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Lesser brand SSD drives

porina
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Following another post, I've decided to buy a bunch of lesser brand SSDs to test for myself. Note my uses are niche, so the value proposition wont apply to everyone. Basically I have lots of crunchers which have their own disk for OS. Previously I just bought whatever was cheapest at the time from a known brand, usually Sandisk or Kingston at the lower price end. They don't need much more space than that needed for Windows and a bit of breathing space, so 60GB+ is decent and plentiful, at a comparable price-per-GB compared to the bigger size branded drives, but the branded ones go up in cost for smaller capacities. 

After much hunting on ebay I've decided to order 4 low cost 60-64GB drives to try out.

Hectron X1 60GB
Kingfast K6 64GB
Fastdisk 60GB
Hypertec Firestorm 60GB

There were some others with lower stated write speeds so I decided against them. I have a bunch of recent Kingston and Sandisk SSDs I could compare against, as well as older OCZ and Intel models.

 

Benchmarks used were CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD. After reviewing the results, I decided to only show 3 of the 4 tests from CDM as representative of general performance. I would caution I only ran the benchmark once for each unless there was something obviously wrong with the results. Run to run variation may move the positions around a bit but not in a significant way. The Samsung PM951 drive gave low random write performance initially, and this moved up to expected speeds once I disabled write cache flushing in Windows for that drive. This setting didn't seem to make any difference for other drives in a quick look.

 

I've colour coded a bit to make it easier to see how classes of product compare. In yellow, we have PCIe connected SSDs. These are the only ones capable of breaking the SATA interface barrier. In blue are assorted SATA branded SSDs. In green are the small capacity lesser brand SSDs. And in red are the spinning hard disks. On that note, the Toshiba 3TB is a 3.5" 7200 rpm drive. The Seagate Momentus XT is a SSHD with a flash cache of some GB but otherwise is just a hard disk. The two Hitachi hard disks are 2.5" laptop drives. You can guess which is 5400 or 7200 rpm from the model name.

 

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This is the best case read speed, and no surprise the PCIe drives blow the others away. The lesser brand drives are at the lower end of the SATA SSDs, but this may be more due to the small capacity. The hard disks take up the rear.

 

 

writeseq.png
For sequential writes, things shake up a bit. The Samsung PM951 drops down the ranks, possibly a combination of it using TLC and relatively small capacity. The Toshiba 3TB HD holds strong, and the lesser brand SSDs even drop below the hard disks. So if you have a lot of sequential writes, hard disks can still be competitive especially if you need the capacity also.

 

 

read4kq32.png

The queued random reads separates the SSDs from the HDs quite clearly. While we have a big spread amongst the SSD models here, even the slowest one is significantly faster than any of the hard disks.

 

 

write4kq32.png


The situation is similar for queued random writes.

 

read4k.png

Random reads again perform similarly to before, just slower overall.

 

 

write4k.png

And similar again for random writes, with the interesting observation the lesser brand small SSDs manage to outpace bigger Samsung PM871 and Sandisk Plus SSDs here.

 


Overall, I never expected these to be miracle performers, and they are not. What they are, is good enough performance for general tasks, and still far faster than hard disks in most situations. Due to their small capacity, if you did have a large quantity of sequential operations a hard disk would be a more interesting option anyway.

 

TV Gaming system: Asus B560M-A, i7-11700k, Scythe Fuma 2, Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB 3200@2133 4x16GB, MSI 3070 Gaming Trio X, EVGA Supernova G2L 850W, Anidees Ai Crystal, Samsung 980 Pro 2TB, LG OLED55B9PLA 4k120 G-Sync Compatible
Streaming system: Asus X299 TUF mark 2, i9-7920X, Noctua D15, Corsair Vengeance LPX RGB 3000 8x8GB, Gigabyte 2070, Corsair HX1000i, GameMax Abyss, Samsung 970 Evo 500GB, Crucial BX500 1TB, BenQ XL2411 1080p144 + HP LP2475w 1200p60
Gaming laptop: Lenovo Legion, 5800H, DDR4 3200C22 2x8GB, RTX 3070, SK Hynix 512 GB + Crucial P1 TB SSD, 165 Hz IPS 1080p G-Sync Compatible

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IMG_8063_1024.jpg

The Fastdisk comes in a retail blister pack.

