MyDigitalSSD BPX Value NVMe SSD Review

Comparisons And Benchmarks - 512GB Class

Comparison Products

Loading...

We separated the BPX SSDs into two test pools. On this page, we will cover the 512GB class products, and on the next, we will examine the 256GB products. This allows us to compare more products in each group and give you a better view of the current state of the market.

The MyDigitalSSD BPX is one of the lowest priced NVMe products available, and it joins the Intel 600p in the entry-level category based on price. We also include the Samsung PM961 (to represent the upcoming 960 EVO) and Patriot Hellfire M.2. The other products tip the scale with pricing above $300. Those SSDs include the Intel SSD 750 400GB, OCZ RD400, Samsung 950 Pro, and SM961.

The real comparison, though, is between the Intel 600p and MyDigitalSSD BPX. Both products share similar pricing (at the time of writing), and the vendors sell them as true entry-level NVMe products. We expected the Patriot Hellfire M.2 to receive a price drop, but that has not come yet. You will see why Patriot wants to keep its price a little higher in the performance charts.

Sequential Read Performance

To read about our storage tests in-depth, please check out How We Test HDDs And SSDs.We cover four-corner testing on page six of our How We Test guide.

Many of the NVMe SSDs are faster than the MyDigitalSSD BPX 480GB, but only one product matches its low price point. The BPX is faster than the Intel 600p in many of the tests we'll present in this review. The gap between the two drives will vary depending on the workload type. In sequential reads, the BPX 480GB is a little over 200 MB/s faster than the 600p at queue depth 2.

Sequential Write Performance

The BPX stretches the performance lead in workloads where the 600p's TLC buffer becomes a disadvantage. The 480GB model writes sequential data at nearly double the rate of the 600p. The BPX offers faster application installations and file transfers for data coming to the drive from another high-speed source.

Random Read Performance

The BPX 480GB also offers a large performance increase during small-block random read workloads. Most consumer workloads hover around queue depth 1 and 2 with short interspersed data bursts in the queue depth 4 range. Difficult workloads will widen the performance gap between the two products during random read workloads.

Random Write Performance

One interesting aspect we noticed is that the MyDigitalSSD BPX does not follow the same performance trends as the Patriot Hellfire M.2. The Hellfire M.2 is faster in many of the tests, but the margin is small in all of our four-corner tests.

The performance difference between the Intel 600p and the MyDigitalSSD BPX is much larger.

80 Percent Mixed Sequential Workload

We describe our mixed workload testing in detail here and describe our steady state tests here.

The Intel 600p outperforms the BPX in this single test in our suite. The 600p performs a little better during the sequential mixed workload test. The results surprised us because the 20% data writes should have been faster on the BPX because they come from the MLC flash. We suspect this is a controller firmware issue that Phison could fix with additional tuning.

80 Percent Mixed Random Workload

The mixed random test finds the MyDigitalSSD BPX back above the Intel 600p, but only at mid-level queue depths, and not by a large margin. This may keep the drives closer together in the real-world application workloads we examine later in this review.

Sequential Steady-State

None of the products in the test pool were designed or tuned for enterprise-level steady-state workloads (except the Intel SSD 750 that shares some DNA with Intel's data center products). Samsung tuned the SM961 and 950 Pro for professional applications that can force a drive into light steady-state conditions during heavy use with applications such as Sony Vegas and Adobe Premier.

Video production applications make use of NVMe's lower latency and higher throughput capabilities. Many of the MLC-based products on the chart outperform the best SATA SSDs in this type of environment. The TLC-based products even give the best SATA products a solid run.

Random Steady-State

Intel made a big deal about performance consistency and high random write performance when it first launched its leading-edge NVMe products, but that emphasis has trailed off in recent years. The 600p trails the other products on the chart, and that opens the door for other low-cost products to enter the consumer RAID array portion of the market. The MyDigitalSSD delivers more consistent and higher random write performance under steady-state conditions. The drive would work better in a RAID array hanging off an Intel motherboard PCH.

PCMark 8 Real-World Software Performance

For details on our real-world software performance testing, please click here.

Phison, the controller maker for the MyDigitalSSD BPX and Patriot Hellfire M.2, recently released a new firmware to manufacturers that increased real-world application performance. Both drives now perform much better than what the synthetic tests would lead us to believe.

The BPX outperforms the 600p in every application test, but that shouldn't surprise you by now. 

Application Storage Bandwidth

In this view, we average of all the PCMark 8 tests into a single throughput metric to give a general view of performance. We were surprised to see the BPX outperform the Samsung PM961 in many of the tests. The MyDigitalSSD BPX also outperformed the Intel SSD 750 400GB in the averaged results.

