Phison E8 Could Shake-Up the Budget NVMe Market



/ 12 months ago

Phison E8 Reference M2 SSD

Phison is almost ready to release their E8 controller and that is set to shake up the budget NVMe market. Up until now, this market segment has been dominated by Intel’s 600p and the WD Black PCIe solutions. However, that will change as soon as drives with this new controller are launched.

Phison had a lot of success with their E7 products of which we have reviewed a lot here at eTeknix. One example is the MyDigitalSSD BXP which easily scored the bang for buck award. So Phison knows something about creating controllers that can deliver while keeping the costs low.

Phison E7 Controller

The Phison E7 controller is only a PCIe 2x controller which means that drives using the controller won’t break any speed records. That’s not the goal of this controller. Phison wanted to create a more power efficient controller and they have succeded at that. Early tests also show that the company managed to break Intel’s and WD’s performance lead in the entry-level NVMe market. According to early tests made by Tom’s Hardware with a reference design, the E8 scores 393.5 MB/s. For comparison, the WD Black PCIe scores 356.26 and the Intel 600p 337.25MB/s. That’s over 10% improvement.

Targeted at first-time HDD replacers

There are several markets and target audiences when it comes to storage, just as there is with cars. Not every storage drive is built the same, nor is it intended for the same usage and scenarios. Drives with the new Phison E8 controller are targeted at people who haven’t made the switch to NVMe SSDs yet. Particularly those who still use mechanical hard disk drives (HDD). The advantages are clear: lower power consumption, zero noise, and better performance at a price that’s relatively low.

The E8 will allow for a budget NVMe SSD with up to 1TB capacity, with lower power consumption, and better performance than the current offerings. That’s a clear win. It also means that we can expect a lot of SSD manufacturers to release drives based around this controller and paired with 3D NAND.

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