 

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Opening it up, we see a short board, with 4 flash devices and controller on one side. Peeling off the sticker reveals the SM2246XT. I'm not familiar with the logo on the flash. Text on the flash is:
PFC54
-10AR
1552

Separately in the corner is: VCBK or VCCC depending on the chip.
 

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The reverse side shows 4 unused positions, allowing for a doubling of capacity if they were also used.
 

 

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The Hypertec didn't come in any packaging. The drive seems a bit different, since the company appears to be a UK one, and manufactured in Mexico. This isn't your typical drive from China.
 


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On this side we only see the controller chip under a thermal pad. Peeling away the pad reveals a SandForce SF-2241. There are 8 unused flash positions.
 

 

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On the other side we find another 8 flash positions, with 4 of them used. There is no logo on the chips, only the text "10-2182-01-MTX-1AP".

 

 

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The Kingfast comes in a cardboard box.


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Opening it up we see the drive held inside more cardboard.
 


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Internally we see a small board. It is interesting this drive reports under AIDA64 as a 1.8" drive, so it could be a rehoused part. There is the SM2246XT controller, and a single flash device fitted to one of 4 positions.
In the middle of the chip is marked:
6EC27
NW686
PF579 S8
The white block has a faint Micron logo in it.

To the side of there are another two lines of marking overlapping each other:
H641604
T56H
 

 

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On the underside, there isn't anything of note.

 


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The Hectron comes in a package with thin card outer sleeve.

 


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Inside that outer sleeve is a card covered foam holder. Note the drive was supplied in an anti-static bag, which is not shown here as I had unpacked it earlier.
 


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On this side of the board we see the SM2246XT once again. There are 8 flash positions of which 4 are filled.


The chips have GLOWAY on the top, and H27QDG8D2B8R which a search indirectly comes back with Hynix 16nm MLC. Under that is: B1B 1616. Gloway seems to be a manufacturer of SSD products also.
 

 

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The other side of the board has 8 more unused positions for more flash.

 

TV Gaming system: Asus B560M-A, i7-11700k, Scythe Fuma 2, Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB 3200@2133 4x16GB, MSI 3070 Gaming Trio X, EVGA Supernova G2L 850W, Anidees Ai Crystal, Samsung 980 Pro 2TB, LG OLED55B9PLA 4k120 G-Sync Compatible
Streaming system: Asus X299 TUF mark 2, i9-7920X, Noctua D15, Corsair Vengeance LPX RGB 3000 8x8GB, Gigabyte 2070, Corsair HX1000i, GameMax Abyss, Samsung 970 Evo 500GB, Crucial BX500 1TB, BenQ XL2411 1080p144 + HP LP2475w 1200p60
Gaming laptop: Lenovo Legion, 5800H, DDR4 3200C22 2x8GB, RTX 3070, SK Hynix 512 GB + Crucial P1 TB SSD, 165 Hz IPS 1080p G-Sync Compatible

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8 minutes ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

Sorry if I missed this in the OP, but was their performance in line with what they promised?

I didn't do that, and will do now.

 

The Hectron X1 listing claimed 500MB/s read and no claim on write. It was spot on with the read speed.

The Fastdisk listing claimed 500 reads, 98 writes. I got 514 and 84. Close enough.

The Kingfast listing claimed 400 reads, 140 writes. I got 341 and 86. I'm not bothered about reads but the write is a bit short there.

The Hypertec listing claimed 285 reads and 275 writes. I got 284 and 69. Reads are in right place, writes are not.

 

The Hypertec does use a sandforce controller, which does data compression. CrystalDiskMark default is to use random data which would compress poorly, although not as bad as the uncompressable data from AS SSD not shown here. Maybe the writes would reach those claims if it were highly compressible? I didn't know it used sandforce until long after I did the testing. I could revisit it later.

