MSI is one of the most renowned hardware manufactures in the PC industry. The brand is mainly known for its graphics cards and motherboards but just like every major manufacturer, the brand has been expanding into other ventures such as peripherals, casings, cooling solutions, laptops & pre-builts. The latest expansion to MSI's diverse portfolio is their brand new SSD range known as Spatium.

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The new MSI Spatium lineup is aimed at both high-performance and mainstream segments. The high-end series includes the M480 while the mainstream segments include the M470 & the M390 series SSDs. The M400 series drives are based on the PCIe Gen 4.0 protocol while the M300 series drivers are based on the PCIe Gen 3.0 protocol.

MSI is announcing the launch of its solid state drive (SSD) product line with the introduction of SPATIUM. The initial product offering will include M480, M470, and M390, which are Gen4 & Gen3 PCIe NVMe SSDs in compact M.2 2280 form factors that can be installed into compatible desktop motherboards and laptops.

MSI continues to refine its identity as a high-performance PC brand and SPATIUM was envisioned to expand our ecosystem and cover the high-performance storage category. These SSDs are built with high-quality, high-density 3D NAND flash that deliver the best compromise of performance and endurance for professionals, content creators, and gamers. Among the performance improving technologies include a DRAM cache buffer for M480 and M470, and a SLC cache for all announced models.

Today, I will be testing the MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3 SSD which is priced at an MSRP of $109 US. The drive features the PCIe Gen 3.0 protocol along with mainstream pricing, making it ideal for mainstream solutions and budget PC builds.

MSI SPATIUM M390 1 TB PCIe Gen 3 NVMe SSD

MSI SPATIUM M390 is part of the latest MSI SPATIUM family and hence, it comes with a new design language that features an IHS spreader based on a copper film.

The MSI SPATIUM M390 SSDs are based on the NVMe SSD form factor and feature a 96-layer TLC-based 3D NAND flash which offers larger capacities, better performance, and slightly lower power input. The M390 SSDs are also based on the Gen 3 Phison E15T controller.

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FEATURES
  • PCIe Gen3x4 interface and complies with the NVMe 1.4 standard
  • Sequential Read speeds up to 3300MB/s and Write speeds up to 3000MB/s
  • Up to 400 TBW
  • Built-in data security and error-correction capabilities
  • 500GB to 1TB capacities in M.2 2280 form factor
  • Suitable for both desktop and notebook
  • 5-Year Warranty

Furthermore, these 2 TB model is priced slightly above the premium offerings with a cost of $189.99 US which gets you really high-speeds out of the box. In terms of performance, MSI's SPATIUM M390 1 TB has sequential read speeds of 3300 MB/s and write speeds of 3000 MB/s.

The Random read speed of the drive is up to 420K IOPS and the write is 550K IOPS. The MSI SPATIUM M390 1 TB SSD has an idle power draw of 30mW and a maximum operating power of 4W. The endurance of the lineup is rated at 400 TBW or 1,500,000 hours which should last a good amount of time with these drives. You are also looking at a 5-year limited warranty through the entire lineup.

MSI SPATIUM M390 1 TB Specifications:

SPATIUM M390 NVMe M.2 500GB SPATIUM M390 NVMe M.2 1TB
MODEL NAME SPATIUM M390 NVMe M.2
CAPACITY 500GB 1TB
CONTROLLER PHISON E15T
FLASH MEMORY 3D NAND
FORM FACTOR M.2 2280
INTERFACE PCIe Gen3x4, NVMe 1.4
COMPATIBILITY PCIe Gen3 / Gen2 / Gen1
DIMENSIONS 80.00mm (L) x 22.00mm (W) x 2.15mm (H)
SEQUENTIAL READ UP TO (MB/S) 3300
SEQUENTIAL WRITE UP TO (MB/S) 2300 3000
RANDOM READ 4KB UP TO (IOPS) 300K 420K
RANDOM WRITE 4KB UP TO (IOPS) 550K
MAXIMUM OPERATING POWER (W) 3.2 4
IDLE POWER PS3 (MW) 30
LOW POWER L1.2 (MW) 5
OPERATING TEMPERATURES 0°C – 70°C
STORAGE TEMPERATURES -40°C – 85°C
TERABYTES WRITTEN (TBW) 200 400
MEANTIME BETWEEN FAILURE (MTBF) Up to 1,500,000 Hours
LIMITED WARRANTY 5 Years, or the coverage for the maximum TBW as stated, whichever comes first.
ADVANCED FEATURES TRIM (Performance Optimization, OS support required)
SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology)
LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) ECC Algorithm
End to End Data Path Protection
APST (Autonomous Power State Transition)
AES256/TCG Pyrite (Encryption, Data Security)

MSI SPATIUM M390 SSD – Unboxing and Closer Look

The SSD comes in a small package. The package is colored black and features large pictures of the SSD featured on it. The front also lists down some features such as capacities, maximum read speeds, PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2 form factor.

