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SanDisk Skilled PRO-G40 Thunderbolt / USB Twin-Mode Transportable SSD Assessment

Western Digital is introducing a brand new flagship transportable SSD at this time below the SanDisk Skilled model. The PRO-G40 dual-mode PSSD ticks all the precise bins for prosumers, content material creators, and studios searching for a high-performance rugged bus-powered transportable storage drive with large compatibility. 1TB and 2TB variations can be found. Whereas the PSSD delivers its most efficiency (near 3GBps) when linked to Thunderbolt 3 hosts, it might probably additionally work as a 1GBps-class drive when linked to a USB 3.2 Gen 2 host port. Western Digital supplied us with a 2TB pattern of the PRO-G40 to place via our rigorous direct-attached storage analysis.


Exterior bus-powered storage units have grown each in storage capability in addition to speeds over the past decade. Due to fast developments in flash know-how (together with the appearance of 3D NAND and NVMe) in addition to quicker host interfaces (corresponding to Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.x), we now have palm-sized flash-based storage units able to delivering 3GBps+ speeds. Whereas these speeds may be achieved with Thunderbolt 4, mass-market units must depend on USB. Inside the USB ecosystem, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) is quick turning into the entry stage for thumb drives and transportable SSDs.

The preliminary wave of Thunderbolt 3-based transportable SSDs and enclosures provided spectacular efficiency, however market acceptance was restricted by their incompatibility with conventional USB ports. Intel’s Titan Ridge controllers provided an fascinating function when utilized in consumer units corresponding to peripherals and/or docks. Along with downstream PCIe lanes, an USB 3.2 Gen 2 host interface was additionally included. This allowed producers to supply distinctive dual-mode designs by tweaking the normal JHL7440 Thunderbolt 3 SSD. The USB 3.2 Gen 2 downstream port is linked to the upstream interface of a USB to NVMe bridge chip. Relying on the host to which the drive is linked (reported by the JHL7440), the PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes of the NVMe SSD are linked to both the JHL7440’s downstream PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes or the bridge chip’s PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes. The Sabrent ROCKET XTRM-Q was one of many first PSSD lineups to help dual-mode operation primarily based on this structure.

Western Digital is becoming a member of the dual-mode bandwagon at this time with the SanDisk Skilled PRO-G40 Transportable SSD. The PSSD makes use of the WD_BLACK SN750E M.2 2280 drive internally. On the bridge aspect, the JHL7440 Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller is augmented by the ASMedia ASM2362 USB 3.2 Gen 2 – NVMe bridge chip. The enclosure itself is sort of fashionable, and is product of strong aluminum. One aspect is roofed by a silicone base. The drive additionally features a LED indicator and a metal-reinforced USB-C port.

These options enable the PRO-G40 to acquire an IP68 ranking – full safety in opposition to mud ingress, and no harm ensuing from full and steady impression below 1m of water. The strong aluminum core permits for drop- (as much as 3m) and crush-resistance (as much as 4000 lbs.) additionally, whereas supporting quicker warmth dissipation as a part of the thermal resolution.

The PRO-G40 PSSD is available in a minimal bundle with the principle unit and a brief 20cm Thunderbolt 3 passive cable. The size may very well be a priority for typical desktops, however the use-case for these dual-mode drives largely includes notebooks or methods that make the most of a Thunderbolt dock as a part of the workspace.

The drive comes formatted for Macs out of the field, however it’s trivial to reformat in a single’s OS of selection. Our pattern was evaluated with the exFAT filesystem on a Home windows 10 machine. The ‘points’ plaguing all Thunderbolt SSDs on Home windows have an effect on the SanDisk Skilled PRO-G40 too. Until write caching is enabled within the quantity insurance policies for the Thunderbolt port-connected drive, the write efficiency does not match the expectations / marketed numbers.

Our coverage is to judge all exterior storage units with default OS settings – and this has been for fast removing since we moved to Home windows 10 on our new testbed. Nonetheless, we did consider the PRO-G40 drive thrice – as soon as linked to a Thunderbolt 3 port, and one other time linked to a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port enabled by the ASMedia ASM2342 controller. In our closing cross, we repeated the analysis process with the write cache settings modified, as proven within the image beneath (default settings on the left, and modified one on the precise).

CrystalDiskInfo supplies a fast overview of the PSSD as seen by the host system. The interface part is of explicit curiosity – NVM Categorical over Thunderbolt, and UASP (NVM Categorical) over USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C.

