QLC vs TLC NAND

QLC vs TLC NAND SSD Disks Specifications Comparison & Differences

In this article, we help you to understand better how QLC vs TLC NAND differs from each other.

If you have basic knowledge about computer storage components, you might very well know how a hard disk drive differs from a solid state drive or SSD. Even if you don’t know many technical details, you may at least know that SSDs are far more superior compared to HDDs when it comes to speed and performance in accessing the stored data. The use of SSDs is increasing day by day in the latest devices. However, given to the expensive price tags on SSDs, you will find hybrid storage used by most of the people with limited budgets. Today at Face of IT, we will be discussing various types of SSDs available in the market.

If you are looking for an SSD storage solution for your system, you might have come across some of the products which offer the same storage capacity but possess a significant difference in price tag. This is because their internal architecture is different, regardless of what capacity they offer.

Related: Best PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Drives

SSD cell architecture:

Including QLC, there is a total of four types/architectures or SSDs used widely so far:

  • SLC – single-level cell
  • MLC – multi-level cell
  • TLC – triple-level cell
  • QLC – Quad level

However, our computing demand in terms of both performance/speed and capacity is increasing very rapidly. Thus, QLC, a new type of flash memory had to be invented. This new type, Quad level cell allows SSDs to provide more massive capacity storage while keeping the price low. Before we discuss TLC and QLC types and go through various products available in each category, here is a quick introduction to NAND flash memory.

Nand Flash Memory:

Compared to conventional hard disk drives, Nand flash storage offers better, faster and cheaper media storage solutions. It is a non-volatile memory which saves data even when power is cut of mid operations. Nand flash storage is a collection of cells, which hold multiple bits. Electrical charge is used to turn these bits on and off. The organizational structure of these cells represents how SSD will store the data. For example, Single level cell or SLC holds a single bit in each cell. Same goes for MLC(double bits) and TLC(triple bits) per cell. QLC is a result of the manufacturer’s efforts towards utilizing each cell at fullest to provide faster storage solutions at cheaper costs. QLC provides 4 bits in each cell.

Also Read: Seagate Barracuda SSD vs Crucial MX500 vs Samsung Evo 860

QLC vs TLC Nand:

The anatomy of these NAND storage types is not that simple; as they possess their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we will discuss more TLC and QLC NAND flash storage, and address some of the best products available in this particular category. So you can choose a suitable SSD according to your requirements.

Features

TLC NAND

QLC NAND

Reads & Write Cycle500-10001000
Bits/Cell34
Performance2/52/5
Power Consumption0.458 W (Kingston A1000)0.100 W (Intel 660p)
$ per GB$0.2 – $0.18$0.12 – $0.18
AdvantagesLow CostMore Storage Capacity
Target MarketConsumer SSDsHigh-Density Data Storage

1. TLC Nand – Triple Level Cell:

As mentioned above, in the TLC structure, each cell holds 3 bits of data. As far as manufacturing cost is concerned, this type of flash memory is the cheapest to produce. However, the biggest bottleneck with this type of storage is that it is suitable for consumer level use only as it does not meet the requirements and standards required for industrial or enterprise use. Its read & write cycles are as well shorter. It ranges between 3000 to 5000 cycles per cell.

Overview:

AdvantagesLower production cost

Cheapest SSDs available in the market

LimitationsShorter life span compared to SLC, MLC
Recommend ApplicationsEveryday Consumer

Web Portals

Email Machines

Notebooks, Tablets

Best TLC Nand Storage:

Following are some of the best TLC Nand storage devices available our there:

1. HP EX920 M.2 1 TB:

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Features Highlight:

  • High performance at lower power consumption
  • High reliability and system responsiveness
  • Compact form factor with minimal weight
  • Extensive ruggedness
  • Improved data integrity and data security

General:

ManufacturerHP
Series / ModelEX920 / 2YY47AA#ABC
Storage Type Internal Solid State Drive
Form FactorM.2 2280
Capacity1 TB
Memory Component3D TLC
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x4
Controller HP
Cache1 GB

Performance:

Sequential Read / Write

 

3200 MB/s – read

1800 MB/s – write

4 KB Random 350000 IOPS – read

250000 IOPS – write

Latency0.020 ms read latency

0.022 ms write latency

MTBF2000000 hours

Environmental:

Power Consumption0.73 W (Idle)

6.23 W (Active)

Temperature0  to +78 C – Operating

-40 to +85 C – Storage

Humidity5 – 95 %
Shock Resistance100 G / 6 msec
Vibration Resistance3.1 GRMS (2-500 Hz)

Dimension / Weight:

Dimension3.80 x 22 x 80 mm
Weight5.40 g

2. Kingston A1000 960 GB:

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Features Highlight:

  • Up to 20 times better performance compared to conventional HDD, perfect for upgrading older systems
  • 2 2280 form factor with multi-purpose SFF connector
  • Ideal single sided and compact design for thin and light notebooks and systems with limited space
  • Available in multiple capacities and price range

General:

ManufacturerKingston
Series / ModelA1000 / SA1000M8/960G
Storage Type Internal Solid State Drive
Form FactorM.2 2280
Capacity960 GB
Memory Component3D TLC
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x2
Controller Phison E8
CacheNot Specified

Performance:

Sequential Read / Write

 

1500 MB/s – read

1000 MB/s – write

4 KB Random 120000 IOPS – read

100000 IOPS – write

LatencyNot Specified
MTBF1000000 hours

Environmental:

