The XPG SX8100 2TB we are reviewing today can be found at Amazon for $239.99 which is a great price for 2TB NVMe drive. The 1TB version is only $129.99.
The XPG SX8100 is an M.2 drive 2280 form factor SSD. XPG has a 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB models available. We are reviewing the upper-tier 2TB. The Interface is PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe 1.3. This drive does not support PCIe 4.0, it is 3.0 on a x4 connection. For your reference the maximum speed a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface can sustain is 4GB/sec according to specification, however, because of overhead and other protocol things you’ll never hit these speeds on a single device. The maximum you’ll see, even on the fastest PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe devices is around 3500MB/sec.
That is actually what the XPG SX8100 is targeting for read speeds. The XPG SX8100 has a quoted performance of 3500MB/s read and 3000MB/s write. These quoted performance numbers are right up there at the maximum of the interface, especially on the read. Maximum 4K random read IOPS is 300K and 4K random write is 240K IOPS. It is noted that the actual performance can vary depending on what size SSD you have decided on. The capacity can make the numbers a bit different due to the cell layout.
In the package, you will find a heat spreader included with sticky thermal material. Use this if your motherboard does not have its own heatsink. Otherwise, use your motherboards M.2 heatsink and a good thermal pad. Having a heatsink will keep the SSD from thermal throttling.
In regards to specified read and write speeds XPG is actually taking this data from various sources and quoting the highest benchmark result. The table above shows what XPG is quoting as the official performance across different benchmarks, being very open about the real-world performance. You can see that the quoted 3000MB/s write speeds are only achievable on a couple of benchmarks. In fact, according to this chart in ATTO the sequential write speed is as low as 1900MB/s, and AS SSD is as low as 1600MB/s with others around 2400MB/s. Therefore, benchmarks can provide different data results. We will have to see what we get in our testing.
Controller and Chips
Onboard you will find four 256GB 3D NAND Flash TLC ADATA chips used, two on one side, two on the other. The XPG SX8100 uses a Realtek RTS5762 controller. The controller itself is NVMe 1.3 capable, and features 8 flash channels and supports 3D TLC and QLC NAND and DRAM caching. It also supports LDPC ECC technology which is a very high performance and high level of error correction for reliability. The XPG SX8100 also supports AES 256-bit encryption.
The XPG SX8100 also uses SLC Caching and a DRAM buffer to improve performance. Important with TLC memory is the need for a DRAM buffer for SLC like caching. The XPG SX8100 2TB uses a NANYA NT5CC64M16GP-DI DDR3L SDRAM chip. This is a 1GB x16 module that can operate at 1600Mbps at 1.35V.
The physical dimensions are 3.1 inches in length, 0.8 inches in width. It weighs only 8 grams or 0.28oz. Power consumption is rated at 0.33W active and 0.14W on slumber. Very importantly, the MTBF is rated at 2 million hours and XPG provides a 5-year limited warranty.
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