PCMark 8 Advanced Workload Performance

To learn how we test advanced workload performance, please click here.

Under heavier conditions, the MyDigitalSSD BPX delivers similar performance to the Samsung PM961 512GB SSD. The BPX, PM961, and the Patriot Hellfire M.2 are very close in all results with both heavy and moderate stress on the drives.

Total Service Time

The Intel 600p suffers from high latency during heavy workloads, along with every product we've tested with IMFT 3D NAND. The service time tests reveal the high latency, but it also highlights that the MyDigitalSSD BPX is very close to the premium Samsung SM961 and OCZ RD400.

Disk Busy Time

The disk busy time test reveals the clearest distinction between the Intel 600p and BPX. The Intel has to spend more time working to satisfy the same workload. The other tests show that as well, but this test shows the amount of time the SSD spends on the workload, rather than just the finished result.

Notebook Battery Life

Phison's 2.1 firmware didn't fix the high power consumption when the SSD is under notebook battery power. Part of the issue stems from the lack of an optimized NVMe driver. The Intel 600p does not have an optimized NVMe driver, either. Intel told us a software package would be available in mid-November, but Phison hasn't given us a date or any indication that a custom driver will ever be available.

This thread is closed for comments
37 comments
    Your comment
  • JakeWearingKhakis
    Look at the 2nd to last picture of the Phison chip. Whatever they did to make it look that cool, needs to be a standard thing!
  • Game256
    This is actually not a bad budget NVMe SSD. This SSD is more like what Intel 600p should look like. Because Intel 600p is a disgrace for a NVMe drive.

    However Samsung 960 EVO will cost about the same, especially 250 Gb version.
  • InvalidError
    2223643 said:
    Look at the 2nd to last picture of the Phison chip. Whatever they did to make it look that cool, needs to be a standard thing!

    What is so special about that picture? The "wavy" pattern? Nothing special about that, it is just an uneven wafer cut, possibly caused by a worn diamond saw blade, insufficient lubrication/flushing, uneven pressure through the cut or any number of other flaws in the wafer cutting process.
  • shrapnel_indie
    It's just frustrating when you find a review someplace and all it turns out to be is pretty much the marketing description verbatim (or nearly so) and no hands-on testing, lab or otherwise. (You see this quite a bit with products unfortunately.)

    It's one reason sites like this can be, and are, valuable tools. Keep up the good work.
  • Jordan_72
    Thank you for the article, it will be very helpful for me when considering my next storage solution.
  • Xajel
    I wonder how these will compare against Samsung 960 Evo, for the 512GB part, Samsung is $50 pricier than this with a little higher performance than this on paper, but with less endurance
  • CRamseyer
    It will be interesting to see for sure. We tested the PM961 (results are in the 512GB charts) and its a close battle. It really depends on your workload but as they say, $50 is $50.
  • Bruce427
    Thanks for the great review, Chris.

    I was all set to order the 240GB version as a place holder until the Samsung 960 drives are delivered (looks like Samsung is going to significantly miss their "October" target -- especially on the EVOs).

    But the exceptionally low notebook battery life spoiled the deal for me.

    You said Phison has been unable to replicate your low notebook battery life results with the E7 controller. Is it possible that the drive might exhibit better battery life performance in a notebook other than a Lenovo?
  • nebun
    where is the heatsink....these things get really hot under load....they really need to do something about it....not throttle it down...that's a patch, not a fix
  • Brian_R170
    The listed price doesn't quite match the Intel 600p street price, but maybe when it hits retailers, it'll be closer.

    Not many reviews of MyDigitalSSD products or service compared to better-known brands, though.
  • RedJaron
    194803 said:
    where is the heatsink....these things get really hot under load....they really need to do something about it....not throttle it down...that's a patch, not a fix
    It's hard to fit a heat sink on an M'2 drive because most mboards have them between card slots, where they'd have to fit under double-slot GPUs and other cards. Not that I don't agree with the idea of heat sinks, or at least different placement on the mboard that puts them under better airflow, but it would restrict the product on the market.
  • CRamseyer
    194803 said:
    where is the heatsink....these things get really hot under load....they really need to do something about it....not throttle it down...that's a patch, not a fix


    It doesn't need a heatsink. The controller never got over 49C in our tests.

