Most of you might know BIOSTAR from the numerous motherboards they have released over the years. This Taiwanese hardware manufacturer entered the SSD market in 2016 and is expanding their offerings now.
Today, we have for review the BIOSTAR M700 512 GB SSD, which comes in the M.2 form factor, using a fast PCI-Express x4 3.0 NVMe connection to interface with the rest of the system.
Under the hood, the M700 SSD is built around a Silicon Motion SM2263XT controller paired with 64-layer 3D TLC flash from Intel. An important cost optimization is that the BIOSTAR M700 doesn't come with a dedicated DRAM chip, which allows the M700 to reach price levels that are unheard of for M.2 NVMe SSDs.
Including a DRAM chip adds a few dollars to the design cost, so manufacturers have always looked for ways to get rid of it. The big challenge for DRAM-less designs is that the DRAM chip usually caches the mapping tables, which tell the controller where to find the data. Without it, a portion of the flash memory has to be used for that task, which is much slower. We'll take a detailed look at that in this review.
BIOSTAR's M700 is available in capacities of 256 GB ($30), 512 GB ($50) and 1 TB ($95). Endurance for these models is not specified, BIOSTAR simply gives a 3 year warranty.
|Specifications: BIOSTAR M700 SSD|
|Capacity:||512 GB (447 GB usable)|
No additional overprovisioning
|Controller:||Silicon Motion SM2263XT|
|Flash:||Intel 64-layer 3D TLC|
|DRAM:||N/A, 32-64 MB Host-Memory-Buffer|
|Form Factor:||M.2 2280|
|Interface:||PCIe Gen 3 x4, NVMe 1.3|
|Device ID:||BIOSTAR M700-512GB|
|Price at time|
|$50 / 10 cents per GB|
The drive uses the M.2 2280 form factor, which makes it 22 mm wide and 80 mm long. The PCB has four flash chips and the controller. A DRAM chip is not installed.
Like most M.2 NVMe SSDs, the BIOSTAR M700 connects to the host system over a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface.
Chip Component Analysis
We've encountered the Silicon Motion SM2263XT controller on several M.2 SSDs before. It is a fairly new model with four flash channels, solid performance, and support for DRAM-less TLC.
The four TLC flash chips are made by Intel, using their 64-layer 3D NAND production process.
Our Patreon Silver Supporters can read articles in single-page format.