US$109 / AU$168 for 1TB | US$220 / AU$357 for 2TB at Newegg
The Silicon Power XD80 is four lane (x4) PCIe 3 NVMe SSD that is
sold in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB flavors—at least theoretically.
We tested the US$220 / AU$357 2TB version, but it's difficult to find in
stock online, with only the US$110 / AU$168 1TB flavor available at Newegg more times than
not. That's a very good price, especially considering what turned
out to be very solid performance. Oddly enough, the drive can't be
purchased in Silicon Power's Amazon store, and we haven't seen the
smaller capacities available whatsoever.
Silicon Power told us that depending on the model, the XD80 uses
either 72- or 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. We're assuming the former is on
the lower-capacity models. The NAND parts on our 2TB test drive
sported a number that revealed nothing in a Web search, but the
controller was a Phison PS5012-E12S and there was 2GB of DRAM
primary cache. Secondary cache is TLC written as SLC (Single Level
Cell/1-bit) to the tune of 12GB in the 1TB model and 24GB in the
Silicon Power indicated to us that different controllers and
NAND might be employed over the life of the product. Kudos to the
company for being honest, but that does mean our test numbers shown
below are a bit soft. The spec sheet promises at least 3GBps
sustained writing and 3.4GBps sustained reading. If your numbers
are significantly lower than that, let us know.
The XD80 comes with a
heat spreader attached.
If you've ever wondered why it's called level in NAND names,
it's because the contents of the cell are actually determined by
the voltage level contained within. SLC has only two voltage
levels, representing 0 and 1, while TLC has eight levels
representing the values 0 through 7.
The drive is warrantied for five years, with the 256GB capacity
rated for 200TBW, the 512GB for 400TBW, the 1TB for 800TBW, and the
2TB for 1600TBW. TBW stands for the number of TeraBytes that can be
Written over the life of the drive. Exceed those within the
warranty period, and the overrun supersedes your warranty in most
cases. Those are the ratings directly from Silicon Power, though
I've actually seen higher TBW ratings cited in other reviews.
The 2TB Silicon Power XD80 is very good every day performer. Not
quite top-tier, but considering the price, very good. It even
managed to write our massive 450GB test file in a reasonable amount
of time. CrystalDiskMark 6 (shown below) rated it as very
CrystalDiskMark 6 said
good things about the XD80 we tested. Longer bars are better.
Our 48GB real world transfers revealed much the same story. Only
the scorching Seagate FireCuda 530 was faster than the XD80
in these tests. Note that lower capacity drives will not perform as
well, with the most noticeable drop being in sustained write
The XD80 did quite
well in our 48GB transfer tests among this group, lagging behind
only the mighty FireCuda 530. Shorter bars are better.
As you can see below, the XD80 wasn't in the same league as the
FireCuda 530 writing our large 450GB file. It was also outpaced by
the Kingston KC2500. On the other hand, it easily
outperformed the Samsung 970 EVO Plus–a drive that's a rather
tragic testimony to what happens when you write at the native
bit-depth to slow NAND.
Again, the XD80 did
well in our 450GB file write. Not as well as the Firecuda 530 or
Kingston KC2500, but not nearly as tragic as the Samsung 970 EVO
Plus. Shorter bars are better.
The PCIe 3 tests utilize Windows 10 64-bit running on a Core
i7-5820K/Asus X99 Deluxe system with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz
DDR4 modules, a Zotac (NVidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card,
and an Asmedia ASM3242 USB 3.2×2 card. It also contains a Gigabyte
GC-Alpine Thunderbolt 3 card, and Softperfect Ramdisk 3.4.6 for the
48GB read and write tests.
The PCIe 4 testing was done on an MSI MEG X570 motherboard
socketing an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core CPU, using the same Kingston
DRAM, cards, and software. All testing is performed on an
empty, or nearly empty drive that's TRIM'd after every set of
tests. Performance will decrease as the drive fills up.
Note that some vendors have been swapping slower
parts into their drive after reviews have posted. Please inform us
if your drive's performance, given similar hardware, varies
significantly from what we saw.
All told, the 2TB XD80 is a very good performer at a very
attractive price. As long as Silicon Power meets its stated
performance metrics, it's a fantastic bargain for PCIe 3 computers—a
ssuming you can actually find it for sale.