Question Companies Not Fixing/Acknowledging SSD Write Speed Problems

Feb 16, 2020
Companies Not Fixing/Acknowledging Write Speed Problems: PCIe 4.0 Phison E16 SSDs & My Slow Firecuda 520 - Help me find firmware?

Hey guys I've got a really poorly under-performing PCIe 4.0 NVMe Firecuda 520 SSD. Mine performs just like every other one that has the PCIe 4.0 Phison E16 write-slowdown bug. This is prevalent on every OEM: Sabrent, Seagate, Gigabyte, Corsair, etc.

Ive done the following to narrow down the issue:
  • Confirm PCIe 4.0 x4 operation via HWInfo/Samsung Magician
  • Toggled Write-Cache on/off with and without reboots a handful of times
  • Tried M.2 slots: x570 Taichi: Top CPU-Slot, Bottom 2 Chipset slots - x570 Godlike: Every slot including using the Xpander-Z Add-In-Card
  • Enabling/Disabling/Messing around with Pagefile
  • Confirmed cross-referenced throttle temperature is not even close to being reached
  • I tried, but can't find the firmware update that I see other people using on UserBench
UserBenchmark's Firecuda 520 500GB Bench leads me to believe that the Firecuda 520's slowdowns are in-part due to the outdated firmware. There are 2 firmwares available for the drive: The new STNSC014 and the old STNSC011 (which I have). The drives with newer firmware are benching near the top, and the drives that are severely underperforming (to the point of needing an RMA) are almost all the old firmware.

The problem is that Seagate's driver site insists that there are no firmware updates available. Seagate's customer service is terrible; you even need to enter your product's serial number just to check if there are any firmware updates available! I can't find the STNSC014 firmware files available ANYWHERE. It seems like the drives shipped with it pre-installed and you either win the lottery or you don't. I really need to find the STNSC014 firmware, but it seems like it is a ghost. Anyone help me?

My issue also brought to light a broader concern: This is happening to ALL PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSDs with Phison E16 controllers. Here are some links to a few websites/forums that discuss the issue further: View: View:

I started calling this widespread negligent corporate behaviour regarding the PCIe 4.0 SSD slowdowns NANDgate. Its one thing to fudge the details about sequential write speeds, but its totally different when 90% of your product's metric only run at 20% that of public expectations.

Seagate isn't even responding to my RMA requests. It seems like TONS of people are having this problem and nobody is talking or doing anything about it.