Power Consumption0.011748 W – Idle

Up to 0.458 W – Read

Up to 0.908 W – Write

Temperature0 to +70 C – Operating

-40 to +85 C – Storage

HumidityNot Specified
Shock ResistanceNot Specified
Vibration Resistance2. 17G (7-800 Hz) – Operating

20 G (10-2000 Hz) – Non-Operating

Dimension / Weight:

Dimension3.5 x 22 x 80 mm
Weight7.60 g

3. Intel SSD 600p 1 TB:

Best PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Drives

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Features Highlight:

  • Extended battery life on notebooks/laptops with low power drain compared to HDDs
  • Consistent drive performance with enhanced efficiency
  • 2 2280 form factor with support to a large range of compatible devices and most of the modern motherboards.
  • Available from 128 GB to 1 TB capacities
  • 5 year of limited warranty from Intel

General:

ManufacturerIntel
Series / Model600p / SSDPEKKW010T7X1
Storage Type Internal Solid State Drive
Form FactorM.2 2280
Capacity1 TB
Memory ComponentTLC
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x4
Controller Not Specified
CacheNot Specified

Performance:

Sequential Read / Write 1800 MB/s – read

560 MB/s – write

4 KB Random 155000 IOPS – read

128000 IOPS – write

LatencyNot Specified
MTBF1600000 hours

Environmental:

Power Consumption40 mW – Idle

100 mW – Active

Temperature0 to +70 C – operating
HumidityNot specified
Shock ResistanceNot specified
Vibration Resistance2.17 GRMS (5-700 Hz) – Operating

3.13 GRMS (5-800 Hz) – Non-Operating

Dimension / Weight:

Dimension11.6 x 9.2 x 1.8 cm
Weight9.07 g

2. QLC Nand – Quad Level Cell:

The QLC Nand flash storage offers at least 33% improved storage density as compared to TLC storage solutions. Each cell featured in this type of storage is capable of holding 4 bit of data. Moreover, the write cycle for QLC Nand can go as high as 1000 times per cell. Now. considering the number of bits in each cell, this rate is even better compared to TLC. Since the data is being stored in a more denser architecture, QLC offers more storage capacity while keeping the price level to equal or even lower compared to TLC.

Overview:

AdvantagesFewer read/write drivers required compared to other NAND memories

More storage capacity

Improved storage density

Lower Price

LimitationsA life span of QLC is as good as SLC and MLC but not better than TLC
Recommend ApplicationsThe huge demand for storage and performance at lower costs

Best QLC Nand Storage:

Following are some of the best QLC Nand storage devices available our there:

1. Intel SSD 660p 1 TB:

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Features Highlight:

  • More capacity at lower cost with Intel’s 3D NAND QLC technology
  • Ideal for laptops/desktops, overcome limitations of previous gen storage solutions
  • Higher capacity and faster read performance at comparatively low power consumption, compared to any TLC NAND
  • Available with up to 2 TB of storage capacity

General:

ManufacturerIntel
Series / Model660p / SSDPEKNW010T8X1
Storage Type Internal Solid State Drive
Form FactorM.2 2280
Capacity1 TB
Memory Component3D QLC NAND
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x4
Controller Not specified
CacheNot specified

Performance:

Sequential Read / WriteUp to 1800 MB/s
4 KB Random 150000 IOPS – read

220000 IOPS – write

LatencyNot specified
MTBF1600000 Hours

Environmental:

Power Consumption40 mW – idle

100 mW – active

Temperature0 to +70 C – Operating

-55 to +95 C – Storage

Humidity5 – 95 %
Shock Resistance1000 G / 0.5 ms  – operating

1500 G / 0.5 ms – non-operating

Vibration Resistance2.17 GRMS (5-700 Hz) – operating

3.13 GRMS (5-800 Hz) – non-operating

Dimension / Weight:

Dimension2.38 x 22 x 80 mm
Weight~ 10.00 g

2. Crucial P1 1 TB:

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Features Highlight:

  • Next-gen NVMe PCIe storage interface
  • Impressive read/write performance with up to 1 TB of available capacity
  • 5 years of limited warranty from the manufacturer
  • Designed for gamers and creators for boosting up system performance, wherever storage is involved

General:

ManufacturerCrucial
Series / ModelP1 / CT1000P1SSD8
Storage Type Internal Solid State Drive
Form FactorM.2 2280
Capacity1 TB
Memory Component3D QLC NAND
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x4
Controller Silicon Motion SM2263
CacheSLC Cache

Performance:

Sequential Read / Write2000 MB/s – read

1700 MB/s – write

4 KB Random 170000 IOPS – read

240000 IOPS – write

Latency~ 894.7 μs
MTBF1800000 hours

Environmental:

Power Consumption2 mW – idle

80 mW – active

(8W Max)

Temperature0 to +70 C – Operating

-40 to +85 – nonoperating

Humidity5 – 95%
Shock Resistance1500 G / 0.5 ms
Vibration Resistance3.1 GRMS (5-800 Hz)

Dimension / Weight:

Dimension3.14 x 0.08 x 0.86 inches
Weight0.64 ounces

Conclusion:

That’s it for this comparison between TLC and QLC Nand. We hope this post helps you to understand the general difference between these two types of NAND. However, feel free to ask questions in the comment section below. Follow this blog to get regular tech updates right into your inbox. For now, thank you! And see ya until next post!

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