Addlink, a Taiwanese manufacturer of flash-based products, has received positive praise for its products on Amazon in the US. The company has a span of SATA and M.2 NVMe drives available with strong pricing and performance specifications.
Technically, the company name is addlink with a small 'a'. My grammar, and word processor, won't let that pass. The company goes the extra mile to make the small "a" in the marketing material. The 'a' is red, and the rest of the letters are white. With that out of the way, we can get into the substance of this review.
The addlink S70 is a high-performance NVMe SSD using the Phison PS5012-E12 controller. We've tested this controller previously with the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro and Crucial Force MP510. Both products also paired the controller with Toshiba 64L 3-bit per cell flash, just like the S70.
The addlink S70 differs from the other two E12 drives we've tested. This model doesn't reserve data capacity; a practice formally called overprovisioning. The S70 gives users the full capacity of the flash. Most E12-based SSDs shipping today use overprovisioning, so a 1TB model that has 1024GB of space actually gives users 960GB. If you are a gamer, the extra space is welcome given the size of modern games today.
Addlink advertises this model for more than just gaming though. Digital audio/video production and "heavy workloads" actually benefit from overprovisioned space by reserving cells for background use. The reserve space allows the drive to keep some clean cells so writes can complete faster. We haven't tested the E12 before without overprovisioning so this is a good opportunity to see how the controller reacts to heavy workloads in this configuration.
Addlink is shipping the S70 series in four capacities that range from 2TB to 256GB. We found all four capacities on Amazon just prior to writing this review.
With such a wide range we also see wide performance for this series. The sequential read performance varies between 3,000 MB/s to 3,500 MB/s. The sequential write performance has a broader spread with writes between 1,000 MB/s for the 256GB model and 3,000 MB/s for the 1TB model. There is a 300 MB/s reduction on the 2TB drive.
The random performance I just as wide between the different capacities. The 256GB drive delivers 95,000 IOPS read and 94,000 IOPS write. The performance increases slightly for the 512GB drive, 190,000 / 110,000 IOPS reads and writes. The 1TB drive really kicks it up a gear with 330,000 / 180,000 IOPS reads and writes. The 2TB model sports the highest random performance with a massive 500,000 IOPS read and 512,000 IOPS write.
We've covered the Phison E12 several times over the last two years and detailed the technology built into the controller. The E12 is Phison's most advanced controller currently shipping.
Pricing, Warranty, And Endurance
S70 pricing starts out as low as $47.85 for the 256GB drive. It's amazing how low NVMe pricing is right now with ample flash available to allow companies to compete for your dollar. The 512GB drive is only $88.44. The 1TB drive we're testing today is a much higher leap. It costs $184.88 but there is an even larger jump to $429.99 for the S70 2TB drive. The pricing shows how demand for higher capacity drives, and thus more demand on denser flash packages, has kept those sizes much higher in cost per byte than smaller capacity models.
Addlink back the S70 series with a strong 5-year warranty. This series gets an equally impressive endurance rating that ranges from 2,000 TBW to 400 TBW.
A Closer Look