Gigabyte touts reliability first for its UD Pro SSDs

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.

Comments closed
    • Anomalous Gerbil
    • 1 year ago

    “Reliablity first”. TLC flash, volatile write cache with no mention of capacitor back-up. I see.

      • Takeshi7
      • 1 year ago

      And according to Anandtech, it doesn’t even use LDPC ECC technology, so the endurance is 33% less than other entry-level SSDs.

      [url<]https://www.anandtech.com/show/12745/gigabyte-launches-its-first-ssds[/url<]

    • dyrdak
    • 1 year ago

    TLC ain’t Pro.

      • uni-mitation
      • 1 year ago

      It is a channel.

      uni-mitation

    • HERETIC
    • 1 year ago

    The S10 has been out long enough to probably class as reliable.

    BUTT reliable and Phison just don’t go together.It’s my opinion
    that Phison, is this generation’s Sandforce (we use customers as
    crash test dummies.)
    And, their controllers are known to run HOT.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      Not disputing you, but any evidence of unreliability? I’ve never seen a problem with an S10. In saying that, I’ve only used/encountered a few dozen S10-based drives.

      No matter how bad Phison may be, they surely can’t be worse than what Samsung did to people, can they?

        • HERETIC
        • 1 year ago

        Have never owned a Phison.
        It was common reading reviews a couple of years ago “should be fixed with a firmware release”
        always had the feeling they rushed parts to market,before they were ready.

        As a owner of a 840, I would still buy Samsung before Phison any day…………………………….

    • Phaleron
    • 1 year ago

    I’m wart of anything gigabyte after having to do tech support for their constsnt cycle of GA-AB350 motherboards bios updates that aren’t stable depdening on the rest of your system configuration

    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    I’m sure that because of Gigabyte’s focus on reliability, these drives are some of the most reliable drives on the market. It’s all about intention, folks. /s

    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    Despite SATA’s age I still prefer plugging drives using those SATA cables and screwing those drives onto a vacant drive bay. For one thing, M.2 drives are still, I reckon, significantly more expensive, not really all that much faster in real world use, and I don’t like all the fuss and restrictions that M.2 slots impose regarding PCIe lane allocation, like how a PCIe slot suddenly becomes slower because its lanes are halved if you put in an M.2 SSD.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      Maybe if you have an old motherboard, I agree with you.

      I don’t agree about the price though. In those few apples-to-apples cases where a company makes both an M.2 SATA and 2.5″ SATA drive of the same model, the 2.5″ drive always costs more. Thinking of Crucial MX300, WD Blue, Sandisk X400 to name a few…

      Sure, M.2 is a newer format that has less of the marketshare, so you’ll often find clearance deals on old-stock 2.5″ SATA drives that you’re less likely to find on the newer M.2 stocks, but there’s no denying that a 2.5″ drive requires more parts, more material, more assembly, more packaging, more transport cost, and of course, requires a separate form factor that can’t spread the tooling/manufacture cost with the NVMe brethren coming off the same production line. There’s absolutely no reason why M.2 will not eventually be universally cheaper than 2.5″, especially since most PCs and laptops made in the last 4-5 years all come with M.2 slots.

        • jihadjoe
        • 1 year ago

        PCIe lane count imposes a rather low limit to the number of NVMe drives you can run though.

          • Chrispy_
          • 1 year ago

          Yes, but 75% of the market is laptops, where the number of PCIe lanes is irrelevant because there’s just not enough physical space for more than a couple of drives.

          As for the desktop side of things, PCIe x1 is ample bandwidth for an M.2 SATA drive, and [b<]SATA is what we are discussing here[/b<], keeping apples-to-apples about the form-factor cost difference between SATA 2.5 and SATA M.2. In terms of NVMe, If you need a GPU and your motherboard lets you run x8/x8 you can always get four more M.2 slots on an add-in card, and PCIe x2 NVME drives will run at around 1800MB/s each which, although potentially bottlenecked, is still a bucketload faster than SATA. Year-on-year, it is proved that PCIe 3.0 x8 is more than enough bandwidth for a single card, and it makes minimal difference even when running dual GPUs.

      • LostCat
      • 1 year ago

      NVMe drives definitely seem that much faster. Plus, side benefits. [url<]http://liqid.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NVME-Protocol_WP_080915.pdf[/url<]

        • tipoo
        • 1 year ago

        Interesting. Explains why low power segments (i.e fanless macbook) were the most eager to adopt a theoretically higher performance standard.

    • DarkUltra
    • 1 year ago

    Host Memory Buffer? Another form of write cache? No Power Loss Protection?

    • uni-mitation
    • 1 year ago

    Cognitive Dissonance: Put the name “PRO” but only put three years warranty.

    Gigabyte, either put your money where your mouth is, or prepare to be called out for it. Give us five years to let us know the faith and confidence that you put on your “reliability”first. Let’s start calling out marketing departments and keeping them honest.

    I never take a manufacturer’s performance claims at face value because:

    1- The methodology of the tests are not readily available to be independently verified

    2- They purposely used misleading language like “up to” which is misleading to a consumer, and weaselly.

    3- They will try to push boundaries of what is ethical and not if they know they can get away with it.

    Gigabyte, call your product for what it is. It doesn’t make it less valuable. Au contraire. And you will gain my respect, and possibly a consumer for your product.

    uni-mitation

      • Welch
      • 1 year ago

      No kidding.

      Samsung’s EVO series which isn’t their “Pro” series has a 2,400 TBW or 5 year limited warranty.

      Explain to me how your Pro series is cheaper and doesn’t have at least a 5 year but is Pro….?

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 1 year ago

      But you have to consider it said pro and not prolonged.

      That addition ought to be worth an extra year or two.

      • NovusBogus
      • 1 year ago

      Dude has a point. I like reliability, but actually taking it seriously would involve something like SanDisk’s famous 10 year warranty for Extreme Pro drives. That was years ago, has anyone else even bothered to do such a thing?

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