New Xbox Sequence X SSD reminiscence card teardowns affirm our previous suspicions; The SSD makes use of Phison’s E19T reminiscence controller alongside high-performance QLC flash reminiscence.

Xbox Series X SSD: SK Hynix 4D QLC NAND, Phison E19 memory controller 44 |


GamesBeat lately tore down the Xbox Sequence X SSD reminiscence card and revealed important data concerning the PCIe M.2 NVMe storage {hardware}. The SSD is the center of the Xbox and every thing from 4K 60FPS, 120FPS, ray tracing, and extra is made attainable by the high-speed storage. The expandable SSD card is manufactured by Seagate and is an ideal copy of the inner SSD contained in the Sequence X console, so what’s inside the cardboard ought to replicate the precise storage configuration within the devoted console.

As we predicted in our Xbox Series X SSD video, the SSD contains a mid-tier Phison E19T reminiscence controller with 4 channels, confirming PCIe x4 lane efficiency. The cardboard’s CFX (CFExpress, a card interface utilized in digital digicam storage) additionally helps 4x lanes and displays portability, ease-of-use, and the general comparatively mid-tier efficiency of the storage.

The E19T controller is a DRAM-less chip–that is it does not include a DRAM cache however as a substitute makes use of a SRAM cache chip on the console, which retains prices down and falls according to the console’s emphasis on reads–built on 28nm, has one Cortex R5 core, and is not labeled as a high-end shopper controller.

The E19T controller additionally helps solely 2TB of knowledge, so count on the Xbox Sequence X playing cards to cap out at 2TB capacities.

Xbox Series X SSD: SK Hynix 4D QLC NAND, Phison E19 memory controller 43 |

Picture credit score: Anandtech

That being stated, the controller nonetheless fairly highly effective and might push knowledge at 3.75GB/sec, which matches the Sequence X’s max 2.4GB/sec uncompressed knowledge flows.

Conversely, the PlayStation 5 makes use of a personalized 12-channel reminiscence controller that is able to blasting uncompressed knowledge at as much as 5.5GB/sec, and compressed knowledge at as much as 9GB/sec.

Learn Additionally: Xbox Series X SSD is revolutionary, changes Xbox gaming forever by synergizing CPU, GPU and RAM in amazing new ways

As an alternative of utilizing uncooked {hardware}, the Sequence X/S consoles will as a substitute make the most of a mix of storage-specific APIs and software program toolsets from the Velocity Structure stack. This consists of DirectStorage API from DX12 Final that massively streamlines knowledge flows, in addition to new options like Sampler Suggestions Streaming and extra.

Xbox Series X SSD: SK Hynix 4D QLC NAND, Phison E19 memory controller 45 |

Picture credit score: Gamesbeat

4D QLC NAND flash

On the NAND flash reminiscence facet, it seems the Xbox Sequence X makes use of 4D QLC NAND reminiscence from SK Hynix.

The chip is a bit tough to determine. The chip is marked as H25BFT8G5M3F, which is not listed within the SK Hynix product database. The H25 prefix might relate to 2 completely different variations of 4D NAND flash: QLC or TLC.

Two separate press releases for chips on SK Hynix’s web site each use the H25 prefix. We have reached out to SK Hynix with requests for clarification.

Xbox Series X SSD: SK Hynix 4D QLC NAND, Phison E19 memory controller 1 | TweakTown.comXbox Series X SSD: SK Hynix 4D QLC NAND, Phison E19 memory controller 2 |

SK Hynix’s 4D NAND TLC flash (left) in comparison with QLC flash (proper).

SK Hynix’s 96-layer QLC 4D NAND flash started shipping in 2019, and is the almost definitely reminiscence used within the SSD. QLC (quad-layer cell) is lower-cost as a result of it splits the bits-per-cell throughout Four cells, successfully reducing the cost-per-GB ratio.

QLC is much less dependable, nonetheless, because it uses 16 voltage levels and might break down quicker when plenty of writes are launched, however nice for read-heavy workloads (just like the console setting). QLC can be extra dense at 4bits per cell.

The 4D refers to how the cells are stacked vertically, permitting extra density. On paper although there’s not a lot distinction to SK Hynix’s 4D methods and the 3D stacking utilized by different OEMs.

QLC is utilized in SSDs like Samsung’s 980 QVO collection, and it is suggested shoppers use each QLC and TLC at the side of each other for finest outcomes.

The opposite less-likely chance is that the Sequence X makes use of 128-layer 4D TLC flash reminiscence. TLC is dearer to make however extra dependable, particularly for heavy write eventualities. Consoles largely learn knowledge, not write, so there’s not a giant want for TLC.

Xbox Series X SSD: SK Hynix 4D QLC NAND, Phison E19 memory controller 27 |


So what does all this imply?

Basically the Xbox Sequence X’s SSD is not extremely groundbreaking storage {hardware}. An enormous a part of the console’s efficiency comes from how the elements are optimized utilizing SSD-supercharged dataflows, and numerous that comes from the Velocity Structure software program stack.

On paper, the Sequence X’s SSD is not too loopy. Phison’s new E18 reminiscence controller, for instance, can allow 7GB/sec switch speeds in higher-end PCIe SSDs like Sabrent’s Rocket 4 Plus. These drives are enthusiast-grade storage, although, and have increased costs together with personalized warmth sinks to match. They are not meant for mass-market shopper {hardware} like consoles.

Sure, the Xbox Sequence X’s SSD is fairly quick, and sure, it would revolutionize Xbox console gaming. However it will not beat PC gaming any time quickly and console tech sometimes ships outdated–which is the case with all next-gen console elements, from the Navi 2X GPU, Zen 2 CPU, the 16GB GDDR6 RAM, and SSD tech.

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