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So the XPG GAMMIX S11 Pro M.2 NVMe drive was recently sent to me to look at and boy have I had fun looking at it or what. 

There’s not much to talk about how the XPG GAMMIX S11 Pro looks as it looks quite nice. There are these nice racy curves on its heat spreader which makes it look like a sports car ready to head in the battle as stated earlier.

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But yeah I truly dig the design. It’s far better than the plain-looking drives we usually see in the market. XPG typically does invest in their resources for designing their products, which is apparent here too.

The heat spreader on my review unit came off easily. I am pretty sure it’s not common. But this kinda shows that you shouldn’t stick your nose in between the emotional bond between the storage chip and the heat spreader. 

The form factor of this NVMe drive is M.2 2280 which means it’s 22mm wide and 80 mm long. And if I focus on the main specs of the S11 Pro, it’s a 64 layers 3D TLC Nand flash drive with PCIe Gen3 interface support. The controller on it is by silicon motion. And there’s a DRAM cache buffer on it too. 

When I was googling to know more about the silicon motion controller on the drive here, I was thrown these results that about 4 months ago Adata downgraded to a slower controller on this chip but in reality, there wasn’t much performance difference so a lot of consumers won’t be bothered. 

The read speeds remain the same across all the different storage variants, but the write speed varies. The 512Mb version here has a claimed read speed of 3.5GB/s and a write speed of 2.3GB/s. The drive is backed by 5 years of warranty which I love as I love warranties. 

The TBW of the drive is 320TB which is pretty decent. But what does it mean? Well TBW means how many terabytes can be written on its SSD in its lifetime. 

So for example to effectively make this 512GB SSD reach its end of life within the 5 years of the warranty period, you need to write at least 175GB of data per day continuously for 5 years. The 256GB one in contrast has a TBW of 160TB which means 87.6GB per day and the 1 TB one can withstand 350 GB per day for 5 years to push it towards the end of its life. 

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So if you crunch a lot of daily data for simulations or other similar stuff which can easily gulp 100 to 150 GB of data per day then definitely go for a higher storage option. But if you just need this as a primary OS drive and don’t have such extreme requirements, then even the 256GB variant would be enough too. 

I will post some benchmarks on the screen. In all these tests you will notice that the smaller,32MB, or 50MB file transfer results are faster than the larger 32GB file transfer results. That could mean that either the temperatures of the drive are throttling the performance or the dram cache buffer just cannot sustain higher speeds with heavy files. 

So after these benchmarks, I was just curious to test the real-world performance of the drive. So I copied 2 different sets of data, one of which contained many large video files and other many smaller files of all sort of extensions. These same set of folders were then copied in both the XPG S11 pro and Samsung Evo 970 plus. Both of these Nvme drives were installed on their dedicated gen4 m.2 slots on the Asus Tuf X570 gaming plus motherboard. 

The results ahead are not indicative of anything as both the drives are performing as per their own specifications. But it was a real-world test nonetheless as I believe in real-world copy and shifting data is one of the things people mostly do. 

In the first test, I started shifting a chunk of smaller files from the S11 pro to the 970 plus. And the transfer speeds initially stayed over 1.7 GB per second and then started dropping to 1.2 GB per second for the 20GB of data I tested. 

And copying approximately 20GB of data of few big video files, the speed stayed around 1.7 GB per second. Until it started to drop to 1GB per second by the end of the transfer. (Shown better in the video above)

Going the other way around, when I copied data from the Evo 970 plus to S11 Pro, with the smaller files first, the transfer speed started from 1.7GB per second but soon dropped to around 450 MB per second. And again with the larger files, the transfer started from 2 GB per second and then dropped to 450 MB per second by the end of the transfer. 

The healthy operating temperature of the drive is from 0 to 70-degree celsius. During all of these different tests with its own heat spreader, the average temperature stayed around 58 degrees celsius with 71 degrees C as the peak temperature.

But with the motherboard’s supplied heat spreader over the S11 Pro, which to be honest is at least two and a half times the size of the S11 pro’s heat spreader, the average temperature stayed around 54-degree celsius with peak temperature till 63-degree celsius. 

So yeah a pretty, pretty looking m.2 drive which is quite fast and handles smaller chunks of data way better than heavier files on it. That means it’s not quite perfect if you plan to do video editing with many massive 4K video files on the timeline. But it will definitely be wiser if you plan to run this as a primary OS drive or to even install and play games from it.

The real-world tests earlier showed that the Evo 970 plus has relatively faster write speeds than the S11 pro but the 970 plus generally costs a little more than the S11 pro without the sexy heatsink over it. But hey, if you are a utilitarian and looks don’t matter to you, and if the price difference between these 2 drives isn’t huge in your region as that’s one factor that varies a lot throughout the globe. Then the Evo 970 plus will be a better option. But if and only if you have a heat spreader for it as that drives runs pretty hot without it. 

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Stay safe humans. That’s all for today. MuBot out.



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