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Silicon Power UD90 4TB PCIe 4.0 Gen 4x4 M.2 SSD $339 + Delivery ($0 C&C) @ Umart/MSY

  • NVMe 1.4
  • SLC Cache
  • Read/write - 5000/4500 MB/s
  • Controller: Phison E21T
  • HMB
  • NAND: Micron (TLC)
  • 2400TBW

Seems to be a better SSD than PNY2241, but I lack the expertise to confirm that. The actual specifications are hazy, this sheet is where I got the above information from (except speed), but with no reviews for the 4TB model I'm not sure if it is actually TLC (is there a possibility that higher capacity models of UD90 have QLC?)

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  • 50% more expensive than the $229 PNY deal

    • If all you need is a storage drive, it’s hard to ignore the PNY, assuming we see it at that price again.

      • +1

        I reckon we will

        • hoping so, but the prices have gone $229 -> $289 -> $329

  • +1

    2400TBW apparently

  • +1

    FYI, according to SP, the write speed for the 4TB is 4500MB/s


  • +1

    I found this review useful, even though it's for the 1TB model. The page I linked shows the sustained write speed as the drive fills up, which I think is really important for a DRAM-less drive.

    • +1

      I'm just not sure how useful that is, because from my understanding NVMe drive performance (especially with sustained writes) can increase with size due to an increase with SLC cache (or something). So I'd imagine the 1TB model could perform completely different to the 4TB model, they must have recently released it since I don't see many people talking about it.

      Still a good link tho

      • True, but if anything I'd expect it to be better for 4TB. As I understand it the SLC cache is just part of the SSD's capacity used in SLC mode. I don't know if this is a fixed size or a percentage that increases with drive size, but I'd expect it takes longer to hit performance issues due to lack of space on a bigger drive.

        EDIT: Or it's using HMB. Hard to tell, because SSD makers don't seem very open about these details.

        • Phison E21 based SSDs are DRAMless (i.e. use HMB).

  • Time to put up the bat signal and wait for netsurfer

    • +3

      Sorry to disappoint, I cannot help you guys on this one because I don't own one nor have the details. The main issue is Phison E21T is designed to be flexible, it can take a lot of NAND, both TLC and QLC.

      • Component lottery is on for majority of SSDs at the moment (e.g. the PNY 2TB I bought recently, review says 2 possible TLC NANDs, the one I got is neither of the two TLC NAND types).
      • TLC and QLC, due to the use of SLC cache, the quoted read/write max, especially the write, is SLC cache speed (so on specs alone, you cannot tell).
      • The SSD maker can customise firmware in various ways for E21T.
      • The 1TB review of Phison E21T is not going to help you that much on the SLC cache for 2TB or 4TB. It really is up to the SSD maker.
      • However, Phison E21T, by design, does not get any meaningful performance boost at 2TB or above. That's just the nature of 4 channels controller. The SLC cache would be larger though.
      • Silicon Power, if I have to guess, would do a quick and lazy, so 4X the 1TB SLC cache might be a good indication (assuming TLC). QLC, it will be different because QLC has to use a much more aggressive SLC cache to cover / hide the slow write from the user as long as possible. That does come with a huge penalty as recovery back to QLC has to take place later and that part could be painful (there is no free lunch).
      • Don't get too excited about the 4X SLC cache, the TLC native portion is still the longer bit. That part is 4 times longer too.

      In short, you are on your own (I have no info to help you). Basically, if it is TLC, this is okay. You are still paying for PCIe gen 4 x4 premium. Bear in mind 2TB TLC (though PCIe gen 3) is $118. So, double that is $236. +$100 for PCIe gen 4 x4 basically… you decide.

      • So just double checking, QLC nand is always worst than TLC right? But QLC is just cheaper to manufacture?

