Teclast S500 120GB SSD Hands-On Review: Best SATA 3 Solid State Drive with Read Up To 520MB/s & Write Up To 350MB/s Speed

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Solid State drives are definitely one of the hottest computer products in the market now. And every day it just feels like they are getting more affordable for consumers to buy them. As we all know with technology and time, products that were once expensive are much cheaper after a period of time. Not only are they cheaper, but they work a lot faster and better than their previous models. All the first gen SSDs really did not have much more read and write speeds faster than a normal hard drive. However, the increase in boot time was very attractive since there was no need for the spin-up time like the original mechanical hard drive. Enthusiasts would use a 30 to 40 GB SSD to boot their computer and have a normal hard drive for storage. The only drawback was that there was not much longevity for the SSD since the free space left over was becoming smaller and smaller due to other extra files (windows update, internet cache, hidden files, etc… This worked quite well until companies started focusing on increasing the size, speed, and integrity of these drives simultaneously.

Nowadays we can see 120 or 240GB SSDs with amazing transfer rates, safety options, longer lifetimes, and affordable prices. The product that I will be reviewing today is more on the business end since it comes with extra features to really protect the integrity of your information. But, it should be noted it’s still pretty affordable in terms of the price of SSDs. Teclast has come out with their SSD. Now Teclast S500 120GB SSD drive that blows away the competition. It’s fast, sleek, simple, and will definitely protect your information should your drive fail. Teclast is one of several companies that offer reasonably capacious SSDs at the lowest possible prices. It competes with Kingston, WD, Adata, Samsung, Zotac, and Transcends.

Today, we’re going to test the Teclast S500 SSD 120GB model to see if it delivers on its promise, and what you can realistically expect from it.

Before starting the review, we would like thanks to Teclast for sending us the Teclast S500 120GB SSD for Test.

Specification

Type Notebook, Desktop
Capacity 120GB
Interface SATA III
Brand Teclast
Max Sequential Write up to 350MB/s
Max Sequential Read up to 520MB/s
Flash type 3D NAND
Dimensions 100mm x 69.8mm x 7mm
Operating temperature 0°C to 70°C
Storage temperature -40°C ~ 85°C

Unboxing

The front of the packaging has a logo of the brand and text describing the capacity and model. On the backside is an SKU sticker with more specifics on the drive such as capacity, a 7mm to 9.5mm drive spacer, serial number, and compliance logos. Overall, the 2.5″ model measures 100.5mm x 69.85mm x 6.9mm and can weigh up to 42.1g. Four screws hold it together.

Let’s take a look and see what comes inside the box of this amazing SSD. Inside we find the disc properly protected in a plastic mold to avoid scares in the transport to our house, it includes a small manual in English that does not have much mystery.

Design

The Teclast S500 SSD’s casing is an Orange aluminum finish that is simplistic and stylish. The drive itself is constructed of an all-metal finish. The size of the Teclast S500 disk is about 10 x 6.9 x 0.7 cm which allows us to mount it on any device as it is thick compatible with all the housings.

On the front side, we can see their logo printed and on the backside is a product sticker with the drive’s certs, capacity, serial numbers and such. We can also see the finish on the backside is nowhere near the quality of the front.

Inside we find a half height PCB with 4 NAND modules, a single DRAM module, and a single controller. Each NAND module is packed with Micron’s latest 32Gbit 32-layer 3D TLC. Once formatted in Windows, our 120GB model has about 112GB usable space. The controller is one of silicon motion’s latest and a popular choice for pairing with 3D NAND, the SM2258XT. It is a four-channel controller with a robust feature set. 

The SM2258XT is a high-performance SATA 6Gb/s SSD controller ideally suited for cost-effective, small form factor and low power client and industrial storage solutions for PCs, Ultrabooks, Tablet PCs, and other embedded applications. The single-chip, DRAM-less design reduced BOM cost without compromising performance while enabling 2.5″, 1.8″, slim SATA(MO-297), mSATA(MO-300) and M.2 form factor SSDs. Its ultra-low power consumption effectively extends battery life and optimizes user experience.

The SM2258XT is a complete merchant ASIC/firmware solution supporting 1z nm TLC and 3D NAND from all major NAND suppliers. Leveraging Silicon Motion’s proprietary NANDXtend™ error-correcting code (ECC) technology, the SM2258XT provides a comprehensive data protection and enhances the endurance and retention of TLC NAND, delivering more than three times better durability for TLC SSD.

Benchmark Software

The software in use for today’s Test of Crystal Disk Info, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, AS SSD, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, and PCMark 8. We prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

Crystal Disk Info

Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, to the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent of informing you of the firmware of the device. Crystal Disk Info verifies TRIM, NCQ, and DevSleep support. It also shows working temperature sensors and a working total host write counter. There are also a plethora of useful S.M.A.R.T. data counters available to the end user to read.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmark, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results. During our first go at benchmarking, ATTO reveals very solid performance. Across all file sizes read performance is better than write. The Teclast S500 SSD was able to achieve 560MB/s read and 322MB/s write in this test.

