Silicon Power P34A60 1TB NVMe SSD

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Today we are taking a quick look at the Silicon Power P34A60 1TB PCIe Gen 3 x4 1TB NVMe SSD. That’s a lot of numbers and model spec to say that this is Silicon Powers mid-range 1TB NVMe offering. As the model suggests, it’s a four-lane solution that offers solid performance at a great price point. Silicon Power asked if I’d like to look at this particular model, and as I was running out of space on my existing 512GB Patriot Scorch, I figured this was a perfect opportunity.

Silicon Power has diversified their portfolio quite a bit over the past few years, but one of their core products was computer NVRAM. They’ve migrated to SSD storage and offer mSATA, SATA III and NVMe solutions currently. While they often aren’t the first name you think of when it comes to SSD upgrades here in North America, they have a growing presence and offer a wide range of solutions for really great prices. The value is more than just the cost per GB however. The P34A60 1TB drive comes with an impressive 5-year warranty.

SP P34A60

Product: Silicon Power P34A60 1TB M.2 PCIe Gen3x4 SSD
Provided By: Silicon Power
Price: ~$173CAD / ~$120 at time of Publication

 

First Look:

The 1TB Silicon Power P34A60 comes in a nice retail package that shows off the 5-year warranty and the front of the drive. Inside you get - the NVMe drive. There is nothing else needed of course, but it’s almost depressing. Maybe I was hoping for a congratulatory information packet showing how much money I saved by buying this product over the competition. I guess we live in an era where we all want a little something extra.

Package

 

What Silicon Power does give, is that 5-year warranty. That’s a couple of extra years over some of the competition and four years more than most. It’s excellent, but let’s be honest, the best warranty is the one we never need.

The front and rear of the SSD are unremarkable as all of the memory, controllers and magic happens on the front side - under the sticker. The back is plain and clear and I didn’t want to risk buggering up this drive before I tested, so the sticker stayed on.

Front

Back

 

There’s really nothing much more to see, so we’ll head on over to the next page and cover the features and specifications before we jump into some quick and simple comparison testing.


Features:

The following information has been pulled from the Silicon Power website and posted here for your convenience. For the latest information and links to downloads and updates, please visit their product page here

  • PCIe Gen 3x4 interface with read speeds up to 2,200MB/s and write speeds up to 1,600MB/s
  • Massive storage capacity options up to 2TB
  • LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) error correction code (ECC) technology, End-To-End (E2E) data protection, and RAID engine for enhanced data integrity and stability
  • Supports NVMe 1.3, Host Memory Buffer (HMB), and SLC Cache to deliver high and efficient performance
  • Small form factor M.2 2280 (80mm) allows for easy installation in laptops, small form factor PC systems, and some ultrabooks

 

A Fundamental PCIe Gen3x4 That Goes Further
The P34A60 is an affordable storage solution that doesn't skimp on performance. It's designed for novice users, DIY system builders, purpose-built system manufacturers, and simply those who are looking to upgrade their PC. But with a PCIe Gen3x4 interface, which means four lanes are used for transmitting and receiving data simultaneously, read speeds up to 2,200 MB/s, and write speeds up to 1,600 MB/s, this SSD is anything but basic.

 

NVMe 1.3 + HMB = Optimum Performance
The P34A60 supports NVMe 1.3, which demands better performance vectors than AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface), including scalable bandwidth, increased IOPS, and low latency. In addition, HMB (Host Memory Buffer) architecture, which allows the host driver to allocate system memory (RAM) for exclusive use by the SSD, results in higher efficiency. It's this teamwork that provides optimum performance.

 

Your Data In Good Hands
The P34A60 is engineered with LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) coding, a powerful error correction code (ECC) algorithm, to keep data secure. Furthermore, End-To-End (E2E) data protection, to ensure that accessed and retrieved data are correct from start to finish, and a RAID engine, which provides an acceptable level of fault tolerance, work to enhance data integrity for greater reliability and stability.

 

A System Upgrade With Room For More
With an M.2 2280 (80mm) form factor, the P34A60's compact size allows for easy installation in laptops, small form factor PC systems, and some ultrabooks. And with up to a massive 2TB capacity option, it's an easy upgrade that can greatly expand your system's storage potential while also saving space for other components.

 

Specifications:

Specs

 

On the last page we’ll cover our test platform and testing.


Info & Testing:

For our test platform, we are using a HP Envy x360 running a Ryzen 5 2500U that does have a PCIe Gen3 x4 connector. The test results below are merely for an easy comparison of what kind of performance you will see in a real-world situation when you do a simple upgrade.

Note: The Patriot Scorch M is a PCIe Gen 3 x2 solution that boasts up to 1700MB/s / 950MB/s Read/Write speeds. The Silicon Power P34A60 claims 2200MB/s / 1600MB/s Read/Write Speeds over the PCIe Gen 3 x4 interface. The purpose of this comparison today is to show what kind of gains you get in a mid-range Ultrabook solution.

AS SSD Bench

AS SSD Copy Benchmark

 

Compression - Read / Write Patriot
Compression - Read / Write Patriot
Compression - Read / Write Silicon Power
Compression - Read / Write Silicon Power

 

Crystal DiskMark

PassMark

As you can see by the charts above, the 1TB Silicon Power PCIe Gen3x4 is marginally faster than the Patriot Scorch PCIe Gen3x2 512GB. That is a no brainer, but as the controllers are NAND ultimately dictate performance, in many tests, the difference is negligible. In some of the tests, the Silicon Power drive pulls ahead by leaps and bounds and is a fantastic upgrade for your system.

 

Conclusion:

This is where the rubber meets the road and it pretty easy to see that if you have a system with a standard SATA III connection on a traditional 2.5-inch SSD, any PCIe NVMe drive will offer a huge boost in performance. A few months back the NVMe drives were significantly more expensive than their transitional 2.5-inch counterparts, but that gap has narrowed and is virtually non-existent.

This means that for the same price of a legacy SSD, you get some significant performance improvements and even if you’re running a slightly older NVMe (PCIe Gen3x2), you will see actual performance gains on a mainstream system by going with the Silicon Power P34A60 series. If you have a high-end system, with lots of bandwidth, the SP P34A80 series offers over 3,000MB/s performance and keeps up with the best of the best.

That being said, the P34A60 we looked here is a perfect fit for many systems. Gone are the days of 500MB/s performance and hello to some serious speed at a great price. You don’t give up anything by choosing Silicon Power - you gain great performance, value and an incredible 5-year warranty.

In our system, the drive didn’t reach its maximum rated speed, but I believe that in a high-end desktop system with built-in M.2, you’ll see it reach it’s claimed speed, but in our test system, it didn’t quite pull it off. To be perfectly fair, I can’t quite give it a Gold Award, but I can give it our Silver Wrench award and still give it a two-thumbs up for price, value, performance and warranty.

 

I'd like to thank Silicon Power for sending over this product to review. If you need solid SSDs with great warranty for fantastic price, make sure you check out their full line of products.