AsgardA Chinese memory and storage manufacturer announced the launch of the company’s first PCIe 4.0 SSD.With its amazing speed, AN4 can easily compete with certain The best solid state drive Currently on the market.
AN4 is based on Innogrit’s IG5236 Rainier controller and YMTC’s 128-layer 3D TLC (three-layer cell) NAND chip. YMTC (Yangtze River Storage Technology Co., Ltd.) uses the company’s proprietary Xtacking 2.0 technology to produce 128-layer TLC NAND. The process includes the production of interconnects and NAND stacks on separate wafers. YMTC then fuse the wafers together by aligning millions of small holes with the optical system.
To keep it cool during operation, AN4 is equipped with a sturdy radiator with a heat dissipation area of up to 8cm². Asgard claims that the heat sink helps reduce the operating temperature by up to 30 degrees Celsius. Vendors rated AN4’s sequential read and write speeds as high as 7,500 MBps and 5,500 MBps, respectively. The random performance of the drive remains a mystery.
Asgard touts AN4 as having a high endurance rating, but an exact TBW (TB written) value. The SSD comes with a five-year limited warranty. Asgard also did not disclose pricing, but confirmed that the 1TB model will be available in early August, while the 2TB and 512GB models are in the planning stage.
Asgard AN4 PCIe 4.0 performance
A user from Bilibili Forum The Asgard AN4 1TB SSD has been put on the right track. AN4 adheres to a double-sided PCB design, with four NAND chips with YMN09TC1B1HC6C part numbers.
Critics pointed out that AN4 supports a maximum payload size (MPS) of up to 512 bytes, which theoretically allows a transfer rate of up to 7,500 MBps. Other SSDs that support 256-byte MPS can reach up to 7,150 MBps. However, the correct motherboard is required to achieve these values. He emphasized that only AMD motherboards support MPS up to 512 bytes, while Intel Z590 motherboards are limited to 256 bytes.
Bilibili users compared AN4 with other similar drives with the same Innogrit IG5236 Rainier controller and different TLC NAND chips. He compared YMTC’s 128-layer NAND with Micron’s 176-layer B47R NAND and Kioxia’s 96-layer BICS4 NAND.
|SSD||Serial Q128T1 read (MBps)||Serial Q128T1 read (MBps)||4KiB Q32T16 read (MBps)||4KiB Q32T16 write (MBps)||4KiB Q32T1 read (MBps)||4KiB Q32T1 write (MBps)||4KiB Q1T1 read (MBps)||4KiB Q1T1 write (MBps)|
|IG5236 + YMTC 128L||7,475.5||5,472.7||3,551.2||4,787.7||710.9||604.1||82.56||294.0|
AN4 is very close to Asgard’s advertised specifications on CrystalDiskMark. However, the real star of the show is the 128-layer 3D TLC NAND of YMTC.
In terms of sequential read speed, YMTC’s NAND is only slightly faster than Micron’s NAND, but its performance is 7% higher than Kioxia’s NAND.
In terms of sequential write performance, Micron is better than Yangtze River Storage by 2%, but Yangtze River Storage beats Kioxia by 9%.
|SSD||PCMark 10||PCMark 10 bandwidth (MBps)||PCMark 10 average storage time (μs)||Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker load time||SPECWorkstation 3.1 Media and Entertainment||SPECWorkstation 3.1 product development||SPECWorkstation 3.1 Life Science||SPECWorkstation 3.1 energy||SPECWorkstation 3.1 general operation||Puget System Photoshop||Puget System After Effects||PCMark 10 benchmark (MBps)||PCMark 10 downgrade (MBps)||PCMark 10 stable (MBps)||PCMark 10 recovery (MBps)||Chia Single Plot (minutes)|
|IG5236 + YMTC 128L||3,601||581.49||47||9.811||9.18||11.21||2.79||7.42||8.8||989||1,166||726||245||187||581||38.6815|
YMTC’s 128-layer NAND ranked first in 10 out of 16 different tests. It has consistently performed well in the PCMark 10 drive performance compliance test, which is a torture test that lasts 10 to 20 hours and places more than 23TB drives on the SSD. In other workloads, such as game loading or Chia drawing, YMTC is only slightly faster than Micron and Kioxia.
The overall conclusion is that Yangtze River Storage has caught up with established players such as Micron and Kioxia in terms of performance. However, there are two unknowns about YMTC’s 128-layer NAND. Performance is great, but durability and price are equally important. At the same time, we don’t know how durable YMTC’s NAND is, or whether it is cheaper or more expensive than competitors.