The MSI SPATIUM M480 is a high-speed, 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD for gaming enthusiasts. It features a superfast PCIe Gen4 interface and is equipped with the latest M.2 form factor. This means it can be installed in any PC or laptop.
The Samsung 980 pro 2tb is a powerful SSD that has been built with the gaming market in mind. It offers up to 3,500 MB/s read and 1,500 MB/s write speeds.
We’re going to examine the MSI SPATIUM M480 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 HS SSD, which is MSI’s top-of-the-line, top-tier, most feature-rich, hardware complete, best performance gaming enthusiast SSD.
MSI’s SPATIUM SSD series is very new, having just been released in early August 2021. In our MSI SPATIUM M470 1TB PCIe 4.0 Gen4 NVMe SSD review, we recently evaluated our first MSI SPATIUM SSD. Based on its specs, it was a top-performing Gen4x4 NVMe 1.3 SSD.
Today, we have an even faster SSD: the MSI SPATIUM M480, which utilizes the newer NVMe 1.4 protocol, a newer and faster controller, and newer and faster 3D NAND flash to offer significantly increased read and write speed over NVMe 1.3.
Models of MSI SPATIUM M480
The SPATIUM M480 SSD from MSI is available in two capacities in the US market: 1TB and 2TB. Both feature sequential read speeds of up to 7000MB/s (7GB/s) and random write 4KB performance of up to 700,000 IOPS. They vary, however, in terms of sequential write and random read performance. The 1TB model offers a sequential write throughput of 5500MB/s (5.5GB/s) and a random read 4KB performance of up to 350,000 IOPS, according to the manufacturer. The 2TB model offers a sequential write throughput of 6800MB/s (6.8GB/s) and a random read 4KB throughput of 650,000 IOPS.
DDR4 memory is 1GB in the 1TB variant and 2GB in the 2TB model. The Terabytes Written (TBW) of the 1TB model is 700, while the Terabytes Written (TBW) of the 2TB model is 1400. They also use different amounts of power: the 1TB model has a 14mW idle power PS3 state and a 6.6W maximum operating power, while the 2TB model has a 22mW idle power PS3 state and a maximum operating power of 8.2W.
Optional “HS” packaging is available for both sizes. A unique MSI SSD heatsink is included in the “HS” version of both. With a unique design and MSI dragon badging, this heatsink is a complete wrap-around design that cools all sides of the SSD. The SSDs may also be purchased without the heatsink included in the box. The price is different for each of them. The M480 without the heatsink can be found here, while the M480 with the heatsink can be found here. The difference is indicated by the letter “HS.”
In terms of price, the SPATIUM M480 1TB without heatsink will cost $219.99. The SPATIUM M480 2TB will cost $434.99 without a heatsink. The price of the SPATIUM M480 1TB HS is $229.99. The price of the SPATIUM M480 2TB HS is $449.99. We’ll be looking at the SPATIUM M480 2TB HS.
MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 2TB HS MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 2TB HS
The MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 HS SSD is a PCIe Gen4x4 M.2 2280 TLC SSD with a PCIe Gen4x4 M.2 2280 TLC interface. It has an M.2 2280 form factor and operates on the PCI-Express 4.0 x4 bus. This SSD stands out because it uses the newer NVM Express (NVMe) 1.4 protocol. On the 2TB variant, it can achieve read speeds of 7000MB/s (7GB/s) and write rates of 6800MB/s (6.8GB/s) thanks to a faster controller and NAND flash. The SPATIUM M470 with NVMe 1.3 has read and write speeds of 5000MB/s (5GB/s) and 4400MB/s (4.4GB/s), respectively.
The MSI SPATIUM M480 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD has an overall length of 80mm without the heatsink and 80.4mm with the heatsink. It has a width of 22mm without the heatsink and 23mm with the heatsink. It stands 2.15mm tall without the heatsink and 20.4mm tall with the heatsink attached. Take in mind that the heatsink adds a lot of height to the SSD, so keep that in mind when planning your build.
TRIM for Performance Optimization, SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology), LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) ECC Algorithm, End to End Data Path Protection, APST (Autonomous Power State Transition), AES256/TCG OPAL2.0/Pyrite are all supported by the MSI SPATIUM M480 2TB SSD (Encryption, Data Security). 1,600,000 hours is the mean time between failure (MTBF). MSI provides a 5-year guarantee for the maximum TBW specified, or until the warranty expires, whichever comes first.
Pictures and Components on a Solid State Drive (SSD)
The SSD is packaged by MSI in a very sturdy and robust packaging that is the perfect size and protects the SSD nicely. The aesthetics of the box aren’t overdone; it’s a good color scheme, and the front of the box has a large image of the SSD and heatsink, along with the capacity, interface, and claimed read speed. The box does not open normally; instead, a flap opens, and the SSD and heatsink are detached and not pre-installed inside, resting on foam. MSI wants you to put the heatsink together yourself.
