Mushkin Expands SSD Lineup With 2TB, NVMe

Mushkin laid out the early 2017 SSD roadmap from start to finish at CES 2017. In it, we found a heavy dose of Silicon Motion, Inc. (SMI) controllers paired with current and next generation flash technology. The company's role in the foreseeable future is as a value-centric provider of quality components that meet both the performance and price demands of the entry-level and mainstream shoppers.

The sole NVMe product in the lineup comes with "Helix" branding. The drive will ship in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and eventually a massive 2TB model. Mushkin will take this SMI SM2260 model to production with Micron 3D MLC NAND flash to increase performance and endurance. The performance specifications show up to 2,600MB/s sequential read and 1,100 MB/s sequential writes. We expect pricing to be competitive with other SM2260 products coming to a congested mainstream NVMe market.

Reactor Armor3d
Triactor 3D
250GB - 2TB
240GB - 1920GB
250GB - 2TB
256GB - 2TB120GB - 960GB
SMI SM2260
PCIe 3.0 x4
SATA 6Gbps
SATA 6GbpsSATA 6GbpsSATA 6Gbps
Sequential Read
2.6 GB/s
565 MB/s
560 MB/s
565 MB/s
560 MB/s
Sequential Write
1.1 GB/s
525 MB/s
460 MB/s
520 MB/s
515 MB/s
Random Read
Up To 232,000
Up To 90,000Up To 76,000
Up To 90,000
Up To 87,000
Random Write
Up To 185,000
Up To 90,000Up To 76,000Up To 90,000Up To 87,000

Two existing SATA-based products will receive capacity updates in 2017. The first is the Reactor that we are so fond of in 1TB. The updated model will move the needle to 2TB but still retain a similar price-to-capacity ratio. The Reactor is based on an aging SM2246 controller but utilizes MLC NAND flash that doesn't require low-density parity check (LDPC) code to extent endurance.

The Triactor with the same SM2256 controller will move from 480GB to 960GB at the high end. This is a TLC model that costs less than the Reactor but leans on LDPC to increase endurance. For the most part, the Reactor and Triactor are simple capacity size expansions.

Two new products coming will take advantage of SMI's latest SM2258 controller and 3D flash. The Armor3d is the most exciting, with Micron 3D MLC, 565 MB/s sequential read performance, and a large overprovisioned 2TB capacity size. The overprovisioned space increases performance and should make up for many of the latency issues with first generation Micron 3D MLC.

The Triactor 3D with Micron 384Gbit 3D TLC will utilize the same SM2258 controller and a very large dose of programmed SLC to keep performance very close to the Armor3d. The advantage of this product is a lower price point, but at the expense of sustained write performance.

Mushkin has a well-balanced SSD product lineup going into 2017. We found a mix of new, newer, and newest technologies without a commensurate price increase.

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  • nycalex
    still doesn't come close to samsung evo or pro nvme.
    considering the 960 evo 500gb @ $249, i wonder how they will price their nvme.

    Maybe $179.99 for the $500 would give consumers a budget way to get into nvme ssd.

    by the way, been running a 500gb samsung 960 pro nvme for 2 months now.

    compared to my regular samsung 850 evo, it offers nothing in REAL world applications. I mostly game with my system. And from a perspective of a gamer, it offers the same speed.

    My 960 pro benches @ 3300mb/s in crystal disk, yet i get same loading times as a regular SSD.
    It seems to me that noot a lot of software out there can take advantage of all the throughput of a NVME ssd.
    oh well, at least i get to brag that i got the fastest consumer SSD in the world.
  • hdmark
    nycalex, do you notice improved boot times or ANYTHING different? or is it really just a performance boost for probably heavier programs such as cad/modeling/editing?
    hoping no real improvement cuase then i have no reason to get rid of my m550 anytime soon :D
  • CaedenV
    That is not suprising. Moving from a single SSD to a RAID0 SSD setup didn't help speed things up either. Simple fact of life is that there are very few things that rely on raw storage transfer speed.
    HDDs were so slow, and so small, for so long that EVERYTHING on the drive gets compressed somehow. This means that every game level, every texture, every everything needs to be moved into ram and then uncompressed before it can be used by the system. With HDDs this was not a big issue because it gave overall better system performance because the data would get off the disk faster and the CPU was generally 'fast enough' to keep up with what it was being fed.
    But moving from 80-120MB/s HDD speeds (and 20-50MB/s random speeds) of HDDs to 500MB/s transfer speeds of standard SSDs changes that a bit. The SSD spends most of its time now just sitting there while the CPU churns out and processes the data that it is being fed. Moving to drives that are even faster just means the drive sits around longer waiting for the next send request.

    This could be solved by removing the compression... but then you need much larger drives. A typical game today is some 50-100GB in size. Remove compression from that and things would bloat considerably to 200+GB, which means we would need very large drives in order to install more than one game. Plus, games are designed around consoles which have HDDs... which means that the old paradigm of compressed storage and unpacking it every time is still the best paradigm for them to design around.

    NVMe is still very handy for those who do lots of video editing or other tasks where there is lots of straight copying/reading/writing to the disk. But to run most programs and games there is little to no advantage as your CPU and GPU are the bottleneck. GPUs are at least improving quickly.... but we have not seen appreciable CPU improvements in almost 6 years now... so ya... don't expect NVMe to be a big help to performance any time soon. They are lower power, and they are smaller which makes them great for laptops, AND they have more direct system access which makes them more responsive than a typical AHCI SSD... but in general they are better for laptops than your typical desktop setup unless you have a truly monster of a build that does crazy work.