Today we have another blazing fast Gen4x4 M.2 in our hands, this time from Silicon Power, dubbed the XS70. It features Phison’s highly popular E18 controller that is paired with the newest 176-layer 3D TLC NAND flash from Micron and 1GB of DRAM cache from Samsung. All of this horsepower points to an imminent conclusion, that this 1TB drive will top the charts.
Founded in 2003 by a group of enthusiastic data storage industry experts, Silicon Power is committed to delivering outstanding product and service quality. Headquartered and with our own state-of-the-art production site in Taipei, they have become a leading manufacturer of flash memory cards, USB flash drives, portable hard drives, solid state drives, DRAM modules and industrial-grade products. As an international player with four branch offices around the globe, they continuously strive to offer the perfect data storage solution for all requirements of modern digitalized life. With a strong focus on combining innovative technology and award-winning design, they live up to their brand promise to reliably preserve and protect your most valuable data. Because memory is personal.
Prices and Availability
The XS70 range comes in 3 capacity options: 1TB ($130), 2TB ($250), and even 4TB ($750) and all of them are backed by a 5 years warranty. Today we have the 1TB flavour which is officially rated for 700TBW.
*06.04.2022 – The video review is live as well!*
Highlights and Specification
*Courtesy of their website.
The PCIe 4.0 That Crushes The Competition – With a standard data transfer rate that’s 2x faster than the 3.0 version, the XS70 PCIe Gen 4×4 with 3D NAND flash memory and NVMe 1.4 support is exactly what serious gamers need to crush the competition. Mind-blowing continuous read and write speeds up to 7,300MB/s and 6,800MB/s, respectively, enable the XS70 to push the limits of what an SSD can do so you can break new records.
A Design That Breathes Like A Shark – Inspired by the gills of a shark, the XS70’s unique heatsink design with carefully angled slits enables it to breathe during even the most intense gaming sessions. Heat easily ventilates out through the heatsink’s gill-like slits to prevent overheating and maintain superior performance. The XS70 is not only as fierce as a shark on a performance level, but it can breathe like one too for longer and more stable gameplay!
* Brand: Silicon Power
* Model: SP01KGBP44XS7005
* Capacity: 1000 GB (931 GB usable) / 24 GB additional overprovisioning
* Controller: Phison PS5018-E18
* Flash: Micron 176-Layer 3D TLC B47R IA7BG94AYA
* DRAM: 1x 1 GB Samsung DDR4-2666 – K4A8G165WC-BCTD
* Endurance: 700 TBW
* Form Factor: M.2 2280
* Interface: PCIe Gen 4 x4, NVMe 1.3
* Firmware: EIFM31.4
* Warranty: 5 years
Packaging is minimalist and self explanatory and you can clearly see the drive inside with its cool low profile heatsink.
Kudos to the low-profile shark-looking heatsink design that is a stunner!
It’s just 10.8mm thick which will make it fit even in the PlayStation PS5.
There are plenty of serial numbers on the back.
Thanks to its Phison 12nm PS5018-E18 PCI-Express 4.0 controller with eight channels, the four flash Micron 176-layer 3D TLC NAND B47R chips and the 1GB DRAM Samsung DDR4-2666 chip, the Silicon Power XS70 1TB is rated up to up to 7,300MB/s reads and 6,800MB/s writes!
* Synthetic and real life big file transfer tests – a game folder of 109GB of mixed files and a single 14GB .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 for the internal drives were done inside the specified enclosure with its 180mm fan set at 30% RPM and with an ambient temp of 20°C.
* For AMD users, make sure you update your motherboard chipset drivers from here.
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600x
– CPU Cooler: SilentiumPC Fortis 5 ARGB 140mm
– Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B550-i Gaming mITX @ BIOS 2407
– RAM: 64GB Neo Forza MARS RGB 3200 MHz CL16
– Boot SSD: Samung 970 PRO 1TB M.2 Gen3x4 MLC PCIe NVMe 1.3
– Video card(s): ASUS GTX 1080 STRIX A8G
– PSU: Corsair SF750 SFX Platinum
– Case: SilverStone ALTA G1M mATX
– Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.4 Gen4x4
– Sabrent Rocket Q 2TB QLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Samsung 970 PRO 1TB MLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Samsung 970 EVO Plus 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
– Silicon Power 1TB A80 TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Silicon Power 1TB A60 TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Neo Forza eSports NFP075 2TB TLC 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, 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. Just like that, here is our new overall champion!
Moving to the next utility – Crystal Disk Mark – this one is designed to quickly test the performance of the drives.
The graphs are pretty much self explanatory, again the Silicon Power XS70 1TB M.2 takes the lead in both the read and write tests.
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 test just reconfirms the findings from the previous benchmark.
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 14GB .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 109GB installation folder from the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla game.
For the burst single file test, the XS70 drive has a constant write speed without any issues.
Usually, most QLC/TLC based M.2s at 1TB/2TB in size will exhaust their SLC cache and then write at their native NAND speeds. This SLC cache rarely approaches 80GB in size, hence our test of 109GB. But the XS70 kept on pushing all the way through, so it must have an even bigger SLC reserve. As you can see, there was no large “dip” in performance and the SSD maintained a respectable write speed.
Now let’s inspect the operating temps. Thus below we have a benchmark run in Crystal Disk Mark. Throughout the whole benchmark run, there was no thermal throttling, thus the drive delivered its full potential. Its included heatsink does a proper job in keeping the drive cool so it gets maximum points here as well.
Well, this is an easy review to gauge since the Silicon Power XS70 M.2 Gen4x4 delivers on all fronts from synthetic performance to real life transfer tests. Even more importantly, its included low profile heatsink is perfectly practical and at the same time keeps the drive cool. The excellent choice of chips under the hood from Phison, Micron and Samsung, make the XS70 so far the fastest performing M.2 drive in our tests and bear in mind, you get all of this performance for just $130(1TB). To conclude, any potential buyer that is looking for a an excellent Gen4x4 M.2 should have the XS70 on his shopping list.
+ Fastest drive in our tests so far!
+ Great combo of specs
+ Excellent value for money
+ No thermal throttling
+ Low profile & great looking integrated heatsink
+ Plug and play upgrade even for the PS5 including the heatsink
+ 5 years warranty
– Low availability (for now)
Glob3trotters “Editor’s Choice” Award 5 out of 5