Why are some PCIe 5.0 SSDs limited to 10Gbps while others can go up to 12.4Gbps

In short: In recent months, several SSD manufacturers including Corsair, Goodram, and Gigabyte have announced PCIe 5.0 x4 SSDs based on the Phison E26 controller. Corsair and Goodram have said their drives can hit sequential speeds up to 10,000MB/s, but the Gigabyte Aorus can push speeds up to 12,454MB/s. What gives?

As Tom’s Hardware explains, it all comes down to choosing 3D NAND. To saturate a PCIe 5.0 x4 drive (15,754 Gb/s round trip), you need 2400 Mb/s 3D NAND. Micron was the first to announce this type of memory back in July. SC Hynix as well as YMTC followed in early August. The problem is that the output of such chips is very low, which makes them a rarity now. The good news is that most chips that fail at 2400 MT/s will work just fine at 1600 MT/s, so they can be used to build slower drives.

This was reported by sources familiar with the situation. Tom’s equipment that mass production of Micron chips that perform well at data rates of 2400 MT/s is not expected until early 2023. To make matters worse, Micron is said to be ahead of its competitors in terms of production and maturity, so it’s unlikely that another player will beat them in terms of chip readiness.

gigabyte announced its high-speed Aorus Gen5 10000 SSD in mid-August, but did not say when it would be available or how much it would cost. With any luck, they will be able to provide enough chips for a proper launch and a reasonable price.

Theoretically, the slower drives from Corsair and Goodram should be more widely available and not hit as hard on the wallet. Galax is also reportedly testing its HOF Extreme 50 SSDs with 232-layer Micron chips at 2400Mbps. Assuming they didn’t get early production priority access, they probably won’t be available commercially until next spring.

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