Some SSD vendors are quick (ba-doom-ching) to point out the speed of their latest and greatest offerings, but Gigabyte is giving reliability top billing with its new UD Pro SATA drives. Right now, the company is offering the drives in 256 GB and 512 GB capacities in the familiar 2.5" form factor. The manufacturer says the drives use Toshiba BiCS3 3D TLC NAND flash chips. Gigabyte hinted at wilder upcoming hardware in the series, too.
As has become common over the last couple of years, the drives come close to fully saturating the capacity of the aging SATA 6 Gbps interface. For the record, Gigabyte claims the UD Pro SATA drives can reach sequential speeds of up to 530 MB/s when reading and 500 MB/s when writing. As for random performance, the manufacturer says the 256 GB model is good for up to 70,000 random read IOPS and 40,000 write IOPS. The 512 GB model has slightly faster random 4K read performance at 80,000 IOPS, but random write performance leaps to 75,000 4K IOPS.
The company emphasized the presence of a DDR3L write cache on both UD Pro models, saying that the cached drives are up to 16 times faster in random write performance when compared to drives without a DRAM cache. We imagine that delta might not be nearly as wide if the SSDs are compared to the latest crop of DRAM-less drives that use NVMe 1.2's Host Memory Buffer feature, but the presence of an on-drive cache is still reassuring.
The manufacturer said the UD SSDs use Toshiba's latest 3D TLC BiCS3 flash chips. Anandtech says Phison's PS3110 S10 drive controller lords over the Toshiba storage silicon. That controller chip has gone into many SSD models from various manufacturers going all the way back to 2014.
Gigabyte says the UD-series SATA SSDs will start start hitting store shelves next week. The 256 GB model is priced at $69, and the 512 GB model will set buyers back $120. The smaller-capacity model has warranty coverage until 100 TB has been written to it or three years have passed, whichever comes first. Those figures come out to a middle-of-the-road 0.35 drive writes per day. The bigger drive's warranty lasts three years or a meaty 200 TBW. The company said M.2 NVMe drives and performance-oriented Aorus-branded variants would come in the future.