Power Up Your Storage
Silicon Power has saddled its latest SSD with the fairly generic moniker of PCIe Gen3x4, so we'll be referring to it by part number, P34A80, instead. Today we’re testing the 1TB capacity and at this size, performance is quite impressive. With rated 3.4/3 GBps sequential read/write speeds, this snappy little guy will speed up your system without a doubt, and it's cheaper than most of its competition.
Silicon Power’s P34A80 features Phison’s E12 NVMe controller, paired with Toshiba’s BiCS3 64L TLC NAND flash. Just as with many of the SSDs we have seen with this combination of components before it, like the the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro, the P34A80 is quite the capable device. Aside from the impressive rated sequential speeds, it also sports up to 390K and 450K IOPS read and write on our 1TB sample.
The P34A80 is available in capacities from 256GB to 1TB at this time. The company has a 2TB SKU, which Silicon Power says will be available sson. At 109.99 for our 1TB sample, or just $0.11 per GB, this drive is quite affordable. The 512GB and 256GB models aren't that much pricier, at $0.12 and $0.15 per GB respectfully. At these prices, the Silicon Power P34A80 simply screams value, and should be a top consideration if you're concerned about balancing speed and price.
The Silicon Power drive comes with all the performance you could ask for from a high-end TLC based SSD, and at a similar cost to those QLC based SSDs like the Intel SSD 660p and Crucial P1. What’s not to love?
Well, in order to bring such low prices to the market, there were some corners that Silicon Power cut. Luckily for consumers, there are no deal-breakers. While not officially stated on their website at this time, the P34A80 does come with endurance ratings. Typically, we would expect endurance ratings of ~380TBW, 800TBW, and 1700 TBW for the 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB Phison E12 powered devices. But Silicon Power seems to be more conservative in their ratings.
|Product||P34A80 256GB||P34A80 512GB||P34A80 1TB||P34A80 2TB|
|Capacity (User / Raw)||256GB / 256GB||512GB / 512GB||1024GB / 1024GB||2000GB / 2048GB|
|Form Factor||M.2 2280||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||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3|
|Controller||Phison E12||Phison E12||Phison E12||Phison E12|
|NAND Flash||Toshiba BiCS3 64L TLC||Toshiba BiCS3 64L TLC||Toshiba BiCS3 64L TLC||Toshiba BiCS3 64L TLC|
|Sequential Read||3,400 MB/s||3,400 MB/s||3,400 MB/s||3,400 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||3,000 MB/s||3,000 MB/s||3,000 MB/s||3,000 MB/s|
|Random Read||170,000 IOPS||290,000 IOPS||390,000 IOPS||500,000 IOPS|
|Random Write||240,000 IOPS||510,000 IOPS||450,000 IOPS||600,000 IOPS|
|Endurance||380 TBW||800 TBW||1665 TBW||3115 TBW|
The 256GB model is rated for up to 125TBW, and this figure doubles as capacity doubles, meaning 250 TBW on the 512GB model and 500 TBW of endurance on our 1TB model. This is low for a TLC drive, but most don’t write more than 20GB-30GB of data a day to their devices, so running out of endurance isn’t as likely as you running out of warranty time first. Speaking of which, the Silicon Power P34A80 comes backed by a 5-year warranty, rather than a 3-year warranty like some of the other Phison E12 based SSDs we have reviewed recently.
As well, the P34A80 boasts standard features like S.M.A.R.T. data reporting, TRIM, and support for Format NVM /secure erase commands, but does not come with OPAL or Windows BitLocker support.
Software and Accessories
Silicon Power has an SSD toolbox available for download on their website. You can use it to monitor your device's health, performance, and even secure erase. But at the time of writing, V18.104.22.168 doesn’t seem to support the P34A80.
A Closer Look
Silicon Power’s P34A80 comes in an M.2 2280 form factor. Our 1TB sample is double-sided, meaning components are on both sides of the PCB. Unlike most M.2 SSDs out now, the PCB isn’t black, instead, it is blue. The company threw a dark sticker over top of the drive, but with a scan code and other distracting elements on it, it is well…rather distracting. Something labeling the opposite side would easily remedy.
As mentioned earlier, the Phison E12 NVMe controller is powering this SSD and there are four Toshiba BiCS3 NAND packages in all. Also, there are two 512MB DDR4 DRAM package for the controller to use for caching the File Translation Layer (FTL). Once formatted in Windows, the end user has 953GB of free space to use.
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