Anyone else try the Fanxiang NVMe SSDs?

Rednroll wrote on 8/30/2023, 5:41 AM

I typically stick to Samsung, Western Digital/Sandisk and SK Hynix brands when it comes to purchasing SSDs. When I was configuring my new laptop it has 2 Gen4 NVMe SSDs slots where I purchased 2 2TB Samsung 980 Pro SSDs. One for OS and program(C-Drive) installs and the other as my data, media and project working drive (D-Drive). I really would have preferred getting a 4TB SSD for the Data drive since 2TB is on the edge of what I typically feel I need on the data storage drive.

Samsung and SK Hynix have yet to come out with 4TB NVMe SSDs and Western Digital's prices on their Black SN850x I felt were a little too high for my comfort level where they were $100/TB and going prices on similar 2TB models were coming in at $50/TB. Originally $400 for the WD when I was building my laptop but have recently dropped to $300 which I was starting to consider purchasing.

In my shopping, I came across the Fanxiang S880 4TB Gen4 SSD for $180 which was more in my comfort zone of price I was willing to pay but obviously took into consideration it may be junk or unreliable, so did a lot of deep digging of going through many user reviews and digging into specs. Learned along the way it is built with a MAP1602A controller and YMTC 232L (X3-9070) TLC NAND flash which is a controller and Nand flash combo used by many other top tier SSD brands, known for their speed and reliability. It also boosts 2800TBW drive life and a 5 year warranty although warranty isn't something I ever take into consideration since it often becomes too much of a hassle to go through the warranty process.

I decided to take the plunge since I'm in the beginning stages of getting my laptop fully setup with programs, preferences and decided it was best to switch the data drive sooner rather than later. What ever happened to Samsung being one of the top tier SSD developers? I know they had some troubles with the 980 Pro but has been fixed through firmware. Currently they don't even make a 4TB SSD in an NVMe package while other manufacturers are releasing 8TB NVMe SSDs and Gen5 SSDs?

So far out of the gate just running some speed tests and transferring the data over from my original Samsung D drive, I have been impressed with the Fanxiang S880 SSD. Its speed was faster than the Samsung 980 Pro I was replacing on the same system. Longevity and reliability, the jury is still out and is the reason I'm making this post to the Vegas community to see if anyone has had any experience with this brand while I'm still within the Amazon return window. 😉

Samsung 2TB 980 Pro Gen4 NVMe speed test results

Fanxiang 4TB S880 Gen 4 NVMe speed test results

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C6DL33T5/?coliid=I27QUN2WZA2709&colid=60DORVO8NS3V&ref_=list_c_wl_lv_ov_lig_dp_it&th=1

 

Comments

Former user wrote on 9/9/2023, 1:24 AM

I would not trust an unknown brand like this (as these OEMs often rebrand lower quality chips from other manufacturers - this happens with all type of memory - SD Cards, SSDs, RAM, etc.) as a system drive, especially with the way some software is licensed/activated (Machine ID, etc.) and how much of a PITA it can be to get some things reset (or rebuild a PC after an drive failure, unless you take regular system image backups).

Beyond that, the benchmark results are not really reliable as you did very few passes with only 1GB Sample size. That is not enough passes, and it's not enough to really test the performance of the drive in heavier workloads. Some SSDs have more cache than others, and when cache is exhausted the drive performance can nosedive. I think Samsung SSDs have 2GB of DDR4 Cache, so a 1GB benchmark is simply not reliable in getting a result that allows you to understand how the drive will perform in a real-world video production/workflow scenario.

Beyond that, the results are also weird. Yea, the FX4TB gets nice Sequential Read Scores, but that is probably the least relevant stat on there. The Random Read Scores are far more relevant, as that is how most data is going to be read. A few things to think about:

  1. SSDs aren't defragged (do not do this on an SSD, ever), so any file fragmentation is going to break sequentiality. As a result, the delta between these two drives will narrow in a real-world usage scenario due to the Samsung having better random read performance.
  2. Video Projects (and Audio Projects) often have layered asset files, which means the RND read speeds are going to factor in often. I wouldn't even be surprised if the overall read performance ends up being a wash in real-world use.
  3. Rendering video is not a factor, as both of these drives have faster sequential write speeds than most people will notice. Also, rendering is often bottlenecked by the processing capabilities of the PC, not the I/O (Drive) performance. Even if you are editing 8K, your drive is unlikely to be the bottleneck. Your CPU and GPU will be. In most cases the video will be compressed before being written anyways (e.g. Render to H.264/HEVC/AV1), so even a SATA3 SSD will have enough bandwidth to accommodate those demands.
  4. Performance also depends on how many I/O threads an application is using to access storage. Fewer I/O threads on really fast storage can still bottleneck performance, particularly if you are using a single drive for Footage/Cache/Export. How the NLE application accesses storage also has to be factored in. Going to faster storage may not necessarily be much of an upgrade.
  5. The differences between these two (in this basic performance benchmark) are almost a wash, so the only thing of note really is the Price Per Gigabyte. If it is as reliable as the Samsung, and has a comparable cache to it, then it's a banger deal. Otherwise, the risk probably isn't worth it.

