Extreme aftermarket cooling systems for the best SSDs have become quite common in the last few years, but it looks like such designs are also gradually migrating to off-the-shelf SSDs. This week CFD introduced its PG5NFZ-series drives featuring a PCIe Gen5 x4 interface that come equipped with a large aluminum heatsink with a small high-speed fan on top.
CFD Gaming’s PG5NFZ-series drives feature Phison’s PS5026-E26 controller paired with Micron’s 3D TLC NAND B58R memory, reports Hermitage Akihabara. The manufacturer says that the drives offer up to 10 GBps sequential read speed and up to 9.5 GBps sequential write speed. Random read/write performance can achieve 1.5 million/1.25M million input/output operations per second (IOPS). The M.2-2280-D2-M (double-sided) SSDs will be available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB configurations.
One of the interesting wrinkles in CFD’s announcement is the availability timeframe of the drives, as so far, no other PCIe Gen 5 SSD maker has released a firm release date. By contrast, CFD says that the 2TB model will be available this November, whereas other SKUs will come later. We are unsure whether CFD’s November launch can be extrapolated to other companies. Meanwhile, it is noteworthy that PCIe Gen5 SSDs rated for ~12 GBps sequential read speed will likely hit the market only in 2023.
One of the key selling points of CFD’s PG5NFZ is, of course, the cooling system called Phnix (phoenix, an immortal bird from Greek mythology). This 20mm tall (including the bottom cover) aluminum cooler incorporates a high-pressure high-speed fan to ensure the best possible cooling for the controller and 3D NAND devices under high loads. Given the name of the cooler, it is probably also meant to prolong the lifespan of CFD’s SSDs, which are covered with a three-year warranty.
All solid-state drives featuring Phison’s E26 controller with a PCIe 5.0 x4 interface introduced over the past few months (1, 2, 3, 4) are equipped with a fairly large heatsink to ensure consistent performance under high loads. Yet, CFD’s Phnix goes above and beyond when it comes to off-the-shelf SSD cooling. CFD is not the first with a factory-installed active SSD cooler, but it is the first to launch an actively-cooled PCIe Gen5 client drive.
However, there is one catch with CFD Gaming. CFD is a Japan-based retailer that sells products from well-known brands like AMD and Crucial, and hardware under its own trademark. CFD does not have its own manufacturing capacities and outsources production to third parties. Meanwhile, Phison provides product development, firmware and hardware customization as well as manufacturing services to clients, and this might be the case with the CFD PG5NFZ drive.
While the particular design is probably exclusive for CFD and therefore may never make it outside of Japan, Phison might offer something similar to its other customers, which is when we will see actively cooled PS5026-E26-based drives sold by other suppliers in the U.S. and Europe.