In the initial days of SSDs, G.Skill, the DRAM manufacturer, used to sell 2.5-inch SSDs.  These were SATA 3 Gbps devices mostly, with the latest ones utilising SandForce controllers under the G.Skill Phoenix branding to hit 550 MBps sequential and 85k/60k random IOPS.  G.Skill’s SSD manufacturing went quiet for around a year or two until this latest Computex where it showed of its latest storage product: the Phoenix Blade.

The Phoenix Blade is a PCIe 2.0 x8 SSD using MLC NAND and will come in 480GB and 960GB models.  The 480GB model is listed as up to 1900 MBps read, 950MBps write and 275K random IOPS, compared to the 960GB model with 1800 MBps read, 1100 MBps write and 230K random IOPs.  Given the drop in the random specifications moving to the higher capacity model, I would assume that this is a series of controllers in a RAID-0 configuration with a PCIe conversion module.  At this point we are unsure if this is several SF-2281 under a RAID layer or two SF-3700 with an x8 to dual x4 RAID layer, although one SF3700 should manage these R/W speeds let alone two, suggesting it is more a SF-2281 platform.

Unfortunately we were not able to take one of these devices apart to confirm, and G.Skill is still in the process of developing the hardware. If we get more information we will let you know.  If G.Skill wants to tackle the SSD market properly rather than as a reselling partner, they have to offer something new and different – perhaps joining branding with their memory and producing PR that shows why their SSD business is better than any of the others (some steps they could take are extra validation, higher frequency controller, optimized for certain workloads etc).

It might also be worth mentioning the size.  When M.2 devices come to market, a 480GB device capable of PCIe 2.0 x4 bandwidth, like the Samsung XP941 we have already tested, can hit around 1100 Mbps in a much smaller form factor. Users interested in this device must have a high demand for sequential and IOPS to consider a drive at this size.

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  • Travis Jackson - Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - link

    Maybe I've just been really unlucky in the past, but I've never had a set of G.Skill RAM (DDR2 or DDR3) that has not died within a year. Because of this run of misfortune, I'm always amazed when I see that the company is still in business, let alone often used in a great number of benchmarks.
    Has anyone else had bad luck with G.Skill, or is it just me?
    Needless to say, I don't think I could trust their products with any critical data.
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - link

    I've owned many G.Skill RAM sticks over the years and never had any fail - so much so that I usually seek them out. DDR2, DDR3, SODIMM, desktop, stock, or OC, my experience has been fine. Even my old G.Skill 64GB SSD still works well (as well as the JMicron controller allows it to, that is).
  • dgingeri - Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - link

    I'm sorry for your trouble, but I have not had this trouble. I used to go 100% Corsair, but a few years ago, I could not find a decent set of Corsair memory at the speed I wanted. I wanted a decent speed without going into the overclocking ranks, DDR3-1600, with low latency. Corsair just didn't have any at the time. Gskill did. I now have three sets of Gskill memory, two DDR3-1600 sets in servers and one 16GB DDR3-2400 set in my main machine, and they've been great. I have had no reliability problems at all with it. They've rated as well, and many cases better, than equal Corsair memory on NewEgg and Amazon, so it doesn't seem that others have had reliability issues with it, either.
  • dgingeri - Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - link

    oh, and the funny thing is that I have had to swap two sets of Corsair memory over the years, one 2X2GB DDR2-800 set and one 3X2GB DDR3-1600 set, and had one 2X4GB DDR3-1600 Vengeance set where the inexpensively assembled heatspreaders slid off during installation and ruined the memory and warranty. (I hate their Vengeance line specifically because of that.) Oddly, as much of a fan as I am of Corsair, I have had more trouble with their products than Gskill.
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - link

    Have or have been running about 20 G.Skill modules of various kinds. Not a single problem and finely tuned performance at the higher end.
  • stun - Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - link

    Are these SSDs bootable?
  • Highlanderix - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    I really don't know but if it is why bother to connect a SATA device on the first image ?

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