Silicon Motion SM2256 Controller with Samsung TLC NAND Review


Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, to the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent of informing you of the firmware of the device.

Silicon Motion SM2256 CDIAs we have seen before in Crystal Disk Info with their SM2246EN controller, there are a healthy selection of Vender Specific attributes to monitor. There is a working temperature sensor and we can see that Crystal Disk Info shows TRIM, DevSleep, and NCQ are working.


ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

Silicon Motion SM2256 ATTOATTO reveals some strong small file size performance. Sequential reads reached a high of 559MB/s as well as a high of 494MB/s for write. These numbers are much better than the rated spec!


Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Performance is virtually identical, regardless of data sample so we have included only that using random data samples.

Silicon Motion SM2256 CMDNext up in Crystal Disk Mark we can see that this SSD was able to achieve maximum sequential performance of 548MB/s read and 484MB/s write. On the 4K section we can see a high of 38MB/s for read and 110MB/s for write.


The toughest benchmark available for solid state drives is AS SSD as it relies solely on incompressible data samples when testing performance.  For the most part, AS SSD tests can be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ in obtaining data transfer speeds and many enthusiasts like AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right.

Silicon Motion SM2256 AS SSD Silicon Motion SM2256 AS SSD IOPS








The SM2256 was able to reach a total score of 1061, a better score than that of most SSDs with the old SM2246EN controller. Sequential speeds hit 520MB/s for reads and 439MB/s write while 4K speeds reach 36MB/s for read and 102MB/s for write. Furthermore, the drive reached 75,874 read IOPS and 83,275 write IOPS and access times for read and write are both around 0.035ms.

Silicon Motion SM2256 AS SSD CopyTo complement the main benchmark, we ran AS SSD’s Copy Bench as it presents us with transfer speeds for different file types. We see that it reached a high of 496MB/s for the ISO test, and for its lowest value, it reached 243MB/s on the game test.


Anvil’s Storage Utilities (ASU) are the most complete test bed available for the solid state drive today.  The benchmark displays test results for, not only throughput but also, IOPS and Disk Access Times.  Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.

Silicon Motion SM2256 AnvilIn Anvil Storage Utilities, the max sequential read reaches 524MB/s and sequential write comes in at 458MB/s.  4K speeds prove similar to the other benchmarks, 36MB/s for read and 106MB/s for write. Testing with compressible and incompressible data has presented similar performance to that of its older brother, the SM2246EN.


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    > You can see that the write performance drops off soon after the 12GB mark and fluctuates between 25MB/s and 125MB/s.

    Wow, thats really bad for a 256GB drive. I mean, even the first generation 840 had write speeds around 250MB/s.

    Either Samsung is pulling some wizardry with their controller/firmware (on sustained write, no slc) or this is just a very poorly binned TLC.

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    Have you notice the samsung sticker is warped and cooking off? I’m not aware of any Samsung chips that uses sticker as its label, actually, I don’t know ONE proper semiconductor company that does that.

    The wording underneath the sticker says FORSEE, and that’s the trademark from another company:

    So, what the heck are we testing anyways?

    • blank

      I’m gussing foresee is packaging the nand (but bare dies are still from samsung) and building/assambling the board.

      • blank

        If that’s the case, samsung will NOT allow them to mark it as Samsung, because it is NOT packaged and tested by them. Most likely they are unknown flash chip that were rejected as second or third grade stuff, sold as unmarked chip or bare die.

        Most of the time those goes into no-name SSD or USB flash drive. Do you see a lot of the cheaper SSD have chips that is almost completely blank? Bingo!

        I know because RAM is exactly like that, and I used to help a friend with his RAM wholesale business.

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      Good job, reading between the lines! Did anyone else notice the FORSEE?

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    With the rise of TLC nand will come more unreliable SSDs that will expire faster. MLCs and even SLCs could have been made more affordable but the major manufacturers fking blew it. Goodbye SSD. Welcome back HDD.

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