Both Patriot and MyDigitalSSD have begun shipping products based on Phison's PS5008-E8 controller. The new controller uses only two PCI Express lanes, which has made it in high demand for crypto currency mining. These products use fewer PCIe lanes, sell at lower prices, and are considered low-power storage devices. We often only consider power for use in notebooks, but the miners are looking for every advantage to find profitability.
This isn't another depressing mining story about demand issues like those driving GPU prices sky high. The supply side has held strong, and you can still find the MyDgitalSBX NVMe SSD in all four capacities at or below MSRP on the MyDigitalDiscount store. The series is part of the house brand for the companies that exist as a retail store as well as a brand. Coming under the SBX model name, MyDigitalSSD lists 128TB ($59.23), 256GB ($93.83), 512GB ($173.30) and 1TB ($318.71) as available (at the time of writing) with a five-year warranty.
Patriot Memory also has a store, and inside you will find the new Scorch M.2 Solid-State Drive with the Phison PS5008-E8. Patriot doesn't list a 1TB drive in this series but does show 128GB ($139.99), 256GB ($259.99), and 512GB ($339.99) models. We saw the new Scorch M.2 SSD at CES last week and were told the drive is shipping. The series is sold out on Patriot's store page. We found the series on B&H out of New York with a "coming soon" tag, and the prices were much better for the three models. We expect online prices to be closer to $80, $125, and $230 with Patriot's 3-year warranty.
PS5007-E7 SSDs - MLC's Last Stand
E7-based NVMe storage took 2017 by storm, offering users one last gasp of 2-bit per cell flash. Products from Corsair, MyDigtialSSD, Patriot, Zotac, and others took on the companies with NAND flash production capabilities and won with a superior product that sold for less than many others using 3-bit per cell flash.
We learned two weeks ago that Phison entered final production with the E7 controller. The E7 was purpose-built for use with Toshiba 15nm MLC flash that also entered end-of-life status.
For many users, the E7 SSDs offered the best balance of price and performance. The one area where the companies came up short was capacity. We've tested only one E7-based 1TB drive, and that was a special edition model only sold in China.
As the light dims on the E7 controller, Corsair has two new high-capacity SKUs that started shipping in near silence. The MP500 joins the Kingston KC1000 as the only M.2 1TB E7 sold in North America. The Kingston KC1000 960GB currently sells for $570.95 at Newegg, and the off-radar Corsair Force MP500 960GB sells for $575, also at Newegg. If 1TB is not enough flash storage for you, Corsair recently released an exotic version of the Neutron NX500 add-in card (review here). The last NX500 SKU to emerge features 1.6TB of user addressable space from a massive 2TB raw capacity. The drive sells for a jaw dropping $1,785, which $519 more than Samsung's 2TB 960 Pro M.2 SSD (review here).
Most sites don't list the number of products they have available, but we reached out to find the status of the final E7 drives. Some of the companies didn't have numbers on hand, but others told us that the supply is running thin. MyDigtialSSD went on the record to say it has only five BPX 128GB drives in stock. The popular 240GB and 480GB models are quickly moving, as well. Amazon has only 11 BPX 240GB and 7 BPX 480GB drives in stock.
3D TLC will be the dominate flash media in 2018, with QLC coming to market within months. There's still a chance to get a low-cost MLC SSD, but time is running out.