I would use these as a cache drive and that would be my stress test for gauging long-term reliability, as that kind of usage is going to exert decent stress/usage onto the drive and help fish for any QC/Reliability issues with them - or, at least, my particular unit (although, personal experience can be anecdotal).

If a cache drive fails, nothing is lost. You simply replace and give it the same drive letter, then start up your software and it will simply recreate the directories and files and function as if nothing happened.

A lot of CHN OEMs that rebrand low quality memory chips from other manufacturers and sell them at cheaper prices.

Personally, I expect to get a good decade out of good-quality SSDs. I have 240GB Intel SSDs from 2012/2013 that are still running strong and have like 80%+ life left... after over a decade of fairly heavy usage.

Anything worse than that, unless proven to be a clear outlier/anomaly, makes an OEM a complete no-go for me. TBW doesn't matter, as most drives will go over their chronal warranty breakpoint before they reach the TBW breakpoint - even smaller capacity drives with much smaller TBW ratings...

For video editing, I would never buy a laptop that didn't have dual SSD capability. Either Dual NVMe or NVMe + SATA3. Laptop controllers often do not perform as well as desktops in sustained usage, and drives tend to throttle more quickly/frequently under load due to the machine's thermal design.

andyrpsmith wrote on 9/9/2023, 3:28 AM

I bought one (4TB) for a new build I'm doing at the moment, like you I did research to see what reviews were out there and they are pretty good, the other options I considered were Corsair and Crucial but they were not as good spec and also had various complaints about reliability. We will see how it goes I guess. My issue now is trying to fit a 420mm water cooler in the case. I would like it to go at the top but if not it will fit in the front.

fr0sty wrote on 9/9/2023, 2:45 PM

Here's some specs:

The Fanxiang S770M is a solid-state drive in the M.2 2280 form factor, launched in 2022. It is available in capacities ranging from 1 TB to 4 TB. This page reports specifications for the 4 TB variant. With the rest of the system, the Fanxiang S770M interfaces using a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 connection. The SSD controller is the IG5236 (Rainier) from InnoGrit, a DRAM cache chip is available. Fanxiang has installed 176-layer TLC NAND flash on the S770M, the flash chips are made by Micron. To improve write speeds, a pseudo-SLC cache is used, so bursts of incoming writes are soaked up more quickly. The cache is sized at 750 GB, once it is full, writes complete at 3000 MB/s. Copying data out of the SLC cache (folding) completes at 1500 MB/s. Thanks to support for the fast PCI-Express 4.0 interface, performance is excellent. The S770M is rated for sequential read speeds of up to 7,400 MB/s and 6,800 MB/s write.
At its launch, the SSD was priced at 147 USD. The warranty length is set to five years, which is an excellent warranty period. Fanxiang guarantees an endurance rating of 4000 TBW, a good value.

DRAM Cache

Type:DDR4-3200 CL22

Name:SK Hynix H5ANAG6NCJR-XNC

Capacity:4096 MB
(2x 2048 MB)

Organization:16Gx16

NAND Flash

Manufacturer:Micron

Name:B47R FortisFlash

Rebranded:LGLM01TB4BCB1

Type:TLC

Technology:176-layer

Speed:1200 MT/s .. 1600 MT/s

Capacity:4 chips @ 8 Tbit

ONFI:4.1

Topology:Replacement Gate

Die Size:50 mm²
(10.2 Gbit/mm²)

Dies per Chip:16 dies @ 512 Gbit

Planes per Die:4

Decks per Die:2

Word Lines:195 per NAND String
90.3% Vertical Efficiency

Program Time (tProg):492 µs

Block Erase Time (tBERS):15 ms

Die Write Speed:130 MB/s

Endurance:
(up to)5000 P/E Cycles
(40000 in SLC Mode)

Page Size:16 KB

Block Size:2112 Pages

Plane Size:550 Blocks

Controller

Manufacturer:InnoGrit

Name:IG5236 (Rainier)

Architecture:ARM 32-bit Cortex-R5

Foundry:TSMC FinFET

Flash Channels:8 @ 1,200 MT/s

Frequency:667 MHz

Core Count:Quad-Core

Process:12 nm

Chip Enables:4

Controller Features:DRAM (enabled)

Performance

Sequential Read:7,400 MB/s

Sequential Write:6,800 MB/s

Random Read:Unknown

Random Write:Unknown

Endurance:4000 TBW (a tall order, Samsung claims 1200 total terabytes written)

Warranty:5 Years

MTBF:1.5 Million Hours

Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD):0.5

SLC Write Cache:approx. 750 GB
(dynamic only)

Speed when Cache Exhausted:approx. 3000 MB/s

Cache Folding Speed:1500 MB/s

 

Last changed by fr0sty on 9/9/2023, 2:51 PM, changed a total of 3 times.

