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Review – Solidigm P44 Pro 2TB – A New King in the horizon!

Today, we will be testing the Solidigm P44 Pro model, a top-of-the-line NVMe SSD from the American manufacturer, Solidigm. Specifically, we will be examining the 2TB model that they have sent us for review.

A few months ago, we analyzed the Platinum P41 2TB SSD from SK Hynix, which was considered the fastest and most efficient PCI-E 4.0 SSD available at the time of its launch.

The P44 Pro SSD comes in the M.2 format with a 64Gbps bus, which includes 4 PCIe 4.0 lanes and uses the NVMe 1.4 protocol. It is available in capacities ranging from 512GB to 2TB, with no 4TB versions currently available. The SSD is priced at around $193, which is lower than the Platinum P41’s $240 price point. Another advantage of the P44 Pro is that Solidigm sells it in more regions than SK Hynix. However, we have yet to find it in Brazil.


SSD Specifications

Here are some more detailed information about the SSD that will be tested (2 TB unit):

Solidigm P44 Pro Spec Sheet

It’s worth noting that the P44 Pro and SK Hynix Platinum P41 have identical configurations, with the former essentially being a rebranded version of the latter with a more aggressive price point under the Solidigm name. However, it raises the question of whether the price reduction has impacted its performance. Let’s find out!

SSD’s Software

Solidigm provides a software tool for its SSDs called the Solidigm Synergy™ Storage Tool. With this tool, users can manage their SSDs, check SSD Smart information, perform Secure Erase, and conveniently update the firmware without the need for third-party programs.

One notable feature is that Solidigm offers a customized “NVMe Driver” specifically for its SSDs, which they claim provides better performance. In our testing, we evaluated the SSD both with and without the driver installed to determine whether it made a noticeable difference. Our analysis will reveal the impact, if any, of the driver on the SSD’s performance.

Custom NVMe driver Installation

If you have this SSD, you may want to install the NVMe driver for optimal performance. However, it’s worth noting that the driver is specifically designed for Solidigm SSDs and cannot be used with other brands. It is possible to install the driver, but Solidigm advises that it cannot be removed. Below, we will provide the steps for installing the NVMe driver.

Step 01
Step 1: Go to Solidigm P44 Pro website

After navigating to the Solidigm website, we should select the Drivers and Downloads tab.

Step 02
Step 2 – Choosing the NVMe Driver and management software.

Now, we were able to download both the customized driver and the SSD management and software update tools.

Step 03
Step 3 – Downloading the Driver as a “.zip” file

After determining the exact use of the SSD, which in this article would be to simulate a conventional scenario, we went to the “Solidigm Storage Driver For Client SSDs” tab and downloaded the zip file.

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Step 4 – Run “SetupSolidigm.exe” as Admin

After downloading the file and extracting it, we should run the “.exe” file, which is the driver installer.

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Step 5 – First Installation page

In this first screen of the program, Solidigm suggests closing all running programs and tasks before proceeding with the installation.

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Step 6 – Warning!

As mentioned before, Solidigm informs that this driver cannot be removed, only through a clean OS installation it would be removed.

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Final Step – Waiting to finish Installation

After finishing the installation, it is good practice to restart the computer.


The SSD is packaged in a black box that displays an image of the SSD’s PCB, which features a purple stripe and the name and model of the SSD, as well as its capacity. On the back of the box, there are only a few product details such as the serial number, among others.

Upon opening the box, the SSD is enclosed between two protective plastic layers and comes with its manual.

It’s worth noting that all P44 Pro units are single-sided, which means that there are no components on the back of the PCB. This design feature makes it easier to use in laptops and consoles while minimizing heat dissipation on both sides of the PCB.

Additionally, we can observe the gigantic controller, one DRAM cache module, and two NAND Flash modules. It’s worth noting that unlike several SSDs, there is no single PMIC chip. Instead, several “Load switches” are distributed around the PCB to supply power to the other SSD rails.


The SSD controller is responsible for managing data, over-provisioning, garbage collection, and other functions that occur in the background. Most importantly, it plays a critical role in ensuring that the SSD performs optimally.

