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HomeUncategorizedSilicon Power UD90 NVMe SSD review: Pretty fast, very affordable

Silicon Power UD90 NVMe SSD review: Pretty fast, very affordable

At first glance

Expert Review


    Good actual performance

  • Super affordable
  • shortcoming

      Is DRAMless design best for PS5?

      Comprehensive benchmark General test scores

      Our conclusion

    While the performance of the UD90 is not top notch, it is a PCIe 3 drive A boost, no arguing about the price. A real bargain right now.

    Today’s Best Price: Silicon Power UD90 NVMe SSD



    Affordable NVMe SSDs are always welcome, regardless of their performance. Why? Because even slower NVMe drives are…very, very fast. In synthetic benchmarks, Silicon Power’s DRAM-less $90 1TB UD90 appears to be slow for a PCIe 4 SSD.

    But it’s faster than PCIe 3 NVMe drives, which is a significant improvement from SATA and light years faster than hard drives. Considering the low price and really competitive real-world performance, it’s one of the cheaper ones on the market right now.

    This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best SSDs. Go there to learn about competing products and how we tested them. Silicon Power UD90: Price and Design

    Silicon Power tells us that the UD90 will offer 250GB, 500GB and 1TB (tested) capacity (just like in Australia). However, when the drive finally appeared on Amazon in the Americas (two months after we tested it), only 1TB was available.

    At the aforementioned $90, it’s a pretty good deal, so that’s all we can complain about. However, Silicon Power is becoming an insider legend that blows our minds.

    All capacities are warranted for five years but have a relatively low TBW (TB writeable) rating of 200TBW (250GB), 300TBW (500GB) and 600TBW (1TB). That’s still a lot of data — even more than most users will write in 10 years. However, like all SSDs, these TBW ratings are “limits” within the limited warranty.

    The smaller capacity UD90, currently not available online in the US if you Be willing to pay Australian shipping and they can be purchased online. However, this makes them less cheap.

    The outer dimensions of the UD90 are the common 22x80mm (2280) M.2. It’s PCIe 4.0 x4, although its DRAMless Host Memory Buffer (HMB) architecture uses your system memory for primary caching tasks. This means that you won’t see top performance in any system, not even the best performance of the UD90 in devices that don’t support HMB, such as the Sony PlayStation 5.

    L2 cache writes 176 layers of 3-bit TLC to 1-bit SLC as usual. It takes much less time to write one bit than three bits. The Phison E12 controller onboard the UD90 will use up to one-third of the available NAND for this.

    Silicon Power UD90: Performance

    Although the 1TB UD90 is what we tested One of the slower PCIe 4 drives, but it’s still fast in the overall scheme. As you can see below, the UD90 didn’t even come out on top of CrystalDiskMark’s PCIe 4 NVMe SSDs. However, it does represent a nice improvement over PCIe 3 performance, which typically tops out at 3.5GBps.

    but synthetic benchmarks perform their own I/O . File transfers under Windows are much slower, so the tune has changed dramatically. Compared to our real-life 48GB dataset, the UD90 is only marginally behind the competition. Note that the competing Seagate FireCuda 530 is a top-of-the-line drive, as is the more affordable SK Hynix P41.

    UD90 in our 450GB copy Excellent performance too, only slightly longer than the PCIe 4 standard. That’s not always the case with low-priced SSDs.

    However, there is not much room for error. When we copy At the same 450GB and 100GB, the 1TB drive slows down significantly from 150MB/s to 400MB/s around 425GB.

    The drop in transfer rate illustrates what we often warn about — drives slow down as their caches fill and run out, which could be a sharp drop in NAND vs. slow drive. If you always want maximum performance, buy at least twice as much capacity as you think you need.

    Although the UD90 is not top performance, if you put it in your system, in most cases you will hardly notice it with top drives difference.

    Internal drive tests currently using Windows 11 64-bit running on an MSI MEG X570/AMD Ryzen 3700X combo with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, one Zotac (Nvidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe Graphics card and Asmedia ASM3242 USB 3.2×2 card. Replication tests used ImDisk RAM disks using 58GB out of 64GB of total memory.

    Each test was performed on a newly formatted and TRIMed drive, so the results are optimal. Over time, as the drive fills up, performance degrades due to less NAND being used for caching and other factors. Performance numbers shown are for drives of test capacity only. SSD performance can vary by capacity, as more or less chips are used for shotgun read/writes, and the amount of NAND available for L2 cache.

    Note that Silicon Power does not promise that your UD90 will have the exact same components as our test unit. We think it should perform just as well, or better; however, if you notice anything else, let us know and we’ll follow up with the company.

    Fast enough and super affordable

    Considering the price , we can recommend the UD90 for PCIe 3 systems that support HMB and/or PCIe 4 systems that don’t require cutting edge storage speeds. It’ll definitely save you a buck or two, and you’ll probably never notice a slight lag in performance.

    Today’s Best Price: Silicon Power UD90 NVMe SSD





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