Table of Contents
In this review, we look at Silicon Power’s XS70 1 TB M.2 NVMe SSD. This drive utilizes PCIe Gen4 x4 technology and NVMe 1.4 support, allowing higher performance, lower latency, and lower power consumption than previous generations. With a rated sequential read speed of up to 7,300 MB/s, this could potentially be one of the fastest drives Overclockers.com has ever reviewed. If that isn’t enough to keep reading, you should also know that the XS70 boasts capacities of 1 TB, 2TB, and a whopping 4 TB. There’s a lot more to like about this drive, so without further adieu, let’s get to it.
Specifications and Features
As we mentioned in the introduction, the Silicon Power XS70 is a PCIe Gen 4 x4 M.2 SSD that utilizes NVMe 1.4 to produce some of the highest read and write times on the market. How fast is it exactly? Its rated sequential read/write speeds are 7,300MB/s and 6,800 MB/s. At the heart of the XS70 is a Phison E18 series controller with its 32-bit ARM Cortex R5 processor. The E18 series represents Phison’s top-tier 4th generation PCIe controller and successor to the E16 series. Silicon Power employs an SK Hynix 8 GB DDR4-2666 IC chip to handle all the DRAM functions, and the 1 TB model in this review uses four 256 GB TLC 3D NAND chips in a single-sided layout. This configuration supports DRAM Cache Buffer for improved sequential read/write and random read/write performance and LDPC and RAID engine technology for enhanced data integrity and stability.
The XS70 is not only compatible with PCs; it is also Play Station 5 compatible, giving it an additional level of versatility. The pre-installed heatsink improves heat dissipation and thermal regulation. Cooler components translate to a longer-lasting drive, and Silicon Power provides a five-year limited warranty.
Here’s a list of the specifications from Silicon Power.
|Silicon Power XS70 1 TB M.2 NVMe Gen4 x4 SSD Specifications|
|Model||Silicon Power XS70|
|Capacity / Model Number||1 TB / SP01KGBP44XS7005|
2 TB / SP02KGBP44XS7005
4 TB / SP04KGBP44XS7005
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||24.6mm x 80.0mm x 10.8mm|
|Interface||PCIe Gen 4×4|
|Form Factor||M.2 2280|
|Performance Read (Max*)||up to 7,300MB/s|
|Performance Write (Max*)||up to 6,800MB/s|
|System Requirement||Computer with M.2 slots supporting PCIe interface and one of the following operating systems: Windows 8.1 or Windows 10|
|Operating Temperature||0°C – 70°C|
|Shock Resistance Test||1500G/0.5ms|
|Certification||CE, FCC, UKCA, BSMI, Green dot, WEEE, RoHS, KCC|
|Warranty||5-year limited warranty|
*The SSD warranty is based on the TBW or Warranty period. Please click here for more information about Silicon Power Warranty Policy.
|Note||*Performance read/write varies by system performance (such as hardware, software, and interface mode) and capacity|
*All trademarks, including brand names and images, are the property of their respective owners
|Pricing||1 TB Amazon: $Currently Unavailable / Newegg $130.99|
2 TB Amazon $249.99 / Newegg $250.99
4 TB Amazon $719.99 / Newegg $720.99
Packaging for the XS70 is about as simple as they come. A clear plastic container is set inside of stiff cardboard. While the plastic container is reusable, the cardboard is destroyed once opened. The printing is done in an attractive black and gold. Silicon Power lists the sequential read/write speeds, drive capacity, and warranty duration on the front. On the back, there are several bits of information in multiple languages, including the drives compliance certifications, Silicon Power contact information, UPC and EAN bar codes, and a QR code for activating the warranty. As far as shipping durability, the M.2 drives require very little protection, so this type of packaging shouldn’t raise any concerns.
The Silicon Power XS70 1 TB Drive
The XS70 is a 2280, gum stick style, M.2 drive. The physical dimensions are 22 mm x 80 mm with a thickness of 10 mm with the heatsink attached. Like virtually all current M.2 drives, the XS70 uses the M-Key socket with a single screw for securing it to the motherboard or PCIe adapter. The aluminum heatsink is a two-piece design sandwiching the drive between the upper and lower halves. On top, there are seven fins with a cover plate that bears a resemblance to a motherboard’s VRM heatsink. Removing the heatsink is easy. Simply remove the four small screws located at the sides of the drive and you get a bare drive that’s ready to be cooled by your motherboard.
With the top of the heatsink removed, we have access to the XS70’s internal components. We could not remove the bottom heatsink as Silicon Power uses a very strong tape adhesive and nearly damaged the drive in the process. The one terabyte model is single-sided, so there’s nothing interesting to show on the underside of this model. The bottom half of the heatsink will cause a clearance issue if you plan to use a motherboard with a single large, armor-type heatsink like the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X used in this review.
