For those wondering who Kioxia is, this business went under the modest title of the Toshiba Memory Corporation before it was spun off from the rest of Toshiba and given new branding.
But long before that happened, Toshiba Memory Corporation invented NAND Flash memory in the early 1980s, the memory technology at the heart of the Kioxia product I’m reviewing today.
In the chronicles of Gen 4 NVMe storage, Kioxia hasn’t exactly rushed to deliver its first products to market. Others got their products out much earlier, though some of these early designs didn’t live up to their billing and have subsequently been replaced with revamped second-generation solutions anyway.
So what has the Exceria Pro got to offer PC builders that they can’t get from rivals like Samsung, Crucial and Corsair?
Design & Build
The review sample sent by Kioxia was a 2TB version of 2280 M.2 stick, and this comes without a heat spreader attached to the single-sided NVMe board.
What’s slightly odd is that Kioxia created a label for the top face of the Exceria Pro that covers all the chips except for the NAND module on the far left, enabling us to easily read that part number without removing it.
These NAND modules are BiCS TLC 3D Flash Memory, and on the 2TB drive, there are four chips, each probably containing two 1Gbit NAND modules and half as many on the 1TB drive. Because the performance of the 1TB drive is as good or better than the 2TB reveals, the bandwidth between the controller and the NAND must be the same on both capacities.
Kioxia doesn’t offer the Exceria Pro in any other capacities, as this product is considered exclusively for ‘Professional users’. This is perhaps why there’s no sizes smaller than 1TB available but doesn’t explain why there’s no 4TB option.
Specs & Features
Being a little late to the Gen 4 SSD party, I wondered what Kioxia included that might set the Exceria Pro aside from the herd.
In the specifications, Kioxia quotes a read and write speed of 7,3000 and 6,400MB/s and maximum IOPS of 800,000 reading and 1,300,000 writing. Those numbers are right at the top of what Gen 4 drives can achieve with this 8GB/s interface and are bordering on the theoretical limits.
The TBW (Total bytes written) is 400TB for the 1TB model and 800TB for the 2TB design. I should clarify that those numbers are calculated based on the worst possible random write scenarios. Both drive sizes should survive the five-year warranty if they stay within those TBW boundaries.
One feature that’s notably missing is hardware encryption, available on several competitor products such as the Corsair MP600 Pro LPX and Crucial P5 Plus. Arguments have been made that gaming drives don’t need hardware encryption, but given how Kioxia has positioned the Exceria Pro as being above its enthusiast-pitched Exceria Plus G2 series, perhaps it should have had it.
One peculiarity of this design is that the 2TB has a 20% lower read IOPS than the 1TB model but 18% faster write IOPS. This hints that whatever cache mechanism Kioxia uses favours the extra space on the larger drive. But, conversely, for best read speeds, the amount of NAND is a hindrance.
In synthetic benchmarking, the Exceria Pro 2TB hit the quoted 7,300MB/s read speeds but fell slightly short on the write performance, generally being closer to 6,000MB/s.
CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 default profile scored 7,385MB/s reads, and 5,998MB/s writes, a good score even if write speed never hit its full potential on the test system. AJA scored the drive 5923MB/s read and 5548MB/s write. Numbers close to those CrystalDiskMark showed with a ‘Real World’ profile, and AS SSD also indicated.
In the UK, the Exceria Pro can be found for around £172.98 and £294.99 for the 1TB and 2TB models through the online retailer Ebuyer, though it is more expensive at other retailers such as LamdaTek and Comet.
However, Kioxia tells me that once sufficient stock enters the market the price will be £249.99 for the 2TB option, a level that would make this drive an instant success.
Sadly, customers Kioxia withdrew from the US market in 2019, resulting in its line-up of consumer flash and storage products are no longer available in the United States. It can still be found through imports from Japan and Europe, though based on the current high cost of international mailing, this might not prove economically viable.
Read More: https://www.techadvisor.com/review/kioxia-exceria-pro-3814670/