One of the hot ticket items at this year’s Computex was the range of PCIe 4.0 storage devices available. All of them except one was built on the Phison E16 reference design, making most of them pretty much the same, save the NAND being used. We reported on GIGABYTE’s design before, when it was simply part of a press release, but we got to see one on the show floor later in the week.

The most obvious difference between all of the Phison turn-key solutions between the vendors will be in the heatsink designs. Because the E16 controller is just Phison’s high-end design with the PCIe 3.0 PHY replaced with the PCIe 4.0 PHY, it stresses the actual compute parts of that controller to the limit, and we get a toasty design. In order to combat this toastyness, GIGABYTE has added a 77g copper cooler to their drive.

We are told that the 5 GB/s read/write limit is actually caused by the controller rather than the NAND, so with a new controller next year we expect to get closer to the PCIe 4.0 x4 bus limits. But for now, we have this 8W TDP design that requires substantial cooling. We’re told that it can be used for laptops, but it is unlikely without being attached to the main CPU heatpipe. GIGABYTE paired the SSD with its Quad M.2 PCIe 4.0 add-in card so show that the speeds can ramp up quite a lot, almost up to 15 GB/s.

GIGABYTE is one vendor that will be supplying its drives in AMD’s Ryzen 3000 press kits, and the company expects to offer 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB models to the market in July.

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  • Valantar - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    Care to elaborate on which drive _wasn't_ based on the Phison reference design? Was it still using the same controller?
  • Chaitanya - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    Until Samsung comes out with their own PCI-E 4.0 drives all these drives will be based on same Phison controller.
  • Valantar - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    WD will no doubt be doing the same - they're arguably beating Samsung at the NVMe controller game these days, so I'll be looking forward to their entry.
  • Chaitanya - Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - link

    True, but still WD is unable to compete with Samsung at high end. Just saw Galax also launched their PCIe 4.0 SSD with same Phison-E16 controller. So far we have 3 SSDs with E16 and 1 SSD with SM2267 controller. Eagerly waiting to see what Samsung and WD/Sandisk bring to table for PCI-e 4.0
  • jabbadap - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    Adata uses Silicon Motion sm2267 controller for their first gen 4 drive.
  • willis936 - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    Gigabyte marketing has been touting amounts of copper used in their products since before I was building computers, more than 10 years ago.
  • Dragonstongue - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    yep, they can use 10lb of copper in every product, it mean jack shit if they are not stable "out of the box" and RMA overseas basically....nah, they need to do better.
  • Arbie - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    When the 570 mobo reviews begin, it will be very interesting to know how the M.2 heatsinks / heatpipes on those work with the integral heatsinks on drives like this. Will they mate together, or interfere, etc.
  • nevcairiel - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    Interfer or course. Hopefully it's removable.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    So rather than designing a better product, they just slap-dash a cooler on it and then use the weight of the metal as a point that attempts to hide the heat output under a different numeric value. Good going people, no one will analyze that even a little bit.

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