AMD’s entry into the world of storage to include the SSD was a bit of a strange one when they initially announced their foray into that world. The choice of ODM’s to handle the manufacture was suspect initially, but the acquisition of OCZ by Toshiba has added confidence, and much-needed reliability, in their choice. AMD is continuing to fill out the low-end with the release of the R3 series of SSDs, with much higher-end options coming at a later date.

Radeon SSD

AMD’s SSD line is filling in both the top and low-end

These new drives¬†are not being manufactured by OCZ, but instead are being contracted out to a completely different, and unknown, make that’ll be combining SK Hunix TLC NAND with a Silicon Motion drive controller to make for a more value-oriented drive. Being TLC, it’ll be slightly slower in both read and write than the outgoing models (which are discontinued) and will have slightly less endurance, though the average consumer should have no issues with data degradation at all.

AMD Radeon R3 SSD Specifications

Radeon R3 120GB Radeon R3 240GBRadeon R3 480GBRadeon R3 960GB
SSD ControllerSilicon Motion
SM2256KX
Silicon Motion
SM2256KX
Silicon Motion
SM2256KX
Silicon Motion
SM2256KX
NAND UsedSK Hynix
TLC NAND
SK Hynix
TLC NAND
SK Hynix
TLC NAND
SK Hynix
TLC NAND
ReadM/em>520 MB/s520 MB/s520 MB/s510
MB/s
Write360
MB/s
470
MB/s
470
MB/s
460
MB/s
4KB Read IOPS57K77K83K80K
4KB Write IOPS18K25K 28K37K
Price (Amazon)$40.99$69.99$136.99Not Currently Available

To help with performance and with endurance, the R3 SSDs will use part of the flash memory in a sort-of SLC mode that’ll be dedicated to caching and other performance acceleration type activities that should help to improve the relative speed of everyday, repetitive tasks. The controller is definitely a reliable one and should certainly be more comfortable to use than the Barefoot controller from OCZ, which wasn’t entirely favorable, nor always the most reliable.

The flash itself is likely SK Hynix’s 16nm TLC, which is their newest form of TLC. There are no official specifications for endurance, but in the real-world there seem to be little complaints. The entire package is actually quite similar to the Adata SP550, with the same NAND and the same controller. Reading reviews of that particular SSD reveals it to be quite the value proposition.

Meanwhile, there are also ruminations that AMD will also be entering the high-end SSD market with M.2-based NVMe enabled drives¬†and may even feature the next-generation VNAND from either Micron or Samsung. Either way, they have the option of choosing whichever supplier and manufacturer they want,and aren’t necessarily tied to any one. The upcoming drives, which may carry the R9 moniker, may even come in PCIe flavors as well. Further information will come at a later date, though we’d expect them to pursue a similar strategy, though tweaked slightly for the high-end.