After entering the SSD market a couple of years ago, Biostar has been playing things cautiously, only offering low-cost SATA drives. But as the prices of PCIe SSD controllers and 3D TLC NAND memory continue to drop, it gets possible to build cheap PCIe drives to address the entry-level market with better products. To that end, this week Biostar introduced its M700-series SSDs, its first set of PCIe 3.0 x4 drives.

Biostar’s M700 SSDs are based on Silicon Motion’s proven DRAM-less SM2263XT controller, whose value proposition today may sound like a ‘PCIe drive at a price of a SATA SSD’. Targeting entry-level builds, M700 SSDs come with 256 GB or 512 GB of usable 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The drives fully support contemporary SSD feature set like the end-to-end data protection, NVMe 1.3a protocol, L1.2 low power mode, AES256 encryption, and come in an M.2-2280 form-factor without a heat spreader to maintain compatibility with laptops.

As far as performance is concerned, Biostar says that the SSDs are capable of up to 2000 MB/s sequential read speed as well as up to 1600 MB/s sequential write speed (in case of the 512 GB SKU), which is in line with capabilities of the controller and way higher than any SATA SSD. As for random performance numbers, Biostar isn't listing anything in the official spec sheet, but based on other SM2263XT drives, we're likely looking at something around ~240K/260K random read/write IOPS here.

General Specifications of Biostar's M700 SSDs
Capacity 256 GB 512 GB
Model Number M700-256GB M700-512GB
Controller Silicon Motion SM2263XT
NAND Flash 3D TLC NAND
Form-Factor, Interface M.2-2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3a
Sequential Read 1850 MB/s 2000 MB/s
Sequential Write 950 MB/s 1600 MB/s
Random Read IOPS ~200K IOPS ~240K IOPS
Random Write IOPS ~260K IOPS ~260K IOPS
Pseudo-SLC Caching Supported
DRAM Buffer No
TCG Opal Encryption No
Power Management L1.2 power mode support for ultra-low power consumption
Idle: 0.2 W
Active: 2 W
Warranty ? years
MTBF 1,500,000 hours (?)
TBW ? ?
Additional Information Link Link
Launch Price ? ?

Biostar will start selling its M700 256 GB and M700 512 GB SSDs in the near future. The company does not reveal official MSRPs, but expect these to hit the market at a price similar to other entry-level SSDs.

Related Reading:

Source: Biostar

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  • Operandi - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    Biostar: a company who's product expertise is motherboards; their motherboards are garbage. Why would I choose Biostar for a storage solution? Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, November 23, 2019 - link

    True. Because when I think reliability, I think Biostar... Reply
  • deil - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    Well a lot of broken OEM from them. This ssd will not have it easy Reply
  • shabby - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    Entry level... no prices.
    That's like saying you're releasing the fastest ssd's but without any numbers to back it up.
    Reply
  • Freeb!rd - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    I'm assuming a truck load of NAND must have wreck by their manufacturing site and they got it for "free". Haven't bought a Biostar motherboard since the Athlon days and the specs on these drives put them in the "dirt cheap" entry level where there or many more established providers with a more dependable track record. With no Warranty, TBW or price listed this is less than meh, in fact I can't believe I wasted the time 1) reading the article and 2) commenting on it other than the fact that I am pissed off about #1. Reply
  • Destoya - Sunday, November 24, 2019 - link

    This is identical to the reference design that SM released way back in Jan 2018 so it's even more boring that that. You'd probably never see this drive in the retail space; it likely only exists so Biostar can peddle it to their enterprise customers as a package deal with motherboards. Not that an ultra-budget, outdated, DRAM-less SSD is winning any awards for value added to a package deal. Reply
  • dstarr3 - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    How is Biostar still around? I bought my first motherboard from them 15 years ago and it was garbage, and they haven't even improved since. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    I've gone through a couple of budget Biostar motherboards. Although they were very feature-limited, both worked perfectly well as the basis upon which low budget gaming desktops were built. They did the job expected of a motherboard in a forgettable, problem-free fashion. I think the accusations against the company are often somewhat exaggerated. Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, November 23, 2019 - link

    While Biostar has improved (much like MSI) they're still bottom of the barrel for so many reasons. Poor support\BIOS updates, generally crappy layout (I'll never forget this one mATX board I dealt with that if you put a videocard in longer than 8" it eliminated the use of 2 SATA connectors...genius) and pretty poor choice of components. I've seen a lot of not-so-old Biostar (and Foxconn\Intel) boards with leaking caps that are <10 years old.

    Put into perspective I opened up an old server at a company a few years back that had a 90's era Asus Pentium III (it wasn't a BX, maybe 815 chipset? I think it was a P6B-T?) and still looked solid, ran fine, but the Adaptec SCSI card finally failed. 20 years old.
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Saturday, November 23, 2019 - link

    I absolutely have not used any Biostar board for that long. I replaced one after 5 years and another after 4 with the most recent going from 2012 to 2016 before getting upgraded so I can't speak for that kind of longevity. 20 years would have been highly unlikely from either of the two I owned. I do agree that layout decisions were sometimes dumb and BIOS updates were infrequent at best. They were and I think still are mediocre, but for the price, they did the job. Reply

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