Reviews

Silicon Power US70 (1TB) PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 SSD Hands-On Review

Silicon Power US70 1TB NVMe SSD is a high-end storage drive based on PCIe Gen 4 x 4. Silicon Power really takes a step forward by offering the end consumer a product that offers very high speeds in both reading and writing while maintaining an extremely competitive price. Previously we reviewed the performance of the UD70 2TB NVMe based on PCIe Gen 3 x 4, overflowing in unbeatable Price-Quality. We now have the honor of thoroughly evaluating and testing the US70 1TB with a reference price on Amazon.com of $147.99. Obviously in each country the price increases for shipments and taxes. But it is to have a reference.

Silicon Power offers us performances of 5000 and 4400 MB / s in sequential reading and writing thanks to its compatibility with PCIe 4.0 x4. A new era dominated so far by the AMD B550 and X570 boards, featuring high-end components such as Toshiba’s 3D NAND TLC BiCS4 memory and the Phison PS5016-E16 controller. Be careful with its temperatures, because you will need a plate with a heatsink since it does not include it!

Buy US70 (1TB) From Amazon

The 5-year warranty and a write resistance of nothing more and nothing less than 1,800 TBW. Very good. The US70 series for PCIe 4.0 is intended to meet the needs of the end consumer looking for high-speed storage drives, gamers, and enthusiasts. This series has presentations in 1TB and 2TB with a write resistance of 1,800 TBW and 3,600 TBW respectively. It is comfortable to have so much security and margin of written terabytes.

We would like to thanks Silicon Power for providing the test sample and for the trust placed in us.

Technical Characteristics

Unboxing

We start as always by Unboxing this Silicon Power US70 PCIe Gen4x4 SSD unit, which essentially uses the same as its smaller brothers UD70 and company. And it consists of a small flexible cardboard box of good quality and even better presentation because on its main face we have a window that lets you see the product. It is accompanied by a black and gold background denoting that we are facing the flagship. The presentation is characteristic of the brand with cardboard packaging for easy storage and transport. The brand’s logo as well as a cover showing part of the product.

In the specifications, we clearly find that it belongs to the PCIe Gen 4.0 protocol in this case using x4 lanes to achieve high speeds. The classic M.2 format in 2280 is 22 mm wide by 80 mm high. For this line of products, Silicon Power adds the golden color to its product, always combining it with the black color and white letters. We assume that the gold color hints that it is your high-end product.

A good part of the product is shown, we notice an opening in the upper part to hang the product in a showcase or sample book. On the back of the package, we find more characteristics, as well as contact telephone number, email for technical service and help, barcode. Remarkable is the 5-year warranty offered by the brand.

We appreciate the product outside its packaging, it consists of a transparent blister to protect the storage unit from falls and that it may suffer some damage. We extract the unit from the inside, which is perfectly fixed to a transparent semi-rigid plastic blister that protects it from crushing and blows. In addition to this unit, we only find the warranty card inside. Missing? Well, a heatsink, which the competition’s SSDs do.

Design

Something that does not vary in this Silicon Power US70 PCIe Gen4x4 unit will be the size and format, presenting itself in the form of M.2 with a size of 2280 more than standardized. The package measurements would be 80mm long, 22mm wide, and only 3.5mm thick weighing 8 grams. It has components installed on both sides of the PCB, but we must know that both the 1 TB and 2 TB versions will be exactly the same format since there is plenty of space for both capacities.

In this case, the absence of a heatsink will be important for the user, because this unit does not include it, as the competition does. Is it a disadvantage? Well, not currently, since the boards with which we should use this SSD will have passive heatsinks from the factory. In fact, it is even an advantage, because that way you do not have to do without the original heatsinks of the board, although they will certainly yield a little less than the Corsair or AORUS, which also has light.

Regarding the external appearance, because instead a sticker is used on the upper part that would make contact with the heatsink. To ensure a good transfer, it has the inner side of silver paper, in this way no user will be tempted to remove it. In fact, if we withdraw it, we will lose the guarantee, let’s take that into account.

And as usual, the manufacturer leaves in its specifications the resistance that this SSD tended to the brutality of our acts. It supports shocks of up to 1500G in a period of 0.5 s, and its optimal operating temperature would be between 0 o C and 70 o C, which it will approach even with a heatsink. It has CE, FCC, BSMI, Green dot, WEEE, RoHS, KCC certifications that will help to have a more secure SSD in our hands.

