative of typical of consumer user states. When a drive is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing.

The Hellfire edges out the BPX when in a typical consumer user state, but not enough to matter. Intel's 600p, as expected, gets crushed. Samsung's 960 EVO series SSDs continue to hold a performance advantage over the BPX.

PCMark 7 - System Storage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.0

We will look to Raw System Storage scoring for evaluation because it's done without system stops and, therefore, allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

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Here is where we see the BPX delivering the goods in a big way. PCMark 7 more accurately represents real-world performance than Vantage. This time the BPX outperforms the Hellfire, 960 EVO, and both Intel offerings. It is also important to note that the BPX does not have the benefit of a dedicated driver like the 960 EVO enjoys.

PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.4.304

We use PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

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PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. With respect to moderate consumer type workloads, this test is what we consider the best indicator of a drive's performance.

And there you have it - the results of this test showcase why we believe My Digital's 480GB BPX is currently the best value in next-gen consumer storage. It performs equally with the 1TB 960 EVO and the Hellfire; doing so for far less cash out of pocket. And when you factor in warranty and endurance, the BPX wins hands down.

OCZ's RD400 outperforms the BPX, but this is largely due to its proprietary NVMe driver. If you want to get creative, there are "alternative" NVMe drivers that can be used with the BPX that will increase performance significantly.

Benchmarks (Secondary) - IOPS, Response & Transfer Rate

Iometer – Maximum IOPS

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

We use Iometer to measure high queue depth performance. (No Partition)

Max IOPS Read

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Max IOPS Write

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We test NVMe SSDs using eight threads at QD32, or QD256. We do this because we want to see what the drive can generate at its maximum viable queue depth.

Running all-out, the BPX is capable of generating more read/write IOPS than OCZ's RD400, Samsung's 950 Pro, and Intel's 600p.

Iometer – Disk Response

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

We use Iometer to measure disk response times. Disk response times are measured at an industry accepted standard of 4K QD1 for both write and read. Each test runs twice for 30 seconds consecutively, with a 5-second ramp-up before each test. We partition the drive/array as a secondary device for this testing.

Avg. Write Response

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Avg. Read Response

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The BPX may have slightly lower performing flash than the Hellfire, but this doesn't manifest itself at QD1 when the drive is empty. The BPX delivers better (lower) read response than Intel's 750 and 600p.

DiskBench – Transfer Rate

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.6.2.0

We use DiskBench to time a 28.6GB block (9,882 files in 1,247 folders) composed primarily of incompressible sequential and random data as it's transferred from our Toshiba RD400 1TB NVME SSD to our test drive. We then read from a 6GB zip file that's part of our 28.6GB data block to determine the test drive's read transfer rate. Our system is restarted prior to the read test to clear any cached data, ensuring an accurate test result.

Write Transfer Rate

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Read Transfer Rate

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We recently upgraded our test system to Windows 10 build 14393. With that upgrade, write transfer rates almost doubled. The reason for this, as far as we know, is that CPU power switching modes have been relaxed on the latest version of Windows 10. We included the NVMe drives we've tested to date on this build of Windows 10. If you needed a good reason to upgrade to Windows 10 build 14393, this is a good reason.

The BPX is priced similarly to Intel's 600p, and yet it delivers four times the sustained write performance.

Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) – PCMark 8 Extended

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended

Heavy Workload Model

PCMark 8's consistency test simulates an extended duration heavy workload environment. PCMark 8 has built-in, command line executed storage testing. The PCMark 8 Consistency test measures the performance consistency and the degradation tendency of a storage system.

The Storage test workloads are repeated. Between each repetition, the storage system is bombarded with a usage that causes degraded drive performance. In the first part of the test, the cycle continues until a steady degraded level of performance has been reached. (Steady State)

In the second part, the recovery of the system is tested by allowing the system to idle and measuring the performance after 5-minute long intervals. (Internal drive maintenance: Garbage Collection (GC)) The test reports the performance level at the start, the degraded steady-state, and the recovered state, as well as the number of iterations required to reach the degraded state and the recovered state.

We feel Futuremark's Consistency Test is the best test ever devised to show the true performance of solid state storage in an extended duration heavy workload environment. This test takes on average 13 to 17 hours to complete and writes somewhere between 450GB and 14,000GB of test data depending on the drive. If you want to know what an SSDs steady state performance is going to look like during a heavy workload, this test will show you.

Here's a breakdown of Futuremark's Consistency Test:

Precondition phase:

1. Write to the drive sequentially through up to the reported capacity with random data.

2. Write the drive through a second time (to take care of overprovisioning).

Degradation phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 10 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 8 times, and on each pass increase the duration of random writes by 5 minutes.

Steady state phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 50 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

Recovery phase:

1. Idle for 5 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

Storage Bandwidth

PCMark 8's Consistency test provides a ton of data output that we use to judge a drive's performance.