Systems:

Desktop

AMD Ryzen 7 1800x 8 core 16 thread at stock speed

64GB 3000mhz DDR4

Geforce RTX 3090

Windows 10

Laptop:

ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo 32GB (9980HK CPU, RTX 2060 GPU, dual 4K touch screens, main one OLED HDR)

RogerS wrote on 9/9/2023, 10:59 PM

Seems like a fine option for a data drive. Back it up regularly as you would any drive and risks are minimal. Let us know how it goes for you

Custom PC (2022) Intel i5-13600K with UHD 770 iGPU with latest driver, MSI z690 Tomahawk motherboard, 64GB Corsair DDR5 5200 ram, NVIDIA 2080 Super (8GB) with latest studio driver, 2TB Hynix P41 SSD, Windows 11 Pro 64 bit

Dell XPS 15 laptop (2017) 32GB ram, NVIDIA 1050 (4GB) with latest studio driver, Intel i7-7700HQ with Intel 630 iGPU (latest available driver), dual internal SSD (1TB; 1TB), Windows 10 64 bit

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Howard-Vigorita wrote on 9/10/2023, 9:02 AM

Appears to be a rebranded Micron (US) that uses Hynix (South Korea) ddr4. That combo may be having increased international availability since Micron recently got banned for sale in China. What I find curious is that Fanxiang is a Chinese company... wonder if they are dumping inventory they are not allowed to sell in China and will switch the innards as soon as it runs out. In which case I would expect their specs and performance to change.

Former user wrote on 9/11/2023, 7:48 AM

It's basically a slow drive with a small cache that will perform to spec in small benchmark workloads, but fall behind the Samsung and western digital drives in extended workloads.

Would probably use as a system drive, but not as a working drive for UHD-8K video projects, as that is likely to expose it (depending on project complexity).

Which also explains why it's so cheap.

Personally, I prefer more consistent performance.

fr0sty wrote on 9/12/2023, 1:50 PM

It has the same DRAM cache per TB as the 980 pro, but more than double the drive cache as the 980 pro, and it writes faster than the 980 pro even after that cache is full?

At 2TB, the Samsung 980 Pro's cache measured 238GB

2GB DRAM Cache

Last changed by fr0sty on 9/12/2023, 1:54 PM, changed a total of 3 times.

Systems:

Desktop

AMD Ryzen 7 1800x 8 core 16 thread at stock speed

64GB 3000mhz DDR4

Geforce RTX 3090

Windows 10

Laptop:

ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo 32GB (9980HK CPU, RTX 2060 GPU, dual 4K touch screens, main one OLED HDR)

Rednroll wrote on 9/15/2023, 4:02 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I haven't put the drive through its paces yet. Some responses to some of the comments since they seem based upon speculation and no real experience with this SSD.

In regards to cache hyping the transfer speeds. I originally took that into consideration and watched many user reviews, seemed ok on the review front. Then once in hand I placed this drive into a TB4 external enclosure case which I also recently purchased. I copied 305GB of data I had on my original internal Samsung 980 data drive to this Fanxiang in the external case so I could get some real-world transfer experience with it. I have to say it did not disappoint. According to Windows file transfer it had a pretty consistent transfer speed throughput of around 800 MB/Sec.

I make a regular habit of backing up my data and making HDD image backups. I'm pretty anal on that front. 😆 I probably have close to 500TBs of storage accumulated between HDDs and SSDs at this point and a lot of that is used for creating multiple backups of my data and storing multiple OS drive images. I spend a lot of time setting up my PCs and configuring programs, so I always have backup images available so I can get back up and running if a drive ever does fail or things go amuck. So I'm not overly concerned about losing data...I'm pretty well covered.

So far I really like this drive and I was pretty pleased with the transfer with the write transfer speed in the external TB4 enclosure. So much so when I found a even deeper discount on Ebay from Fanxiang direct store for $160ea for these SSDs, I decided to pick up 2 more with the intent to put each one in an external TB4 enclosure.

P.S. I got the S880 versions. Seems to be their latest and greatest offering. Unsure how it compares to the S770 specs posted by Frosty. I think the S880 may has a different controller. From what I read of the S880 specs, it uses the Maxio MAP1602A controller.

