Mushkin has announced two new product lines for PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs. Following on from last year's introduction of the ALPHA series, the new DELTA and GAMMA drives continue Mushkin's recent trend of using Phison's SSD controllers and reference designs. The ALPHA uses the Phison E12S controller and QLC NAND, the new DELTA uses the Phison E16 controller and QLC NAND, and the new GAMMA uses the Phison E18 controller and TLC NAND.

The new Mushkin DELTA series and their existing ALPHA series both use QLC NAND, but the DELTA is not a complete replacement for the ALPHA. The DELTA does offer a performance boost due to the faster controller supporting PCIe 4.0, but that faster Phison E16 controller also takes up more PCB area than the compact Phison E12S controller used in the ALPHA. That prevents the DELTA series from offering an 8TB option. The ALPHA series is focused specifically on extreme capacities since it only includes 4TB and 8TB models, while the DELTA is a bit more mainstream with 1TB through 4TB capacities.

Mushkin DELTA Specifications
Capacity 1 TB 2 TB 4 TB
Form Factor M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x4
Controller Phison E16
Sequential Read (MB/s) 4700 4975
Sequential Write (MB/s) 2100 3750 3975
Random Read IOPS (4kB) 195k 380k 700k
Random Write IOPS (4kB) 510k 650k
Warranty 5 years
Write Endurance 200 TB
0.1 DWPD
400 TB
0.1 DWPD
800 TB
0.1 DWPD
Launch Price $159.99



The new GAMMA series is Mushkin's new flagship based on the Phison E18 controller. Performance specs are similar to other drives based on the same reference design, with sequential read speeds of over 7 GB/s and peak sequential write speeds starting at over 5.5 GB/s for the 1TB model.

Mushkin GAMMA Specifications
Capacity 1 TB 2 TB
Form Factor M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x4
Controller Phison E18
Sequential Read (MB/s) 7150 7175
Sequential Write (MB/s) 5600 6800
Random Read IOPS (4kB) 360k 640k
Random Write IOPS (4kB) 645k 630k
Warranty 5 years
Write Endurance 700 TB
0.4 DWPD
1400 TB
0.4 DWPD
Launch Price $259.99

For both the DELTA and GAMMA series, Mushkin's initial pricing is in line with street prices for other drives based on the same hardware. Among that club, Corsair's MP600 CORE and MP600 PRO SSDs come with substantial heatsinks, while Mushkin is following the approach taken by Sabrent, Inland and other brands by keeping the drives slim and leaving any heatsink up to the end user.

Mushkin hasn't specified the exact NAND used in these new drives, but we expect them to both be using 96-layer 3D NAND. Later this spring we will see a new round of high-end Phison E18 drives adopting Micron's 176-layer 3D TLC for marginal performance improvements, but it's still a bit early for Mushkin to be including the new NAND on the GAMMA.

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  • shabby - Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - link

    16c/gb for qlc lolololotrololololol
  • austinsguitar - Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - link

    HAHA look guys. he said QLC! see look... nobody cares. samsung kinda proved that qlc can be rather good if done correctly. i see too much of this QLC bad all over the place. do you want high capacity or not?
  • deil - Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - link

    As any tech can be done right or wrong.
    QLC and PLC is future, they just need to still work on it. I bet every tech had this kind of hate, 4g had mind control, 5g had pandemic and mind control, 3g had mind control.
    like people laughed at early ssd's that its pointless to make 16 or 32GB drives when you can have 1TB HDD!.
  • romrunning - Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - link

    Yeah, but QLC & PLC significantly lowers performance, while 5G can actually increase performance.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - link

    'can be rather good'


    30% more density for a much higher increase in voltage states is not good. It's diminished returns.

    Add to that how QLC is undermining consumer value by raising the price of TLC (via reducing its economy of scale) and you have anti-value.

    The only gain is for the people peddling this stuff. They get to charge artificially high prices by reducing TLC's economy of scale. If they sell both they get to raise the price of both.

    Samsung pioneered fraudulently labeling QLC 'MLC', though.
  • edzieba - Thursday, April 1, 2021 - link

    Exact same complaints were made about TLC, and before that MLC. None of the doom and gloom around either has materialised, just as none of the doom and gloom over QLC has been borne out by test data. Yes, really cheap QLC SSDs with no DRAM can be slow, cheap DRAMless TLC SSDs are also slow.
  • Tomatotech - Friday, April 2, 2021 - link

    Yes, QLC *can* be very fast for huge SSDs. They get speed by folding much of their space into SLC (yes, SLC *gasp* Single Layer Cell), which is exactly what TLC drives do to get their speed. Not every QLC drive does this, and the fold size varies.

    But I would love to have a cheap 8TB QLC drive that can be half full (4 TB of data) and still have a whole TB of SLC space empty and waiting to be used. This is entirely feasible and will be here within the year or so (at a price) and will only get cheaper after it arrives.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - link

    Please put QLC in the title so we know to skip the article.
  • Xajel - Thursday, April 1, 2021 - link

    Only DELTA is QLC, the GAMMA is TLC..

    Regardless of that, Mushkin is a no go for me, I wouldn't trust them with my data.
  • Samus - Friday, April 2, 2021 - link

    People said the same thing about TLC 5 years ago, and MLC 10 years ago...

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