G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD Review - PCIe Competition
Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
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:
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.
- 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
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.