Solidigm pushes out gaming gumstick SSD

SK hynix’s Solidigm business unit has launched the P44 Pro, a much faster M.2280 gumstick format SSD than the P41 Plus that landed a couple of months ago. 

Update. Solidigm P44 Pro layer count corrected to 176. 22 Oct 2022.

Both use the PCIe 4 x 4 interface but the P41 Plus uses 144-layer NAND in QLC (4bits/cell) format, whereas the P44 Pro is based on faster 176-layer TLC (3 bits/cell) flash. It is aimed at the enthusiast gamer, workstation, and content creation markets.

Sanjay Talreja, Solidigm GM for its Client Storage Group, said: “The P44 Pro is the most powerful client SSD Solidigm has launched to date and the premier enthusiast SSD on the market. This drive delivers quick launch and load, and the fast save desired by gaming enthusiasts and content creators.

Solidigm P44 Pro exploded view
Solidigm P44 Pro exploded view

“The P44 Pro minimizes throttling that can come from excessive power and heat – resulting in consistent peak performance.” 

The drive comes in the same capacities as the P41 Plus: 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB. We’ve tabulated the main P41 Plus and P44 Pro performance numbers to provide a quick comparison:

The P44 Pro’s performance numbers are way faster than Solidigm’s P41 Plus and endurance is better too. The P44 Pro’s TB written numbers (TBW) means the drive writes per day (DWPD) ratings increase with capacity: 512GB – 0.27 DWPD, 1TB – 0.4 DWPD, and 2TB – 0.66DWPD.

Solidigm has provided some benchmark testing showing the P44 Pro beating Samsung’s 980 Pro and Western Digital’s Black SN850 drives:

The 128-layer TLC NAND 980 Pro is rated at 800,000 random read IOPS, up to 1 million random write IOPS, 6.9GB/sec sequential write and 5GB/sec sequential read bandwidth. The 96-layer TLC Black SN850 delivers up to 1 million random read IOPS with sequential read/write bandwidth of up to 7GB/sec and 5.3GB/sec respectively.

Freely downloadable Solidigm Synergy software is available to optimize the P44 Pro’s caching process according to IO patterns. Solidigm says the P44 Pro meets or exceeds published requirements for the Sony PlayStation 5 gaming console.

The P44 Pro will go on sale in late October with the 512GB version costing $79.99 retail, the 1TB variant will be available for $129.99, and the 2TB option priced at $234.99.