The Mushkin Pilot-E is the other SM2262EN high-performance NVMe SSD. The company started talking about the drive when ADATA and HP displayed the SX8200 Pro and EX950. Those drives have been on the market for what seems like ages now so Mushkin is a little late to the party.
The Pilot-E is the flagship NVMe product from the company. It plays an upmarket role to the Helix-L we previously tested. Both drives use Silicon Motion, Inc. controllers. The Helix-L uses the SM2263XT DRAMless controller, and the Pilot-E uses the mighty SM2262EN, the successor to the successful SM2262 that took on Samsung for consumer NVMe dominance.
Even though Amazon and Newegg both carry the Pilot-E, Mushkin still doesn't have the series listed on the official website. The company sent us a full specification sheet to get the fine details right, like endurance and random performance, not listed on some of the reseller pages.
The performance varies slightly between the three available capacities. The 1TB model under the microscope today delivers 3,500 MB/s sequential read and 3,000 MB/s sequential write speeds. The random performance peaks at 331,000 IOPS read and 353,000 IOPS write.
The Pilot-E is one of the few consumer-class NVMe SSDs with support for TCG Opal encryption. This includes the other two popular SM2262EN drives that do not support this feature. For most games, full disk encryption acceleration is not a top priority but for business users especially notebook users, this is an important, and in some cases, a critical feature.
Pricing, and Warranty
Prices differ quite a bit between Newegg and Amazon at the time of writing. Neither site lists all three capacities in stock, but you can find the 1TB available on both with Amazon showing the lower price by nearly $40. Newegg shows the 2TB model, but it's not in stock while Amazon doesn't list the 2TB Pilot-E at all.
Mushkin back the Pilot-E series with a 3-year warranty. This falls two years shy the ADATA SX8200 Pro and HP EX950 NVMe SSDs using the same controller and memory.