The back of the package lists down some specifications of the SSD and some performance figures which we will get to in a bit.

The Spatium M390 package includes the SSD itself along with a drive manual. The higher-end drives come with a lucky comic book too.

Out of the package, the drive comes in the standard M.2 2280 form factor and features a blue PCB which is a common sight for entry-level storage devices.

The front of the drives includes a specifications sticker and you can place the copper film on the exposed side of the PCB.

The MSI SPATIUM M390 1 TB holds two NAND Flash chips (96L) and a Phison E15T controller with 1 GB DDR4 memory. The MSI M390 measures the same at 80x22x2.15mm (LxWxH).

MSI SPATIUM M390 Series SSD Installation:

dsc_0285-custom-7
dsc_0286-custom-6
dsc_0288-custom-5

Test Setup

Our test platform for this review consisted of an Intel Core i9-11900K  processor which ran at stock clocks on the MSI Z590 ACE motherboard. The platform was coupled with 32 GB of DDR4 memory from G.Skill (Trident Z RGB / 8 GB x 4) and the ASUS ROG Thor 1200W PSU. For graphics, I used the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X. This rounds up as a high-end platform for tests with modern-day SSDs.

Wccftech SSD Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel Core i9-12900K @ 5.30 GHz
Motherboard:Z690 AOURS Master
Power Supply:ASUS ROG THOR 1200W PSU
Solid State Drive:Inland Gaming Performance Plus 2 TB (Gen 4)
Seagate IronWolf 525 500 GB (Gen 4)
Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB (Gen 4)
MSI Spatium M450 1 TB (Gen 4)
MSI Spatium M480 2 TB (Gen 4)
MSI Spatium M470 1 TB (Gen 4)
TeamGroup CARDEA C440 1 TB (Gen 4)
TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB (Gen 3)
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB (Gen 4)
TeamGroup T-Create Classic 2 TB (Gen 3)
Memory:G.Skill Trident Z5 DDR5-6000 (2 x 16 GB)
Case:Cooler Master C700M
Video Cards:MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X
Cooling Solutions:MSI MEG S360 AIO Liquid Cooler
OS:Windows 11 64-bit

MSI SPATIUM M390 PCIe Gen 3 SSD Performance Benchmarks

First up, we have the official performance stats for these drives as listed by their manufacturers. You can compare these stats with the rest of the drives I tested in the following chart:

Official SSD Stats (IOPS)
Random Read 4 KB (IOPS)
Random Write 4KB (IOPS)
0
166667
333334
500001
666668
833335
1000002
0
166667
333334
500001
666668
833335
1000002
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
1m
1m
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4
750k
750k
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
700k
650k
TeamGroup CARDEA Creamic C440 1 TB Gen 4
650k
700k
TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3
680k
670k
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
600k
600k
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
420k
550k
Official SSD Stats (MB/s)
Sequential Read (MB/s)
Sequential Write (MB/s)
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
7k
6.8k
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
7k
5k
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4
7k
5.5k
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
5k
4.4k
TeamGroup CARDEA Creamic C440 1 TB Gen 4
5k
4.4k
TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3
3.4k
3k
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
3.3k
3k

AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD Benchmark download is a Windows 10 utility software program that tests the performance of solid-state drives. With its help, you can find out the speed of all installed SSDs and take care of any issues that the tests may reveal. The free app performs three separate tests to provide you with conclusive evidence on your driver's general behavior while it copies, reads, and writes data.  The app determines the access time of an SSD, along with its speed and performance capabilities

AS-SSD Benchmark
AS-SSD Score
0
4000
8000
12000
16000
20000
24000
0
4000
8000
12000
16000
20000
24000
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
11.9k
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4
11.7k
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
8.6k
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
7.2k
TeamGroup CARDEA Creamic C440 1 TB Gen 4
7k
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
4.9k
  TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3
4.8k

ATTO 3.05 Disk Benchmark

As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware software to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid-state drives, RAID arrays as well as the host connection to attached storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturer's RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adapters (HBAs), hard drives, and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.