SSD Soldigm P44 Pro 2TB Controlador

This Solidigm SSD utilizes a high-end controller developed by SK Hynix, known as “Aries”. The ACNS075 PCH631 is an ARM-based controller with four processing cores, which is twice the number of cores found in its predecessor, the SK Hynix P31 Gold SSD. Unfortunately, SK Hynix does not provide much information about the controller. It is speculated that the processing cores are Cortex-R5, which were specifically designed for this type of task. However, due to its size, it is also possible that the controller uses Cortex-R8 cores, similar to those found in the Silicon Motion SM2269XT and the new SMI monster, the SM2264.

The controller has eight communication channels and “possibly” supports up to four chip enables per channel, allowing for up to 32 dies with a bus speed of up to 1600 MT/s. Furthermore, the controller was manufactured using a 12nm process.

DRAM Cache

Every top-of-the-line SSD that aims to offer high and consistent performance needs a buffer to store its mapping tables, also known as Flash Translation Layer or Look-up table. This buffer allows the SSD to have better random performance and be more responsive.

SSD Soldigm P44 Pro 2TB DRAM Cache

This 2TB SSD utilizes a DRAM Cache IC with the model “H9HCNNNBKUMIXR-NEE”, an LPDDR4 chip with 16Gb density (2GB). Solidigm opted to use these LPDDR4 modules, which are commonly found in smartphones, to enhance energy efficiency. However, the frequency and latency of this IC could not be determined.

Interestingly, the same model of DRAM Cache is also used in the SK Hynix Platinum P41 2TB SSD.

NAND Flashs

Regarding its flash, the 2TB SSD has 2 Nand flash chips marked as “H25T3TCG8CX590” or “H25T3TCG8C-X590“. These are SK Hynix’s 4D TLC V7 Nands, in this case dies of 512Gb (64GiB) containing 176 layers of data.

SSD Soldigm P44 Pro 2TB NAND Flash

Each of these dies can offer a throughput of up to 168 MB/s with a read latency of 50 µs (tR) and an effective programming latency of an average of 380 µs (tPROG).

Interestingly, SK Hynix’s NANDs are marketed as “4D TLC,” not because they have anything to do with the fourth dimension, but because they use the Peripheral Circuit as Page Buffers (PuC) located below the cell array. This technology is unique to SK Hynix and offers theoretical throughputs even greater than Micron’s B47R NANDs, which until now were considered the best in terms of bandwidth. With 32 of these SK Hynix dies, an SSD could reach speeds close to 4GB/s natively, with each die capable of offering around 140 to 150 MB/s, making an SSD with 32 dies have a bandwidth of 4,480 to 4,800 MB/s, surpassing the B47R mark. Whether this will be realized in practice remains to be seen.

Another interesting detail is that although SK Hynix advertises these NANDs as operating at 1600 MT/s, they have decided to lower the native TLC write speed to reduce power and thermal consumption, given that the SSD already generates a lot of heat and can consume up to ~8.25W with a current of 2.5A and voltage of 3.3V, although in practice it doesn’t even come close to that.

P.M.I.C. / VRM (Power Delivery)

exemplo pmic

Similar to any electronic component that carries out a function, SSDs also exhibit a level of power consumption that can range from a few milliwatts to almost 10 watts, approaching the limit of certain connectors or slots. The PMIC, which stands for ‘Power Management IC’, is the circuit that is responsible for all power management and supplying power to other components.

In this SSD, we don’t have a single circuit responsible for everything, but rather several small “load switches” responsible for providing power to different components. One of the types of load switches used is the “Texas Instruments TPS22954,” which has been rebranded as “ZDKI.” Its technical specifications indicate that it can operate with up to 7V, 5A, and a resistance of 14 mΩ.

ssd sk hynix platinum p41 2tb load switch
DATASHEET – TEXAS INSTRUMENTs – TPS22954 On-Resistance Load Switch

In addition to that, we find several capacitors, inductors, and resistors around the VRM of the SSD.

