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Silicon Power XD80 SSD Review: Mainstream Performance at Low Cost

Phison’s E12S, BiCS4 96L TLC, and a heatsink for how much???

Silicon Power XD80
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

Silicon Power’s XD80 is a solid-performing mainstream PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD that comes with Samsung-beating endurance ratings and a heatsink, all at a low price.

For

  • + Heatsink
  • + Low-cost
  • + Strong sustained write speeds
  • + SLC cache recovers quickly
  • + 5-year warranty and Samsung beating endurance

Against

  • - Small SLC cache

The Silicon Power’s XD80 comes armed with a Phison E12S SSD controller, BICS4 TLC, and a heatsink. This combo delivers solid, cool performance at an affordable price point, making the PCIe 3.0 x4 drive a good value for those looking to save a few bucks over premium drives.

The XD80 competes against other mainstream SSDs like the Crucial P5, WD_Black SN750, and Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus. In addition, the drive features a unique design for a Phison-based SSD — it's one of only a few slim PS5012-E12S-based designs with TLC flash that still retains a single-sided M.2 form factor, even for the 2TB model.

The XD80 also features a pre-installed thin aluminum heatsink that hardly adds to the XD80’s thickness, perhaps even making it suitable for some laptops. Based on our testing, the XD80 equipped with a heatsink fit into a relatively recent Dell ultrabook in our testing without clearance issues, which is an important consideration if you’re looking for a laptop drive.

Specifications

Product256GB500GB1TB2TB
Pricing $45.99 $64.99 $109.99 $219.99
Capacity (User / Raw)256GB / 256GB512GB / 512GB1024GB / 1024GB2048GB / 2048GB
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
Interface / ProtocolPCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
ControllerPhison PS5012-E12SPhison PS5012-E12SPhison PS5012-E12SPhison PS5012-E12S
DRAMDDR3LDDR3LDDR3LDDR3L
MemoryBiCS4 96L TLCBiCS4 96L TLCBiCS4 96L TLCBiCS4 96L TLC
Sequential Read3,100 MBps3,400 MBps3,400 MBps3,400 MBps
Sequential Write1,100 MBps2,300 MBps3,000 MBps3,000 MBps
Random Read180,000 IOPS290,000 IOPS390,000 IOPS500,000 IOPS
Random Write240,000 IOPS510,000 IOPS450,000 IOPS600,000 IOPS
SecurityN/AN/AN/AN/A
Endurance (TBW)200 TB400 TB800 TB1,600 TB
Part NumberSP256GBP34XD8005SP512GBP34XD8005SP001TBP34XD8005SP002TBP34XD8005
Warranty5-Years5-Years5-Years5-Years

The Silicon Power XD80 is available in capacities of 256, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB, each priced aggressively low at roughly $0.11 to $0.13-per-GB. The company rates the XD80 for up to 3.4/3.0 GBps of sequential read/write throughput and upwards of 500,000/600,000 random read/write IOPS over its PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. It has a 52GB SLC cache, though, so real-world sustained write performance will be slower than the spec if you write more than 52GB as one operation. We’ll show what that looks like on the following page.

The XD80 comes backed by high endurance ratings within its five-year warranty and should be suitable for heavy content creation. The 2TB model can endure 1,600 TB of written data within its warranty period (400TB higher than the Samsung 980 Pro). Moreover, it serves up this impressive endurance with less factory overprovisioning than competing drives, at roughly 7.4% vs 10%, giving you a bit more usable storage capacity than other SSDs.

Software and Accessories

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Silicon Power provides a very basic SSD Toolbox. With it, you can monitor the capacity used, the total bytes written to the drive, and temperature as reported by the SSD’s S.M.A.R.T. data. It also has a built-in diagnostic scanner. 

A Closer Look

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Silicon Power XD80

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Image 2 of 3

Silicon Power XD80

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Image 3 of 3

Silicon Power XD80

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

As mentioned, the XD80 comes in an M.2 2280 single-sided form factor – even at the 2TB capacity. It features a grey-colored, pre-applied aluminum heatsink. Silicon Power claims the heatsink reduces temperatures by up to 20%. The XD80 also supports low-power ASPM and ASPT for cooler, more efficient operation.

Image 1 of 2

Silicon Power XD80

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Image 2 of 2

Silicon Power XD80

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Phison’s PS5012-E12S PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD controller is a quad-core, NVMe 1.3-compliant design that leverages two Arm Cortex R5 CPUs clocked at 666 MHz alongside lower-clocked dual co-processors. Phison’s third-generation Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) ECC, a RAID engine, and end-to-end data path protection ensures reliability and consistency. The drive supports S.M.A.R.T. data reporting and Trim, but it doesn’t support AES 256-bit hardware encryption.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The controller has DRAM for buffering the FTL mapping tables, interfacing with 4Gb of DDR3L from Xi'an UniIC Semiconductors for the task. The controller also interfaces with Kioxia’s BiCS4 96L TLC flash. Our 2TB XD80 packs thirty-two 512Gb dies that are spread among four NAND packages. This flash operates at 533 MTps and has a dual-plane design.