ATTO v3.05 128 KB Sequential QD4
Sequential Read (MB/s)
Sequential Write (MB/s)
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
7.1k
7.2k
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
5.1k
4.4k
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4
6.8k
7.1k
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
5.1k
5.3k
TeamGroup CARDEA Creamic C440 1 TB Gen 4
5k
5.2k
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
3.7k
3.6k
  TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3
3.6k
3.5k

Crystal Disk Mark 7.0.0 x64

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software.It measure sequential reads/writes speed,measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed,select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill),

Crystal Disk Mark 7.0.0 x64 SEQ1M Q8T1
Sequential Read (MB/s)
Sequential Write (MB/s)
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
0
7k
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
7.1k
6.7k
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4
7.1k
5.1k
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
6.7k
5.6k
TeamGroup CARDEA Creamic C440 1 TB Gen 4
7.1k
4.5k
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
5.3k
4.4k
  TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3
5.2k
3.3k
Crystal Disk Mark 7.0.0 x64 4KiB Q1T1
Random Read (MB/s)
Random Write (MB/s)
0
90
180
270
360
450
540
0
90
180
270
360
450
540
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
109.5
485.5
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
100.2
450.2
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4
79.2
424.5
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
76.1
412.5
TeamGroup CARDEA Creamic C440 1 TB Gen 4
75.1
410.6
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
74.1
408.7
  TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3
73.2
405.2

File Transfer Speeds (100 GB File Size)

To test the maximum average transfer speeds of the drives, I used a 100 GB file to test the limits.

File Transfer Rate (MB/s)
Transfer Speed (MB/s)
0
400
800
1200
1600
2000
2400
0
400
800
1200
1600
2000
2400
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
1.6k
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
1.5k
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4
1.5k
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
1.3k
TeamGroup CARDEA Creamic C440 1 TB Gen 4
1.2k
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
891
TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3
855

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmark

The PCMark 10 Storage benchmark is designed to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 10 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

PCMark 10 System Disk Storage Bench
Disk Score (Higher is Better)
0
700
1400
2100
2800
3500
4200
0
700
1400
2100
2800
3500
4200
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
3.3k
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
3.3k
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4
2.8k
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
2.7k
TeamGroup CARDEA Creamic C440 1 TB Gen 4
2.7k
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
2.1k
TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3
2k
PCMark 10 System Disk Access Times
Access Times (Lower is Better)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
45
TeamGroup CARDEA Creamic C440 1 TB Gen 4
46
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
46
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4
48
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
52
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
58
  TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3
62

Conclusion - MSI Strikes Win With Its First Gen 4 SSD Solutions

MSI's entrance into the storage market brings forth two very competitive products, we already took the high-end Gen 4 M480 and M470 to the test drive a few months back and now we get to take a look at the entry-level M390. The Spatium M390 1 TB offers the speeds you'd expect of a Gen 3 SSD with its read and writes rated at 3300 and 3000 MB/s, respectively. It is based on the Phison E15T controller and the performance we noted was justified and well within the range of standard Gen 3 devices.

Temperatures
Disk Score (Lower is Better)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB Gen 4
76
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4
71
MSI SPATIUM M470 1 TB Gen 4
69
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB Gen 4 (With heatsink)
56
MSI Spatium M390 1 TB Gen 3
56
TeamGroup CARDEA Ceramic C440 1 TB Gen 4 (With heatsink)
55
TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB Gen 3 (With heatsink)
53
MSI SPATIUM M480 2 TB Gen 4 (With heatsink)
45

Also looking at the temperatures above, you can see that the SSD performs within normal operating temps of under 60C. It doesn't get as hot as the Gen 4 SSDs and doesn't require heatsinks either.

The standout feature of the M390 is its pricing. Starting at $109 US for the 1 TB variant, you are getting a great deal considering the Samsung 980 1 TB Gen 3 retails at over $120 US. That's a very competitive position where MSI has placed the M390 and we can definitely recommend the SSD for general use or if you plan on installing some games on a faster storage solution for those fast-load times.

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