Ever since Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs launched in 2021, the world has been waiting for the arrival of PCIe 5.0 SSDs. We’ve passed 2022 without buying a non-enterprise PCIe 5.0 drive, but 2023 seems to be the year. When will consumer SSDs start shipping?
At CES we saw 5 different PCIe 5.0 SSDs that should be shipping in the near future. The company that showed off the drives wasn’t known for making their own controller or his NAND, so most of the drives rely on the Phison E26 controller we recently benchmarked. One of them works with Silicon Motion (SMI) SM2508.
|brand||model||controller||Rated speed (seq red / write)||expired|
|Attack||XPG (model name undecided)||Silicon Motion SM2508||14,000/12,000MBps||probably in 2024|
|gigabyte||Aorus Gen5 10000||Phison E26||12,000/10,000MBps||row 1 – cell 4|
|MSI||Spatium M570 Pro||Phison E26||12,000/10,000MBps||Q2 or Q3|
|MSI||Spatium M570||Phison E26||10,000/10,000MBps||Q2|
|patriot memory||Unnamed PCIe 5 SSD||Phison E26||row 4 – cell 3||row 4 – cell 4|
PCIe 5.0 controller
Most of the drives I’ve seen so far rely on the Phison PS5026-E26 (E26 for short). This 12nm controller has eight channels and promises up to 2400 MT/S with a theoretical maximum sequential read speed of 14,000 MBps and sequential write speed of 11,800 MBps. None of the drives are rated as high speed.
The Phison E26 also boasts up to 1.5 million read IOPS and 2 million write IOPS. To achieve maximum speed, the drive needs ideal firmware and very fast NAND flash.
All Phison-powered drives are paired with some sort of 232-layer Micron NAND flash. All drives claiming 10,000 MBps read speeds will use 1,600 MT/s flash, expected in Q2. If your read rate is 12,000 MBps, use 2,000 MT/s flash targeting late Q2 or early Q3. And 14,000 MBps read speed would require 2,400 MT/s flash, which could be released by Q4.
Silicon Motion’s 4-channel, 12nm SM2508 controller boasts up to 2 million read and write IOPS. It also promises up to 14,000 MBps read and 12,000 MBps write.
MSI Spatium M570 Pro / Spatium M570
MSI has announced two different SSDs based on the Phison E26 controller. The MSI Spatium M570 Pro combines E26 with Micron’s fast 2,000 MT/S NAND flash memory. It boasts sequential read and write speeds of 12,000 / 10,000 MBps.
The M570 Pro features what MSI calls a “next-generation thermal design”, with a finned heatsink atop a flat vapor chamber plate and covered by a geometric shroud. The M570 non-pro has a bronze aluminum heatsink with fins but no vapor chamber. Both drives are available in 1, 2, or 4 TB capacities.
At CES, we got to see the CrystalDiskMark benchmarks in action for MSI’s upcoming two PCIe 5.0 SSDs as well as the faster Spatium M570 Pro with 2TB capacity. Connected to a high-end desktop, the M570 Pro returned sequential read and write speeds of 12,342 MBps and 11,814 MBps respectively, further exceeding the specs. It also had some pretty good random 4K numbers, as you can see in the screenshot below.
The Spatium M570 will launch in Q2 and the M570 Pro will follow, possibly in Q2 or Q3. No word on the price.
Adata XPG PCIe 5.0 SSD
At CES, Adata showed off an as-yet-unnamed PCIe 5.0 SSD that will launch under the XPG Gaming brand. The XPG SSD is the only one using his SM2508 controller from Silicon Motion. Rated at an impressive 14,000 / 12,000 MBps read and write. It also delivers 2 mullions of read and write IOPS if the controller specs are met.
To prevent overheating, the drive has a metal heatsink with fan and a stainless steel baseplate.
Adata has not announced the type of NAND flash it plans to use in the drive, nor has it revealed an expected launch date. However, an SMI rep told us that the SM2508 won’t start mass production until 2024, so if that’s true, the XPG drive won’t be out until then.
Gigabyte Aorus Gen5 10000 SSD
Gigabyte was one of the first (probably the first) companies to introduce a non-enterprise PCIe 5.0 SSD when it announced the Aorus Gen5 10000 SSD last summer. It hasn’t been released yet, and when I met with Gigabyte, they didn’t give me a proposed release date. However, it uses the same components as MSI’s Spatium M570 Pro, so we expect it to launch around the same time as MSI’s Spatium M570 Pro.
Similar to Spatium M570 Pro, Aorus Gen5 10000 boasts 12,000 / 10,000 MBps read/write speeds. Like MSI’s drives, this one uses Micron’s 2,000 MT/s NAND.
Some have huge heatsinks and some don’t.
Patriot Memory Named SSD
The Patriot also has a PCIe 5 SSD based on the Phison E26 controller and 2,000 MT/S NAND. No model name, but identical to the Spatium M570 Pro, he boasts speeds of 12,000/10,000 MBps.
The sample we saw at the Patriot’s CES booth had a giant heatsink and fan, but it looks unfinished, so I’d imagine there’s at least some kind of attractive cover over the fan. It will be available in 4 TB capacity (assuming 2 TB capacity is included).
No mention is made of Patriot Drive availability.