Neo Forza is full of pleasant surprises as we saw with their excellent RAM kits and this time around we have their top tier Gen3 x4 NVMe M.2 SSD to play with. Dubbed the eSports NFP075 which uses TLC cells and thus will offer a native better official endurance (1550 TBW for the 2TB model) when compared to the QLC equipped drives.
At 2TB in capacity, it’s rated up to 3400 MB/s reads and 3000 MB/s writes but the name of the game here is the overall value for money that it offers !
They started out as a I/C design house, after which they deployed DDR4 solutions. With that, they became OEM house for international brands for the past 15 years. They take pride in streamlining their wafer screen processes and basically obtaining multiple timings for any frequency. Thus their slogan “Capacity is Power, Speed is King” makes perfect sense. Meet Neo Forza, a new force in the gaming market.
Prices and Availability
The eSports NFP075 can be had in 4 difference size configurations: 256, 512, 1TB and 2TB. Our test sample for today is the 2TB model which has an MSRP price of around $220. Will update with Amazon/Newegg links whenever back in stock.
*07/08/2021 – Check the video review as well!*
Highlights and Specification
*Courtesy of their website.
Specially selected premium chips and sub-components to perform at throughputs of up to 3500 MB/s and 650,000 IOPS, the NFP075 is the solution for intensive and responsive 24/7 read/write applications without slowing down the system at all.
The NFP075 fits into tight spaces the M2 2280 sockets of ultrathin laptops and super mini-PCs. No mess, no fuss, 24/7 industrial high-performance. Further boosted by on-board DRAM and proprietary firmware, sustained latencies are almost instantaneously zero whilst prolonging the longevity (endurance) of this beast.
NFP075 is spec-ed specifically for championship competitive gaming, rapid 8K content creation, 3D CADCAM applications, active 24/7 home-office NAS, and intensive data mining and rendering (example block-chain applications).
* Model – eSports NFP075
* Interface – PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe 1.3
* Capacity – 2048 GB
* Terabyte Written – 1550 TB
* Controller – Phison PS5012-E12S-32
* Flash – Toshiba 96-Layer BiCS4 3D TLC NAND flash (TABHG65AWV)
* DRAM – UnilC 512MB SCB13H4G160
* Dimensions – 22 x 80 x 3.5 mm
* Warranty – 3 Years
On the front we have some of the main features as per any M.2 drive and there’s even a cut-out which will let you see the actual Neo Forza 2TB eSports NFP075 SSD.
On the back we have the main specs highlighted and we can even see the whole NFP075 variants with their rated performance and endurance numbers.
The M.2 drive is securely nested inside the box via this transparent plastic tray with ample cushioning all around.
Right, so here is the 2TB Neo Forza eSports NFP075 NVMe 1.3 M.2 which is a Gen3 x4 SSD. The front sticker contains the usual information like the model, capacity and serial numbers.
This being single sided and at 2TB, these will make it an excellent choice for those with ultra slim laptops.
Now let’s investigate the components. Removing the front sticker, we discover from left to right a DRAM chip, the controller and 4 flash NAND chips.
This is the Phison PS5012-E12S-32 which is built by TSMC on the 28nm process technology and has a dual CPU architecture with built-in 32-bit microcontroller.
Then the DRAM chip is made by UnilC, carries the SCB13H4G160 code and it’s 512MB in size.
Lastly, the 4x TABHG65AWV 96-Layer BiCS4 3D TLC NAND flash cells are made by Toshiba.
Next chapter please.
* Synthetic and real life big file transfer tests – a game folder of 85GB of mixed files and a single 11GB .mkv video file to test the burst speed and the SLC cache (if present).
* All SSDs were secure-erased before our tests started
* Between tests, drives are left idle for 1 minute to allow them to flush and reorganise their internal data.
* Steps have been taken to ensure that the CPU’s power-saving features don’t interfere with any of our results. All of the CPU’s low-power states have been disabled.
* In order to minimise random variation, each of the real-life performance tests are run a few times with reboots in-between tests to reduce the impact of disk cache.
* (SATA SSDs only) Make sure you use a SATA 6Gbps capable motherboard and a matching cable to avoid bottle-necking. Then double check in the BIOS that you have the AHCI mode activated for another maximum performance tip.
* For the Gen4 x4 M.2s, you have to make sure you have a compatible motherboard that accepts and delivers the new bandwidth. Otherwise, it will work only in Gen3 x4 mode.
* All of the benchmarks were done with a 92mm side fan placed 2cm away and set at 60% RPM. Then the temperature scenarios and the heatsink were tested separately with an ambient temp of 24.5°C.
* For AMD users, make sure you update your motherboard chipset drivers from here.