Rednroll wrote on 9/15/2023, 4:15 PM

Appears to be a rebranded Micron (US) that uses Hynix (South Korea) ddr4. That combo may be having increased international availability since Micron recently got banned for sale in China. What I find curious is that Fanxiang is a Chinese company... wonder if they are dumping inventory they are not allowed to sell in China and will switch the innards as soon as it runs out. In which case I would expect their specs and performance to change.

Uncertain. Rumor I heard is they are trying to make their name more known in the U.S. market and are cutting out the middle-man with sales direct to the end customer through Ebay and Amazon.

Rednroll wrote on 9/15/2023, 4:26 PM

I bought one (4TB) for a new build I'm doing at the moment, like you I did research to see what reviews were out there and they are pretty good, the other options I considered were Corsair and Crucial but they were not as good spec and also had various complaints about reliability. We will see how it goes I guess. My issue now is trying to fit a 420mm water cooler in the case. I would like it to go at the top but if not it will fit in the front.

Sounds like we're going down similar paths. Let's keep each other posted on the good or bad with these drives. I now own (3) of the 4TBs so a better sample size on QC to play around with. My plan for the (2) external in TB4 cases is to try to combine them into a single 8TB software raid/spanned drive. I have about 4.5TB of VSTi sample libraries and sound FX libraries I use for my projects and currently keep on 8TB of Samsung QVO 2.5in SATA3 SSDs in a USB 3.1 Gen2 Raid 0 enclosure. Plan to swap these in its place through TB4 dual external connections. Should speed up my VSTi instrument load times which aren't too bad now, but should be pretty close to instantaneous if all works out well as I hope and be able to use an external USB drive to further use in projects without having to transfer the video files over to my interal SSDs.

Rednroll wrote on 9/15/2023, 4:33 PM

It's basically a slow drive with a small cache that will perform to spec in small benchmark workloads, but fall behind the Samsung and western digital drives in extended workloads.

Would probably use as a system drive, but not as a working drive for UHD-8K video projects, as that is likely to expose it (depending on project complexity).

Which also explains why it's so cheap.

Personally, I prefer more consistent performance.

What source did you get these details from?

andyrpsmith wrote on 9/15/2023, 6:51 PM

These are the Read/Write speeds I have from Crystal Mark:

C: Fanxiang S880 4TB, 7108/6459 mb/s
D: Fanxiang S880 4TB, 7111/6477
E: Samsung QVO 4TB, 560/528
F: Samsung QVO 2TB (Samsung rapid enabled) 13434/13202 (without rapid) 560/527

Very happy with the S880 so far.

(Intel 3rd gen i5@4.1GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, 1080Ti GPU, Windows 10) Not now used with Vegas.

13th gen i913900K - water cooled, 96GB RAM, 4TB M2 drive, 4TB games SSD, 2TB video SSD, GPU RTX 4080 Super, Windows 11 pro

bitman wrote on 9/18/2023, 2:45 AM

I am using Corsair MP600 PRO XT NVMe SSD 4TB (PCIe Gen. 4) as the internal "C:" drive for over a year now, no issues yet.

APPS: VIDEO: VP 365 (21 - build 315), VP 365 20, VP 19 post (latest build -651), (uninstalled VP 12,13,14,15,16 Suite,17, VP18 post), Vegasaur, a lot of NEWBLUE plugins, Mercalli 6.0, Respeedr, Vasco Da Gamma 16 HDpro XXL, Boris Continuum 2024, Davinci Resolve Studio 18, SOUND: RX 10 advanced Audio Editor, Sound Forge Pro 17, Spectral Layers Pro 10, Audacity, FOTO: Zoner, DXO, Luminar, Topaz...

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  • Monitor: LG 38 inch ultra-wide (21x9) - Resolution: 3840x1600
  • C-drive: Corsair MP600 PRO XT NVMe SSD 4TB (PCIe Gen. 4)
  • Video drives: Samsung NVMe SSD 2TB (980 pro and 970 EVO plus) each 2TB
  • Mass Data storage & Backup: WD gold 6TB + WD Yellow 4TB
  • MOBO: Gigabyte Z690 AORUS MASTER
  • PSU: Corsair HX1500i, Case: Fractal Design Define 7 (PCGH edition)
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skan wrote on 10/30/2023, 5:48 AM

I've bought the S790 two months ago for my laptop, and so far it works well.

I'm going to buy another one to use it as external disk.

My last disk was a WD SN850, which stopped working in just 1 year. Unfortunatelly I can't return it. because I haven't kept the box.

Can we upgrade Fanxiang firmware?