MyDigitalSSD is a company that is well-known for high-performance SSDs at an affordable price. Today we will be looking at their BP5e drive line which offers Toshiba’s 15nm TLC flash. TLC flash is going to be a good budget point for many systems builders because what makes TLC SSDs competitive lately and worth your time is SLC caching. By using TLC flash it drives the cost down of an SSD and with SLC caching helps the drive perform at levels we can expect from an SSD. Does the BP5e have what it takes with its 15nm Toshiba flash to stand out against other SSDs on the market?
The specifications ar as follows:
- Price to performance ratio
- PHISON PS3110 controller
- Toshiba TLC Toggle Flash
- Large storage capacity
- Easy installation
- High-speed SATA 6Gb/s (SATA III) interface
- Backward compatible to SATA 3Gb/s (SATA II)
- Withstand extreme shock and vibration
- Support DDR3 I/O interface
- Power management supported
- NCQ command set
- TRIM support
- RAID support
- SMART support
- 3-year warranty
Why choose the BP5e?
MyDigitalSSD Bullet Proof5 line of drives are an excellent value upgrade to any notebook or desktop. It features the PHISON S10 controller and Toshiba flash for excellent performance. You can expect improved random Read/Write speeds with excellent reliability, and low power consumption. With the SATA III interface, you will get up to 6Gb/s which will boost your overall system performance compared to traditional drives. Thier Bullet Proof line is backed by their 100% guarantee satisfaction or your money back.
Why should I care about NAND?
MLC NAND is capable of storing more than a single bit of information, You can read more about it here. SSDs consist of SLC, MLC, and TLC. SLC is considered the best due to the state of being in a single cell on or off. This reduces the possibility of errors and has the longest life span. If you’re interested more in the different types check this out. TLC is (Tripple Level Cell) and does triple the number of bits. This is where SSDs became more affordable because TLC offers more storage for less but has a much higher error rate and last a lot less read/write cycles. This is ideal for consumers and not industrial.
With this drive being TLC and SLC caching you can expect decent performance for less. Still, you will have the higher error rates that come with TLC flash but It’s important to note that TLC going to last a lot longer in a consumer machine than a business or company that relies heavily on data usage. TLC isn’t really too much of a concern anymore for regular consumers due to SLC caching and error correction technologies that come with newer SSDs. It’s an excellent balance for gamers on a budget.
There isn’t anything too crazy to say about the packaging. What can you expect when you’re already getting a fantastic drive for less. The packaging is basic with the model title on the front and size of the SSD listed on the back of the packaging. There are no accessories that come with the drive so we will skip that part of the review and get right int the design.
The drive we are looking at here is the 960Gb model but the BP5e comes in three different sizes. You can get the 240/480/960 GB models which are all priced accordingly to the current SSD market and price per GB. Each drive comes with a 3-year warranty and the money back guarantee of each Bullet Proof drive.
The drive has a matte black finish to it and is enclosed by screwless drive enclosure which means taking it apart won’t be easy, but that won’t stop me. One thing to note about this though this is a way to save costs on some SSDs because having a screwless design saves on materials.
Taking apart the drive exposes the heart of the SSD which is the PHISON S10. One thing I noticed immediately was no thermal pads for any of the NAND to help dissipate heat. On a larger drive like this, it’s going to work harder and will have added thermals. It may be worth including thermal pads in future drive models. It’s not critical but would overall prolong the life of the drive and even possible better performance with less heat.
The PHISON S10 has been included in many new drives lately and is really efficient. The controller offers an 8-channel design and is quad core. With the low price tag of this drive, I’m surprised it’s included due to how well it performs.
The BP5e uses Toshiba NAND to feed the PHISON controller which is why this drive performs so well. It has 8 Toshiba TLC 2.0 NAND packages and two DRAM packages to feed the large 960GB size of the drive. Each NAND package is 128GB but when formatted only has 894GB available. Each DRAM package is DDR3L SDRAM and is 512MB each. The drive has a total of 1GB of cache to work with. I tried to search more information on the model of each NAND chip but Toshiba is good about keeping that data to themselves.
