HP EX900 500GB M.2. SSD review

Memory (DDR4/DDR5) and Storage (SSD/NVMe) 364 Page 2 of 22 Published by

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Specifications & Features

Specifications & Features

HP is now offering three versions of the more affordable EX900 (120GB/250GB/500GB). For endurance, our tested 500GB model has been rated at 200 TBW. The sample that has arrived for testing is the 500 GB version of the drive. The EX900 series as stated will be fitted with TLC written 3D NAND flash memory (vertically stacked). This allows HP to offer the proper storage volumes, the EX900 models come with an added DRAM cache chips and a proprietary HP branded controller.


Spec


So instead of using Planar NAND, 3D NAND is used. 3D TLC NAND is physical vertical NAND cell stacking not to be confused with chip stacking in a multi-chip package. In 3D NAND, NAND layers, not chips, are stacked in a single IC. The good news is continued cost reduction, smaller die sizes and more capacity per NAND chip. Also, installed NAND toolsets in the wafer fabs can, for the most part, be reused, thereby extending the useful life of fab equipment. The NAND ICs are driven by a HP H8068 controller, there is No DRAM cache here to be found, but some provisioning, with the help of a smaller SLC written cache..

Controller with Host Memory Buffer

The HP SSD EX900 M.2 Series utilizes a cost-effective, high-performance HP PCIe-to NAND controller (HP 8068) to manage a full PCIe Gen 3(8Gb/s) x 4 bandwidth with the host while managing multiple NAND flash memory devices on 4 channels. The controller basically is a rebranded Silicon Motion (SM2263XT). Any SSD with the new SM2263XT is a DRAM-less drive, and that helps to reduce the cost for SSDs in 2018. Combined with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update you are compatible with Host Memory Buffer technology, your system memory substitutes the memory of the drive to cache the map table. Thus not using DRAM SSD cached equals a nice price reduction. A 500 GB SSD would utilize 500 MB of your system memory and if a 1 TB SSD would be available, you'd be looking at 1GB of Host Memory Buffer (which also is the maximum the controller can utilize).
 

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Pricing

I just pulled some numbers from some online e-tailers. HP is able to keep the prices low but we're fast with this review, and online the SSD is hard to find. However, in Asia, this 500GB SSD was spotted at roughly 149 USD, which is 30 cents per GB for an SSD that offers blazingly fast performance. We're sure these units can be found soon at Amazon and Newegg. HP started shipping the EX900 M.2 and the EX920 M.2 NVMe 1.3 SSDs last month.


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