Mushkin's Pilot NVMe SSDs are its fastest yet


Back at CES this year, we met up with Mushkin and saw four new SSDs that the company was working on. The first of those SSDs has shown up on the company's website, which we take to mean that it's about to hit the market. The Pilot will be Mushkin's first PCIe SSD in M.2 format, and it will also be the manufacturer's fastest consumer SSD for the time being.

Mushkin puts down the Pilot SSDs for sequential reads up to 2710 MB/s and sequential writes up to 1755 MB/s. The drive's random performance is even more impressive: up to 283,000 IOPS on 4K random reads, and 280,000 IOPS on 4K random writes. Amusingly, Mushkin notes the drive's "seek time" as if it were a hard drive and puts it at under 0.1 ms. 

These drives' high performance is owed in part to the fast Silicon Motion SM2262 controller onboard. Mushkin pairs that controller with 3D TLC flash memory, although the specific type in use isn't obvious. The SM2262 supports NVMe 1.3, too, meaning the Pilot could offer improved reliability and performance compared to older drives.

Right now, Mushkin will be launching the Pilot in capacities between 120 GB and 1 TB. The company announced a 2-TB version of the drive at CES, but that model hasn't appeared yet. Mushkin also mentioned an even-faster drive called the Pilot-E at CES. The release date of those drives and the pricing of this Pilot series will have to remain a mystery for now. Keep an eye out, as Mushkin usually offers aggressive prices on its SSDs.

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