Gigabyte UD Pro 256GB SSD Review

3D NANDs are the trend today and these allow vendors to produce bigger drives with much smaller chips. This actually saves a ton of money all around. We’ve seen a couple of drives that make use of an external cache since these help boost performance without having to maintain storage space to work as the dedicated cache. Not to mention restricting too much wear on the NAND storage.

Today, we’ll be focusing on the GIGABYTE UD Pro; and compared to your regular SSDs that don’t come with integrated buffer caches, it is twice as effective despite having its flash memory at full. Simultaneously, the IOPS (random write) is usually up to sixteen times faster compared to non-buffer cache types. Also, the built-in DDR3L RAM lets you utilize the whole flash memory capacity without even sacrificing storage capacity or performance quality.

Another thing that is quite noticeable about this product is that it uses a mature controller that is paired with the 3D flash. Generally, the UD Pro is a strong and promising entry-level SSD design compared to other similar devices in this class. Additionally, this specific series is also highly improved than the numerous DRAM-less class SSDs that are available today.

Before we look further into this SSD from Gigabyte, let’s check out what other items and accessories are included in its package.

Gigabyte UD Pro 256GB SSD Review – What’s in the Box?

When the product was shipped to us, it came in a black ridged cardboard box instead of the usual brown package we’re used to. At the front part of the box, you’ll find some of the most basic details like the brand and the product’s name which is the UD Pro SSD.

At the lower right portion of the package, you’ll see it’s capacity displayed which is, in our case, 256GB. The back of the box shows the product’s specifications which are written in English and in five other different languages.

We noticed that all of its edges are protected with packing tape to ensure that no one has tampered or opened the package while in transit. Upon opening the box, you will find the drive in its retail container. An interesting fact about this is that the package is an inverted GTX-1070 retail container that is also from Gigabyte.

The Product

Gigabyte UD Pro 256GB SSD Review

The first solid state drive from Gigabyte is rather plain, actually one of the plainest SSDs around that we’ve seen. We were assuming that the company would add in a bit of RGB lighting for their first solid state drive, considering how they fully embraced the trend. Anyway, despite the plain appearance, it’s completely fine since most of the mounting locations of these drives are located behind the motherboard tray or within a drive cage.

The middle portion of the device has the Gigabyte logo on it and underneath, you’ll find the words “Solid State Drive”. It’s nice that the UD Pro features a couple of mainstream features, as well as a couple of their own unique ones which makes this highly notable.

The chassis has a full metallic design that increases the device’s durability; plus, its design also helps maintain the internal elements to run cooler. Honestly, we prefer the clean and classy look of the UD Pro, and it gives off a really sophisticated vibe with its enclosure made from a metal shell that is painted in black.

Its dimensions are pretty standard but this isn’t really non-surprising since the hardware is assumed to fit anywhere from a laptop to a desktop computer. Though we really liked that the drive is pretty light at just 46 grams.

On the other side of the UD Pro is the other portion of the shell. Just like with most SSDs, you won’t find any exposed circuit boards that you may be accustomed to. The back portion of the drive displays the SATA 6GB/s and the power connector; it also has a black sticker that shows a variety of certification logos in addition to the serial number, brand, and capacity.

Instead of making use of making use of screws to fix the two pieces together, the company utilized friction clips instead. This is similar to some of the older SSDs that we’ve come across or even used in the past.

Compared to the classic HDDs where you’ll find a physical spinning platter, all you’ll find is a little printed circuit board that is filled with chips that are ingrained on a blue piece of glass fiber laminate. You will notice that the board is just ⅓ or half of the size of what you’d normally see in other SSDs. Instead, you’ll have a somewhat compact configuration with a Phison PS-3110 S10 controller.

The form factor of the Gigabyte UD Pro 256GB is a 2.5-inch internal solid state drive that features the SATA 6.0 GB/s. Its dimensions are 69.85 (W) x 7 (H) x 100 (L) millimeters. The series makes use of the Phison PS-3110 S10 9-channel SATA III controller, plus the Toshiba BiCS FLASH memory.

The company states that this combination delivers up to a total of 530 MB/s sequential read & 500 MB/s sequential write performance. Its random read is 70,000 IOPS while the random write performance reaches 40,000 IOPS.

Paired with the aforementioned controller are the eight NAND flash chips coming from Toshiba. Each of these TT-18G-23-AIN BiCS3 3D tri-level cells carry a 32GB capacity which equates to a total of 256GB.

In the Windows Operating System, you will have a total accessible space of 238GB while the write endurance data is noted at 100TB. You will also find an NT5CC128M-16IP-DI Nanya technology chip in the UD Pro which holds a total of 256MB DDR3-L RAM. Overall, the entire package has a rated mean time between failure of 1.8 million hours; plus, the Gigabyte UD Pro is backed by a good three-year warranty which is good.

The Phison PS-3110 S10

The Phison PS-3110 S10 in the UD Pro is a 4-core, 8-channel controller that has up to 32 chip enables. It supports and backs up to 1GB of DDR-3 memory with integrated error connection codes or 120-bit ECC. The controller is constructed on a 55nm process; and quite interestingly, this was originally created to be utilized for the 2D TLC and 2D MLC-based SSDs.

