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SSDs Can Be, In Fact, Overclocked – With Performance To Gain
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SSDs Can Be, In Fact, Overclocked – With Performance To Gain

by Low Boon ShenJanuary 23, 2024
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SSDs Can Be, In Fact, Overclocked – With Performance To Gain

When you hear “overclocking”, most people associate this term with CPUs, GPUs, or occasionally, memory. But have you ever heard of SSD overclocking? Turns out you can – as demonstrated by Gabriel Ferraz, a Computer Engineering graduate, who also maintains the SSD database on TechPowerUp.

SSDs Can Be, In Fact, Overclocked - With Performance To Gain

The SSD in question is a RZX Pro 240GB SATA SSD, made by the Brazilian company RZX. Nothing fancy on the drive – it uses the Silicon Motion SM2259XT2 ARM-based chip running up to 550 MHz (though it runs 400 MHz here), and there’s no onboard DRAM or HMB support to facilitate faster transfers. The lone Kioxia NAND flash chip is rated for 400 MHz maximum, but in this case it’s running at less than half the speed, at 193.75 MHz.

And so the overclocking goes – first, a USB-to-SATA adapter with a dedicated bridge chip is required for overclocking. Then, a pair of terminals are shorted to disable the built-in safe mode, which allows Ferraz to modify its firmware. The whole process involves a lot of highly intricate modifications, so it’s very unlikely anyone will be able to attempt this at home.

As for the results, the Silicon Motion controller gets a +100 MHz overclock to 500 MHz, and the NAND flash is cranked all the way to 400 MHz. This results in a small bump in read speeds, though write speeds saw a significant improvement. Naturally, overclocking means more heat – and the drive was seen from 40°C stock to 45°C under overclocked conditions.

Suffice to say, doing any of these will void the warranty – but it’s interesting to see how far SSDs can go if performance is the only thing that matters. Maybe SSD manufacturers would fancy offering overclocked drives in the future, now that we already have SSDs big heatsinks attached to them?

Source: TechPowerUp

Pokdepinion: Imagine the possibilities – although nothing is said on the stability of the chips themselves.

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Low Boon Shen
Is technology powered by a series of tubes?