Gigabyte AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD 512GB Review (Page 2 of 11)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

The Gigabyte AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD 512GB, as its name suggests, is a PCI Express add-in card. The last time I covered anything like this is 2014 with the OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB, which is quite a while ago. Electrically, the AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD is identical to any M.2 NVMe SSDs you can buy in the market today, except this can be useful for those who ran out of or do not have any M.2 slots on their motherboard. It works on the NVMe 1.3 logical device interface and plugs into compatible motherboards directly. Electrically, M.2 NVMe interfaces with PCIe 3.0. This SSD uses four lanes for up to 4000MB/s bandwidth in each direction.

To provide the electronic components like the controller, memory, and flash ICs, the Gigabyte AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD 512GB comes with a large aluminum heatsink that covers both sides of the printed circuit board. The company advertises up to a 30 degrees Celsius drop in temperature compared to a no heatspreader design. The heatsink is stylish with its black brushed aluminum finish and AORUS' logo in glossy silver, and makes contact with the electronic components via some thermal pads. On the side facing the exterior panel of your chassis, a plastic diffuser adjacent to ten surface mount RGB LEDs give you some cool lighting effects that can be controlled via the company's RGB Fusion 2.0 utility. You can use it to synchronize with compatible devices like the AORUS M2 optical mouse. Lighting effects include static, pulse, flash, double flash, and color cycle. If synchronized RGB LED effects are your thing and you are missing an SSD that can do so, this is the first in the market to have such a feature, haha.

Flipping the Gigabyte AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD 512GB 1TB around, and you will find the PCB is also covered entirely by a black aluminum heatsink. This heatsink actually does not actually cool any electronics components on the 512GB model since there is nothing behind it, but if you have the 1TB version, it will be there to dissipate heat on the additional memory chips. The heatsink has AORUS' branding on it as well as a couple of labels. These labels carry miscellaneous information such as its model name, capacity, serial number, and regulatory certifications. This SSD is made in Taiwan, just like many SSDs we have reviewed here at APH Networks.

Removing the screws and taking off the heatsinks, and you can see what the Gigabyte AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD 512GB is made from. There are three types of components that can be seen. At the heart of Gigabyte's AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD 512GB is a Phison PS5012-E12 controller. The Phison E12 controller is built on the TSMC 28nm lithography process and supports LDPC and StrongECC error correcting schemes. It is an NVMe solution on the M.2 socket to overcome traditional Serial ATA bandwidth bottlenecks. One SK Hynix H5AN4G8NBJR 512MB DDR4 memory chip is present; it is used by the controller for system memory. The AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD's flash memory are four Toshiba 256GB 64-layer BICS 3D triple-level cell chips labeled TA59G55AIV. If these components seem familiar to you, they are nearly identical as the Seagate FireCuda 510 and Patriot Viper VPN100 I recently reviewed. Meanwhile, the AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD's rated write endurance is a whopping 800TB, which equates to about 438GB per day for five years. This is one of the best I have seen here at APH Networks. Its power consumption is rated at 5.9W write, 4.6mW read, and 485mW idle. The actual usable space is 512GB, as advertised. You will see 476GB in Windows.

Specified at 3480MB/s read, 2100MB/s write, and up to 510,000 IOPS over NVMe 1.3 on PCIe 3.0 x4, these figures are impressive. It is over six times the speed of a regular SATA 6Gb/s drive and among the fastest group of SSDs benchmarked here at APH Networks. For comparison, the Patriot Viper VPN100 512GB is rated at 3300MB/s read, 2200MB/s write, and up to 700,000 IOPS. Meanwhile, the Seagate FireCuda 510 1TB is rated at 3450MB/s read, 3200MB/s write, and up to 620,000 IOPS. To see how it translates to numbers in our benchmarks, we will pit the AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD against the big boys of this game to see how this new performance drive from Gigabyte steps up against some popular PCI Express based SSDs from manufacturers like ADATA, Crucial, Kingston, Patriot, Seagate, Toshiba OCZ, and Western Digital in the next nine pages or so.

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.6GHz
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D15S
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB
Graphics: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB
Chassis: Fractal Design Define R6 Blackout TG
Storage: OCZ Vector 180 240GB; Crucial BX500 960GB
Power: Seasonic PRIME Ultra Titanium 850W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD
Optical Drive: LiteOn iHAS224-06 24X DVD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Compared Hardware:
- ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB
- Crucial P1 1TB
- Crucial P1 500GB
- Gigabyte M.2 PCIe SSD 256GB
- Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 480GB
- OCZ RD400A 512GB
- OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB
- Patriot Viper VPN100 512GB
- Patriot Hellfire M.2 240GB
- Seagate FireCuda 510 1TB
- Toshiba RC100 240GB
- Western Digital Black NVMe SSD 1TB
- Western Digital Black SN750 NVMe SSD 1TB
- Western Digital Blue SN500 NVMe SSD 500GB

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 6.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 5.70
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 9.0
9. Benchmark: PCMark 7
10. Benchmark: PCMark 8
11. Conclusion