Mushkin's lineup of PCIe 4.0 SSDs has largely remained a Phison affair. The Delta series was based on the Phison E16 and the Gamma on the Phison E18. Recently, the company launched a new series of PCIe 4.0 SSDs - the Redline VORTEX. The key here seems to be the usage of a new SSD controller - the Innogrit Rainier IG5236. It appears to be taking over the flagship mantle from the Gamma - besting it in both read and write random access IOPS and also sequential read speeds. However, unlike the Delta and Gamma, which came to the market in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB flavors, the Redline VORTEX series has three capacity points - 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Detailed specifications are provided in the table below.

Mushkin Redline VORTEX SSD Specifications
Capacity 512 GB 1024 GB 2048 GB
Controller Innogrit IG5236
Form-Factor, Interface Single-Sided M.2-2280, PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4
Sequential Read 6750 MB/s 7430 MB/s 7415 MB/s
Sequential Write 2635 MB/s 5300 MB/s 6800 MB/s
Random Read IOPS 200K 390K 730K
Random Write IOPS 645K 1085K 1500K
SLC Caching Yes
TCG Opal Encryption No
Warranty 5 years
Write Endurance 250 TBW
0.27 DWPD
500 TBW
0.27 DWPD
1000 TBW
0.27 DWPD
MSRP $78 (15.23¢/GB) $125 (12.21¢/GB) ??

The SSD adopts a graphene heat dissipating label for its thermal solution - typical for the price point targeted. The performance numbers (aided by dynamic SLC caching) make it suitable for content creation and gaming - workloads that typically benefit from the capabilities provided by PCIe 4.0 SSDs.

Mushkin is not the first to market with the Innogrit Rainier controller. The Patriot Viper VP4300 series and the ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade were introduced late last year. While the Viper VP4300 is priced quite high, the Mushkin Redline VORTEX manages to undercut the XPG GAMMIX S70 blade by $12 at the 512GB capacity point and $5 at the 1TB point (based on current street pricing). The company is yet to announce availability and pricing for the 2TB SKU. The appearance of more affordable PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs in the market is good news for consumers.

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  • Sunrise089 - Saturday, March 19, 2022 - link

    I know this is just a random comments section, but your comment was thoughtful, and as a daily reader for almost 20 years I want to offer a thoughtful reply.

    In a comment to another post, at least as best I can recall, I believe Ryan said the site’s access to review samples is largely unchanged and is not an impediment to running the site. With respect to purchasing what they are not sent, I do recall him saying that there wasn't really a budget provided for that.

    IMHO the issues with the site are threefold: they're down some staffers and seemingly don't have full-time access to others; Ryan is stretched far too thin; and until recently Ian sucked up all the air in the proverbial room. To expand...

    With respect to staffing, I believe Anandtech is currently down three staffers from this time last year: Billy who did storage reviews, Andrei who did smartphones and what I would term big picture CPU stuff; and now Ian who did CPU reviews. Ian was a prolific reviewer so CPU coverage has remained strong recently though there's uncertainty going forward. Ganesh has taken on the storage portfolio but it's one of several responsibilities and so the level of coverage has dropped, and Ryan has taken on the smartphone banner but Ryan's time is obviously very stretched as I'll expand on below. I think all five of the site’s reviewers are quality contributors, but where things currently stand is Ryan and Ganesh have huge portfolios and so most of their output (which is substantial) is based around news and announcement analysis. Gavin has kept up a good stream of motherboard reviews, but unfortunately, and through no fault of his, I feel motherboard reviews are probably the least useful part of the PC/tech space right now due to performance homogeneity. E. Fylladitakis and Brett are great reviewers but are only producing an average of one article per month, so obviously they're currently employed at something way less than full time. Going forward priority 1 has to be getting a CPU editor; if that's Gavin honestly it should work okay if he just dials back his motherboard coverage. Priority 2 should be either hiring a smartphone and/or storage editor or alternatively hiring someone to write about announcements to take that burden off the other editors. That leaves GPUs, which leads me to...

    I think Ryan Smith is an excellent editor-in-chief for the site. I hold Anand is very high regard, and I think it was telling he chose Ryan as his successor when he left the site. I think Anandtech fills an important niche at the intersection of methodological rigor and popular appeal, and I think Ryan fits into that space perfectly. The idea when Ryan became EIC was that he would do that job plus his work as GPU editor. Unfortunately, that has proven to be a disaster for the site. I think more or less every Ryan article is a meaningful contribution and a worthwhile posting. It seems clear that Anandtech views the major CPU, GPU, and Apple announcements as important and so they tend to fall to the EIC, and Ryan handles those responsibilities well. Plus, I'm sure there is a ton of back-of-house work managing the other editors and approving articles, especially without a dedicated copy editor which is a distant memory at this point. But to accomplish those tasks GPU reviews have vanished. I know there has been talk of issues with Ryan's physical location, his health, chip shortages, etc. But at this time the issues have gone on so long the pattern is clear - that under the current state of affairs he will never regain the time to do nut-and-bolts GPU reviewing and benchmarking. With that acknowledged, new priority 1a emerges, which is hiring a GPU reviewer or benchmarker so Anandtech can have some presence in what I assume is the second most trafficked PC article category after CPU reviews. I don't say that with any shade towards Ryan as a GPU reviewer, it's just an honest reflection of where things stand with the site and has been clear for a good while now.