SSD NVMe Power States

As always mentioned in power consumption analyses, in this section we will see more about the power states of this SSD.

SSD Solidigm P44 Pro 2TB Power States List English

We can see that although the SSD can be powered up to 8.25W, its highest power state is 7.5W. Interestingly, when it is in deep sleep, its power consumption is very low, and its input and output latencies from this state are also very low.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the P44 Pro has identical specifications to SK Hynix’s P41, with both drives having the same power states and input/output latencies.


Like memory modules, SSDs also undergo changes in components such as the controller and NAND flash. However, because this is a proprietary design, there are no known changes in internal components at the time of this analysis.

So far, this drive has suffered no changes in its design.


In this test battery, we will use software such as Crystal Disk Mark, PCMark 10 (paid version), IOmeter, 3DMark, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Adobe Premiere, as well as Final Fantasy XIV for testing game loading time and Bootracer for testing Windows 10 and 11 boot time.

It is important to note that even minor changes in the operating system, platform, driver versions such as chipset, processor and motherboard models, and operating system versions can result in differences from the presented results. Therefore, we will list all the specifications of the used bench, and each test will be performed three times, using the average of each result.

– Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (Build: 21H2) + Windows 11 Pro 64-bit (Build: 21H2)
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (16C/32T) (All Core, 4 GHz)
– RAM: 2 × 16 GB DDR4-3200MHz CL-16 Netac (c/ XMP)
– Motherboard: Gigabyte X570s Aorus Elite AX (Bios Ver.: F5c)
– GPU: RTX 3050 Gigabyte Gaming OC (Drivers: 512.xx)
– Boot Drive (OS): SSD SK Hynix Platinum P41 2TB (Firmware: 51060A20)
– SSD DUT: SSD Solidigm P44 Pro 2TB (Firmware: 001C)
– Chipset AMD X570:
– Windows: Indexing disabled to avoid affecting test results.
– Windows: Windows updates are disabled to avoid affecting the test results.
– Windows: Most of the background running Windows applications were disabled.
– Boot Time Windows: Clean OS Install
– pSLC Cache Test: Drive is active cooled in order to avoid thermal throttling
– Windows: Anti-Vírus desabilitado para diminuir variação de cada Rodada..
– SSDs were tested as a secondary drive, with 0% of space being utilized, and other tests with 50% of space being utilized to represent a realistic scenario.
– Quarch PPM QTL1999 – Power consumption test: it is performed with 3 parameters, first in idle where the disk is left as a secondary drive and after a period of idle time, a 1-hour write test is conducted, and the average is taken.


Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, they are not yet commercially available in Brazil. On the other hand, unlike SK Hynix, they are available for sale in several other regions of the world, which is a positive point.

Below are links to the Amazon website, where you can buy one of these beasts and contribute to our site with a small commission.

Amazon – SSD Solidigm P44 Pro 2TB – U$ 192,07

Amazon – SSD Solidigm P44 Pro 1TB – U$ 115,00

Amazon – SSD Solidigm P44 Pro 512GB – U$ 49,99


We conducted synthetic sequential and random tests with the following configurations:

Sequential: 2x 1 GiB (Block 1 MiB) 8 Queues 1 Thread

Random: 2x 1 GiB (Block 4 KiB) 1 Queue 1/2/4/8/16 Threads

When testing its sequential speeds, we can observe that when using Solidigm’s custom NVMe driver, it was able to achieve the best result so far.

In terms of latency, which is the most relevant metric for everyday use cases, the results show that this SSD once again performed the best, with the driver version having an impact on the results.

When testing its random read speeds with 1 queue and 4 allocated threads, it achieved the best results in the comparison using its driver. This shows good consistency of results with this driver, which is an excellent positive point.

With only one thread allocated, it was able to surpass 90 MB/s in its reading and in its writing it stood out in comparison to other SSDs, which is a very positive point for Solidigm.


In this test, various queue depth configurations were used to test three access configurations. The queue depth ranged from QD1, which represents everyday use, to QD16, which is more comparable to virtualized environments.

