Best known for their graphics cards and mini-PC’s, including the Steam Machine we recently reviewed, Zotac started producing SSDs earlier this year. Today we have their aggressively priced performance model on our test bench to see how it compares to drives from the competition. Welcome to our Zotac Premium Edition SSD Review.
Zotac Premium Edition SSD Review – The Drive
The Zotac SSD arrives in some fairly plain packaging. It gives us a few key features and some specifications but that’s about it. Inside we find a short product leaflet and some screws to assist with installing the drive.
The drive itself is a 2.5″ form factor using 7mm thickness. It uses a metal casing with Zotac branding on top and an information sticker on the base. As expected, we get standard SATA power and data connectors with SATA 3 fully supported.
Inside the drive is a full length PCB and attached to it are 19nm Toshiba MLC (Toggle) with Phison S10 controller and 256mb of DDR3 cache. There are two capacities available 240GB and 480GB with performance for both models rated at 520MB/s read and 500MB/s write. For some reason Zotac are not keen to publish IOPS speeds, instead listing random read/write performance of 350/300MB/s. Power use of 0.57W when idle and a peak of 5.01W in use.
The drive features power failure protection, end to end data path protection and dynamic wear levelling to ensure long term stability and reliability. Finally it has a 3-year warranty (2million hours MTBF) and the 240GB model has a formated size of 223GB in Windows.
Zotac Premium Edition SSD Review – Performance
Testing was performed on an i7-5960X with X99 motherboard, 16GB of DDR4 and on Windows 10. All software, drivers and the OS were up to date.
Zotac Premium Edition SSD Review – Conclusion
Starting with the build quality of the SSD Zotac get the basics right. Quality branded NAND from Toshiba mixed with tried and trusted cache and controller from Nanya and Phison. They also go above and beyond some of the competition by using a metal casing, rather than plastic.
Where we don’t get quite the same experience is on the software side. Most of the competition have invested resource in creating software which helps us manage and maintain the SSD. That can mean things like data migration, managing over-provisioning, secure erase or updating firmware. Zotac don’t provide any software. We assume they will have the option of distributing new firmware and a flasher in the future but a fully featured tool would be appreciated too.
On the performance front, everything shapes up nicely. Good peak speed, impressive random performance and quick load/boot times. Copy operations were also very competitive which was great to see. That combined with the aggressive pricing earns the Zotac Premium SSD our Recommended Award.