Mushkin goes to CES town with a host of M.2 SSDs

Mushkin jumped onboard the M.2 train at last year's CES, and this year the company is expanding its offferings in the diminutive storage form factor. There's a new M.2 SATA version of its existing Triactor 3DL lineup, as well as three freshly-released M.2 NVMe drive families based on Silicon Motion controllers. Let's take a minute and examine these new offerings, going from mild to muy picante.

The Triactor 3DL M.2 drives' 550 MB/s maximum sequential read and 505 MB/s sequential write speeds are unsurprisingly close to the SATA interface's 6 Gbps brick ceiling. Random access speed for these drives is rated at 73K IOPS when reading and 80K IOPS when writing. Mushkin will offer the SATA gumsticks in capacities from 120 GB to 1 TB. The M.2 drives use the same Silicon Motion SM2258 drive controller as the existing 2.5" versions.

The price delta between SATA and NVMe drives has been trending down for a while now, and Mushkin's DRAM-less Helix-L drives look to continue that trend. The claimed performance specs are still plenty strong despite the lack of onboard memory cache chips. The Helix-L drives are said to be capable of up to 2.4 GB/s on sequential reads 1.7 GB/s when writing. Random I/O performance is also strong for the no-cache class at 280K IOPS for reads and 250K IOPS for writes. The Helix-L series will contain drives in sizes from 120 GB to 1 TB.

The Pilot Series is the middle child in Mushkin's NVMe lineup and uses a Silicon Motion SM2262 controller to deliver 3.2 GB/s worth of best-case sequential reads and 1.9 GB/s of peak writes. The drives will come in sizes ranging from a diminutive 120 GB up to the common 1 TB maximum. The claimed random performance figures are 370K IOPS reading and 300K IOPS when writing.

Pilot-E series drive

The Silicon Motion SM2262EN-based Pilot-E series is the company's spiciest M.2 NVMe series, offering sequential read speeds up to a blazing 3.5 GB/s and write speeds as fast as 3 GB/s. Random I/O performance is said to be the same as the "regular" Pilot drives. The Pilot-E drives will be available in sizes from 250 GB to 2 TB.

Mushkin didn't provide any pricing or availability information, but the company will back all the new storage products with a three-year warranty. All the drives covered here use the M.2-2280 form factor.

Comments closed
    • JosiahBradley
    • 2 years ago

    If Mushkin follows its usual pricing the Helix should be my first NVMe drive.

    • Delta9
    • 2 years ago

    The two higher tier drives are nipping at the heels of Samsung’s 960 EVO. I live by Microcenter and put the 512GB 960 Evo in a build. They were selling them for $200 plus tax. The EVO was wicked fast, however the write speeds were lower than read speeds, on paper and in practice. It is good to see the sequential read speeds going up. I suspect a larger dram buffer is reason these Kingston units see a claimed 1.1GB/s increase on the top end drive. This is theory is further bolstered by the random I/O performance remaining the same as the “regular” Pilot model drives. Regardless if Kingston and other companies can deliver the performance of the top 2 Pilot 512GB drives at <$200 it would really push m2 NVMe drives mainstream.

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