The controller also features Smart ECC, End to End Data Path Protection, Smart Flush, DEVSLP support, and Guaranteed Flush. Additionally, the drive is accompanied by the standard SMART and TRIM compatibility; and according to the company, its rated power consumption is around 0.17 Watts when idle, and 1.9 Watts for read & 2.43 Watts for write.

If you take a look at it, these are quite lower compared to the other S10-based solid state drives. This would make the UD Pro better for laptop or mobile use.

Product Features

To give you more ideas about the UD Pro and what it has in store for you, listed here are the features of this SSD from Gigabyte.

Industry-Leading 3D NAND Flash

This specific series has adopted the 3D TLC NAND flash which has an increased bit capacity. It also features an optimized firmware and controller so it offers outstanding performance for smoother PC experience. The benefits of this specific flash include increased capacity and density for better programming; plus, it makes use of lesser power thus, making it more reliable.

External DDR-3L SDRAM Cache

The Gigabyte UD Pro 256GB SSD is outfitted with high-speed DDR-3L SSD RAM cache and doesn’t require reserving over-provisioning. This improves its random read & write performance which means that you can utilize the driver’s full capacity. Moreover, the external DRAM can also function as a buffer between the NAND flash and controller for maintained performance.

Reliable 3-Years Limited Warranty

The Gigabyte UD Pro 256GB SSD possesses both improved endurance and high data transfer speeds to give you a great MTBF of 1.8 million hours and three years or a hundred TBW limited warranty.

Specifications

Interface

  • SATA 6.0Gb/s

Form Factor

  • 5-inch internal SSD

Total Capacity

  • 256GB

Warranty

  • Limited 3-year or 100TBW

NAND

  • Toshiba BiCS3 3D TLC

External DDR Cache

  • 256MB

Sequential Read speed

  • 530 MB/s

Sequential Write speed

  • 500 MB/s

Random Read IOPS

  • 70k

Random Write IOPS

  • 40k

Dimension (W x H x L)

  • 85 x 7 x 100 mm

Mean time between failure (MTBF)

  • 8M hours

Power Consumption (Active)

  • Average: R : 1930mW; W : 2430mW

Power Consumption (Idle)

  • 170mW

Temperature (Operating)

  • 0°C to 70°C

Temperature (Storage)

  • -40°C to 85°C

Using the Product

Since the UD Pro 256GB SSD is a regular 2.5-inch SSD, its installation process will be the same as other SSDs around. What we did was insert the SSD onto the screw and bracket then connected the SATA cable to the SSD.  After this, the drive has been successfully installed.

It basically took us around five minutes or so to install the UD Pro so we definitely have no complaints here. Good job on this so we’re giving Gigabyte two-thumbs up for the entire installation.

Of course, we didn’t skip on testing this SSD and we did a couple of stress tests on increased temperatures for the UD Pro. Impressively, the SSD didn’t just pass our tests but it performed flawlessly.

As we mentioned earlier, the whole drive is encased in a metallic body which is something unique for an SSD in this price point. We think it’s a major plus since it’s more durable and efficient. We did place it under harsh conditions during the tests and it seemed pretty fine afterwards so we’re really appreciating its metallic build.

The company claims that the SSDs read & write was around 530 MB/s and 500 MB/s. After our tests, it peaked at around 524.82 MB/s for the read while it was 501.75 MB/s for the write. When it comes to the ramp up, the UD Pro was quite faster compared to the other drives, especially those on the packet size’s lower end.

All in all, the UD Pro performed excellently compared to the other standard SSDs, and its read & write speeds were highly impressive. It was able to function adequately compared to some full drives with SSDs since these usually slow down at some point. Gigabyte sure has some hidden tricks to keep this UD Pro 256GB SSD from slowing down a lot; and considering its price range, the UD Pro sure is something worth choosing.

Conclusion

In some ways, we think that Gigabyte can make it and perform well in this saturated market. And coming from our perspective, we think that they’ve done a pretty good job entering this market by presenting a unique-looking, great performing SSD at a good price.

Basing things from its specifications, we have a great writing endurance plus lower power consumption: both of which are good signs when it comes to SSDs. As for the speed of this SSD, it was surprisingly higher compared to the UD Pro 512GB and it also performed better.

This is probably due to having more than a single chip present on the board which allows the controller to send data and information simultaneously to two chips. While the UD Pro is an improved upgrade over the mechanical HDDs that are around, its pricing is still similar, or even slightly better than SSDs that have a ton to offer.

When it comes to its overall performance, the UD Pro 256GB SSD is pretty competitive when it comes to its read, write, speed, as well as linear performance. It provides a notable function for its price range and is specifically designed for the average market where extreme and heavy performance isn’t a primary factor.

With that, we highly recommend the Gigabyte UD Pro 256GB SSD to you and everyone else who needs a solid state drive performance while on a budget. We didn’t have any issues or complaints when we tested this so we truly believe that you’ll just be as happy with its function. We’re giving Gigabyte and their UD Pro SSD two thumbs up since it’s a great device to consider if you’re in need of a quick and good-performing storage for an excellent price.

Where to Buy

You can purchase the Gigabyte UD PRo 256GB SSD for around $120AUD. For more information please head on over to the official product page.

Design
Features
Performance
Usability
Value
4.5
Top
%d bloggers like this: