Last Updated on January 1, 2022 by Daniel
Silicon Power has been a name I’ve come to trust for solid-state drives, and for good reason. They have a history of releasing SSDs that have been pretty good, and when I got my hands on the Silicon Power US70 Gen4 SSD, I was surprised at just how well it performed.
The US70 Gen4 is a SATA 6 Gb/s SSD with 128 GB of storage capacity. The SSD features a SandForce SF-2281 controller that includes both a SATA 3 Gb/s interface and a SATA 6 Gb/s interface. It’s rated for 550 MB/s sequential read performance and 450 MB/s sequential write performance.
With a rated maximum power consumption of 45 watts, the SSD is rated for a seven-year life. The US70 Gen4 is available in both M.2 2280 and SATA 3.0 form factors.
The US70 Gen4’s performance and power consumption are very good, but the price is quite high. The US70 Gen4 is available for $300, which is about $25 more than the SandForce SF-2281 SATA 6 Gb/s SSD I tested last year.
Here’s how the Silicon Power US70 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
- CrystalDiskMark Sequential: 5,002.16MB/s (read); 4,256.9MB/s (write)
- CrystalDiskMark Random Q32: 2,875.94MB/s (read); 2,628.63MB/s (write)
- 10GB file transfer: 4.56 seconds
- 10GB folder transfer: 5.73 seconds
- PCMark10 SSD: 2,032 points
TEST SYSTEM SPECS
This is the system we used to test the Silicon Power US70
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
- CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Spire
- RAM: 32GB T-Force Vulcan Z CL18 @3,600MHz
- Motherboard: MSI B550 Pro VDH Wi-Fi
- Graphics card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC Gaming
- OS SSD: Samsung 980 Pro @ 500GB
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 750W
- Case: ThermalTake Core V21
Silicon Power US70 Gen4 SSD: Performance
Its lower pricing comes with a trade-off, however – the Silicon Power US70 isn’t as fast. The 2TB Silicon Power US70 achieves respectable sequential speeds of 5,002MB/s for reads and 4,256MB/s for writes. Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 outperform it with speeds up to 30% faster. Similarly, Samsung’s random speeds outperform the US70 considerably, particularly in random reads where it outperforms the US70 by more than twice as much.
However, if the Samsung 980 Pro and the WD Black SN850 are sprinters, the Samsung US70 is the marathon runner. Considering the US70 offers a lot of storage at a budget-friendly price, we might expect a similar trade-off in endurance, but Silicon Power rates the US70 for 1,800 total drive writes, which translates to 3,600TBW on the 2TB model. This is three times the endurance of the 2TB 980 Pro and SN850, both of which offer 1,200TBW.
Anyone looking to balance speed and capacity may consider one of the faster drives with a smaller capacity than the US70, but a faster drive may only prove faster if it’s mostly empty. As SSDs fill up and have less space to use as cache, their performance tends to slow down considerably. Tom’s Hardware reports the US70 uses a third of its space as a cache, so the 2TB drive is likely to keep cruising along at its top speed when filled with a lot of data that would dramatically slow down a faster 1TB drive.
Despite being in a stable position, the US70 has some direct competitors. Although we have yet to test either drive, the Seagate FireCuda 520 and Corsair MP600 offer similar speeds, endurance, and pricing (although both are a bit more expensive at the time of this writing). PNY’s XLR8 CS3040 also offers similar performance and endurance for the same price, though again, we haven’t tested this drive.
Silicon Power US70 Gen4 SSD: Pros and Cons
|Capacity advantage||No speed king|
|Economical PCIe 4.0||Economical looks|
It’s worth buying if…
Speed is your top priority, followed by the value
Silicon Power US70 isn’t the fastest drive on the market, but it’s a big improvement over the older PCIe 3.0-based SSDs. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than the drives that are setting records, which makes it an excellent choice for value-oriented enthusiasts.
There will be a lot of data to write
Although the US70 can store a lot of data, what’s more, impressive is how many times it can be filled. Don’t worry about it dying on your computer anytime soon. It is rated at 3,600TBW by Silicon Power.
Dealing with large files is your job
The US70’s sequential speeds are more impressive than its random speeds. Though it’s all-around fast, you’ll get the most benefit from the 5,000MB/s throughput when dealing with large files.
Buying it is not a good idea if…
You want a fast drive
SSDs are still capable of going faster than 5,000MB/s. The Silicon Power US70 can’t compete with Samsung and Western Digital in a footrace.
A good deal is important to you
With the CS3040, PNY goes just a little lower in price and just a little faster than the US70. Furthermore, both of them are a similar shade of blue that won’t match any build
You have an aesthetic build
Perhaps your SSD will be hidden under a graphics card or heatsink, but if it isn’t, then you might want to avoid the US70. This component has an unusual, blue PCB that will stand out and won’t match your other components.