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MyDigitalSSD SBX NVMe SSD Review

Conclusion

The main focus areas for an entry-level SSD are reliability, broad compatibility, and a low price point. In the case of the MyDigitalSSD BPX, we found an entry-level model that could outperform just about every NVMe SSD on the market that doesn't come with a Samsung Pro label.

The SBX is coming to market at the leading edge of a tidal wave. MLC is washing back to sea as TLC becomes the dominant memory, but a handful of aging (but still very good) MLC SSDs are still sprinkled throughout Amazon and Newegg. The SBX in its current form will not be as successful in a market filled with holdout MLC drives. The BPX is one of the best on a weighted value scale, but the Plextor M8Pe follows close behind. You may even find a Samsung 950 Pro lingering around, but it is much more expensive. The SBX's market position will change in time, though. It will certainly look much better after the MLC-based products sell out.

Six months from now every new SSD on Amazon and Newegg will have 3D TLC flash and prices will drop as NAND supply increases. Many of the first-gen 64-layer products will try to match the performance of 2017 models, but not all of them will succeed. The SBX is not as fast as the BPX. It doesn't give us a feeling of being a great value after we factor in pricing, either.

Riding the early tide to market will hurt the SBX. Prices are dropping and some companies have already released models that set the tone for 2018 (see the Crucial MX500 Review for reference). Toshiba's BiCS doesn't have the same density as Micron's new 64-layer, but Toshiba is already shipping the flash out to third-parties like MyDigitalSSD. That's something we've yet to see with Micron's 64-layer. Unfortunately, the third-party vendors are paying a lot more for the Toshiba flash.

Many analysts have stated the NAND shortage is over, but we're likely just sitting in a bubble. Toshiba holds the key to reducing consumer SSD prices for the products we shop for. The next-generation Samsung NVMe SSD costs the same as the existing models, and the BiCS high-performance drives like the upcoming RD500 and Phison E12-based products will fall in the same 960 EVO/Pro price range.

It's a lot to consider if you're trying to predict if the MyDigitalSSD SBX will be a product to purchase over the next few months. We don't think it is in the short term because there are better options available for just a few dollars more. We will have to revisit this question in three months to see how quickly MLC products sell out.

The 1TB SBX should sell for a slight premium over a good SATA SSD like the 1TB 850 EVO. We went a year with very few low-cost NVMe options in this capacity, but the BPX never scaled to 1TB. Now you can stay under $500 without being forced to choose between a 1TB Intel 600p or a 512GB-class drive with higher performance.

The SBX 256GB performs well and delivers very good notebook battery life. It is a rare combination for any SSD to dominate both the performance and battery tests. Notebooks outsell desktops, and the ratio is increasing, so this is a real advantage for the SBX series.

Of the four drives we tested, the 128GB is the only one I would not recommend for casual computing. There is a $35 price gap between the 128GB and the 256GB models. Even if you do not need the extra capacity, the extra performance is worth spending more.

Regardless of the capacity, SATA should no longer be a consideration unless your system limits your options. The premium for the low-latency NVMe protocol has shrunk to non-existent levels. Consumer SSDs like the MyDigitalSSD SBX, Intel 600p, and the new Intel 760p are the ground floor for the technology and offer superior performance over equally-priced SATA models. You may not need to upgrade to NVMe today, but your next SSD should use the technology.


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  • coutch
    Why no 760p in the comparison list ? they are priced very similarly
    Reply
  • Green_4
    Why not Optane SSD 900p ?
    Why ?
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Nice review! There are always products that could have been included, like the Intel 760p.

    Yeah.... based on the performance & overall picture - it's a "pass" for me. I'd stick with the BPX or the other higher performing NVMe drives.
    Reply
  • Brian_R170
    Totally agree on the Intel 760p missing from the comparisons. Curiously enough, if you go look at the 512MB 760p review from a few weeks ago, the MyDigitalSSD SBX is included on a couple of the Bapco graphs, yet the 760p is completely missing from this review. The 512GB 760p appears to be a much better performing product all around and especially at low queue depths, but with a very similar price.
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    20734629 said:
    MyDigitalSSD is the first out of the gate with a retail Phison E80-powered SSD. The SBX is the entry-level successor to the popular BPX and brings more performance to the table.

    MyDigitalSSD SBX NVMe SSD Review : Read more

    CES played games with our release schedule and the 760p wasn't available when we wrote this one. Going forward both drives will be in the low-cost NVMe charts.
    Reply
  • Kennyy Evony
    Other drives are not included because this is a paid advertisement by mydigitalssd and they want to make you forget about competition.
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    Wait, I thought it was only Intel that paid off Tom's Hardware?

    We dropped the ball here but not because we were paid, loyalty to a company or anything nefarious.

    I'm dealing with this issue right now in another article that covers RAID. I have to write one today but I can't include another product that is under NDA and coming in a couple of weeks. One article has a NDA date and the other doesn't. Ideally, the non-NDA review will come out first but something may come up, like other NDA reviews in other categories. It happens sometimes.

    If you look back at the timing, we had the two CPU vulnerabilities and every project came to a standstill to figure out your exposure. What was the number one reported performance issue in the early news cycle? Storage performance. Sprinkle in CES and it was a perfect storm that we rarely encounter.
    Reply
  • daglesj
    The ADATA SX6000 128GB NVMe will push 680MBps Seq Writes and will probably be cheaper.
    Reply
  • ev3rm0r3
    For that price point, why.... my 2 year old 961 still lays this down without thinking about it. Call me not impressed with new drives and their price tags.
    Reply
  • jpe1701
    I just picked one up for a game drive. They are down to sata prices over on mydigitaldiscount. I have a pm961 for my os and app drive so I didn't need anything that fast for my second slot.
    Reply