        • +2

          Yes, QLC is inferior to TLC. Let's say with TLC, a 4TB needs to include 4 million cell blocks, QLC only needs to include 2 million cell blocks (but data storage is denser). That's where the main saving comes from (less blocks needed). However, due to harder to write (hence slower), SLC cache plays a key role in QLC SSDs, but QLC SSDs have 50% less cells to work with. QLC SSDs generally use one typical approach, milk SLC cache mode as long as possible (and hope users won't keep on writing to the SSDs to trigger fold back mode too often). TLC SSDs have more flexibility. Varying degree of SLC cache is possible. However, the SSD maker decides for you (how aggressive the SLC cache is for TLC).

          Another issue with QLC is reduced write cycles per cell. Each cell cannot be written as many times as TLC. One thing with cheapo grade small QLC SSDs is that after writing data to one of those QLC SSD 100% once, Crystal DiskInfo decides to drop the SSD health from 100% to 99% based on number of cells, write cycle rating and write amplification data. So, if you get nervous when your SSD health drops quicker than usual, then avoid QLC for now.

  • +1

    Don't waste time on Silicon Power drives unless they are under $50

    Parts are guaranteed to change from the reviewer sample and then shrinkflate during the product lifecycle

    For big capacity B tier drives, wait for the PNY and Team specials

    The Kingston NV2 4TB was also released a month ago so there will be some deals on those as well

    • PNY and Team also do component swaps. Kingston is the same. I definitely received a PNY that's totally different to the ones reviewed by review sites.
      Kingston, I got one where the reviewer got the TLC version, but mine is QLC version. Not only that, it's inferior grade QLC (where some cells are pre-marked as bad).

      Component lottery is on for majority of SSDs at the moment so once received, check it yourself if possible. I do understand Silicon Power's reputation on OZB is subpar.

      • Does it only happen to lower and mid tiers or it also happen to high end ones but from mid tier companies such as Kingston KC3000?

        Btw thanks for sharing all the SSD knowledges.

        • +1

          High end / flagship like KC3000 is safe. If Kingston has the guts to use QLC for KC3000, Kingston will be in big trouble.

          For the really enticing SSDs at the moment, they are hard to tell. If a NAND maker does a fire sale on one of their older TLC NAND flash, some makers could temporary swap back to TLC. There is also the inferior grade NAND trick. Not all NAND manufactured are perfect. The less perfect ones generally go to SD cards (bad cells are marked off obviously). QLC is very common for SD cards. However, inferior TLC cells do appear in some of the SSDs.

          My Kingston A400 480GB for example, uses QLC inferior grade cells (only 95% of cells are usable, with some cells pre-marked as bad).

          • @netsurfer: Thanks again, looks like I’ll be waiting for new deals of the higher end ones then. The price difference is not that big, and I’d rather skip an eat out or two than playing the lottery with my valuable data.

            • +1

              @GreenRomeo: Kingston KC3000 4TB is $650. But then again, a decent eat out or two sounds for the price difference about right nowadays.

              ChatGPT says don't get Silicon Power.

              • @netsurfer: Sorry I mean the 2TB one, which is for the OS drive. I imagine for the 4TB in the 2nd slot of my mainboard, I only need a semi decent TLC PCIe 3.0. Spending more than $400 for a high end 4TB to be used as a data drive is a waste of money for my circumstances I reckon.

                • @GreenRomeo: The main reason OP posted the deal is 4TB, the 2TB equivalent of E21T can be have for half that (maybe even a bit less), but we know KC3000 2TB is $199 or a bit less. At 2TB, the difference is not even a proper eat out.

                  • @netsurfer: It’s so true. The KC2000 2TB was out of stock before I got a chance though. Will wait for another deal.

                    • +1

                      @GreenRomeo: No need to hurry, SSD prices tending down and those flagship PCIe gen 4 x4 SSDs are overkill for us. Hopefully some better deals before the end of financial year. Honestly, I don't quite like how Kingston does the firmware for KC3000, but KC3000 should thank Tom's Hardware. It's hard to look past those charts and most people don't care about sustained write. I get why Kingston does the firmware that way, it tops a lot of charts.

                      I know it is hard to resist KC3000 2TB for most people.

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