In terms of its write performance, the SSD was able to achieve almost 900,000 IOPS, which is the closest result so far to its manufacturer-claimed value of over 1.3 million IOPS, but only in more unrealistic scenarios.

When it comes to read performance, the SSD again showed the best results so far, but it was still lower than its write performance. This is due to the fact that the manufacturer’s announcement of extremely high speeds with multiple queues and threads is more irrelevant for the average user.

ATTO Disk Benchmark QD1 e QD4

We performed a test using ATTO to observe the speed of the SSDs at different block sizes. In this benchmark, it was configured as follows:

Blocks: de 512 Bytes up to 8 MiB

File Size: 256MB

Queue Depth: 1 e 4.

The ATTO disk benchmark is a software that performs a sequential speed test with compressed files, simulating a data transfer load similar to that of Windows. Typically, block sizes range from 128KB to 1 MiB. In the case of the Solidigm SSD, we observe that it manages to stay ahead of other SSDs, especially with small blocks, only losing the lead when passing the 256KB mark. In terms of writing, it managed to perform well in comparison to the SK Hynix P41, and we see that the results were almost identical with and without using the NVMe driver for both reading and writing tests.

With only 1 thread allocated, at a QD of 1, we can see that in its reading speed it again stands out from the other SSDs, but in its writing speed it fell a little behind as the block sizes increased.

3DMark – Storage Benchmark

In this benchmark, several storage tests are performed, including game loading tests such as Call of Duty Black Ops 4, Overwatch, recording and streaming of a 1080p 60 FPS gameplay with OBS, installation of some games, and file transfers of game folders.


The new 3DMark benchmark focused on everyday use and scenarios with a focus on gaming and other realistic tasks has shown that the SSD has achieved the best result so far, significantly improving its position compared to the second-placed drive. The SSD not only performed well in terms of data throughput, but also in its latencies, which provided it with an advantage over the other drives.

In this test, the Storage Test tool and the “Full System Drive Benchmark” test were used, which perform light and heavy tests on the SSD.

pcmark10 fb og

Among these traces, we can observe tests such as:

  • Boot Windows 10
  • Adobe After Effects: Start the application until it is ready to use
  • Adobe Illustrator: Start the application until it is ready to use
  • Adobe Premiere Pro: Start the application until it is ready to use
  • Adobe Lightroom: Start the application until it is ready to use
  • Adobe Photoshop: Start the application until it is ready to use
  • Battlefield V: Loading time until the start menu
  • Call of Duty Black Ops 4: Loading time until the start menu
  • Overwatch: Loading time until the start menu
  • Using Adobe After Effects
  • Using Microsoft Excel
  • Using Adobe Illustrator
  • Using Adobe InDesign
  • Using Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Using Adobe Photoshop (Heavy usage)
  • Using Adobe Photoshop (Light usage)
  • Copying 4 ISO files, 20GB total from a secondary disk (Write test)
  • Performing the copy of the ISO file (Read-write test)
  • Copying the ISO file to a secondary disk (Read)
  • Copying 339 JPEG files (photos) to the tested disk (Write)
  • Creating copies of these JPEG files (Read-write)
  • Copying 339 JPEG files (photos) to another disk (Read)

In this slightly older benchmark with a greater focus on productivity using Adobe and Office suite, we observe that the SSD almost reached the 4000-point mark. It scored over 300 points ahead of the SK Hynix P41, and even without using the NVMe driver, it still managed to outperform it.

PROJECT TEST – Adobe Premiere Pro 2021
Next, we used Adobe Premiere to measure the average time it took to open a project of about 16.5GB with a 4K resolution, 120Mbps bitrate, full of effects, until it was ready for editing. It is worth noting that the tested SSD was always used as a secondary drive without the operating system installed, as this could affect the result and cause inconsistencies.


When using this project in Premiere, we can again see that the Solidigm performed well in the test. Although the difference in loading time was very small, as the size of the project increases, the loading time difference can also increase.

