Comprehensive Review: Phison E26 Max14um 2TB - The Fastest SSD Yet

The Phison E26 Max14um 2TB SSD has set a new benchmark in the realm of solid-state drives, aiming to redefine the performance capabilities of PCIe 5.0 platforms. This SSD is not just a typical storage device; it's a technological marvel designed to push the limits of speed and efficiency. The Max14um reference design, aptly named for its target performance point of 14 GB/s, raises the question: Can it truly elevate the performance of PCIe 5.0 to new heights?

Jan 15, 2024 - 03:33
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Comprehensive Review: Phison E26 Max14um 2TB - The Fastest SSD Yet

Design and Power Efficiency

Phison has finely tuned the Max14um design to achieve the desired high-performance specifications while maintaining reasonable power limits. This careful balance of power and performance is crucial, especially considering the nominal M.2 power limit. The reference model's power consumption and thermal output are notably high but are considered reasonable given its exceptional performance levels. This design philosophy is evident in the upcoming SSDs built on this platform.

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Performance Metrics

The standout feature of the Max14um design is its ability to provide higher bandwidth within the M.2 power limit. Phison's design tweaks have potentially made the reference model faster in several aspects compared to the original drives. The drive's performance is impressive across the board, particularly in sustained write speeds, making it a compelling option for storage enthusiasts.

Capacity and Specifications

Drives based on the Max14um platform will be available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities. While specifications might vary, the reference design boasts sequential read and write speeds of up to 14,000 / 12,000 MB/s and random read/write IOPS of up to 1500K / 1600K. The standard warranty for these drives is expected to be five years with up to 700TB of writes per TB of capacity.

Security and Reliability

The Phison E26 is designed to support TCG OPAL 2.0 for hardware encryption, although this feature is optional. The default mean time between failure (MTBF) rating is set at 1.6 million hours, based on reliability simulations. This high MTBF rating, although not directly relevant for average consumers, indicates the drive's robustness and reliability.

Power Limitations and Thermal Considerations

For the 4TB capacity, the active power is not officially listed, but it's known that Phison is approaching the M.2 11.555W average power limit with these drives. This power usage is a testament to the drive's high performance but also highlights the need for effective cooling solutions, especially for the larger capacity models.

Software and Accessories

The software provided by individual drive manufacturers will vary. Most prominent manufacturers offer SSD toolboxes for basic functionality and, optionally, OEM software for imaging and cloning. While there are free options available for most features, the availability of a toolbox for drive sanitization and firmware updates is a significant advantage. Phison facilitates firmware updates, but it's up to the manufacturer to test and provide these updates. For the reference drive tested, no software was provided, indicating a reliance on the manufacturers for these additional features.

Conclusion: A New Era of SSD Performance

The Phison E26 Max14um 2TB SSD marks a new era in solid-state drive technology. Its exceptional performance, coupled with reasonable

power efficiency and robust design, sets a new standard in the SSD market. This drive is not just about raw speed; it's about pushing the boundaries of what's possible in data storage technology while maintaining a balance with power consumption and thermal management. The varying capacities, from 1TB to 4TB, offer flexibility for different user needs, and the potential for high-speed performance makes it an attractive choice for a wide range of applications, from gaming to professional use.