Does anyone remember the Western Digital 5000AAKS? In 2010, that 500 GB harddrive cost me S$139. Fast forward to 2020: a 500 GB NVMe M.2 drive can be easily found for under S$100 from plenty of brands.
Should you? But first, Hikvision who?
Hikvision’s primary business is the manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance equipment, alongside smart home tech, industrial automation, and automotive electronics industries. It is partially state-owned and headquartered in Hangzhou, China.
“No.1 worldwide security solution provider” tout their banners in Sim Lim Square. On paper at least, this SSD holds quite some promise, with up to 2000 MB/s read and 1600 MB/s write speed, 125,000 IOPS read and 128,000 IOPS write, and a TBW rating of 320 TB.
None of these specifications are printed on the box. The retail packaging only has information of the product name, “M.2 PCIe SSD” as the specification, and a three year warranty statement. There is a little window where you can have your first look at the SSD inside.
Their website (en.hikstorage.com) has very few details about the product itself. Here is another screengrab from an online retailer of the E1000 SSD.
Inside the box, you just get a single-sided SSD, which looks nothing like the products you see in the promotional materials. Despite being advertised to have a Silicon Motion SM2263XT controller, my unit came with a Phison PS5013-E13T controller. And yes, it is b l u e.
The Phison information for this DRAM-less controller indicates that it is NVMe 1.3 (Gen3 x4) compliant, and is capable of up to 2,500 MB/s sequential read and 2,100 MB/s sequential write. With regards to Random 4K performance, the controller is rated at 240,000 IOPS read and 430,000 IOPS write for the 512 GB capacity.
The 3D TLC NAND memory chips are manufactured by UNIC2 memory, a relatively new Chinese memory manufacturer. The chips are UNN0TTE1B1HEA1, consumer-grade 128 GB chips with a 1,500 erase and write lifespan.
For benchmarking, I used CrystalDiskMark 7.0.0h. Results on the left are from a fresh drive, while the right are the results after I had migrated my OS along with a couple of games and programs. The SSD was optimised before the benchmark.
The empty E1000 delivered as promised with a write speed higher than rated. On the text output of the best run, the Random 4KiB (Q= 32, T=16) read was at 323931.4 IOPS, and write at 378716.3 IOPS.
At an ambient temperature of 28 degrees celsius, CrystalDiskInfo 8.8.7 showed that the drive idles at around 34 degrees celsius and it maxes out at 62 degrees celsius during file copying. I still do want to get a heatsink for the drive, not because of thermal issues, but the blue SSD is an eye-sore in my PC equipped with a tempered glass panel.
Coming from a Kingston A400 SATA SSD, this new drive made the system feel slightly more responsive, but improvements in OS boot and game loading times are barely noticeable.
At a SRP of S$99, the Hikvision E1000 512 GB is not an easy choice. Currently, it has the shortest warranty period compared to other drives, but it makes up for it for having the best TBW rating for drives under S$100. Prices are either SRP or lowest prices I found in Singapore.
If you’re a power user who does lots of intensive workloads with random reading and writing of data, spending 26.2% more for the Hikvision E2000 512GB at S$125, which is a DRAM-equipped drive, will net you 50% more performance and a nice heatsink which covers the blue drive.
In a scenario where you are limited by a strict budget, there is less to hate on these budget SSDs. The price difference can net you a 2TB traditional drive for backups instead of 1TB, or having extra fans in your PC to cool all the components down.
Hikvision Storage drives are represented in Singapore by Evolv3d Pte Ltd.