We compared multiple SSDs and an HDD using a clean installation of Windows 10 Build 21H1 along with the Final Fantasy XIV benchmark running in campaign mode. The test consisted of selecting the best result after three consecutive system boots, taking into account the total time until the desktop was reached with the score reported by the application. It is important to note that this time includes the time it takes to load the game, and not just the time it takes to boot until the desktop screen appears.


In this Final Fantasy benchmark, which estimates the average time each scene takes to load, the Solidigm SSD performed excellently. However, the other SSDs in the comparison showed a very small difference due to the fact that the game does not utilize the Direct Storage API.

Considering that this program includes the boot time until the loading of the latest OS drivers, which, in this case, was done with a clean installation including only operating system drivers such as Network, Wireless + Bluetooth, Audio, Nvidia drivers, and PCH, among others, we can see that the Solidigm was slightly slower to start the system, but this is unlikely to impact daily use.

A large portion of SSDs in the current market use the SLC Caching technology, where a certain percentage of their storage capacity, be it MLC (2 bits per cell), TLC (3 bits per cell), or QLC (4 bits per cell), is used to store only 1 bit per cell. This is used as a read and write buffer, where the controller initiates the write and when the buffer is exhausted it writes to the native NAND Flash (MLC / TLC / QLC).

Grafico 22

Through IOmeter, we can get an idea of the SLC cache volume of this SSD, as manufacturers often do not provide this information. Based on the tests we conducted, we verified that it has a hybrid pSLC cache volume of about 312GB, which maintained an average speed of around 6640 MB/s until the end of the buffer, making it an excellent result.

In this case, the hybrid design is similar to other models used by manufacturers such as Western Digital’s nCache 4.0, found in SSDs like the SN850, and Samsung’s Turbo Write 2.0 found in 980 Pro models. All these models are hybrid designs that focus on both performance and durability.


After writing 312GB, the SSD started to write to the blocks programmed natively as TLC, from 312GB to 2TB, indicating its native speed with an average of 1894 MB/s. Normally, SSDs with this amount of pSLC Cache volume need to enter the folding/Copyback state to release more space and continue their writing, but interestingly, this SSD does not require that. As we mentioned earlier, Solidigm is apparently limiting the native TLC write speed of this SSD to reduce its power consumption and heat dissipation.

The “Hybrid” design of this SSD is efficient, and when it wrote around 1548GB, its write speeds rose again to 6546 MB/s, representing its static pSLC Cache volume that instantly recovered by writing around 106GB to 1654GB. After that, the average write speed dropped again to 1894 MB/s until the unit was filled, but as the SSD filled up, its average speed also increased slightly, reaching almost 2.2GB/s in some scenarios.

In this 2TB unit, the static pSLC Cache volume is approximately 10 to 12GB, while the dynamic volume is almost 300GB, which decreases as the SSD fills up.

It’s worth noting that at the beginning of the write test, the write speed was around 5.3 GB/s, which was the speed of its static pSLC Cache volume, much lower than the dynamic volume. This can be corrected through a firmware update, which we hope Solidigm will release.


When comparing its post pSLC Cache write speeds with other SSDs, we can see that it cannot match the 4 TB Rocket 4 Plus due to Solidigm’s limitations. However, it still achieved an excellent result with a well-optimized design, which is certainly more than enough for any workload it is used for.

We also conducted a test to determine how long it would take for the SSD to recover part of its buffer. During our test, which ranged from 30 seconds to 2 hours of idle time, we compared the results of using TRIM and garbage collection versus not using them. Without using TRIM/GC, we observed that the SSD was able to recover about 10GB in less than 30 seconds at idle, which represents its static pSLC cache volume. Unfortunately, even after 2 hours of idle time, it was not able to recover more than that.

However, when we tested with TRIM/GC activated, we found that it could recover its entire volume in a matter of seconds, once again demonstrating that this Hyperwrite design was well-implemented.

In this test, we copied ISO files and CSGO from a RAM Disk to the SSD to see how it performs. We used the Windows 10 21H1 ISO file of 6.25GB (1 file) and its extracted version with Winrar to a folder containing 1,874 smaller files along with the CSGO installation folder of 25.2GB.


