MSI Spatium M480 2 TB Review 17

MSI Spatium M480 2 TB Review



MSI Logo

MSI is a world-leading hardware manufacturer that is mostly famous for their graphics cards, motherboards, and laptops. In addition to these, MSI also offers monitors, peripherals, cases, and power supplies. With such a complete lineup, it's not surprising that MSI is entering the SSD market now.

The Spatium M.2 SSD Series by MSI was announced a few weeks ago. Today, we're proud to be among the first sites to get you a review of these new solid-state drives.

With the Spatium lineup, MSI focuses on PCI-Express 4.0. Two drives are available at this time, the Spatium M480 (this review) and the more affordable Spatium M470 (our review, also posted today). A third, value-ended drive based on PCIe Gen 3 will be added in the coming weeks.

The Spatium M480 is based on the Phison E18 controller, the fastest currently available controller from Phison. MSI has paired it with 96-layer TLC NAND flash from Micron. Going by the number "4" in "M470," you probably already guessed right that the SSD uses the PCI-Express 4.0 interface, which doubles the theoretical bandwidth over PCI-Express Gen 3. Two DDR4-2666 DRAM chips provide 2 GB of memory for the mapping tables of the SSD. Exactly the same hardware configuration is used by the Corsair MP600 Pro and Addlink S95.

The MSI Spatium M480 comes in capacities of 500 GB (pricing unknown), 1 TB (pricing unknown), and 2 TB ($440). Endurance for these models is set to 350 TBW, 700 TBW, and 1400 TBW respectively. MSI includes a five-year warranty with the MSI Spatium M480 SSD.

A striking feature with the M480 is its massive heatsink that lets you do away with the one your motherboard comes with, as this one has been tested for optimal performance with the drive. In this review, we put the drive through its paces.

Specifications: MSI Spatium M480 2 TB SSD
Model:SPATIUM M480 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2
Capacity:2000 GB (1863 GB usable)
48 GB additional overprovisioning
Controller:Phison PS5018-E18
Flash:Micron 96-Layer 3D TLC
DRAM:2x 1 GB SKHynix DDR4-2666
Endurance:1400 TBW
Form Factor:M.2 2280
Interface:PCIe Gen 4 x4, NVMe 1.4
Device ID:MSI M480 2TB
Warranty:5 years
Price at Time
of Review:
$440 / 22 cents per GB


Package Front
Package Back

The Drive

SSD Front
SSD Back

The drive uses the M.2 2280 form factor, which makes it 22 mm wide and 80 mm long.

SSD Interface Connector

While most other M.2 NVMe SSDs transfer data over the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, the MSI Spatium M480 connects to the host system over a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 interface, which doubles the theoretical bandwidth.

SSD Teardown PCB Front
SSD Teardown PCB Back

On the PCB, you'll find the controller, eight flash chips, and two DRAM chips.

A heatsink is included in the package.

Unlike other heatsinks, which use clamping force only or rely on the stickiness of the thermal pads, MSI is using three screws on each side to firmly hold the heatsink in place—a great solution.

With the heatsink installed, the M480 looks extremely sleek.

Chip Component Analysis

SSD Controller

The Phison PS5018-E18 is Phison's new PCI-Express 4.0 controller with eight channels. It is produced on TSMC's 12 nanometer node and uses five Arm Cortex R5 CPU cores. The E18 supports NVMe 1.4, TLC, DDR4 memory, and up to 32 dies.

SSD Flash Chips

The eight flash chips are Micron 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. Each chip has a capacity of 256 GB.


Two Hynix DDR4-2666 chips provide 2 GB of fast DRAM storage for the controller to store the mapping tables.

Test Setup

Test System SSD 2021
Processor:AMD Ryzen 3 3300X @ 4.3 GHz
Zen 2, 16 MB Cache
Motherboard:ASUS Prime X570-Pro
Memory:Zadak Spark RGB, 16 GB DDR4
@ 3200 MHz 16-18-18-38
Graphics:EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO 6 GB
Case:DarkFlash DLX22
Operating System:Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
Version 2004 (May 2020 Update)
Drivers:AMD Chipset:

TechPowerUp SSD Review Test Group
ADATA Falcon 1 TB$105Realtek RTS5762DL4TLC / MicronNoPCIe 3.0 x4
ADATA SX6000 Pro 1 TB$105Realtek RTS5763DL4TLC / MicronNoPCIe 3.0 x4
ADATA SX8200 Pro 1 TB$105Silicon Motion SM2262ENG8TLC / MicronYesPCIe 3.0 x4
ADATA Swordfish 1 TB$95Realtek RTS5763DL4TLC / SanDiskNoPCIe 3.0 x4
Corsair MP600 Pro 1 TB$225Phison E188TLC / MicronYesPCIe 4.0 x4
Corsair MP400 2 TB$230Phison E12S8QLC / MicronYesPCIe 4.0 x4
Crucial BX500 480 GB$55Silicon Motion SM2258XT4TLC / MicronNoSATA
Crucial MX500 500 GB$55Silicon Motion SM2258H4TLC / MicronYesSATA
Crucial P1 1 TB$105Silicon Motion SM2263ENG8QLC / MicronYesPCIe 3.0 x4
Crucial P5 1 TB$130Micron DM01B28TLC / MicronYesPCIe 3.0 x4
Gigabyte AORUS Gen 4 2 TB$370Phison E168TLC / ToshibaYesPCIe 4.0 x4
HP EX900 Pro 1 TB$110Silicon Motion SM2263EN4TLC / MicronYesPCIe 3.0 x4
HP EX950 2 TB$225Silicon Motion SM2262ENG8TLC / MicronYesPCIe 3.0 x4
Kingston A2000 1 TB$115Silicon Motion SM2263ENG4TLC / MicronYesPCIe 3.0 x4
Kingston KC2000 1 TB$155Silicon Motion SM2262ENG8TLC / ToshibaYesPCIe 3.0 x4
Lexar NM620 1 TB$160Innogrit IG52164TLC / MicronNoPCIe 3.0 x4
Sabrent Rocket Q 1 TB$110Phison E12S8QLC / MicronYesPCIe 3.0 x4
Samsung 860 EVO 1 TB$110Samsung MJX8TLC / SamsungYesSATA
Samsung 870 QVO 1 TB$105Samsung MKX8QLC / SamsungYesSATA
Samsung 970 EVO 500 GB$65Samsung Phoenix8TLC / SamsungYesPCIe 3.0 x4
Samsung 970 Pro 512 GB$160Samsung Phoenix8MLC / SamsungYesPCIe 3.0 x4
Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB$215Samsung Elpis8TLC / SamsungYesPCIe 4.0 x4
Seagate Barracuda 120 1 TB$110Phison S128TLC / IntelYesSATA
Seagate FireCuda 510 1 TB$180Phison E128TLC / ToshibaYesPCIe 3.0 x4
Team Group MP34 512 GB$66Phison E128TLC / ToshibaYesPCIe 3.0 x4
WD Black 2018 500 GB$63SanDisk 20-82-0070118TLC / SanDiskYesPCIe 3.0 x2
WD Black SN850 1 TB$230SanDisk 20-82-100358TLC / SanDiskYesPCIe 4.0 x4
WD Blue NVMe 500 GB$50SanDisk 20-82-0070104TLC / SanDiskYesPCIe 3.0 x2
XPG Gammix S70 2 TB$400Innogrit IG52368TLC / MicronYesPCIe 4.0 x4

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May 19th, 2022 22:16 EDT change timezone

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