RGB-Infused USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Storage

RGB-Infused USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Storage

The gaming market has skilled vital progress over the past decade. Along with boosting PC gross sales, the peripherals market related to the phase has additionally expanded. Put in sizes for video games now repeatedly run into 100s of GBs, due to assist for elevated resolutions and extra detailed graphics. The info additionally must be loaded into reminiscence as quick as doable as a way to enhance the gaming expertise. It’s, due to this fact, not a lot of a shock that avid gamers need the quickest doable moveable SSDs to retailer their video games. The 20 Gbps switch charges promised by USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 has an on the spot attraction on this market phase. Preserving this in thoughts, many distributors have launched USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 bus-powered moveable SSDs concentrating on the gaming crowd. Final 12 months, we checked out Western Digital’s WD_BLACK P50. Seagate’s FireCuda Gaming SSD was out there out there across the similar time, nevertheless it did not make it to our testbed in time for that evaluation. We lately bought the Seagate providing into our newest testbed, and took the chance to refresh the numbers for the WD_BLACK P50 with our newest check suite as properly. The evaluation under appears to be like on the efficiency and worth proposition of the Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD.

Introduction and Product Impressions

Exterior bus-powered storage units able to 2GBps+ efficiency have develop into fairly frequent out there right now. Speedy developments in flash know-how (together with the appearance of 3D NAND and NVMe) in addition to sooner host interfaces (equivalent to Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.x) have been key enablers. Whereas USB4 (USB’s most up-to-date avatar) mandates a minimal of 10Gbps knowledge switch charge solely, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) has emerged as a parallel commonplace. It has been sluggish to achieve traction, partly because of the lack of widespread host assist in desktops and different computing platforms. Whereas that has been altering slowly, moveable SSD distributors have been onerous at work creating merchandise on this class. Skilled content material creators and avid gamers are key shoppers prepared to pay a premium for these high-performance units.

On the silicon entrance, ASMedia occurs to be the primary (if not, the one) options provider on the gadget facet. Just like the WD_BLACK P50 reviewed final 12 months, the Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD can be based mostly on the ASMedia ASM2364 bridge chip, and has a premium metallic building. The FireCuda Gaming SSD’s distinctive promoting level is the out there of RGB lighting that may be managed utilizing Seagate’s Toolkit. One can dismiss RGB as a fad, however the truth is that RGB sells within the gaming market.

The FireCuda Gaming SSD is extra compact (104.4 mm x 52.5 mm x 10 mm) in comparison with the WD_BLACK P50, whereas additionally weighing 15g lesser (100g). Just one USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C cable in equipped with the SSD, however it’s longer (50cm) than the one equipped with the WD_BLACK P50. Each SSDs sport a high-performance M.2 2280 NVMe SSD inside, and have a premium metallic building.

 

A fast overview of the interior capabilities of the storage units is given by CrystalDiskInfo. This additionally serves to confirm S.M.A.R.T entry from the host port. Word that we’re together with outcomes from our DIY 20Gbps exterior SSD – the Silverstone MS12 outfitted with a SK hynix Gold P31 1TB NVMe SSD.






S.M.A.R.T Passthrough – CrystalDiskInfo

The desk under presents a comparative view of the specs of the three 1TB USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 choices offered on this evaluation.

























Comparative Direct-Connected Storage Gadgets Configuration
Side
Downstream Port 1x PCIe 3.0 x4 (M.2 NVMe) 1x PCIe 3.0 x4 (M.2 NVMe)
Upstream Port USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C
Bridge Chip ASMedia ASM2364 ASMedia ASM2364
Energy Bus Powered Bus Powered
     
Use Case Premium RGB-infused 2GBps-class, compact moveable SSD in a gumstick form-factor concentrating on the gaming market Premium 2GBps-class, compact, and durable moveable SSD in a gumstick form-factor concentrating on the gaming market
     
Bodily Dimensions 104.4 mm x 52.5 mm x 10 mm 118 mm x 62 mm x 14 mm
Weight 100 grams (with out cable) 115 grams (with out cable)
Cable 50 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C to Kind-C 30 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C to Kind-C

30 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C to Kind-A
     
S.M.A.R.T Passthrough Sure Sure
UASP Help Sure Sure
TRIM Passthrough Sure Sure
{Hardware} Encryption Not Out there Not Out there
     
Evaluated Storage Seagate FireCuda 510 PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD

SanDisk / Toshiba BiCS 3 64L 3D TLC
Western Digital SN750E PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD

SanDisk / Toshiba BiCS 4 96L 3D TLC
     
Value USD 210 USD 210
Overview Hyperlink Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD 1TB Overview WD_BLACK P50 Recreation Drive SSD 1TB Overview #1 (2020)

WD_BLACK P50 Recreation Drive SSD 1TB Overview #2 (2021)

Testbed Setup and Analysis Methodology

Direct-attached storage units such because the Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD are evaluated utilizing the Quartz Canyon NUC (basically, the Xeon / ECC model of the Ghost Canyon NUC) configured with 2x 16GB DDR4-2667 ECC SODIMMs and a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD – the IM2P33E8 1TB from ADATA.

Probably the most enticing side of the Quartz Canyon NUC is the presence of two PCIe slots (electrically, x16 and x4) for add-in playing cards. Within the absence of a discrete GPU – for which there isn’t any want in a DAS testbed – each slots can be found. In reality, we additionally added a spare SanDisk Excessive PRO M.2 NVMe SSD to the CPU direct-attached M.2 22110 slot within the baseboard as a way to keep away from DMI bottlenecks when evaluating Thunderbolt 3 units. This nonetheless permits for 2 add-in playing cards working at x8 (x16 electrical) and x4 (x4 electrical). Because the Quartz Canyon NUC does not have a local USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port, Silverstone’s SST-ECU06 add-in card was put in within the x4 slot. All non-Thunderbolt units are examined utilizing the Kind-C port enabled by the SST-ECU06.

The specs of the testbed are summarized within the desk under:












The 2021 AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration
System Intel Quartz Canyon NUC9vXQNX
CPU Intel Xeon E-2286M
Reminiscence ADATA Industrial AD4B3200716G22

32 GB (2x 16GB)

DDR4-3200 ECC @ 22-22-22-52
OS Drive ADATA Industrial IM2P33E8 NVMe 1TB
Secondary Drive SanDisk Excessive PRO M.2 NVMe 3D SSD 1TB
Add-on Card SilverStone Tek SST-ECU06 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C Host
OS Home windows 10 Enterprise x64 (21H1)
Because of ADATA, Intel, and SilverStone Tek for the construct elements

The testbed {hardware} is just one phase of the analysis. Over the previous few years, the standard direct-attached storage workloads have additionally advanced. Excessive bit-rate 4K movies at 60fps have develop into fairly frequent, and 8K movies are beginning to make an look. Recreation set up sizes have additionally grown steadily, due to excessive decision textures and art work. Backups are likely to contain bigger variety of recordsdata, lots of that are small in dimension. Preserving these in thoughts, our analysis scheme for DAS models includes a number of workloads that are described intimately within the corresponding sections.

  • Artificial workloads utilizing CrystalDiskMark and ATTO
  • Actual-world entry traces utilizing PCMark 10’s storage benchmark
  • Customized robocopy workloads reflective of typical DAS utilization
  • Sequential write stress check

Within the subsequent part, we have now an outline of the efficiency of the Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD in these benchmarks. Previous to offering concluding remarks, we have now some observations on the drive’s energy consumption numbers and thermal resolution additionally.

 

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