Testing can differ slightly from system to system. I am going to test the BP5e using ATTO Disk Benchmark, and the AS SSD benchmark. I will be testing this SSD drive vs the Bullet Proof BPX NVMe drive line from MyDigitalSSD, PNY XLR8 equivalent, and Toshiba VX 500. By doing this, we can see any difference by controller choices, or by driver level variances. The NVMe drive is definitely going to be much faster due to bypassing the SATA bus, but you will at least see what real world differences NVMe shows over SATA. The PNY drive uses another controller; The Phison PS3110-S10-X. We can see if any advantages occur between the different controllers of choice.
My test bench is as follows:
- ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
- Motherboard- ASRock z270m Extreme 4
- CPU: Intel Core I7 6700K
- Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
- Cooler- Cooler Master Master Liquid 240
- Memory- Corsair LPX DDR4 3000 MHz
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1060
- Storage- MyDigital SSD BPX 480 GB NVMe x2 RAID 0 Drives (Boot) / BP5e 960GB / Other test drives vary
- Power Supply- Corsair RM650X
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
- Mouse- Logitech G403 Wireless Gaming Mouse
- Keyboard- Logitech G413
- Headphones- Logitech G533 7.1 Surround Sound Wireless Headset
Booting into Windows with an SSD is an expected treat when comparing it to traditional HDDs. The BP5e actually is a bit faster than the PNY CS2210 drive but within the margin of error to not say it’s significantly better. The VX500 is a little bit faster with MLC NAND and of course, the BPX NVMe drive only takes 8 seconds to boot Windows. Remember NVMe is not limited by the SATA bus and uses PCIe bandwidth. Overall here, we can see small differences between flash types until we get to NVMe which is a dramatic difference in time.
The AS SSD benchmarks are interesting, to say the least. The BP5e actually out beat the VX 500 and I believe it’s due to the SLC caching. The VX500 uses MLC NAND but offers no caching, and the BPX NVMe is where it should be for NVMe performance. The BP5e actually also with the PHISON S10 seems to have better numbers performance wise even though they offer similar chips specification wise. The BP5e here seems to be an excellent choice performance wise even at a lower price tag.
Surprisingly ATTO shows a different story than AS SSD. The drive’s performance numbers are about the same. The BP5e has a slightly larger read, but the PNY drive has a slightly larger write. There are minimal tradeoffs here. Both drives are within spec of each other. The NVMe drive is much larger as expected and I would say the BP5e here overall considering price is an excellent contender against higher priced competitors.
I loaded PREY, Bethesda new title onto the BP5e and loading times were as expected against a traditional drive. The times were basically cut in half resulting in much faster load times. It only took about 30 seconds to load the game and start playing from Windows to actual gameplay.
The BP5e offers excellent performance for the price compared to the drives I’ve tested lately. There really is no reason not to consider this vs a bigger name brand because it uses the same technology and parts. A comparable situation would be buying a universal brand of clothes or food. You’re basically getting the same thing for less money. MyDigitalSSD is pushing beyond the boundaries of lower cost alternatives by offering better performance for a lower price. because a product is cheaper does NOT always mean it’s worse. In this case, the BP5eactuallyl performed better than the normal manufacturer drives.
There were some issues in the AS SSD tests but not with this drive. The drive performed as expected, and would be a worthy upgrade over any traditional HDD. The interesting thing is the cost of NVMe, and if prices will become competitive like Intel’s new 600p series. Also, keep an eye out for OPTANE memory modules from Intel; I am waiting to see if this will drive SSD costs down. I do recommend this drive for anyone looking for a drive that performs well and wants technologies that add to the lifespan of the drive. The most compelling feature of this drive is the price! You can buy BP5e 960GB model for $299.99 on Amazon.