The Phison PCIe 4.0 Laptop Challenge – Making a Gen 4 Laptop Truly Gen 4 at 7000MB/s

REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS

We have to throw out a big hand and thank you to Phison and their Sr. Manager Technical Marketing, Chris Ramseyer, as we might not had seen a 7GB/s laptop without their wondering much the same as so many others. Why don’t Gen 4 laptops come with Gen 4 SSDs?  In fact, this discussion started with my belief that all present Gen 4 laptops were configured with Gen 3 M.2 connectors and that there wasn’t one available that could achieve Gen 4 7GB/s performance.  We get a bit stubborn in our old age and I was wrong.  Kudos to Phison for making this project possible.

We have been able to establish that, at least the Dell Inspiron 5000 series laptop is set up to accommodate Gen 4 SSDs at their full performance of 7GB/s, given exception to the read and write IOPS being a bit lower than might be expected. This is most likely a restriction of the CPU.  We expected that, if there would be any throttling due to heat issues, it would be in the Passmark Performance Test.  In all of our testing, the only time we experienced a performance throttle was during the ATTO Disk Benchmark Test which is a very good thing.

This brings us to our opinion with respect to heat and excessive fan noise of the Dell Inspiron itself.  Ambient temperature of the SSD listed on Crystal Disk Info at any given time was 27-30°C with a high of 80% during that ATTO test. The laptop never experienced any heat concerns whatsoever during any of the testing and one might notice that the rear portion of the base might be a bit warm where the SSD is situated.  While we could tell when the fan kicked in, it wasn’t at any time overbearing or blowing out anything but warm air that might be expected.

I have adapted this laptop for storage and editing of media as it is portable, has the storage speeds to move large RAW, 4K and 8K files back and forth quickly, and of course the 32GB of DDR4-3200 RAM is a sweet spot for just this.  We have built what is really one of the most powerful laptops possible, at least from a storage speed perspective.

Let’s just throw this out there should there be notebook manufacturers that might have come across this.  If there are any other manufacturers of laptops that incorporate the full PCIe 4.0 experience to include M.2 performance as high as 7GB/s, please reach out as we would love to test and publish similar for your hardware.  We might think that being able to identify these specific laptops would be of benefit to industry and media professionals.

Check for Dell Inspiron Pricing at Amazon.

 

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