Review Index:
Feedback

G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD Review - PCIe Competition

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: G.Skill
Tagged: ssd, pcie

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

G.Skill is likely better known for their RAM offerings, but they have actually been in the SSD field since the early days. My first SSD RAID was on a pair of G.Skill Flash SSDs. While they were outmaneuvered by the X25-M, they were equipped with SLC flash, and G.Skill offered them at a significantly lower price than the Samsung OEM units they were based on.

Since those early days of flash, G.Skill has introduced a few additional models but has not been known as a major player in the SSD market. That is set to change today, with their introduction of the Phoenix Blade PCIe SSD:

View Full Size

If you're eager to know what is inside or how it works, I'll set your mind at ease with this brief summary. The Phoenix Blade is essentially an OCZ RevoDrive 350, but with beefier specs and improved performance. The same SandForce 2281 controllers and Toshiba flash are used. The difference comes in the form of a smaller form factor (half height vs. full height PCIe), and the type of PCIe to SATA bridge chip used. More on that on the disassembly page.

Read on for the full review!

Specifications:

  • Series: Phoenix Blade    
  • Capacity: 480GB    
  • Interface: PCI-Express 2.0 x8    
  • Form Factor: Half Height    
  • Memory Components: MLC    
  • Dimensions: 170mm x 70mm x 21mm (Net)    
  • Weight: 275g (Net)    
  • Max Read Speed: 2000 MB/s (Iometer)    
  • Max Write Speed: 2000 MB/s (Iometer)    
  • Sequential Read: 1900 MB/s (CrystalDiskMark)    
  • Sequential Write: 1050 MB/s (CrystalDiskMark)    
  • 4KB Random Read: Up to 90,000 IOPS (Iometer)    
  • 4KB Random Write: Up to 245,000 IOPS (Iometer)    
  • MTBF: 1,000,000 Hours    
  • Power Consumption (Active): Max Read Workload: 15W / Max Write Workload: 18W    
  • Power Consumption (Idle): 8W    
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C ~ 55°C

Packaging:

View Full Size

I'm not sure why these PCIe SSD manufacturers keep including a driver mini-CD. I'd guess that the type of person going for such a device is also the type of person who has moved past having one of these installed in their system. A cheap USB key would be preferred here, but the better recommendation to those who purchase this drive would be to download the most recent driver direct from the source.


November 11, 2014 | 03:36 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That tramp stamp is a deal breaker

November 11, 2014 | 04:51 PM - Posted by Tramp Stamp (not verified)

I resent that

November 11, 2014 | 09:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Dammit...I just spit my coffee everywhere after reading that.

November 12, 2014 | 11:33 AM - Posted by Dusty

Agreed, this seems like it would be good for a workstation build, but the cheesy graphic really makes it seem childish.

November 13, 2014 | 11:57 AM - Posted by OReally (not verified)

It's inside your computer - who cares? It could be pink and have Hello Kitty all over it for all it matters.

November 11, 2014 | 08:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The p3700's wonky random write YAPT test or similar tests are always amusing. That intel controller it uses is great, though it can be quite the special snowflake sometimes.

The wait for the p3500 continues...

November 12, 2014 | 02:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

according to amazon, it should be out in December.

I'll be skipping it since I refuse to switch to Windows 8.

November 12, 2014 | 05:02 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Why would you need to?

"Operating Systems: Windows 7 (64-bit)*, Windows 8, 64-bit*, Windows 8.1, 64-bit*, Windows Server 2008 R2*, Windows Server 2012 R2*, Windows Server 2012*"

November 12, 2014 | 05:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I read here:

http://www.thessdreview.com/our-reviews/intel-ssd-dc-p3700-nvme-ssd-enth...

that although you can use it with windows 7 once drivers are loaded, you cannot use it as a boot drive.

Was this incorrect?

November 11, 2014 | 10:52 PM - Posted by Penteract (not verified)

IMO the price is still way too high when I can RAID-0 4 SSDs and get similar performance. Even using 4x 128 GB 850 Pros is quite a bit cheaper ($40/512GB compared to $800/480GB), and those are premium drives with a 10-year warranty. I'd go with 256 GB drives which would give me a TB for the price of the 480 GB Phoenix Blade, or a lower priced alternatives for an even better savings.

Besides, my builds have more SATA ports than PCIe lanes to spare. :)

It is at least going in the right direction price-wise; they definitely deserve credit for producing a more reasonable costing and better performing option than the RevoDrive.

November 12, 2014 | 03:28 AM - Posted by dj_aris (not verified)

Can someone point me out a use for PCIe drives if they can't be used for OS/boot?

November 12, 2014 | 11:48 AM - Posted by Dusty

Most PCIe drives I've seen the last year can be used to boot any modern OS. Even if the user wasn't using it for the OS, it would be a good game storage drive, working space drive for photo or video editing, or even as swap space for compute or compile applications.

November 12, 2014 | 04:48 PM - Posted by fkr

19nm eMLC User Capacities** 200GB-400GB, Scalable across multiple memory slots

http://www.sandisk.com.br/enterprise/ulltradimm-ssd/

interface DDR3 <<< Read Latency 150 µsec
Write Latency as low as 5 μsec
Random Read (IOPS) 140K IOPS**
Random Write (IOPS) 44K IOPS**
Sequential Read (MB/s)** up to 880MB/s
Sequential Write (MB/s)** up to 600MB/s

November 12, 2014 | 05:03 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Yeah, but that only works on very particular server hardware with BIOS support for properly partitioning the memory space. You're not going to be putting that in any of your gaming PC's.

November 12, 2014 | 05:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

doesn't the tattoo design look like the one used by Corsair Gaming?

November 13, 2014 | 06:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

After Corsair, another victim of the awful tramp stamp fashion. Were they running out of elves and naked amazons in the marketing division? Just awful.

November 13, 2014 | 10:19 AM - Posted by Tramp Stamp (not verified)

Wait, I thought everyone loved my fashion? now I feel sad :(

December 6, 2014 | 07:35 AM - Posted by Garry (not verified)

I can't imagine having an internet connection so fast that a PCIe SSD drive limits Steam game downloads!!!

Refer 6:35

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.