Also Read: Silicon Power UD70 (2TB) PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2 SSD Hands-On Review

We come to the most important section of the Silicon Power US70 PCIe Gen4x4, where we will know in detail all its specifications, components, and all the functions that the manufacturer has included in the unit, which are not few.

The element that gives life to the storage capacity will be none other than the Toshiba BiCS4, the most powerful available. These are TLC-type 3D NAND chips with no less than 96 layers. In this way, each chip or memory bank can have up to 512 GB, more specifically the 1 TB unit uses 4 x 256 GB bands and the 2 TB 4 x 512 GB. These memories are exactly the same as those used by the rest of the competing SSDs in PCIe Gen4, so in this regard, all are on equal footing.

The microcontroller that is responsible for managing this SSD is the Phison PS5016-E16-32; being the most powerful available for the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. Inside are two 32-bit ARM Cortex R5 processors that run on the latest NVMe 1.3 protocol. It has a maximum of 8 memory channels at a rate of 800 MT per channel and is manufacturing in a 28nm process by TSMC. Its maximum performance will be 5,000 MB / s in sequential reading and 4,400 MB / s in sequential writing. And in random operations, we will have incredible maximum figures of 750K / 750K IOPS in both random reads and write.

And it won’t be all, because between the controller and the memories a DRAM-type cache is integrated with two 512 MB SK Hynix chips, making a total of 1 GB. They are of the DDR4 type and operate at a frequency of 2400 MHz. Numerous technologies come into play here from Phison and Silicon Power, such as SLC Caching support, LDPC functionality; E2E protection, and Error Correction Algorithms (ECC) for optimal storage management. The controller also supports AES 128/256-bit hardware encryption, TCG OPAL 2.0, Pyrite, and Crypto Erase.

As proper functions in the Silicon Power US70 PCIe Gen4x4, we have:
  • Wear Leveling: it is a function that levels the wear of the memory cells; balancing the use of the banks to avoid errors and premature loss of capacity.
  • Over-provisioning system: it is a system that allows you to reserve a certain amount of free space on the SSD to improve its useful life. It would be 7% of the total unit.
  • BBM or bad block management: the management system marks the blocks that are bad to avoid accessing them. With the help of the SP ToolBox software; we can diagnose the SSD whenever we want.

This includes standard features such as TRIM function support, SMART usage telemetry, and secure data erasure options.

Finally, the durability figures are well above what we are used to seeing in PCIe 3.0 SSDs. In the two units that will be marketed, we have a maximum 5-year guarantee. These will be limited to 1800 TBW in the 1 TB version and 3600 TBW in the 2 TB version; which would be the same as the Corsair MP600 offers. The mean time between failures or MTBF will be 1.7 million hours.

Management software

This time we have the SP ToolBox software that will be in charge of providing us with the management of our Silicon Power US70 PCIe Gen4x4 SSD storage unit. It is a fairly basic interface program, provided with 5 sections mainly for monitoring. With it, we can see the state of use of the unit, the TBW, temperature, and the useful life available. You can’t miss SMART telemetry and a block diagnostic test for the drive. In addition to this, we did not find anything else, and we do not have a secure deletion function from the program or greater interaction by the user. There is still room for improvement in this section.

Benchmarks

Now it is our turn to make our list of tests to the unit Silicon Power US70 SSD in its version of 1TB. For this we are using the following test Setup:

Test Setup
CPU Intel® Core™ i9-9900K
GPU MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Armor OC
Mainboard COLORFUL-iGame Z390 Vulcan X V20
SSD Storage For Win10 Silicon Power UD70 (2TBGB), For Test Silicon Power US70 1TB NVMe SSD
RAM Trident Z Royal – 3600Mhz (4x 8GB=32GB)

The tests to which we have subjected this SSD are the following:

  • Crystal DiskMark
  • AS SSD Benchmark
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Anvil’s Storage
  • Crystal Disk Info
  • HD Tune Pro
  • AJA Disk Benchmark
  • TxBench

Crystal DiskMark

In the first test with Crystal DiskMark, we can see that the results are being met in an excellent way with those 5005 MB / s in reading; although in writing we are at slightly more than 4277 MB / s, which are still excellent values. We must bear in mind that the tests have changed in this version of the software; we still have better records than in the two Gen4 SSDs previously analyzed.

AS SSD Benchmark

If we go to see the results of AS SSD, we can verify that this IOPS figure increases substantially to 540K / 623K in random read and write respectively. This is already closer to the maximum capacity of the drive. The MB / s performance results of this program are also somewhat better on this unit than on its rivals.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk has the highest performance records in reading with a maximum of 5.26 GB / s; while in writing it is around 3.9 GB / s. We do not know if they will be entirely real; but what it makes clear is that it is a very solid unit in performance from blocks with sizes of 128 KB. Similarly, IOPS performance becomes stable with blocks of 32 KB or less.

