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Mushkin Helix-L Low-Cost NVMe SSD Review (Page 1)

Mushkin Helix-L Low-Cost NVMe SSD Review

The Mushkin Helix-L is a low-cost mainstream SSD that delivers better performance than the specifications lead us to believe.

By Chris Ramseyer on Aug 1, 2019 11:00 pm CDT - 1 min, 51 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Mushkin

Introduction

Mushkin has a strong SSD line-up for 2019, but the company slow-walked new models to market. Amazon still shows SM2262-powered Pilot models in stock even though competitors ADATA and HP have long sold out of SX8200 and EX920 drives. The 2018 inventory may have played a role in the 2019 line-up delay. Regardless, the new Pilot-E and Helix-L hit Amazon recently, and we're ready to see what the American SSD company has to offer.

Mushkin Helix-L Low-Cost NVMe SSD Review 1 | TweakTown.com

Today we're testing the mainstream model from Mushkin 2019 product line, the Helix-L. This NVMe SSD uses the Silicon Motion, Inc. SM2263XT controller with Micron's mighty 64L 3D TLC. Technically this is a DRAMless SSD, but through the magic of PCIe, the drive uses a small portion of your system's memory to map the flash translation layer giving the Helix-L similar performance to more expensive mainstream products with a DRAM buffer.

Specifications

Mushkin Helix-L Low-Cost NVMe SSD Review 2 | TweakTown.com

Mushkin released the Helix-L series in three capacities, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. All three capacities use the same SMI SM2263XT controller paired with Micron 64L NAND.

The performance differs between the three sizes with the large 1TB capacity sporting the best numbers. That drive tops 2,110 MB/s sequential read and 1,700 MB/s sequential write speeds. Random performance comes to 240,000 IOPS read, and 260,000 IOPS write.

Pricing, Warranty, and Endurance

The series starts at just $38 for the 250GB model. The 500GB capacity costs $55, and the 1TB model we have to test today is $99.

The endurance doubles with each capacity starting with 150 TBW for the 250GB drive. The 500GB allows for 300 TB of warrantied writes, and that again doubles to 600 TBW for the 1TB drive. The series carries a 3-year limited warranty.

A Closer Look

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Mushkin Helix-L Low-Cost NVMe SSD Review 400 | TweakTown.comMushkin Helix-L Low-Cost NVMe SSD Review 5 | TweakTown.com

The Helix-L ships in a retail-friendly blister pack. You will quickly notice the package and the drive label list this as the Helix and not the Helix-L. The drive doesn't change much from the reference design SM2263XT we tested for Silicon Motion over a year ago. At the time, we never expected to see a 1TB NVMe SSD sell for less than $100.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Chris Ramseyer

Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

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