Gen 5 SSDs have been on the tip of any storage geeks tongue for some time now; rumors abound as to what and what will not be. I remember some time ago hearing that Gen 5 would be restricted to business and enterprise needs and the consumer might never see it in a retail product. Not too confident that was an accurate prediction but who knows right? One thing is for certain and that is Gen 5 SSDs are going to be a significant jump from Gen 4. They will change the landscape of data movement as we know it just as each jump traditionally has. We know this of course as I have been up all night testing a brand spanking new Phison PS5026-E26 Gen 5 2TB reference design 2TB SSD in different systems and am very happy with what has been received. Thank you Phison for this first look!
This photo displays the Phison E26 Gen5 NVMe 2TB SSD inside an active heatsink which has been plugged into a PC power connector. Phison has made statements that Gen 5 SSDs could require active cooling simply because data is being moved so much faster to and from the device than has ever been prior. We have tested this SSD in two systems, our current ASRock Z690 Velocita with an integrated Gen 5 M.2 slot as well as our newest ASUS Maximus Z790 Hero with its included Rog Hyper M.2 Card. Surprisingly, the coolest we saw this SSD run was in the ASUS Rog Hyper M.2 AIC where passive cooling saw a top temp of 43°C.
Having the Phison E26 run so cool in a passive cooler was quite the surprise, but be warned, doing the same within our ASRock Velocita and using its onboard passive cooler didn’t have the same success. Temps quickly hit 82°C and we believe this was because only one side of the SSD was privy to heat dissipation. Having said that, this SSD ran great in that M.2 slot with its fan encased active heatsink shown above.
This Phison PS5026-E26 PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSD is a reference design SSD and its firmware is considered to be a Release Candidate 2 (RC2) or Mass Production (MP) sample. It is not a retail item and this is definitely not a final firmware release, as many might guess by the forthcoming test results. Phison doesn’t sell SSDs to the consumer, but rather, provides reference design samples to manufacturers such as…. Sabrent… who may choose to move forward with modified firmware or their own heatsink included with their own branding for retail purchase.
The E26 is a Gen 5×4 8-channel controller that uses the latest NVMe 2.0 protocol. Bandwidth for this SSD is 32GT/s x4 and this SSD contains 4-pieces of Micron’s latest and greatest 232-layer (B58R) TLC NAND flash memory spoken of in this press release. Our first look at this memory was only a few days back with the Micron client 2550 SSD posted here where we stated this memory would be a game changer….and here we are.
We have tested this SSD in both a 12th and 13th Gen Intel-based systems with both passive and active heatsinks as mentioned earlier. The performance tests shown depict that of our ASRock Intel Z690 as described on the following page, the reason for this purely to demonstrate that one doesn’t have to be spending top dollars to get top performance. Enjoy our review…err…. preview!
I think liquid cooling, probably with a fitted cooling sleeve for the SSD since both sides need cooling, will be essential to getting full performance out of these 5.0 sticks. Forget about seeing these thermal beasts in laptops.