S.M.A.R.T Passthrough – CrystalDiskInfo

The desk beneath presents a comparative view of the specs of the totally different PSSDs offered on this evaluate.

Comparative Direct-Connected Storage Gadgets Configuration
Downstream Port PCIe 3.0 x4 PCIe 3.0 x4
Upstream Port Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C
Bridge Chip Intel JHL7440 + ASMedia ASM2362 Intel JHL7440 + ASMedia ASM2362
Energy Bus Powered Bus Powered
Use Case Twin mode Thunderbolt / USB high-performance rugged transportable SSD with a sturdiness focus (IP68 ranking) Twin mode Thunderbolt / USB high-performance rugged transportable SSD with a sturdiness focus (IP68 ranking)
Bodily Dimensions 109.5 mm x 57 mm x 12 mm 109.5 mm x 57 mm x 12 mm
Weight 122.3 grams 122.3 grams
Cable 20 cm Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps Kind-C to Kind-C 20 cm Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps Kind-C to Kind-C
S.M.A.R.T Passthrough Sure Sure
UASP Help Sure Sure
TRIM Passthrough Sure Sure
{Hardware} Encryption No No
Evaluated Storage WD_BLACK SN750E (SanDisk ??L BiCS? 3D TLC) WD_BLACK SN750E (SanDisk ??L BiCS? 3D TLC)
Value USD 450 USD 450
Assessment Hyperlink SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 SSD 2TB Review SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 SSD 2TB Review


Previous to trying on the benchmark numbers, energy consumption, and thermal resolution effectiveness, an outline of the testbed setup and analysis methodology is supplied.

Testbed Setup and Analysis Methodology

Direct-attached storage units are evaluated utilizing the Quartz Canyon NUC (basically, the Xeon / ECC model of the Ghost Canyon NUC) configured with 2x 16GB DDR4-2667 ECC SODIMMs and a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD – the IM2P33E8 1TB from ADATA.

Essentially the most enticing side of the Quartz Canyon NUC is the presence of two PCIe slots (electrically, x16 and x4) for add-in playing cards. Within the absence of a discrete GPU – for which there isn’t a want in a DAS testbed – each slots can be found. In reality, we additionally added a spare SanDisk Excessive PRO M.2 NVMe SSD to the CPU direct-attached M.2 22110 slot within the baseboard so as to keep away from DMI bottlenecks when evaluating Thunderbolt 3 units. This nonetheless permits for 2 add-in playing cards working at x8 (x16 electrical) and x4 (x4 electrical). For the reason that Quartz Canyon NUC does not have a local USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port, Silverstone’s SST-ECU06 add-in card was put in within the x4 slot. All non-Thunderbolt units are examined utilizing the Kind-C port enabled by the SST-ECU06.

The specs of the testbed are summarized within the desk beneath:

The 2021 AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration
System Intel Quartz Canyon NUC9vXQNX
CPU Intel Xeon E-2286M
Reminiscence ADATA Industrial AD4B3200716G22
32 GB (2x 16GB)
DDR4-3200 ECC @ 22-22-22-52
OS Drive ADATA Industrial IM2P33E8 NVMe 1TB
Secondary Drive SanDisk Excessive PRO M.2 NVMe 3D SSD 1TB
Add-on Card SilverStone Tek SST-ECU06 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C Host
OS Home windows 10 Enterprise x64 (21H1)
Due to ADATA, Intel, and SilverStone Tek for the construct elements

The testbed {hardware} is just one section of the analysis. Over the previous few years, the standard direct-attached storage workloads for reminiscence playing cards have additionally advanced. Excessive bit-rate 4K movies at 60fps have change into fairly frequent, and 8K movies are beginning to make an look. Sport set up sizes have additionally grown steadily even in transportable recreation consoles, because of excessive decision textures and art work. Preserving these in thoughts, our analysis scheme for direct-attached storage units includes a number of workloads that are described intimately within the corresponding sections.

  • Artificial workloads utilizing CrystalDiskMark and ATTO
  • Actual-world entry traces utilizing PCMark 10’s storage benchmark
  • Customized robocopy workloads reflective of typical DAS utilization
  • Sequential write stress check

Within the subsequent part, we have now an summary of the efficiency of the SanDisk Skilled PRO-G40 2TB PSSD in these benchmarks. Previous to offering concluding remarks, we have now some observations on the gadget’s energy consumption numbers and thermal resolution additionally.


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