    Finally, I think Ian's longstanding role as the most high-profile reviewer on the site created a lot of challenges. I think Ian brought plenty of good qualities as a reviewer and editor which he deserves credit for: his degree and his academic work he undoubtedly made him well-versed in and well-qualified to speak about CPUs on a technical level; he was a good benchmarker; he seemed to be a hard worker or at least he kept up a good rate of output; his background as a competitive overclocker gave him good insight into the enthusiast space; and he was a competent writer, albeit one who could have used a firmer editing hand to tone down the cutesiness and constant smirks to the readers which work better on video than the written page. The problem with Ian was he had no real desire, at least in recent years, to be a CPU reviewer. His recent 'my future' video on his Youtube channel makes this very clear, where he says explicitly what he liked about his job at Anandtech: "travel, talking to people, meeting with companies, and going to events." He then goes on say that he seems himself as an "analyst/influencer" with tech companies as his clients, and that he wants to tell stories focusing on the people in the tech space and (secondarily) the process of making their products, versus the products themselves. While I appreciate the honesty he showed, and while I think he largely acted professionally at Anandtech and during his exit, that mindset seems antithetical to what I'd like to see in a CPU reviewer where the focus should be on products and how they exist in a competitive landscape. After all, visitors of this site don't purchase engineering plans or senior tech company staff, they purchase products, which have a quality which exists exogenous to whatever merits are possessed by people involved in their development. In any case, Ian's approach and mindset resulted in what you'd expect: an emphasis on 'soft' interview and narrative articles, a penchant for self-promotion and building a personal brand within his company work, and, most problematically, a refusal to get his hands dirty with negative conclusions and subsequently tick off his industry contacts less his access or future opportunities be curtailed. Combine all that with Ian having a strong personality and, seemingly, being a confident and fairly charismatic guy, and I can see why he would be hard to rein in and might be given something of a carte blanche in how he oriented his coverage.

    This small treatise written, I'm cautiously optimistic for the future. Anandtech still has advantages with its reputation, its focus on objectivity and technical rigor, its remaining slate of editors, and with the website itself via strong data visualizations and the excellent Bench tool. If Anandtech can slot someone competent into the CPU role and have someone actually produce GPU reviews again the site will maintain much of its core value (I'd argue analysis of major architecture and product strategy announcements is also a core need, but again Ryan does this well). I'm hopeful Ian's departure may end up as addition by subtraction with all of the 'sponsored content'-type posting moving to their more natural home in his video platform. But if the site's owners are using staff departures as a way to permanently lower personnel expenses, then I concur with the OP above, and share his worry that the site's best days may be behind it.
  • sandtitz - Saturday, March 19, 2022 - link

    Thanks Sunrise089, a good summary there. Not disagreeing at all.

    Regarding your last sentence...
    Purch owned the site for 5 years with zero improvement; on the contrary, the amount of original content diminished greatly.
    The current owner, Future plc, has had close to 4 years to improve but obviously they have not invested a dime. Future had $800 Million revenue in 2021, by the way. Looks like they're milking AT for as long as it turns profit. After that they'll shut the site or sell for some stooge.

    If AT cannot get reviewers and writers, the only reason is the the stingy paycheck. If I had the time and skills to do reviews - and I would get a reasonable compensation, why not?

    But their annual "Call for Writers" never mentions any $ figure. Does a comprehensive 10 page hardware review pay $500 (way too little) or $2000 for a freelancer? Will AT supply a pipeline of products available for a prolific reviewer or is the $2000 work something you're offered once in a blue moon and you're supposed to fill the pages with daily 1-page reviews of $35 gizmos?

    Sadly, in this day, it's the Youtubers who are getting the biggest audience and remuneration. I'm just not interested in the flashy Linus techtips (and others) with all the hubris, and I'm sure there are still plenty of us who enjoy quality content.
  • Silver5urfer - Saturday, March 19, 2022 - link

    Appreciate your take. Very insightful on a different take and a deep one that too. Ian's reviews are very good to me personally because of his clarity with every single review. He never pushes the idea of say like Andrei who always had a clear preference towards Apple. He still had lot of solid articles which I was a fan of until recent times.

    All I wish for is Anandtech to stay alive and relevant and give us insights where we can never find elsewhere. Esp the new CPU i3 review is amazing that Gavin covered how LGA1200 is, that is not mentioned by 99% of the reviewers out there and previously DDR5 coverage. And before Ian's coverage on Intel Thread Director, lot of great tech info that nobody even cares to put out.

    I respect all the AT staff. I just wish them All the very best.
  • Khanan - Sunday, March 20, 2022 - link

    That’s a great summary, thanks. It’s obvious they need a GPU reviewer and generally more reviewers, the website doesn’t do enough reviews just compare it to TPU. If you ask me, AT should be more like TPU with many reviews every week and more news articles.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, March 21, 2022 - link

    I have to say, that's an uncanny analysis of the situation. You clearly are a long-time, hardcore AnandTech reader.

