When buying an SSD is a gamble: manufacturer swapping NAND and SSD controllers

Posted on Friday, Dec 04 2020 @ 11:54 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Tom's Hardware highlights an issue that isn't really new, but still a problem for consumers. The website illustrates that various SSD makers are swapping components without informing consumers. Previously, some manufacturers were known to change the NAND flash memory after a device's release but now this practice has also extended to the SSD controller. It's primarily smaller brands that silently make these changes. Tom's Hardware tested three different versions of one SSD SKU and discovered massive performance differences, with one disk being a whopping 41 percent slower for some tasks.
The slower performance is not just disappointing to see, but because of the pairing and firmware configurations, the newer revisions would not have likely made it onto our list of the best SSDs. Or if they landed there, they wouldn't have remained as long as the original model did. And for those buying the drive now based on our original review, there's no real way of knowing whether you're buying version one, v2, or v3. Heck, there could be more versions out there that we don't even know about. And with other companies starting to pull similar tricks, it's tough to say for sure exactly what you're getting at all -- unless you opt for a company like Samsung, which makes its own flash and controllers, so doesn't have the same worries about component supply.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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