The FA100 product line (at the time of writing) is the only range of SSDs using a PCIe interface in Acer’s new storage portfolio, which was created in partnership with Chinese chip manufacturer BIWIN. At launch the FA100 family is made up of five capacities; 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB (the drive we are reviewing here) topped off with a 2TB flagship model.
The FA100 uses an Innogrit Shasta+ (IG5216BBA), four-channel controller. The Shasta+ is a dual-core DRAM-less design that should help keep costs down. Without a dedicated DRAM cache, it uses Host Memory Buffer (HMB) technology for table mapping duties and for the FA100 the controller has been teamed up with 3D TLC NAND.
When it comes to Sequential performance, the 1TB FA100 is the fastest drive in the range with an official rating of up to 3,300MB/s for reads and up to 2,700MB/s for writes. We couldn’t quite hit those maximum figures with our testing but got mighty close. The fastest Sequential read figure we saw was in CrystalDiskMark 8 at 3224.27MB/s while the fastest write score of 2646.75MB/s also came in the CrystalDiskMark benchmark.
The drive gets 4K random ratings of up to 325,000 IOPS and up to 293,000 IOPS for read and writes respectively. This time the 1TB drive isn’t the fastest in the line-up. The flagship 2TB drive has the highest read rating at 379,000 IOPS while the 512GB model at 296,000 IOPS has the fastest random write performance.
We could confirm the official random figures of the 1TB drive with the CrystalDiskMark benchmark with the tested drive producing a read figure of 327,400.63 IOPS with writes at 294,274.90 IOPS. In fact in our own 4K random read tests it produced the best results we’ve seen to date for a Gen3 drive at QDs 1 and 2.
The 1TB FA100 has a decent TBW endurance rating of 600TB. The rest of the range has ratings of; 70TB for the 128GB drive, 150TB for the 256GB and 300TB for the 512GB drives while the flagship 2TB model has a 1,200TB rating and Acer backs the range with a 5-year warranty.
Acer informed us that the UK MSRP for the 1TB version of the FA100 is £89.99 and availability is expected at Scan shortly.
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- Overall performance.
- Five-year warranty.
- DRAM-less cache.
KitGuru says: Acer has entered a highly competitive market sector with the FA100. It’s a fast drive with decent endurance but it will need a little shaved off the MSRP to help it fight its corner.