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MyDigitalSSD BP5e Low-Cost TLC SSD Review

Conclusion

This is the third Phison S10-controlled SSD I've written about recently. The company is really stepping up its game. We always believed that the S10 had a lot of potential, which we weren't seeing from early implementations with the processor inside. For instance, Corsair's Neutron XT didn't live up to the hype. It was probably a little premature. But over the last month, after firmware updates and extensive tuning, more SSD manufacturers are extracting great numbers from the S10.

MyDigitalSSD's BP5e isn't the first product we've seen pairing the S10 and TLC flash. But it is the first implementation we'd consider buying. The difference between this SSD, OCZ's Trion 100 and some of the unreleased models in our lab is night and day. We've seen a ton of low-cost TLC-based drives that can't sustain sequential writes any higher than 90 to 110 MB/s. And yet, we have mechanical hard drives that hit 200 MB/s. Ever since we started testing storage devices with TLC flash, I've maintained that an SSD simply can't drop to hard drive-like performance levels and still be considered acceptable.

What makes the BP5e special is its advanced error-correction technology. There are three levels of data protection. Without them, writing directly to the TLC flash would chew through its endurance rating. MyDigitalSSD doesn't publish those numbers, nor did it have an estimate available when I asked. But we don't put a lot of emphasis on endurance ratings anyway because they often prove inaccurate. A manufacturer can't predict your ratio of random to sequential writes, which affects how quickly the flash wears down. Instead, we get a more general three-year warranty to protect against failure.

The BP5e is the least-expensive 1TB-class SSD right now. I'm not sure how long it'll keep that title, but we have spoken with SSD manufacturers that told us MLC-equipped drives won't hit similar prices any time soon. The flash simply costs too much. If a competitor does introduce a TLC-based drive around the BP5e's price, it'll most likely also include Phison's S10 controller. JMicron and Silicon Motion don't have TLC-enabled controllers that scale well to 1TB, and they can't match the S10's performance.


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Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • That price is incredible. I remember my first SSD, when it was ONLY 2$/GB. If I was buying today, I'd get 6 * 480 GB drives, and run them in a btrfs raid, just for plain storage. For anyone buying today, for their own use, it makes no sense to go mechanical.

    Can't wait for the next generation Samsung 3d nand.
    Reply
  • Nintendork
    It makes no sense to raid 0 SSD's, you won't improve random 4k performance AND YOU WONT IMPROVE LATENCY (wich is what it makes SSDs faster than a HDD). You're simply adding more fail %.

    NVMe SSD's barely improve those things. We will need intel's 3D Xpoint (or similar tech) for another massive gain in those things.

    Reply
  • cryoburner
    For anyone buying today, for their own use, it makes no sense to go mechanical.

    The price might be relatively good for an SSD, but that's still 25 cents per gigabyte. Mechanical desktop drives, by comparison, are generally around 3 to 5 cents per gigabyte, which for someone needing multiple terabytes for bulk storage or backup redundancy can really add up. For many purposes like storing video, there won't be much of a performance difference either.

    Of course, most people probably don't even need 1 TB of storage in their system, and 240 GB of storage could be more than enough for them, in which case doing away with a mechanical drive in favor of a comparably priced but lower-capacity SSD could make a lot more sense.
    Reply
  • CalHob
    Interesting to see TLC continuing to lead the value market with further refinement of error correction technique while still developing improvements in performance.

    As a REVIEW, it comes up short in evaluting against products in the same performance and price segment. As I started to read the review, I kept looking for Tom's Best Pick 1TB Budget Buy, the Mushkin Reactor, to be included. And, there are also other TLC based drives, that Tom's has reviewed in other capacities, that should be included. In my mind, the review should have included at a minimum: Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB (as the TLC performance reference), ADATA SP550 960GB, and Mushkin Reactor 1TB. At this point in time, the MyDigitalSSD, ADATA and Mushkin drives are competing at the same price point on Amazon and Newegg. Comparing these drives would have brought more meaning to the review.
    Reply
  • photonboy
    Nintendork,
    There are reasons to RAID0 an SSD. For example, working with video can benefit. Plenty of articles with number to prove that, and also to prove that for MOST things real-world benefits aren't there.
    Reply
  • rhysiam
    How likely is it that other Phison S10 drives have benefited significantly from performance-related firmware updates since release? It seems like this drive is better than the competition primarily because of the more mature firmware, but I'm wondering if other drives have also improved since release.
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    Interesting to see TLC continuing to lead the value market with further refinement of error correction technique while still developing improvements in performance.

    As a REVIEW, it comes up short in evaluting against products in the same performance and price segment. As I started to read the review, I kept looking for Tom's Best Pick 1TB Budget Buy, the Mushkin Reactor, to be included. And, there are also other TLC based drives, that Tom's has reviewed in other capacities, that should be included. In my mind, the review should have included at a minimum: Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB (as the TLC performance reference), ADATA SP550 960GB, and Mushkin Reactor 1TB. At this point in time, the MyDigitalSSD, ADATA and Mushkin drives are competing at the same price point on Amazon and Newegg. Comparing these drives would have brought more meaning to the review.

    When Adata released the SP550 drives for review the 960GB model was not ready. We simply do not have that drive. We built a low cost SSD performance database for each of the other capacity sizes and you see similar products grouped together in those reviews. From Computex (last June) until only recently many of the TLC-based drives were not available. In short, we're working on it.

    This review was put together before the OCZ Trion 150 arrived, the two new PNY drives, the new Corsair LE and the stuff we can't talk about yet (but soon).

    The Best of Monthly (what I call it) goes back to being a monthly release starting this week. Several of you read and comment on my reviews so you are here quite a bit. I plan to utilize the monthly column to recap the reviews for the month and give some insight into what to expect for the next month. I've also added several new columns. Expect to see entry-level, mainstream, and premium drives for each capacity as well as new PCIe and All-in-One RAID drives.

    Reply
  • razor512
    Minimal price reduction for a massive reduction in write endurance. It is a bad value unless they can reduce their price by at at least 40% (to match the data density gains that they get from TLC).
    Reply
  • FilipHappy
    When Adata released the SP550 drives for review the 960GB model was not ready. We simply do not have that drive. We built a low cost SSD performance database for each of the other capacity sizes and you see similar products grouped together in those reviews. From Computex (last June) until only recently many of the TLC-based drives were not available. In short, we're working on it.

    This review was put together before the OCZ Trion 150 arrived, the two new PNY drives, the new Corsair LE and the stuff we can't talk about yet (but soon).

    The Best of Monthly (what I call it) goes back to being a monthly release starting this week. Several of you read and comment on my reviews so you are here quite a bit. I plan to utilize the monthly column to recap the reviews for the month and give some insight into what to expect for the next month. I've also added several new columns. Expect to see entry-level, mainstream, and premium drives for each capacity as well as new PCIe and All-in-One RAID drives.

    Even though - good job! The review is useful and one gets a nice overall view. Thank you. :)

    May I ask for your personal opinion? As a budget 1TB SSD - would you buy Mushkin Reactor 1TB, MyDigitalSSD BP5e 960GB, Adata SP550 960Gb, or wait for new releases (or wait even until june)?
    Reply
  • George_71
    I hope "mydigitalssd" has finally gotten their stuff together. I bought a BP4e mSATA drive about a year or so ago. It failed constantly. I contacted "mydigitalssd", RMAed the drive. MDSSD replaced the drive. The replacement drive has the same issues.
    There is a cost/benefit that needs to be taken into account when dealing with drives. This is a low cost option,however do you really want to take the chance? I am sorry i did.
    Reply