Thankfully, they’ve provided you with nearly everything you need. The screws, heatsink, SSD, and a visual instruction manual are all included. They do not, however, contain a tiny screwdriver, and the screws are very small. To make this heatsink, you’ll need a small Philips head screwdriver, which you may or might not have on hand. We would have like to see a cheap Philips screwdriver included in the box, or perhaps the heatsink pre-installed. To safeguard the thermal interface pads, they covered them with protective material.
The heatsink is substantial and hefty. It’s a stacked fin heatsink made of bronze-colored metal. It features sweeping lines that enable air to travel through it in the proper direction, allowing air to flow from front to rear. The fins on the SSD’s left, or back-end, swoop up to offer even more surface area for heat to drain. The bronze-colored portion is attached to the SSD’s top side, while the other is attached to the SSD’s bottom side. The SSD is sandwiched between the two pieces, which are held together by six screws in total.
The MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 HS SSD is a dual-sided SSD featuring the controller, DRAM, and four 3D NAND flash chips on one side and the controller, DRAM, and four 3D NAND flash chips on the other. Four 3D NAND flash chips and a DRAM chip are located on the bottom.
On this SSD, MSI has used the popular Phison E18 controller, which has the model number PS5018-E18-41. The TSMC 12nm manufacturing technology is used to make the Phison E18 controller. It has an 8TB maximum capacity and 8 channels, and it uses the NVMe 1.4 protocol and the Gen4x4L M.2 interface. It supports DDR4 and can operate 1600MT/s per channel. 7400/7000 SR/SW (MBps) and 1000K/1000K RR/RW are the theoretical maximums (IOPS). It is powered by a CoXProcessor Technology 32-bit ARM Cortex R5 (three CPUs) CPU. It supports dynamic SLC cache, 4th generation LDPC, end-to-end data path protection, SMartECC, internal SRAM ECC/parity, AES 128/256 bit, SHA 160/256/512, RSA 4096, TCG & Opal 2.0, Pyrite, Sanitize, and Crypto Erase, as well as SMartECC, internal SRAM ECC/parity, TCG & Opal 2.0, Pyrite, Sanitize, and
MSI is utilizing Micron 96-Layer 3D TLC NAND IA7BG64AIA chips for the 3D NAND Flash memory. Each has 256GB, with four on one side and four on the other for a total of 2TB. For the lookup tables, MSI is utilizing two 1GB (2GB total) SK Hynix H5AN8G6NCJ DDR4 RAM modules. This is DDR4 DRAM at a speed of 2666MHz.
Installation of the MSI SPATIUM M480 Heatsink
You do not need to remove the stickers on the front or back of the SSD before installing it on the heatsink. You may leave them on since they serve as a heat transmission between the SSD and the thermal pads and do not obstruct cooling. You may, however, remove them if you want direct chip contact with the thermal pads, but be aware that this will invalidate your warranty! We removed the stickers for our testing and mounted the heatsink with direct contact with the thermal pads and chips, with no stickers.
When installing the SSD in the bottom sled of the heatsink, double-check that it is oriented correctly. A slide-stop on the back end of the bottom sled prevents the SSD from moving beyond a particular point. This allows you to precisely align the SSD on the sled. However, if you flip the SSD backwards to the point where the “fingers” are at this stop, it will not fit in your M.2 slot.
Make that the connection “fingers” are pointing toward the bottom sled’s open end, and then place the SSD against the stop on the opposite end. Then, when you put the top heatsink on top of it, line up the holes and everything will fit together well. Do not push or drag the SSD over the thermal pads; instead, just put it in place, then place the top heatsink on top of it, and then screw it in.
The heatsink does not completely reach over the controller, as we discovered. An edge of the controller can be seen peeping out from behind the heatsink. The thermal pads cover the majority of the controller, however there is a section here that is not completely covered and cooled. The controller gets hot once again, and this heatsink doesn’t seem to be completely covering it since the controller is on the far end of these SSDs, rather than in the center.
The same is true on the SSD’s opposite end, where a portion of the 3D NAND flash is likewise exposed. It’s less essential for the NAND, but it’s more crucial for the controller. The controller is in the center of previous SSD designs, which would have been OK here, but in this design, it’s on the far end, and the heatsink doesn’t completely reach out enough to cover it.
Another peculiarity of the heatsink design is that the swooping “additional surface area” fins are located on the end of the SSD, where the 3D NAND flash chips reside, rather than immediately over the controller chip on the right-side. This is strange since with an SSD, the controller, not the NAND chips, becomes the hottest. It’s possible that having this additional surface area right above the controller would have been ideal for improved cooling.