Colorful Releases 3 Budget M.2 and 2.5″ SSDs
Samuel Wan / 3 years ago
One way to know that a market has become commoditized is when every company releases products for it. For the SSD flash storage market, it looks pretty close to that right. There have never been more SSD vendors ever before. One of the later entrants is Colorful which is releasing 3 budget SSDs now. The company is more well known for their graphics cards and motherboards than SSDs. We have the CN600 series, the CN500 series, and the SL500 series.
Colorful Makes Interesting Choices in SSD Design
The CN600 is the top end drive in the M.2 2280 form factor. As a higher end model, it uses PCIe 3.0 x3 wiring instead of plain SATA. Befitting a performance drive, it also has a heatspreader over the controller and NAND memory dies. One of the most interesting aspects of the drive is that it uses a Realtek RTX5760. Realtek isn’t that big in the consumer flash controller market so it is an interesting choice. Using TLC NAND, the drive offers up to 800 MB/s read, up to 700 MB/s writes, and 50,000 IOPS random reads, and 100,000 IOPS random writes.
Moving down, we have the CN500 which is also an M.2 2280 form factor drive. However, it uses the slower SATA interface instead of PCIe. The drive uses the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller. The drive offers 530 MB/s reads, 250 MB/s writes, 70,000 IOPS random reads and 60,000 IOPS random writes. Lastly, we have the SL500 which is the plain old 2.5″ form factor drive. It uses the newer SM2256 controller with an SATA 3 interface. The SL500 offers 530 MB/s reads, 450 MB/s writes, and 80,000 IOPS random access.
Overall, Colorful is making some interesting design choices. The CN600 would have benefitted more from using MLC instead of TLC. This is especially true of the move to PCIe rather than SATA 3. This creates an interesting situation where the middle drive is the sole MLC model. The controller choices are also interesting with the latest SM2256 powering the bottom drive and a more obscure Realtek chip powering the flagship. It will be interesting to see what the real world results look like. The company has not revealed pricing or availability information.