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G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe x8 SSD Review

The G.Skill Phoenix Blade is a bold move by the Taiwanese company, and one that is done with the intention of reclaiming its place amongst the elite high-performance SSD vendors. Highly competitive performance and a solid design, are how G.Skill has managed to send its Phoenix Blade to compete right at the top of the consumer SSD food chain.

Performance of the four SF-2281 controllers in RAID 0, and Toshiba 19nm MLC NAND, is excellent. The all-important 4KB random read test delivers almost 85,000 IOPS in IOMeter, which is not significantly faster than one of the leading SATA 6Gbps drives. However, 4KB random write performance stands at a highly-impressive 180,000 IOPS, making the drive ideal for users with write-intensive operations.

Sequential performance is impressive too, with 1,900MBps reads and 1,050MBps writes being shown off in AS SSD. And let’s not forget the almost-2GBps maximum read/write performance shown by ATTO.

Build quality of the Phoenix Blade is excellent. A solid aluminium heatsink and multi-PCB design keeps the drive adequately cooled throughout its operation. The black and red styling is another aspect that will appeal to gamers and enthusiast interested in attractive systems.
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Available for £549.98 from OverclockersUK, the G.Skill Phoenix Blade is actually one of the most affordable PCIe SSDs in its performance class. However, price competition is strong from the likes of Plextor’s PCIe-fed M6e (despite being a lower performer) and multiple SATA 6Gbps SSDs in a manual RAID 0 array.

If you’re looking for an elegant single-drive solution that meets your demanding workloads (especially regarding write-intensive tasks), G.Skill’s Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD is an excellent choice. The flagship drive offers blisteringly-fast write performance with generally positive read numbers, and it does so while consistently outperforming the competition.

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Pros:

  • Excellent sequential performance.
  • Strong random write performance.
  • Good build quality and design.
  • Installation flexibility (half-height form factor).
  • Good software tools (can restore drive performance and boot Windows).

Cons:

  • Very expensive compared to multiple SATA drives and Plextor M6e.
  • 4KB random read performance only comparable to current flagship SATA 6Gbps SSDs.
  • 480GB capacity only – 240GB would be welcomed.

KitGuru says: With performance that puts it amongst the fastest consumer SSDs available, the Phoenix Blade is an excellent return to the high-end SSD market for G.Skill.

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Rating: 9.5.

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