Mushkin this week said that it had started shipments of its Helix-L SSDs that promise to combine high performance and relatively low prices. The drives use Silicon Motion’s entry-level SM2263XT controller as well as 3D TLC memory.

Mushkin’s Helix-L SSDs are based on Silicon Motion’s SM2263XT controller that is paired with 250 GB, 500 GB, or 1 TB of usable 3D TLC NAND flash memory from an unknown maker. The M.2-2280 drives feature a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface, and to save money do not use DRAM cache, as with other cheaper drives. When it comes to performance, the manufacturer says that the SSDs are capable of up to 2.1 GB/s sequential read speed as well as up to 1.7 GB/s sequential write speed, which looks rather good. As for random performance numbers, we are talking about the drives rated for up to 240K/260K random read/write IOPS.

Moving on to the endurance of the Helix-L SSDs, the 250 GB version is rated for 150 TBW (TB Written), while the higher-capacity 500 GB and 960 GB models are rated for 300 and 600 TBW, respectively. These are slightly below TBW ratings of more expensive SSDs based on SMI’s more advanced SM2262EN, which is perfectly reasonable. Meanwhile, Mushkin's Helix-L drives are rated for 1.5 million hours MTBF.

General Specifications of Mushkin's Helix-L SSDs
Capacity 250 GB 500 GB 1 TB
Controller Silicon Motion SM2263XT
Form-Factor, Interface M.2-2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3
Sequential Read 2010 MB/s 2105 MB/s 2110 MB/s
Sequential Write 1250 MB/s 1670 MB/s 1700 MB/s
Random Read IOPS 200K IOPS 240K IOPS 240K IOPS
Random Write IOPS 260K IOPS 260K IOPS 260K IOPS
Pseudo-SLC Caching Supported
DRAM Buffer No
TCG Opal Encryption No
Power Management L1.2 power mode support for ultra-low power consumption
Idle: 0.3 W
Active: 5.3 W
Warranty 3 years
MTBF 1,500,000 hours
TBW 150 TB 300 TB 600 TB
Additional Information Link
Launch Price ~$41 ~$63 ~$118

Mushkin’s Helix-L SSDs are already available in the US and will shortly be on sale in other regions. Large retailers like Amazon sell the 250 GB version for $40.99, the 500 GB model is available for $62.99, whereas the 1 TB SKU is priced at $117.99.

Related Reading

Source: Mushkin

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  • DeepLake - Thursday, May 23, 2019 - link

    DRAM-less TLC vs QLC with DRAM like Crucial P1 is gonna be an interesting battle to watch.
  • Dug - Thursday, May 23, 2019 - link

    Maybe the sequential read and write isn't the best determining factor for buying a drive, but isn't there quite a few 1tb drives that do 3000+ that cost just a little bit more?

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