    We have some new test methods coming up for 2017 and one of them monitors the temperature and takes a measurement once every second. We will publish the thermal results. Right now we're in the development phase with the software but stay tuned. For now, we are just posting thermal and thermal throttling issues if we find them.
  • Nuckles_56
    If I was after a NVMe SSD right now, I'd probably pick one of these up, as they look like damn good value
  • HERETIC-1
    Hi Chris,
    Like the separation of the sizes-easy to read-not too cluttered.
    This comment"Phison packages the flash"really surprised me,
    I was under the impression this was all done by Toshiba-like
    with their SATA drives.

    Perhaps I'm wrong but I thought nearly all FF-S10 SATA drives
    were made by Toshiba and re-labled with different firmware tweaks...
  • LordConrad
    Looks like a great budget SSD for desktops.
  • Co BIY
    How much quicker are these entry level NVMe products compared to SATA SSDs in normal applications? Will I even notice the difference ?
  • CRamseyer
    In the Intel 600p review we added a section with the 600p against the fastest SATA SSDs. The 600p was faster in many applications. The Samsung 850 EVO 500GB delivers 308 MB/s in the Storage Application test. The MDD BPX 480GB delivers 567 MB/s. It is a healthy increase and one you will notice with a properly configured system.
  • CRamseyer
    888508 said:
    Thanks for the great review, Chris. I was all set to order the 240GB version as a place holder until the Samsung 960 drives are delivered (looks like Samsung is going to significantly miss their "October" target -- especially on the EVOs). But the exceptionally low notebook battery life spoiled the deal for me. You said Phison has been unable to replicate your low notebook battery life results with the E7 controller. Is it possible that the drive might exhibit better battery life performance in a notebook other than a Lenovo?


    That is the hundred Dollar question right now. I only own Lenovo notebooks that support NVMe and I don't have access to any others. NVMe support is still fairly new and expensive. Phison doesn't see the same gap testing with Acer systems running the same test.
  • Bruce427
    ** [Chris] Phison doesn't see the same gap testing with Acer systems running the same test. **

    If further testing by Phison turns up battery life issues that just affect *some* notebooks, is this something that could be fixed/addressed by a future firmware update?
  • Bruce427
    Chris,

    On the 240GB version the factory specs on Sequential Write say 1300MB/s. But your test is showing about 800MB/s.

    Am I reading this incorrectly, or did the drive not meet specs?
  • CRamseyer
    On the notebook side it is difficult to tell what is going on. I don't want to throw the Lenovo Y700-17 under the bus. It performs fine with every other NVMe SSD. That said, it's only one notebook out of many (I actually own three Y700-17s, two for testing, one for gaming). Compatability issues are usually fixed with either firmware or a driver. Sadly, Phison has yet to release an E7 specific NVMe driver. I would like to see a driver and have rung the bell several times.

    On the performance topic I can say the MyDigitalSSD BPX actually outperforms the specifications released. The difference is how NVMe works, how companies test, and how current generation software requests data. Until we get an operating system and general use software that utilizes the protocol to it's potential I don't want to change the testing methods.

    Have you ever highlighted several icons and accidentally opened them all at one time when you really meant to delete or move them? NVMe is awesome when you do that. The 25 applications, documents and pictures open really fast. Most of the time we only open one application at a time. That's not to say we don't keep several open at one time, we really only use one or two at one time.

    Imagine an airport with eight runways. In theory you could mix a combinations of up to eight planes landing and up to eight planes taking off. The bottleneck is the single air traffic controller calling out the flight pattern.

    I'm on a roll at 5AM so I'm going to give you another one.

    Testing storage is like going to the beach. There are thousands of ways to test a device. It's like looking down and picking up a single grain of sand. At some point you have to ask, why this one? I try to pick the sand that most people walk on and not a piece off the path. I could show that drive writing at 1150 MB/s by selecting an obscure test pattern but that won't make your game open faster.
  • Bruce427
    Thanks Chris.

    BTW, I noticed that MyDigital Discount is giving a 6% discount on all pre-orders for the new drives. I appears that the pre-order price will be in effect until the drives arrive in stock (maybe 2 weeks).

    So that makes a great deal ever better.
  • Bruce427
    Well, disappointingly, Samsung has now delayed the 960 EVO series until near Christmas. So we probably won't get actual delivery this year.

    So, I ordered the 240GB MyDigital as a place-holder until the Samsungs arrive. MyDigitialDiscount is currently selling that model for $107 and change.

    Considering the performance, at that price it is hard to beat.
  • Bruce427
    I just received an email from MyDigital tech support as a response to my inquiry re: battery life.

    I was told that in early 2017, Phison would deliver a Controller (the E8), designed for notebook use, that would consume less power.