Anvil’s Storage

Anvil’s Storage reduces performance a bit in sequential operations. In the Anvil’s Storage Utilities test, the reading speed is 3856MB/s; while the writing speed can reach 3864MB/s, which is basically close to the official maximum performance.

Crystal Disk Info

CrystalDiskInfo shows in its interface all kinds of detailed information about the hard disk; from the brand and model to the buffer and cache size, the serial number, or even the firmware it uses. As well as the state of health in shades of colors and percentage.

HD Tune Pro

Let’s take a look at the HD Tune test. The US70 performed relatively well when benchmarked with HD Tune. The drive had average read and write speeds of 4,403.6 MB/s and 3,904.1 MB/s, respectively. When reading 4KB blocks, the US70 reached 44,208 IOPS and had an average speed of 172.690 MB/s. The drive was even faster when writing, reaching 53,769 IOPS with an average speed of 210.036 MB/s.

AJA Disk Benchmark

The speed characteristics of Silicon Power US70 more than meet the requirements of systems working; with high definition video. The AJA System Test confirms its readiness to work with 4K video streams. The only limitation in this use case will be the storage capacity of 1 TB; which is not enough for video editing.

TxBench

Finally, in the TxBENCH test, Silicon Power US70 sequential read and write speeds were 4829MB/s; 4256MB/s, and 4K random read and write speeds were 335MB/s, 2599MB/s.

Conclusion

Silicon Power US70 1TB NVMe SSD is the brand’s proposal for storage based on PCIe 4.0. It really is an option with a high performance breaking the barrier of 5,000 MB / s in reading and over 4,000 MB / s in writing.

Little by little, PCIe 4.0 continues to gain ground, and the price has been landing until it reaches tighter levels. And all the current processors coming to the market are including PCIe 4.0 from AMD with Zen 2 and Zen 3. And now Intel with 11th Generation that is about to come out. Manufacturers of storage units are very clear about that. And every time there are more and more options that we have in the market.

Silicon Power shows this option to the market, with a performance mentioned above and tested in this review. Obviously surpassing all other products for the PCIe 4.0 that this unit handles, being the fastest in reading and writing. Reaching quite cool temperatures for its range. The PCIe 4.0 has been characterized by handling a relatively high temperature; due to the high speeds, it reaches in reading and writing.

Phison E-16 and Phison E-18 controller

The Phison PS5016-E16 controller is a legacy controller from Phison’s E-12 in PCIe 3.0 and adapted for PCIe 4.0 therefore it offers a very competitive price. On the other hand, Phison has a controller really designed from scratch for PCIe 4.0 and it is the famous Phison E-18 that reaches speeds of 7,400 MB / s and 7,000 MB / s in reading and writing respectively. Being an enthusiastic driver and at the same time much more expensive.

The Phison E-18 controller is capable of competing with high-end storage drives like the Samsung 980 PRO for PCIe 4.0 and its Elpis controller reaching 7,000 and 5,000 MB / s in reading and writing. While Corsair and its MP600 1TB and Phison E-16 controller reach speeds of 4,950 and 4,250 MB / s in reading and writing with 1,800 TBW of resistance. Corsair is just announcing the MP600 PRO with the Phison E-18 controller in theory it would reach 7,000 MB / s in reading and 6,850 MB / s in writing, I understand that in 1TB it will have 1,800 TBW and in 2 TB with 3,600 TBW.

Silicon Power US70 1TB NVMe SSD has a 5-year warranty; but what is even better is the resistance in terabyte writings of 1,800 TBW for the 1TB presentation while for 2TB it has 3600 TBW. And here we are going to give him a wink because he is getting into the category of the greats. But with a much more adjusted price. It is a matter of googling and looking for prices for all these storage models. We closed the general culture session and we need to expand with several brands such as Western Digital and its SN850, Sabrent, ADATA, Addlink among other brands; we could well expand and talk about all those brands but I do not want to continue expanding.

Prices vs Performance

For the presentation of the US70 1TB NVMe SSD mark for $179.99 reference price and 389.99 for 2TB. Estimated price in Amazon.com obviously in each country the prices change adding shipping plus tax. It’s just a reference, giving us 0.18 cents per gig. While for 2TB it would be 0.19 cents per gig. Not being so distant when comparing the same equation but with PCIe 3.0.

Buy US70 (1TB) From Amazon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.