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We consider steady state bandwidth (the blue bar) our test that carries the most weight in ranking a drive/arrays heavy workload performance. Performance after Garbage Collection (GC) (the orange and red bars) is what we consider the second most important consideration when ranking a drive's performance. Trace-based steady state testing is where true high performing SSDs are separated from the rest of the pack.

Sustained heavy workloads take their toll on the BPX. The BPX delivers far better performance than the 600p and the 250GB 960 EVO, but can't keep pace with the rest of the drives in our test pool.

The BPX is targeted at the mainstream user, and those users will for the most part never reach a steady state, so for the mainstream user, recovery performance is more indicative of what they can expect when running a heavy workload.

Storage Bandwidth Per Phase

We chart our test subject's storage bandwidth as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations. This gives us a good visual perspective of how our test subjects perform as testing progresses. This chart sheds more light on how the drives perform as they progress through the testing phases.

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Total Access Time (Latency)

We chart the total time the disk is accessed as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations. This helps shed some light on how the drive performs at each of the 18 phases of this test.

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Disk Busy Time

Disk Busy Time is how long the disk is busy working. We chart the total time the disk is working as reported at each of the tests 18 trace iterations.

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Data Written

We measure the total amount of random data that our test drive/array is capable of writing during the degradation phases of the consistency test. Pre-conditioning data is not included in the total. The total combined time that degradation data is written to the drive/array is 470 minutes. This can be very telling. The better a drive/array can process a continuous stream of random data; the more data will be written.

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Overprovisioning and write latency are the biggest factors that determine the outcome of this portion of the test. The BPX does quite well with this portion of the test. In fact, it does better than the Hellfire. The Intel 750 wins this test because it has by far the most dedicated spare area of the drives in our test pool.

Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) – 70/30 Mixed Workload

70/30 Mixed Workload Test (Sledgehammer)

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

Heavy Workload Model

This test hammers a drive so hard we've dubbed it "Sledgehammer". Our 70/30 Mixed Workload test is designed to simulate a heavy-duty enthusiast/workstation steady-state environment. We feel that a mix of 70% read/30% write, full random 4K transfers best represents this type of user environment. Our test allows us to see the drive enter into and reach a steady state as the test progresses.

Phase one of the test preconditions the drive for 1 hour with 128K sequential writes. Phase two of the test runs a 70% read/30% write, full random 4K transfer workload on the drive for 1 hour. We log and chart (phase two) IOPS data at 5-second intervals for 1 hour (720 data points). 60 data points = 5 minutes.

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What we like about this test is that it reflects reality. Everything lines up, as it should. Consumer drives don't outperform Enterprise-Class SSDs that were designed for enterprise workloads. Consumer drives based on old technology are not outperforming modern Performance-Class SSDs, etc.

This is a brutal test, and the BPX more than holds its own. The BPX outperforms the 950 Pro, OCZ RD400, 600p and the Hellfire, indicating that it will perform better than most with sustained workloads of this nature.

Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)

Maxed-Out Performance

This testing is just to see what the drive is capable of in an FOB (Fresh Out of Box) state under optimal conditions. We are utilizing empty volumes of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 R2 64-bit for this testing.

Windows 10 MOP

MDD BPX 480GB

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Windows Server 2012 R2 MOP

MDD BPX 480GB

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Final Thoughts

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The BPX product line was conceived with the intention of taking on the emerging value segment of the NVMe market. This pitted MyDigitalSSD up against the giants of the industry like Intel and Samsung. And guess what? The BPX is indeed a better value than anything the tech giants currently have to offer.

Intel was first to shake things up with their 600p series, but the only thing the 600p brought to the table was super-low pricing relative to other NVMe offerings. Performance matters and the 600p turned out to be at best a slight upgrade over the best SATA has to offer.

Then came the low-cost TLC flash-based 960 EVO, which does pack a major punch at higher capacities, but massive synthetic performance doesn't necessarily translate to superior real-world moderate workload performance, as evidenced by these results:

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We are of the opinion that user experience while running a drive as an OS disk is one of the most important factors there is when considering an upgrade. This is why we perform the majority of our testing with the test subject as our OS disk. This gives us insight that goes beyond what numbers alone reveal. As an OS disk, the BPX delivers what we consider to be an equivalent user experience to that of the 960 EVO.

The pricing of MyDigitalSSD's BPX suggests entry-level, but its performance, warranty, and endurance show it to be a premium piece of next-gen storage. MyDigitalSSD is to be commended for taking on the big guys and walking away with a win - a very rare feat in the technology industry.

The MyDigitalSSD BPX 480GB NVMe M.2 SSD is TweakTown recommended.

Pros:

  • Price
  • Moderate Workload Performance
  • Warranty/Endurance
  • Most Appealing Form Factor

Cons:

  • Read Performance at low QD
TweakTown award
Performance95%
Quality including Design and Build95%
General Features95%
Bundle and Packaging85%
Value for Money100%
Overall94%

The Bottom Line: MyDigitalSSD's BPX 480GB NVMe M.2 SSD is simply the best value in next-gen storage on the market today.

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

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

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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