The PCI-Express 5.0 interface has been widely available in new Intel and AMD platforms since late 2022, but the same cannot be said for SSDs that can utilize its doubled bandwidth compared to the PCI-Express 4.0 predecessor. One of the first products to become somewhat more widely available in 2023 was the Inland TD510 – a Gen5 SSD that uses the Phison E26 controller and 232-layer Micron NAND, resulting in sequential speeds of up to 10,000 MB/s.
|Inland TD510 |
|Form Factor||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|PCIe 5.0 x4/|
|PCIe 5.0 x4/|
|PCIe 5.0 x4/
|Controller||Phison E26||Phison E26||Phison E26|
|DRAM||2GB LPDDR4||4GB LPDDR4||8GB LPDDR4|
|Sequential Read||10,000 MB/s||10,000 MB/s||10,000 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||8,500 MB/s||9,500 MB/s||9,500 MB/s|
|Random Read||1.3M IOPS||1.4M IOPS||1.4M IOPS|
|Random Write||1.5M IOPS||1.5M IOPS||1.5M IOPS|
|Endurance||700 TBW||1,400 TBW||3,000 TBW|
All of the early Gen5-capable SSDs come with very similar specifications, including Phison’s PS5026-E26 controller and 232-layer TLC NAND from Micron. This includes the Inland TD510 as well as Gigabyte’s Aorus Gen5 10000, and Corsair MP700.
As you would expect, the resulting performance is therefore also largely identical, with most of the first-gen PCIe 5 devices maxing out at around 10,000 MB/s as far as sequential transfer rates go. One exception is the Crucial T700, which uses the same E26 controller but a faster variety of the Micron TLC NAND and consequently tops out at 12,400 MB/s.
Of course, 10,000 MB/s is still well above the cap for Gen4 SSDs, which is around 7,500 MB/s. In other words, the Inland TD510 is clearly one of the fastest SSDs in 2023 alongside its few close competitors. As is usually the case, the larger 2TB and 4TB capacities are slightly ahead of the 1TB model, but the difference is by no means huge as only random read IOPS and sequential writes are slightly lower.
Much like its competitors in this space, the Inland TD510 comes with fairly large amounts of DRAM compared to leading Gen4 drives. The 4TB model appears to make use of an entire 8 GB of LPDDR4 DRAM to speed up transfers.
Active power consumption is generally a challenge for all drives using the same hardware as the Inland TD510. For example, the 2 TB capacity is rated as having an 11W power draw when actively reading or writing, which is not much different from the E26-based competitors, but far more than the average PCIe Gen4 drive.
Although 11W might not sound like a lot, M.2 devices are small and the cooling solutions required to avoid thermal throttling take up quite a bit of space.
The manufacturers have opted for different solutions to the power draw and heat problem. Gigabyte includes a very large (relative to the SSD’s size) with its Gen5 10000. Corsair does not include a cooler of any sort with the MP700, meaning that users should use a motherboard heat spreader which after all is usually included with today’s motherboards.
Then there are alternatives such as the Inland TD510, which uses active fan cooling to effectively dissipate heat, albeit at the risk of some noise.
At $350 for this Gen5 SSD, we find its value exceptional for what you get in return; being the best-performing flash-based consumer SSD available.
The Inland drive has its own issues as the cable needs to be routed for the fan to operate but I believe that even without the fan working, the SSD can still run fairly well.