The Phison E18 series controllers are one of the fasted on the market today and Phison’s top offering. The PCB layout features the Phison E18 controller at the center of the drive. The benefit of this layout is that the primary heat source is at the center of the heatsink, which allows for more even cooling than all the heat starting at just one end. Directly next to the controller is the SK Hynix DRAM IC. Solid State Drives that feature onboard DRAM are generally much faster than DRAM-less drives. SK Hynix is a well-recognized manufacturer of DRAM and a welcomed sight here. The XS70’s one Terabyte of storage capacity is divided among four 256 GB TLC 3D NAND located at the far ends of the drive.
Testing Method and Test System
The testing method consists of five different benchmarks divided into two groups, synthetic and real-world. In between each major benchmark phase, the drive is allowed to cool, is sanitized using the motherboard’s BIOS, and formatted to NTFS with default settings under Windows 10. We also monitor the drive’s temperature throughout the testing, recording the peak temperature and noting any thermal throttling.
- Crystal Disk Mark v 7.0.0 x64 – Run at Default Settings (5 Passes)
- AS SSD v 2.0.7316 – Run at Default Settings
- ATTO v 3.05 – Run at Default Settings except for the QD Set to 10
- Thermal Testing – 5 passes back-to-back of Crystal Disk Mark.
- DiskBench v22.214.171.124 – Use predefined 120 GB transfer file
- Anvil Storage Utility Benchmark v 1.1.0 – Default Settings
|Motherboard||ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 3700X|
|CPU Cooler||be quiet! Dark Rock 4|
|Memory||G.SKILL Trident Z RGB 16GB (2×8) 3200MHz CL16-18-18-38|
|OS SSD||Crucial P1 NVMe PCIe 2280 M.2 SSD 1TB|
|Power Supply||be quiet! Pure Power 11 500W|
|Graphics Card||EVGA RTX 3070 XC3 Ultra Gaming 8GB|
We performed all tests with the drive installed in the top M.2 slot to utilize the direct CPU interface.
The first benchmark is a staple of all SSD testing, CrystalMarkDisk. This benchmark determines the drive’s maximum sequential and random read and writes speed. The results show that the XS70 didn’t quite reach the maximum read/write ratings of 7300/6800 MB/s but did get close. At 7081 MB/s Sequential read, the XS70 is the third-fastest drive we have tested, with the XPG Gammix S70 Blade still holding the top spot. There is a bit of a silicon lottery at play here, which could be the reasoning behind not reaching its maximum, but we need to keep in mind these are rated as “up-to” speeds and not guaranteed speeds.
Like CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD tests the drive’s abilities in sequential and 4K read and write tests. The XS70 performed well here, too, taking top billing in the 4k-64Thrd test in both reads and write. Once again, it is near the top of the sequential tests showing off its range.
The ATTO benchmark utilizes a file size spectrum to gauge speeds based on the file’s relative size. The results here show that the top three drives are the XS70, S70 Blade, and MSI M480. At this point, we can see a pattern has formed.
With the synthetic benchmarks complete, we can focus for a minute on the thermal testing. Using an AMPROBE TMD-52 digital thermometer with a K-Type thermal probe provides us with the most accurate readings. Using software alone can lead to discrepancies, so we stick to actual physical measurements. With the digital probe taped directly on the controller, this placement provides the most accurate thermal results. The results below do not use the included heatsink, so it is safe to expect better results with the heatsink on.
The maximum temperature reached during all of our testings was 58.7° Celcius which was achieved during the CrystalMarkDisk testing. This is well within the drive’s safe zone, and the drive never came close to throttling. At idle, the XS70 recorded our lowerest temperatures for a Gen 4 drive to date at only 36.0° Celcius.
DiskBench provides us with a great, real-world test as it is designed to determine actual file transfer time. Using a 120 GB file composed of random data, we transfer the file from the primary (OS) drive to the test drive, recording the actual transfer time. If you do a lot of large file transfers, this is the test to pay attention to.
This test allows the XS70 to show its strength, recording our fastest time to date at just 50.42 seconds. That’s a full seven seconds faster than both MSI drives. The results from this test prove that synthetic benchmarks are not the only standard to gauge a drive’s ability.
Anvil Storage Utility
Anvil’s Storage Utility (ASU moving forward) is another benchmark that measures read and write speeds, similar to CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD. The main difference with ASU is that it produces a performance score for comparison rather than an actual speed. This performance score is more of an all-encompassing overview of the drive’s capabilities and is closer to a real-world rating.
In this test, the XS70 dominated the other drives with awe-inspiring read and write performance. While different drives will excel in one test or another, ASU does a good job of determining a drive’s overall ability, and the XS70 is an excellent drive overall.
Silicon Power has designed a speedy drive in the XS70. Phison’s E18 controller, SK Hynix DRAM, and TLC 3D NAND provide the drive with the hardware it needs to be at or near the top of every benchmark we ran. While the XPG and MSI were both faster in the synthetic benchmarks, the XS70 was the victor in the real-world tests making for great competition. The 1 TB XS70 sells for about $130, keeping it right at the same price as the XPG Gammix S70 Blade 1 TB and the MSI Spatium M470 1 TB, but the XS70 includes a heatsink while the others do not. Factor in the robust 5-year limited warranty, and it’s difficult not to fall in love with this drive. Suffice it to say, the Silicon Power XS70 easily receives the Overclockers.com Stamp of Approval.