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3100 AM4
– CPU Cooler: Asetek 645LT 92mm AIO
– Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B550-i Gaming mITX @ BIOS 1803
– RAM: 64GB Neo Forza MARS RGB 3200 MHz CL16
– Boot SSD: Silicon Power 2TB UD70 M.2 Gen3x4 QLC PCIe NVMe 1.3
– Video card(s): ASUS GTX 1080 STRIX A8G
– PSU: Corsair SF750 SFX Platinum
– Case: DAN A4-SFX V4.1 ITX
– Case fans 92 mm: Noctua NF-A9x14 HS-PWM.chromax.black.swap
– Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.4 Gen4x4
– Sabrent Q4 2TB QLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen4x4
– Samsung 970 EVO 2TB TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Samsung 860 QVO 1TB QLC SATA 2.5″
– Crucial P1 M.2 1TB QLC PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Crucial P2 M.2 500GB TLC PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Team Group T-Force DELTA MAX RGB 500GB TLC SATA 2.5″
– Team Group T-Force Vulcan G 1TB TLC SATA 2.5″
– Team Group T-Force Cardea Liquid 512GB TLC PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Team Group T-Create Classic 1TB TLC PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Silicon Power 1TB US70 TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen4x4
– Silicon Power 2TB UD70 QLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1
– HD Tune Pro v5.70
– ATTO v4.01
– Crystal Disk Mark v7.0.0
– HWMonitor v1.43
Testing, Benchmarks, Results and Analysis
HD Tune Pro – which is a hard disk / SSD utility with many functions. It can be used to measure the drive’s performance, scan for errors, check the health status (S.M.A.R.T.), securely erase all data and much more. At a quick glance the Neo Forza drive is basically identical to the mighty Samsung 970 EVO!
Moving to the next utility – Crystal Disk Mark – this one is designed to quickly test the performance of the drives.
In the “read” benchmark the Neo Forza M.2 beats the 970 EVO in 2 out of the 4 tests.
Moving to the “write” test, which is even more important in real life scenarios. Here the Neo Forza shows its consistent potency and beats the EVO drive by a mile and thus becomes the best Gen3 x4 M.2 regarding the maximum write speeds.
To conclude the synthetic tests, here is ATTO which is another performance measurement tool to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adaptors (HBAs), hard drives and SSD drives. This one just reconfirms what we got in the previous ones.
Now let’s see how practical it is in some other real life scenarios like app installation. Let’s take the full suite of Microsoft Office 2019 and time it.
Here are the loading times in Adobe’s popular photo editor, Photoshop.
Another performance test is to import a 5GB 4K60fps 70Mbps .mkv video sample file into Premier Pro CC and measure how much time it takes to process it in order to be ready to edit it in the timeline.
Now let’s check the level loading time for the Shadow Of the Tomb Raider game title.
The final practical test revolves around some real life copy tests. Firstly, we will copy to the SSD a single 11GB .mkv video file to test the burst speed followed by a copy of the same file, from the SSD onto itself. Then the same process is repeated but with a big 85GB installation folder from the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla game.
For the burst single file test, everything is flawless and smooth.
Only in the mixed files 85 GB transfer when we copy it onto itself we witness a drop but that’s normal since the SLC cache has been exhausted and then the TLC cells take over with their native speed.
Overall for both scenarios, this is what we like to see, consistency all the way through.
Now let’s inspect the operating temps especially in a small form factor build like the DAN A4-SFX enclosure. Thus below we have a benchmark run in Crystal Disk Mark for 2 different scenarios in the following order:
1) No side fan/airflow/extra heatsink
It’s obvious that at this temperature the Neo Forza drive is thermal throttling like mad and thus it basically provides only 43% of its true write potential. The max temperature reached was 71°C. This is a worst case scenario which was employed on purpose – more details below.
2) Side fan @ 60% RPM
The extra airflow makes a huge impact so we shave off exactly 10°C of the peak recorded temperature and thus no more thermal throttling occurred. Again the ambient was around 24°C and case’s side panel was installed.
Most high performing NVMe drives will thermal throttle. Given the high ambient temp and the fact that the drive was installed in the ‘hot box’ which is the Dan A4-SFX case because it has no airflow on the CPU side whatsoever, plus there is always extra heat coming from the motherboard’s chipset, this was an extreme scenario for the Neo Forza drive. Also we didn’t install the motherboard’s bundle heatsink on purpose.
Alas, in any minimal ventilated case you shouldn’t encounter any problems. Maybe in the future Neo Forza should offer an upgraded copper or aluminium sticker for peace of mind as we saw from Sabrent or Team Group.
Plain and simple, this Neo Forza eSports 2TB shapes to be one of the best drives on the Gen3 x4 you can grab currently since it ticks all the right boxes. It beats its competition in this price bracket with the key difference here being the implementation of TLC cells and thus you gain overall higher endurance ratings and native sustained speeds over the QLC ones.
+ Excellent value for money
+ Highly consistent results
+ Single sided format
+ 3 Years warranty
+ TLC cells, DRAM and Phison controller
– No bundled heatsink of any kind
– Limited availability (for now)
Glob3trotters “Editor’s Choice” Award 5 out of 5