CES 2019: Mushkin Unveils Four New SSD's

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Our CES 2019 coverage continues with a visit to Mushkin where the theme was SSD storage in various forms. Products ranged from PCIe, 2.5″ and even external enclosures.

Source 2 SATA 3.0 SSD

The Source 2 builds on the success of the popular Source 1 SSD released shortly after CES last year. This SSD sports a new Silicon Motion SM2259XT controller and 3D MLC Flash. As far as speed, Source 2 pushes about 80,000 IOPS with 565 MB/s read and 510 MB/s write.

Even with tons of PCIe solutions hitting the market, Mushkin does not expect SATA 2.5″ to go away any time soon because of the affordability and compatibility it affords. With 500 GB capacity likely to be the mainstream thanks to falling SSD prices, Mushkin will not make a 128 GB version. The Source 2 will be available in Q2 starting at 250 GB ranging to 1 TB.

Source 2 SSD

Helix-L PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD

Though more focused on value, the Helix-L SSD offers respectable 1.71 GB/s and 1.5 GB/s sequential read and write respectively. Powered by the Silicon Motion SM2263XT controller, the Helix-L has no onboard DRAM. By utilizing the HMB standard, the Helix-L can still offload some files to the system’s DRAM allowing for better performance while still keeping costs down. From a real-life performance perspective, the difference is not too perceptible. Although HMB is a standard, we have not seen other drives taking advantage of this technology yet.

We will be reviewing the Helix-L within the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that. For now, these drives will be available in Q1 starting at 250 GB all the way up to 1 TB.

Helix-L SSD

Pilot-E PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD

Moving to the very top of the line performance, the Pilot-E is an “evolution” of original Pilot. It features the Silicon Motion SM2262EN controller and updated firmware. While the previous generation Pilot topped out at 2.7 GB/s, the Pilot-E is around 3.4 GB/s sequential read (nearly a 30% improvement). Sequential writes are 2.5 GB/s, random 4k reads are 361,000 IOPS and random 4k writes are 376,000 IOPS.

This blazing fast SSD will be available sometime in Q1 with flavors from 250 GB up to 1 TB.

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Carbon-X-100 External SSD

Mushkin harnessed all of the performance of a PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD and put it in a durable enclosure making it easy to take on the go. The Carbon-X-100 features the same SM2263XT controller as in the HELIX-L with slightly trimmed down performance since it uses a USB 3.1 interface. This drive offers sequential read/writes of 1 GB/s.

The Carbon-X-100 should hit store shelves in Q2 in 250 GB up to 1 TB. If successful, we may see a 2 TB option down the road.

With the focus firmly on SSD’s this year, Mushkin hopes 4 TB drives are on the horizon as SSD prices go down in general and controller technology advances. We’ll get back to you at CES 2020 on that one!

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– Matt Ring (mdcomp)

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