Crystal Disk Mark Benchmark

Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through a sampling of random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Performance is virtually identical, regardless of data sample so we have included only that using random data samples. Next, up in Crystal Disk Mark, we can see the Teclast S500 was able to achieve the maximum sequential performance of 540MB/s read and 342MB/s write. On the 4K section, we can see a high of 197MB/s for reading and 275MB/s for write.

AS SSD Benchmark

The toughest benchmark available for solid state drives is AS SSD as it relies solely on incompressible data samples when testing performance. For the most part, AS SSD tests can be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ in obtaining data transfer speeds and many enthusiasts like AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right. AS SSD, the Teclast S500 reached a score of 603, a similar score to other drives utilizing this controller. Sequential speeds hit 424MB/s for reads and 305MB/s write while 4K speeds reach 20MB/s for reading and 50MB/s for write. Furthermore, the drive reached 48,673 read IOPS and 35,066 write IOPS. Access times are for reading and write are both around 0.119ms.

To complement this, the AS SSD Copy Bench presents us with transfer speeds for different file types. The Teclast S500 reached a high of 352MB/s for the ISO test.

Anvil’s Storage Utilities (ASU) Benchmark

Anvil’s Storage Utilities (ASU) are the most complete test bed available for the solid state drive today. The benchmark displays test results for, not only throughput but also, IOPS and Disk Access Times. Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.

In Anvil Storage Utilities, the max sequential read reaches 500MB/s and sequential write comes in at 286MB/s. 4K speeds prove similar to the other benchmarks, 20MB/s for reading and 47MB/s for write. Testing with compressible and incompressible data has presented no issue for this drive so far and there has been consistent performance across all tests. Now to achieve the maximum IOPS, we used Anvil’s threaded read and write tests with 4KB data. For reading, we were able to reach 35,986 IOPS and for write, we hit just under the rated value at 30,360 IOPS. It achieved an overall score of 2,588 points as well.

PCMark 8’s Storage Test

We used PCMark 8’s Storage test suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. With 10 traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games, it covers some of the most popular light to heavy workloads. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices. After an initial break-in cycle and three rounds of the testing, we are given a file score and bandwidth amount. The higher the score/bandwidth, the better the drive performs. In PCMark 8 the Teclast S500 SSD scored 4076 points and averaged 85.68MB/s in bandwidth. In score ranks the Teclast S500 as a very good performing mainstream SSD.

Report Test & Our Thoughts

Considering the Teclast S500 is a value based SSD and that our review sample was only 120GB in capacity, we must say that we were impressed with the performance. After going through a few rounds of testing it was apparent that the ratings of 560MB/s read and 342MB/s write are spot on. The 4K QD1 performance was decent in CDM, AS SSD, and Anvil, but not quite noteworthy. When tasked with a little more load (higher queue depths), the Teclast S500 was able to dish out 48.6K/35K IOPS read/write. Moving on to our trace-based test, PCMark 8, it also became apparent that the Teclast S500 was not only good during these synthetic benchmarks, it was good under real-world workloads. Under the standard run of PCMark 8’s storage test, the Teclast S500 achieved a score of 4076 and an average bandwidth of 85.68MB/s.

This isn’t where testing ended though. After PCMark 8 we turned on our power meter and took a look at the Teclast S500’s efficiency. With an average transfer speed of 318MB/s during our 30GB transfer, it was apparent that the Teclast S500 utilizes an SLC cache (PlexNitro) and later testing with ATTO showed that it’s base write performance is about 322MB/s. Matching its performance with an average power consumption of 2.15W, we get an average of 148MB/s per watt, which ranks the Teclast S500 somewhere in the middle of our efficiency chart. Finally, taking a look at idle power consumption we can see that the Teclast S500 sips power, as it should, at just 53mW. Overall, a good show.

Conclusion

The SATA market is and has been, flooded with options for quite some time. Quickly after the SATA 6GB/s interface was released into the market, SSD manufacturers started to release new SSDs capable of saturating the interface and since then, SATA based SSDs have been somewhat boring. SATA SSDs are a dime a dozen.  Yes, there are benefits with buying one or another (more write performance or more endurance or a longer warranty), but now with the latest NAND and controllers out, that is becoming less and less important. Most SATA SSDs will deliver a similar user experience at the end of the day for normal desktop workloads. Even some of the slowest TLC based options in the market are light-years ahead of HDDs in response and performance. Today, what really matters to most people is very simple, price. With that said, the Teclast S500 has an MSRP of $38.49 for the 120GB model, which makes it a decent value at this time.

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