Silicon Power’s UD70 exudes value and is a perfect option for gamers on a budget and regular everyday office users. The UD70 comes with a powerful combination of Phison’s E12S PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD controller and Micron’s latest QLC flash, making it quite similar to the Sabrent Rocket Q we reviewed last year.
The UD70 delivers solid performance for a PCIe 3.0 SSD, comes with an inexpensive price tag, and comes with hardware encryption support. But due to its rather weak, sustained writing performance, it’s not too appealing to the prosumer audience.
|Product||UD70 500GB||UD70 1TB||UD70 2TB|
|Capacity (User / Raw)||500GB / 512GB||1000GB / 1024GB||2000GB / 2048GB|
|form factor||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|Interface / Protocol||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3|
|controller||Phison PS5012-E12S||Phison E12S||Phison E12S|
|Memory||Micron 96L QLC||Micron 96L QLC||Micron 96L QLC|
|Read||95,000 IOPS||120,000 IOPS||250,000 IOPS|
|Write||250,000 IOPS||500,000 IOPS||650,000 IOPS|
|Security||AES 256-bit encryption||AES 256-bit encryption||AES 256-bit encryption|
|Endurance (TBW)||120 TB||260TB||530 TB|
|Guarantee||5 years||5 years||5 years|
Silicon Power’s UD70 comes in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities and costs just $0.10 per GB. The 2TB model is capable of peak speeds of up to 3.4/3GBps sequential read/write throughput, while the 500GB and 1TB models write slightly slower to 1.0GBps and 1.9GBps respectively. The entire series can accommodate up to 250,000/650,000 arbitrary read/write IOPS.
However, this peak performance is measured in the SLC cache. The UD70 has a large dynamic SLC cache that takes up a quarter of its capacity, but the cache shrinks as you fill up the drive, or grows as you free up space. As such, because the SSD is equipped with QLC flash, that sustained performance won’t last long after you start filling the SSD with data.
The UD70 comes with a five-year warranty and supports standard data integrity mechanisms such as end-to-end data protection, LDPC ECC, and RAID-like parity protection. These mechanisms help enable reasonable durability ratings for a low-end device with QLC flash – our 2 TB example can absorb up to 530 TB of writes within the warranty period. The drive also comes with optional support for hardware-accelerated AES 256-bit encryption, enabling responsive and secure data storage.
Software & Accessories
Silicon Power also includes access to the company’s SSD toolbox. While not as robust or polished as some of the bigger brands, SP Toolbox allows end users to check the SSD’s SMART data and run diagnostic tests.
A closer look
Silicon Power’s UD70 comes in a compact single-sided M.2 2280 form factor at all capacities, allowing for wide compatibility. Like the US70, the UD70 isn’t the best looking M.2 SSD we’ve come across. The blue circuit board and the red themed sticker clash, and the compliance markings and barcodes detract from the aesthetic even more.
At the heart of the UD70 is a Phison PS5012-E12S PCIe 3.0 x4 8-channel NVMe 1.3 SSD controller with complaints. The E12S uses dual Arm Cortex R5 CPUs clocked at 666 MHz and utilizes CoXProcessor 2.0 technology (dual coprocessors) to maintain a consistent latency profile during write workloads.
Built on a 12nm node, the controller uses a smaller physical design than its predecessor, the original E12, downsized from a 16x16mm to a 12x12mm package, but retaining the same performance. This allows for more flexible NAND placement, allowing up to four NAND placements on one side of the circuit board, while the original can only handle two.
The controller uses Active State Power Management (ASPM) and Autonomous Power State Transition (ASPT). The company calls these features a “dual self-cooling system,” but this technology can be found in most other NVMe SSDs on the market.
The controller stores its FTL metadata with a single 4Gb Kingston DDR3L DRAM chip on our 2TB review sample. The controller is mated to sixteen dies of Micron’s 1Tb N28A 96-layer QLC flash operating at 666 MTps. Each mold is split into four virtual planes as Micron’s design uses a tile-based architecture for both performance and reliability. Micron claims that the floating gate architecture offers better data retention than most flash payload sink designs.
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