Today I will be reviewing the Mushkin Gamma 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD. Much like everything else we rate SSD’s by speed. The faster the better of course. Unlike a lot of other devices we cant overclock these types of devices, not yet anyways. You just need to make sure you have a PCIe Gen4 slot to get the full potential of this drive. With a rated speed of 7150MB/s this drive is among just a handful of other drives that are going to be rated at these speeds. Right off the bat this drive has the capabilities to be one of the fastest drives you can get your hands on. This drive is equipped with the new Phison E18 controller and the controller is supposed to be capable of some amazing transfer speeds. We will surely find out exactly what we can get out of this drive when we throw some benchmarks at it. Having a drive capable of transferring your files at a moments notice is becoming more and more of a necessity rather than a luxury. The faster you move these files is time saved and we all know time is money. Having a faster drive is going to speed that very thing you spend so much time on. With a faster drive you will be able to load files faster, move files faster, and accomplish more in a days time than you ever did before. Just think about it, if you are upgrading from a Gen3 you are essentially cutting this wait time in half. So keep scrolling and lets see all of the details of this drive and on the next few pages we will cover all the results from testing.
Conceived from a passion for performance and engineered to help break records, the Mushkin ALPHA, DELTA and GAMMA series ushers in the next generation of PC storage. Featuring the latest gamut of Phison Controllers. Delivering incredible performance and efficiency, Making them the ideal SSD offerings for gamers, content creators, and computing enthusiasts, which demand the absolute best experience.
I would like to send a big thank you to Muskin for the review sample! Here is a snippet of what they have to say about themselves on their website:
Founded in Denver, Colorado in 1994, Mushkin Enhanced MFG has since become one of the nation’s most recognized Manufacturers of performance computer products worldwide and has well established relationships with all of the top computer component companies in the world including Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, LSI, as well as top retail channels globally. Exceptional quality, enhanced performance and unparalleled customer support are what make our products the best in the industry.
With a strong team of over 25 years experience, we have focused around cutting edge technology including digital storage devices and a complete selection of memory upgrades for desktops, servers and notebooks – we offer something for everyone; from business user to gamer.
As we grow as a company, it has become more and more important to explicitly define the core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our business strategies. These are the eight core values that we live by:
- Deliver WOW Through Quality Products and Service
- Embrace and Drive Change
- Drive Innovation through Fun, Exciting new channels
- Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
- Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
- Do More With Less
- Be Passionate and Determined
- Most Importantly, Be Humble
All of us Mushkin live the “work hard, play hard” mentality! We believe in operational excellence and realize that there is always room for improvement in everything we do. This means that our work is never done. In order to stay ahead of the competition (or would-be competition), we need to continuously innovate as well as make incremental improvements to our operations, always striving to make ourselves more efficient, always trying to figure out how to do something better. On the right you will see our Product Launch cycle, showing how we don’t only launch a product, but develop and consistently improve them. It’s called the Mushkin difference.
|Type||M.2 (2280) Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)|
|Form Factor||M.2 (2280)|
|Memory Components||3D NAND|
|Interface||PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe 1.4|
|Max Sequential Read||Up to 7150MB/s|
|Max Sequential Write||Up to 5600MB/s|
|4KB Random Read||Up to 360,000 IOPS|
|4KB Random Write||Up to 645,000 IOPS|
|Total Bytes Written (TBW)||700TB|
|Features||MEDS (Mushkin Enhanced Data-protection Suite) ensures valuable data is protected|
|– Built-in LDPC ECC provides the most-powerful data correction level in use today|
|– End-to-end data path protection|
|– Thermal Monitoring|
|– Hardware encryption: AES 128/256 bit SHA160/256/512, RSA 2048|
|– Enhanced Power Management|
|– RoHS, FCC, CE|
|Max Shock Resistance||1500G|
|Power Supply||3.3V DC|
|5-year limited warranty|
Let’s move to the next page to take a look at the Mushkin Gamma 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD Packaging and Contents.
The Mushkin Gamma 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD will show up being housed in a plastic package that is held closed with your typical push in tabs. On the back you will see a few features of the SSD along with some manufacturing information. The package will have no issue keeping your drive safe while its in transport. The front does state Gen3 x4 but It is a Gen4 x4 drive as you can see that clearly labeled on the back. Could be confusing but rest assured it is a Gen4 device.
- Gamma 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD
- Mushkin Sticker
Now let us take a closer look at the Mushkin Gamma 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD itself!
A Closer Look and Testing
Phison designed the new E18 from the ground up on the efficient TSMC 12nm process node. This provides SSD manufacturers with a state-of-the-art controller solution in an increasingly competitive field. The controller utilizes Phison’s proprietary CoXProcessor 2.0 technology, an innovative SSD architecture that enables E18 to deliver exceptional performance and power efficiency. Phison architecture is also primed for AI-assisted storage, where its distributed architecture uses many small cores to perform the workload in parallel. The E18 is ideal for gamers, content creators, and computing enthusiasts, which demand the best experience. This ultra-low latency is possible only with NVMe SSDs.
The E18 maximizes use of the available bandwidth of PCIe 4.0 to improve sequential read performance up to 7.4GB/s and write performance to 7.0GB/s, making E18 the only solution in the market to break the 7.0GB/s on both read and write access. When fully utilized, the eight-channel E18 delivers up to 1 million IOPS and scales to a massive 8TB capacity.
