Test Setup

SSD Comparisons

Since we are reviewing a SATA SSD, we are only going to include other SATA SSDs for comparison.  The two SATA SSD’s we are including we have not specifically reviewed here.  However, these are two SSDs we had on hand here, so we simply used them.  One of them is a popular, well-known brand with good performance, so this will be a tough test.

Firstly, we are using a Samsung 860 EVO 1TB M.2 SATA SSD.  The Samsung 860 EVO is known as a very good, and fast, SSD.  These drives are known for their performance so this will be tough competition for the T-Force Vulcan SSD.  Our particular Samsung 860 EVO is of the M.2 form factor.  Therefore, it slots into our motherboard’s M.2 slot.  However, it operates across the SATA 6Gbps protocol.  We also need to state that this SSD does have a heatsink attached to it providing cooling to the SSD.

Second, we have an older 2.5” form factor SSD we use a lot in our testing rigs.  It is a Mushkin Reactor 2TB 2.5” form factor SATA 6Gbps SSD.  While this is an older drive, it does use MLC type memory, not TLC.

These are all the SATA SSD’s we had on hand at the moment, so this will do for our testing comparisons.

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Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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4 Comments

  1. "There is no reason to have a mechanical drive anymore with prices like this. 500GB is plenty for a boot drive, or as your only drive."

    Uhh, not with 50+GB game downloads it’s not. Boot drive / laptop upgrade maybe.

    I have a $100 Toshiba 5TB hdd for my game drive / steam library. I look forward to that price for a huge SSD, 5+ years from now. But by the time that happens, the $100 hdd will probably be a 10+TB one.

  2. Nice to see a large amount of test programs used in the review. TeamGroup seems to have some of the better options for price/perf these days for sata drives. Happy so far with mine.

    I agree with Burt though, 500gb is my standard now for a boot drive and maybe 1-2 games. Everything else on dedicated ssd’s or hdd. 250GB is workable but getting too small and for quality brands it seems worth it to just jump to 500gb at $50-65 over a $30-40 250gb.

  3. Oops, missed this review. Adding some extra detail.

    Very good drive – basically a Crucial MX500 clone. The MX500 often comes with 96L flash now (which is also denser, but has twice the planes). Team’s coding here is clearly from Intel/Micron with the "01T" meaning 1Tb packages (x4 = 512GiB). This is in contrast to the similar L5 Lite 3D and drives like it – SU800, X3, S280, etc – which use inferior flash. Much like the L5 Lite 3D, it has static SLC – ~6GB at this capacity – which makes for uniform performance (can see this in HD Tune); the MX500 has a significantly larger, dynamic cache that is slower outside SLC at this capacity. Warranty is of course lackluster, but if you want a top-tier SATA drive this is among them in terms of performance.

    The firmware revision matches typical SM2258 encoding which usually refers to the type of flash it’s using. For example you common see Qx6/7xxA in the cheaper drives using second-tier Samsung TLC, Hynix’s 72L TLC (which isn’t great), inferior BiCS (SanDisk/Kioxia), older Intel/Micron 32L TLC, etc. Older revisions were for the 32L/384Gb IMFT TLC. In any case, R/S is for the newer and better flash products, e.g. B16A/B17A which is 64L Intel/Micron TLC (B17A is double the density but also double the planes, so same interleaving).

    My only advice for reviewing is that FIO is a strong option for benchmarking, whether on Linux or Windows, although ultimately you would require Linux for full utility. I’ve posted on Reddit about using FIO and also making a dedicated Linux benchmarking USB drive, I haven’t posted about getting these tools working on Windows – it is possible, I have it working in Visual Studio (direct) or Cygwin (indirect), but it’s fairly limited and a pain to work with in contrast to nvme-cli for example.

  4. I should add that I’ve seen reviews of it like TPU’s showing MLC and in fact I had someone with one show me one with MLC – 48L from Samsung, to be specific. And TPU also had 64L TLC from Samsung I believe. That type of older/inferior flash is often found in the L5 Lite 3D and other budget drives as I mentioned above – my theory is that the early Vulcans came basically as L5 Lite 3Ds. It’s my understanding that currently they do have Micron flash though. Just wanted to correct that as people don’t understand that second-tier Samsung can actually be inferior, even the MLC, although TPU’s results were still good performance-wise. (also as I mentioned, firmware revision can hint at flash – the early Samsung variants match the L5 Lite 3D’s firmware)
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