The Kioxia XG8 arrives as the true successor to the popular XG6 client drive, offering PCIe 4.0 levels of performance with high-capacity options. For OEM use, the XG8 supports optional features such as TCG Opal 2.01 for encryption and also power loss notification. Its conservative design allows for use in laptops, desktops, gaming PCs and more. This drive may not be officially available in retail, but it is a suitable choice in a new machine and should be compared to other high-end PCIe 4.0 SSDs.
The XG8 comes with new hardware – that is, a new controller and new flash – and promises better performance. Kioxia shows random and sequential performance improvements of between 169 and 253% in terms of IOPS and MBps, respectively. Other features make it useful for client environments which could include workstations, as well. It will be interesting to see how it holds up against the best SSDs.
|Capacity (User / Raw)||512GB / 512GB||1024GB / 1024GB||2048GB / 2048GB||4096GB / 4096GB|
|Form Factor||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|Interface / Protocol||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4|
|Flash Memory||112-Layer Kioxia BiCS5 TLC||112-Layer Kioxia BiCS5 TLC||112-Layer Kioxia BiCS5 TLC||112-Layer Kioxia BiCS5 TLC|
|Sequential Read||7,000 MBps||7,000 MBps||7,000 MBps||7,000 MBps|
|Sequential Write||5,000 MBps||5,600 MBps||5,800 MBps||5,800 MBps|
|Security||TCG Opal 2.01 Optional||TCG Opal 2.01 Optional||TCG Opal 2.01 Optional||TCG Opal 2.01 Optional|
The Kioxia XG8 is available in 512GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB sizes. It is particularly nice to see a 4TB option as TLC drives still often tap out at 2TB. The flash may help here as BiCS5 is known to be available in 1Tb dies, as on the 8TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus. However, the 4TB model is double-sided with more NAND packages, so this is not absolutely necessary. The XG8 can hit up to 7.0/5.8 GBps for sequential read and write and 900K/620K random read and write IOPS. Kioxia backs the drive with a 5-year warranty without any official TBW rating (as this is an OEM product). The KG8 is also NVMe 1.4 compliant.
The XG8 has an option with TCG Opal 2.01 support for each capacity which enables the Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) capability. This may be useful for client drive environments. The XG8 also supports power loss notification (PLN) through a PCIe sideband signal. This allows the drive to flush its data to non-volatile media before power loss through host initialization. This is not the same as power loss protection (PLP), which uses a battery or capacitor to protect data-in-flight. However, theoretically, PLN could be used with off-module PLP (OMP) to add this functionality.
Software and Accessories
The XG8 does not offer much in the way of software or accessories, which isn’t uncommon for client SSDs. We recommend Macrium Reflect Free if you need to clone or image your existing drive. Other applications, such as CrystalDiskInfo, can offer more information about the drive and its health status.
A Closer Look
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The XG8 is covered by a single, bright label with minimal information. Underneath this we see the controller flanked by two NAND packages on one side and a DRAM package on the other. The drive is single-sided, which is nice for some applications. It is worth noting that this drive is double-sided at 4TB.
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Kioxia claims that this is a proprietary controller, which makes sense as it follows in the footsteps of the XG5 and XG6. This is an eight-channel controller capable of getting the most out of a PCIe 4.0 interface. Kioxia’s Exceria line has used variations of Phison’s E12 controller instead.
The DRAM is Nanya’s NT6AN512T32AV-J2. This is LPDDR4, a low power form of DRAM, in a 512MB x 32b configuration. This makes it effectively 16Gb or 2GB which is a good amount for a 2TB drive.
These are 8Tb or 1TB packages consisting of 112-layer BiCS5 TLC dies. This flash can also be found on the 1TB Kioxia BG5, which has a single package. There’s not too much to say about this flash. Even though it has a generational disadvantage versus Micron’s 176-layer TLC, it has proven to be quite good in drives like the WD SN770. The maturity of the architecture has its benefits in OEM products, too.
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