Phispm PCIe Gen4 SSD Controller
|Technology Node||TSMC 12nm|
|Speed & Lane #||Gen 4 x 4L|
|Others||1. Boot Partition; 2. RPMB|
|Channel #||Max: 8|
|CE #||Max: 32|
|Speed||1600 MT/s per channel|
|Performance (FOB; est.)|
|SR/SW (MBps)||Max: 7400/7000|
|RR/RW (IOPS)||Max: 1000K/1000K|
|Controller Power (Est.)||3.0W|
|Processor||32-bit ARM Cortex R5 (Three CPUs)
|Peripheral Interface||GPIO, UART, ICE, I2C, SPI, SMBus|
|Data Reliability||4th Gen LDPC engine; End-To-End Data Path Protection; SmartECC|
|SRAM Protection||Internal SRAM ECC/parity protection|
|Security||HW ) AES 128/256 bit, SHA 160/256/512, RSA 4096
FW ) TCG & Opal 2.0, Pyrite, Sanitize and Crypto Erase
|Temperature||Controller: -40 ~ 125oC (Tj)|
|Others||Dynamic SLC cache support
4KB & 512B support
Now that we have seen the Mushkin Gamma 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD up close, let us see the results from testing!
Testing was accomplished on a blank formatted SSD. Our test setup consists of the following hardware:
|CPU||Intel Core i9-11900K @ 3.6GHz (Rocket Lake)|
|Cooling||Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z590 Vision G|
|Ram||Gigabyte AORUS 16GB (2×8) 4800MHz|
|HDD||Samsung 960 EVO 250GB PCIE M.2 SSD (OS)
Gamma 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD (Test)
|PSU||Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 850W|
Just as a quick reminder of the advertised specifications from Mushkin. Sequential read up to 7150MB/s and Sequential write up to 5600MB/s.
ATTO Disk Benchmark v4.01
The ATTO Disk Benchmark application was designed to measure your storage systems performance with transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and write speeds. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. You can test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives.
ATTO Disk Benchmark Features:
- Transfer sizes from 512KB to 8MB
- Transfer lengths from 64KB to 2GB
- Support for overlapped I/O Supports a variety of queue depths
- I/O comparisons with various test patterns
- Timed mode allows continuous testing
- Non-destructive performance measurement on formatted drives.
Results: Max Sequential read 6707.2MB/s and sequential write 5181.4MB/s
Very close to advertised speeds.
Crystal Disk Mark 7.0
CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds.
- Measure sequential reads/writes speed
- Measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed
- Select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill)
- Theme support
- Multi-Language support
Results: Max Sequential read 6977.5MB/s and sequential write 5453MB/s
Very close to advertised speeds.!
PCMark 10 Results with real-world relevance
- PCMark 10 Storage Benchmarks produce an overall score as a measure of drive performance. Comparing devices is as simple as comparing scores. The tests also measure and report the bandwidth and average access time performance for the drive.
- Each test uses traces recorded while performing real-world tasks such as booting Windows 10, starting applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, working with applications such as Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, and copying several large files and many small files.
- Unlike other synthetic storage tests, this focus on real-world activities enables PCMark 10 to show meaningful differences between the latest, high-performance storage technologies.
- PCMark 10 Storage Benchmarks help professional users relate manufacturers’ technical specifications to practical real-world performance with tests that are easy to set up and run.
- You can compare up to four results in the PCMark 10 app, or export your results to Microsoft Excel for more detailed analysis.
The Quick System Drive Benchmark is a shorter test with a smaller set of less demanding real-world traces. You can use this benchmark to test smaller system drives that are unable to run the Full System Drive benchmark.
The Data Drive Benchmark is designed to test drives that are used for storing files rather than applications. You can also use this test with NAS drives, USB sticks, memory cards, and other external storage devices.
Well there we have it, the Mushkin Gamma 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD, now lets move on to the last page and read a little on the Conclusion and Verdict.
Conclusion and Verdict
As you saw in the test results the drive easily reaches read speeds of 7000MB/s. This is an insane transfer speed with out any outside controller. This is all packed into a small M.2. I was extremely satisfied to only see a max temp of 55 degrees Celsius while running all these test back to back. This was recorded utilizing the heatsink from the motherboard. This is probably going to be the most common way all of will install this drive. If your motherboard doesn’t have heatsink I don’t see temperatures being an issue either way. Regardless these temps are very acceptable. Moving data at these speeds, heat can become something to watch but no worries here. You don’t need to hassle with an external heatsink that come pre-applied to a lot of drives you find in this speed range. Something else I like is the built in protections from the Mushkin Enhanced Data-protection Suite (MEDS). This isn’t something you download and use as an utility but it is built-in LDPC ECC that provides the most-powerful data correction level, End-to-end data path protection, SmartECC, Thermals. Encryption, and an Enhanced power management that will keep those temps lower. All of these features are very import to the longevity to your drive. On a lighter note I like tag line Gamma and the red color scheme. If you are a Hulk fan then you already know where I am going with this. Turn you storage capabilities into something Hulk like by adding a little Gamma to it!
You aren’t going to find a drive much cheaper than this one, at similar speeds. The test speeds speak for themselves. They are some of the fastest speeds I have tested to date. And you are only going to find a handful of drives capable of something faster. We have waited a little while for a Gen4 x4 from Mushkin but for the wait is worth it after seeing the capabilities of this device. They also have one other featuring the Phison E16 called the Delta.
The Mushkin Gamma 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD can be found at Amazon as well as various other e-tailers for the price around $199.99 USD.
- 5 year Warranty
- High transfer speeds
- Supports NVMe 1.4
- PCIe Gen4 x4