When using the Windows 10 operating system image compressed to a folder, we can see that it had a result close to the 8TB Rocket 4 Plus.


When using the larger CSGO folder, we see that the difference between the SSDs increased, and the Solidigm once again had a technical tie with the Rocket 4 Plus 8TB.


In this section of the analysis, we will observe the temperature of the SSD during a stress test, where the SSD receives files continuously, to see if there was any thermal throttling with its internal components that could generate any bottleneck or loss of performance.


Unfortunately, a high-performance drive like this SSD typically comes with thermal issues, and the Solidigm Hyperwrite SSD is no exception. Without a heat sink, the drive gets too hot and can suffer from severe throttling. During a stress test, we observed the drive reaching up to 93 °C, which is a very high temperature. However, due to Solidigm apparently limiting the speed of the NANDs, there was no noticeable drop in performance.

We highly recommend using a heat sink for this SSD, especially for those who plan to use it in a notebook. Many laptops come with very thin heat sinks or offer them as an accessory that can help dissipate the heat generated by the drive.

Thermal Imaging – SSD Solidigm P44 Pro 2TB

In the video above, we see a brief time-lapse using an Infiray T3 thermal camera during a 15-minute stress test on IOmeter to observe which points on the SSD’s PCB overheat.


SSDs, like many other components in our system, have a certain power consumption. The most efficient ones can perform tasks quickly and with relatively low power consumption, so that they can transition back to idle power states where they tend to consume less power.

quarch programmable power module
Special thanks to Quarch Solutions for sending over this Unit

In this section of the analysis, we will be using the Quarch Programmable Power Module that Quarch Solutions sent us (pictured above) to perform a set of tests to check the SSD’s efficiency. We will be conducting three tests: the maximum power consumption that the SSD can reach, the average power consumption in practical and casual scenarios, and power consumption during idle.

These tests, especially the efficiency and idle tests, are particularly important for users who intend to use the SSD in laptops, as SSDs typically spend the majority of their time in low power consumption power states (Idle), which can help to save battery life.


In terms of efficiency, we see that SK Hynix still maintains its position as the “most efficient SSD” compared to other 4.0 SSDs released so far, however, the Solidigm showed a technical tie with SK Hynix even with a slightly lower power consumption.


Regarding the maximum power consumption that this SSD reached, it was much lower than the 7.5W marked in its power state, which was a great result, and even being a 2TB SSD it achieved a slightly lower consumption than its direct competitor, the Hynix Platinum P41.


As for the average power consumption, when we performed a transfer of over 210GB, we observed that it had a slightly higher power consumption than the SK Hynix, which resulted in a slightly lower efficiency for the Solidigm.


In idle, which is the power state where SSDs spend most of their time, we see that it had the same consumption as the SK Hynix P41 Platinum.


After considering all the aspects of this SSD, is it really worth investing in?

In contrast to the SK Hynix Platinum P41, which was a top-of-the-line and hard-to-find SSD with a hefty price tag, the Solidigm is much more affordable and widely available worldwide. Thus, it is undoubtedly an excellent choice for anyone seeking an SSD for their gaming console, high-end PC, or even a notebook, as its price is significantly more attractive than the SK Hynix.


  • So far, the best sequential speeds
  • Excellent random speeds
  • The best latency results so far
  • Incredible performance in practical and casual scenarios, perfect for professional environments
  • No variation in internal components
  • Impeccable internal construction, incredible controller with superfast dies
  • Good size of pSLC cache
  • Great sustained write speed post pSLC cache
  • Reasonable recovery time for pSLC cache volume
  • Comprehensive software bundle, with an NVMe driver that improves performance
  • Excellent level of durability
  • Great level of efficiency
  • Low power consumption at idle
  • Offers AES-256 bit encryption
  • 5-year warranty
  • More aggressive price than the SK Hynix P41.


  • Suffers heavy thermal throttling, recommend the use of heatsinks
  • Does not come in 4TB capacities
  • Not available in Brazil
  • Warranty is not applicable in Brazil.

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