Zotac has been in the computer industry since 2006 and has made quite the name for itself in the gamer market. Better known for their graphics cards, motherboards, and Mini-PCs, Zotac isn’t typically a name one would associate with solid state drives, especially high-performance ones. Last year, however, they expanded their product portfolio with the release of the Zotac Premium Edition SSDs. While their name is anything but exciting, their stats are. Built with Phison’s very reputable quad-core S10 controller and Toshiba’s A19 MLC NAND flash, the Zotac Premium Edition SSDs promise to deliver great quality and performance, but do they have what it takes to take on the top performing giants? Read on as we find out in today’s review.
SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY
The Zotac Premium Edition is a SATA 6Gb/s SSD that comes in a 7mm 2.5″ form factor. It is currently available in capacities of 240GB ($79.99) and 480GB ($159.99). Sequential speeds are rated for up to 520 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write. Rand read and write speeds are listed in MB/s rather than in IOPS as we typically see. For random 4K reads, they are rated up to 390MB/s and writes are rated for up to 340MB/s. The endurance figures on these SSDs are 214TBW for the 240GB capacity and 480TBW for the 480GB capacity. In addition the MTBF rating is 2 million hours.
In terms of features, the Zotac Premium Edition SSD, of course, supports TRIM and SMART monitoring. It also has end-to-end data path protection and power failure protection to ensure your data gets from its source to its destination safely and minimizing data corruption during unexpected power loss. Dynamic wear leveling, SmartRefresh, and SmartECC, helps to maximize memory usage and ensures that your data reads quickly without corruption. Finally, if you are to ever have an issue or failure, Phison backs this SSD with a 3-year warranty.
PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS
The retail packing is a grey and yellow trim design. On the front are all the important specs such as capacity, performance, and warranty. The back side lists what is included and states some of the benefits to using SSDs in general.
Once we open the box we can see that there are no accessories included, only a user manual and warranty card besides the Zotac Premium Edition SSD.
The Zotac Premium Edition SSD’s casing is a black aluminum finish that is simplistic and stylish. It kind of reminds us of Samsung SSD aesthetics.
Once we disassemble the PCB from the casing we can see a full-sized PCB that is held in place by four screws, but no thermal pad to help distribute controller heat throughout the casing. The PCB has eight NAND packages (four on each side), a single controller, and a single DRAM package.
The eight Toshiba A19 NAND is rated for 3,000 PE cycles and are a raw capacity of 64GiB each or 512GiB total. This SSD has 7% over-provisioning to help with background flash management tasks and help improve performance, which results in the reduced advertised size of 480GB. Once formatted in Windows the usable capacity is 447GB. Finally, we see that this 480GB model is utilizing 512MB of Nanya DDR3 DRAM as cache.