MORE: Best SSDs

MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs

MORE: All SSD Content

  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Would have been nice to see the PNY CS2130 2TB on the charts as well, as it's a 2TB drive right now on sale for $200 ($20 less than the SP XD80), and TH did an article on it last year but never did a followup.

    PNY Technologies CS2130 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD M280CS2130-2TB-RB B&H (bhphotovideo.com)
    PNY CS2310: Use That Empty NVMe Slot | Tom's Hardware (tomshardware.com)
    Reply
  • froggx
    On these disk reviews, why is it that the line graphs for the iometer sustained sequential write, gigabytes written don't use properly spaced values along the X-axis? By this I mean the intervals are labeled "0, 0.5, 1, 2, 5,10, 15 (minutes)" yet spaced in such a way to indicate that the amount of time between 1 and 2 minutes and the amount of time between 2 and 5 minutes is the same (which it isn't). Last time I did math the median value of the numbers 0 through 15 wasn't 2, nor does the median value of 0-2 minutes work out to 45 second.

    When graphed with equally spaced X values (based on the values at 1, 2, 5, 10 and 15 minutes as provided on the bar graph for this test), most of the drives write at a linear rate within 2 minutes of starting the test (because the SLC cache has run out by then). However, when I look at the 15 minute graph, it looks like the drives start the test slowly, then around the halfway point they all (metaphorically) rail a line of blow and the amount of data written skyrockets (not how drives out of SLC cache work). The graph for 2 minutes isn't all that much better.

    I've added the links to the 2 problematic graph images here for convenience:
    Graph Linky and another Graph Linky.
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    froggx said:
    On these disk reviews, why is it that the line graphs for the iometer sustained sequential write, gigabytes written don't use properly spaced values along the X-axis? By this I mean the intervals are labeled "0, 0.5, 1, 2, 5,10, 15 (minutes)" yet spaced in such a way to indicate that the amount of time between 1 and 2 minutes and the amount of time between 2 and 5 minutes is the same (which it isn't). Last time I did math the median value of the numbers 0 through 15 wasn't 2, nor does the median value of 0-2 minutes work out to 45 second.

    When graphed with equally spaced X values (based on the values at 1, 2, 5, 10 and 15 minutes as provided on the bar graph for this test), most of the drives write at a linear rate within 2 minutes of starting the test (because the SLC cache has run out by then). However, when I look at the 15 minute graph, it looks like the drives start the test slowly, then around the halfway point they all (metaphorically) rail a line of blow and the amount of data written skyrockets (not how drives out of SLC cache work). The graph for 2 minutes isn't all that much better.

    I've added the links to the 2 problematic graph images here for convenience:
    Graph Linky and another Graph Linky.

    I mainly used the gigabytes written data for the bar graph and throw that same data in for line graph to have another way to look at the data. The second is just a crop/zoomed-in view of the same to see the differences in cache a little easier since these are small charts. I went ahead and did some adjustments for you based on your feedback. Personally, I prefer looking at the data how I've been publishing it since it enhances the tail whip effect and SLC cache size differences, which I can more quickly differentiate, but can start throwing in this new graph instead if you prefer it.
    Do you prefer the charts on the left? I appreciate the feedback. If you have any more, let me know. Thanks.

    92
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    seanwebster said:
    I mainly used the gigabytes written data for the bar graph and throw that same data in for line graph to have another way to look at the data. The second is just a crop/zoomed-in view of the same to see the differences in cache a little easier since these are small charts. I went ahead and did some adjustments for you based on your feedback. Personally, I prefer looking at the data how I've been publishing it since it enhances the tail whip effect and SLC cache size differences, which I can more quickly differentiate, but can start throwing in this new graph instead if you prefer it.
    Do you prefer the charts on the left? I appreciate the feedback. If you have any more, let me know. Thanks.

    92


    I 'd vote for charts on the left. It's a better presentation of the information.
    Reply
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    Wow, this is a true steal, and absolutely all you need for PC gaming.

    If I didn’t use my machine for IO intensive stuff I’d buy two of these puppies, and even then I’m considering them anyways.

    power-wise I’d need to test it a bit more on Linux to see if laptops would do well with it, but holy moly.
    Reply
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    Wow, this is a true steal, and absolutely all you need for PC gaming.

    If I didn’t use my machine for IO intensive stuff I’d buy two of these puppies, and even then I’m considering them anyways.

    power-wise I’d need to test it a bit more on Linux to see if laptops would do well with it, but holy moly.
    Reply