 

I think my overall take away point is, if you want something faster than a hard disk, these would still do the job. I'm in the process of swapping them into places where I still use hard disks as I didn't want to spend money on them to replace to "good" SSDs, such as my personal use laptop I leave at work (99% for internet access only), or my first file server. My separate question then is, what do I do with all the spare HDs I will have? I might use one to upgrade my PS3 for no reason other than "I can".

TV Gaming system: Asus B560M-A, i7-11700k, Scythe Fuma 2, Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB 3200@2133 4x16GB, MSI 3070 Gaming Trio X, EVGA Supernova G2L 850W, Anidees Ai Crystal, Samsung 980 Pro 2TB, LG OLED55B9PLA 4k120 G-Sync Compatible
Streaming system: Asus X299 TUF mark 2, i9-7920X, Noctua D15, Corsair Vengeance LPX RGB 3000 8x8GB, Gigabyte 2070, Corsair HX1000i, GameMax Abyss, Samsung 970 Evo 500GB, Crucial BX500 1TB, BenQ XL2411 1080p144 + HP LP2475w 1200p60
Gaming laptop: Lenovo Legion, 5800H, DDR4 3200C22 2x8GB, RTX 3070, SK Hynix 512 GB + Crucial P1 TB SSD, 165 Hz IPS 1080p G-Sync Compatible

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Thanks man you are the best, so for the conclusion i think i will spend alot more money on my storage server.

The review was really well written, and very helpful!

 

Those SSD´s was not that really bad but, when i read the review i feel that i want it to be a littlebit faster for just not much more money.

 

 

I really appreciate that you took your time to that, cudos to you! 

 

 

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SSDs are one of those components where it's really worth spending the extra $$ on quality.

CPU - Ryzen 7 3700X | RAM - 64 GB DDR4 3200MHz | GPU - Nvidia GTX 1660 ti | MOBO -  MSI B550 Gaming Plus

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  • 1 year later...

Generally, any SSD will be faster that a mechanical hard drive (in most cases). I would recommend getting one that meets your storage needs and is a good price to performance compromise.

Hope this information post was helpful  ?,

        @Boomwebsearch 

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  • 10 months later...

There is more important factor to consider when getting those lesser known brands than their speed and that factor is called - Lifespan & reliability.

I also have experience (bad) with lesser known brand SSD (Pql 120 or 128GB, don't remember model name either). It died after an year of using and I wasn't even using it much. My next SSD was Crucial mx550 and it still boots my PC even now after so many years.

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45 minutes ago, J.b091 said:

There is more important factor to consider when getting those lesser known brands than their speed and that factor is called - Lifespan & reliability.

I also have experience (bad) with lesser known brand SSD (Pql 120 or 128GB, don't remember model name either). It died after an year of using and I wasn't even using it much. My next SSD was Crucial mx550 and it still boots my PC even now after so many years.

We also need to be careful about sample size. I can also say one of these cheap SSDs died on me within a year, but I also had a Sandisk 480GB die in warranty. For obvious reasons, this is outside the scope of my test capability.

 

In both cases, it was controller not endurance related. Safest assumption for ANY storage device is it can fail at ANY time, and plan accordingly.

TV Gaming system: Asus B560M-A, i7-11700k, Scythe Fuma 2, Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB 3200@2133 4x16GB, MSI 3070 Gaming Trio X, EVGA Supernova G2L 850W, Anidees Ai Crystal, Samsung 980 Pro 2TB, LG OLED55B9PLA 4k120 G-Sync Compatible
Streaming system: Asus X299 TUF mark 2, i9-7920X, Noctua D15, Corsair Vengeance LPX RGB 3000 8x8GB, Gigabyte 2070, Corsair HX1000i, GameMax Abyss, Samsung 970 Evo 500GB, Crucial BX500 1TB, BenQ XL2411 1080p144 + HP LP2475w 1200p60
Gaming laptop: Lenovo Legion, 5800H, DDR4 3200C22 2x8GB, RTX 3070, SK Hynix 512 GB + Crucial P1 TB SSD, 165 Hz IPS 1080p G-Sync Compatible

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