    I really appreciate people like you sticking around. And I hope to be able to continue delivering the kind of contact that will keep you sticking around for years to come.
  • at_clucks - Monday, March 21, 2022 - link

    "a refusal to get his hands dirty with negative conclusions and subsequently tick off his industry contacts less his access or future opportunities be curtailed."

    For a while I kept mumbling about Ian's bias towards Intel and then it dawned on me: his bias was against taking any kind of hard stance against screw-ups (intentional or not). He would praise anything good, and then offer some extremely veiled or soft criticism for anything bad, or outright forget to mention it.

    We saw him praise Intel's famously cheating demos (the chiller under the table anyone?) and after being taken for a ride in that demo and not flagging any of the signs that Intel was cheating, something almost every other respectable tech site did, his reaction was to become an Intel apologist and quite literally say just that "Intel could have communicated better". That's it. That was the extent of the grilling after being lied to to his face, after being tricked into lying to all his readers, Ian could not muster the strength and spine to tell it how it is so he bent over backwards to downplay what Intel did.

    When every review outlet was grilling Intel for not improving performance for years and relaunching the same CPU with slightly higher frequency and minor tweaks, falling behind AMD's Ryzen, Ian was proudly announcing Intel's CPUs as "king of the hill"... when compared to other 5 year old Intel CPUs.

    It just so happened that in the CPU world AMD had made all the right steps since 2016-2017 while Intel made all the wrong ones so it (perhaps unfairly) painted Ian as biased towards Intel. But I'm sure he would bend over backwards to please any large industry player. If you don't stand for anything you'll fall for everything and that's what Ian did in his attempt to not anger big industry names.

    I want to be able to trust a review because I make purchase decisions based on it. He managed to almost single-handedly break that trust so AT simply isn't and cannot be a trustworthy source in my eyes going forward. Andrei was the one bright spot that still made AT worth a revisit but he also left, maybe also because he seemed to have the spine Ian refused to show and flagged plenty of issues in no uncertain terms. The inability to keep him is a huge leadership failure which maybe couldn't be helped.

    I'm not so interested in most other topics (like cases, or RAM, or MoBos, or accessories since I consider these mostly fungible) so I can't say much about the rest of the site. Without GPUs, and with a CPU section mired by distrust AT is for now condemned to survive on sponsored articles and minor products 2 pagers so to speak. It's a sad state of affairs.
  • back2future - Monday, March 21, 2022 - link

    partly (AFAIK), Intel programmers do better support to customers, considering realtime tools and hardware benchmarking/analysis and Kernel improvements and on hardware, USB4 standardization
    (criticism would be on (intended) hardware parts enabled by software, late update to PCIe4 and maybe some confusing silicon production node naming conversion, current mainboard prices for Alder Lake are high (compared to x490 x590) without that much explanation on reasons?)

    AMD was more on lowering mass consumer prices and compatibility over generations of mainboards sockets and in recent years pushing development of edge components (PCIe4) and improving performance/(power_requirements*money_invested) with smaller averaged silicon production nodes.

    Preferring each company (or ARM, Apple, RISC-V) has its profile for needs and environmental influences. Better decide from facts.
  • at_clucks - Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - link

    "Better decide from facts."

    That's exactly what the reviewer is there to help with. If unpleasant or unpopular facts are distorted to look less serious it will also distort the purchasing choices. It's really easy to trick someone into buying the more expensive Intel CPU that looks good just compared to the Intel CPU from a few years ago, when they could buy a potentially better and cheaper AMD CPU. It's a matter of selling the 5% performance improvement over many years as a momentous achievement, and sweep any downside under the carpet. You write an article about the mind-blowing performance of the CPU, then issue a small update that it requires a chiller and new power lines in the house to power the monster.

    Ian let himself do that to not upset large industry players, basically Intel. He distorted the facts by the way they were presented and used AT's name to push his distorted view. That tanked AT's credibility in my eyes because one writer doesn't operate in a vacuum. Because commenters have flagged such issues over time and AT leadership allowed it to continue for short term gains or rather to avoid an immediate loss of a reviewer.

    In the particular case of Ian's "Intel chiller" debacle this was ridiculed on every internet forum particularly when other outlets correctly spotted out something was amiss from their first reporting. Nobody at AT addressed this with a firm enough hand. Now they deal with a crippled editorial team especially for the topics that matter and with a shadow of the former glory. Because it's hard not to wonder whether any review suffers from the same issue going forward especially when AT cannot afford to lose any other reviewers. They have an upper hand in freely expressing bias without repercussions from inside AT and while they may not do it the suspicion cannot be removed.
  • ballsystemlord - Friday, March 18, 2022 - link

    AT just lost Ian and, IIRC, Andrei. They're a bit short staffed it seems.
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - link

    if they want more cash, they need to do more reviews. Or, they're waiting for someone to buy them. Heck The Verge and Engadget are awful pages, but they both make cash as they sold their souls to the devil.

    Maybe Anandtech needs new life and blood. Video reviews. Get excited. Enjoy what you do ect.

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