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ZOTAC Sonix PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 480 GB SSD Review

  1. About the ZOTAC Sonix PCIe NVMe Drive…
  2. Observations and Impressions…
  3. Test Setup and Methodology
  4. Anvil Benchmarks
  5. AS SSD Benchmark
  6. ATTO Benchmark
  7. CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark
  8. Futuremark Benchmarks
  9. IO Testing
  10. Access Test
  11. Conclusion
  12. Online Purchase Links
  13. View All

Observations and Impressions…

Anvil’s SSD endurance test emulates constant write/erase activity which is unrealistic. But it reflects the maximum temperature during load. ZOTAC should make it a point to mention recommended idle/load temps for operating and non-operating conditions, typically done by most internal storage manufacturers.

Installation Experience

Once installed, ZOTAC Sonix provided 447GB storage space. On my Gigabyte Z97-Gaming-GT, this PCIe x4 NVMe add-in card works out of the box and just a format/OS installation away from using it like a conventional drive. Zotac provides an NVMe driver but it is up to Windows 8.1. Furthermore, it didn’t make any difference in performance. This will be tested on a near-future chipset release motherboard and compared with these benchmarks to see if there’s any optimization to benefit such storage devices.

First Impressions

The casing is all metal housing including the backplate. There are vents on the casing, rear I/O and front. The ZOTAC SONIX PCIe x4 3.0 SSD does not have any fan cooling (or any LED). The form factor of this add-in card is rather small which reminds of ASUS XONAR DX sound cards. This is a single slot design.
Unlike graphic cards, the ZOTAC SONIX gets all the power it needs through the x4 mode.

Closer Look

The card can be dismantled, though keep in mind this will require you to tear the serial number label on the side.

The NAND chips are on both sides of the PCB, with its controller in the center. The vents on the metal casing is with a filter to keep the dust away. The absence of fan cooling reduces the dust from getting collected. The backplate and the metal heatsink is in direct contact with the chips and therefore uses thermal pads.

ZOTAC Sonix uses a Phison E7 controller along with a 512GB DDR3 cache made by NANYA and Toshiba MLC NAND.

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