Silicon Power’s entry-level P34A60 offers up to 2.2/1.6 GBps of sequential read/write performance and comes at rock-bottom pricing. That makes it a great value and the NVMe interface is much faster than SATA drives for light use, and while it's not the perfect drive for gaming, it’s close.
The P34A60 is a step down from Silicon Power's P34A80 that we recently reviewed. Unlike that model, the P34A60 doesn’t come with a Phison E12 NVMe SSD controller. Instead, it boasts an entry-level DRAMless Silicon Motion SM2263XT NVMe SSD controller.
While the SM2263XT doesn’t use DRAM, it still serves up multi-GBps transfer speeds and is responsive due to host memory buffer (HMB) technology. This NVMe feature uses some of the host’s memory for caching the drives Flash Translation Layer (FTL) data, ultimately keeping performance competitive at a lower price point. The only drawback to HMB is that these drives exhibit a bit more latency than DRAM-based SSDs, particularly when they are under heavy load. However, the lower-cost design saves the company a few bucks, which it then passes on to the consumer.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Silicon Power P34A60 256GB||Silicon Power P34A60 512GB||Silicon Power P34A60 1TB|
|Capacity (User / Raw)||256GB / 256GB||512GB / 512GB||1024GB / 1024GB|
|Form Factor||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|Interface / Protocol||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3|
|Controller||Silicon Motion SM2263XT||Silicon Motion SM2263XT||Silicon Motion SM2263XT|
|DRAM||DRAMless - HMB||DRAMless - HMB||DRAMless - HMB|
|Memory||Intel 64L TLC||Intel 64L TLC||Intel 64L TLC|
|Sequential Read||2,100 MBps||2,200 MBps||2,200 MBps|
|Sequential Write||1,200 MBps||1,600 MBps||1,600 MBps|
|Random Read||190,000 IOPS||240,000 IOPS||240,000 IOPS|
|Random Write||230,000 IOPS||250,000 IOPS||250,000 IOPS|
|Endurance (TBW)||150 TB||300 TB||600 TB|
Silicon Power’s SP34A60 comes in three capacities of 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The 1TB model is the best bang-for-your-buck at just $95, but the 256GB and 512GB models are priced very aggressively at $33.99 and $56.99, respectively. Silicon Power will release a 2TB model in early 2020.
As a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.3 device, the SP34A60 delivers performance figures of up to 2.1/1.2 GBps of sequential read/write throughput at the 256GB capacity, and up to 2.2 /1.6 GBps at the 512GB and 1TB capacities. All of the capacity points deliver up to 240,000 IOPS of random read performance and 250,000 write IOPS.
Standard features include secure erase support via the Format NVM command, Trim, and S.M.A.R.T. data reporting. To ensure data integrity, the P34A60 features end-to-end data protection, a RAID engine, and Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) ECC. This also ensures competitive endurance ratings. At up to 600TB of write endurance at the 1TB capacity, it matches Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus. It also has a five-year warranty, but that only applies if you haven't exhausted the write endurance.
Software and Accessories
Silicon Power provides an SSD Toolbox for download on the company’s website. It allows you to monitor your SSD’s S.M.A.R.T. data and view its health and endurance status.
A Closer Look
The P34A60 comes in an M.2 2280 form factor and our 512GB sample is single-sided, meaning the components are all on one side of the PCB. The SMI SM2263XT NVMe 1.3 SSD controller is accompanied by Intel 64-Layer TLC flash.
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