How to make a fast and reliable SSD from a cheap and unreliable one!

An enthusiast made an SLC SSD disk from QLC.

Brazilian computer engineer and tech enthusiast Gabriel Ferencz has done the unbelievable – QLC (Quad-Level Cell) ssd disk turned into SLC (Single-Level Cell)!

Let us briefly remind you that SLC was one of the first types of memory for SSD disks, the fastest and most reliable. Then they were replaced by MLC, and they were replaced by QLC, which is now considered the slowest and less reliable. QLC disks are now popular because of their low price, but experts do not like them because of their low speed and questionable reliability. Of course, manufacturers are trying to solve these problems (adding cache memory to the devices for example).

Gabriel took a Crucial BX510 512GB SATA drive with QLC memory and turned it into a faster and more reliable SLC drive. This drive uses the Silicon Motion SM2259XT controller, which is based on a single-core 32-bit processor running at 550MHz and two 800MHz (400MHz) memory channels without cache. Specifically, this SSD uses memory chips from Micron – 4 pieces with the number NY240 (Micron owns the Crucial trademark). These chips are designed to operate at 1600 MT/s (800 MHz), but in this drive they are limited to 525 MT/s in practice.

The average reliability of these QLC memory chips is 1500 P/E cycles (rewrites), converting the disk to pSLC increases these numbers to a whopping 100,000! In addition, the disk speed also increases (see below, screenshots of the write speed test before and after conversion) – as you can easily see on the first screenshot, the original disk’s speed drops significantly, typical for QLC, while the modified one stays stable at 500 MB/s. Unfortunately, the SATAIII interface limits the disk and in common tests like Crystal DiskMark the speed increase is not so obvious.

But there are some nuances, as it is without them. First, as in all cases of unauthorized interference with the hardware architecture, there is a risk of turning it into a brick. Second, reliability and speed do not come out of thin air – you sacrifice volume for them. That is, a 512 GB disk will end up being only 120 GB. However, the reliability of the disk increases up to 4000 TBW (write cycles), which is practically a 3000% increase!

How to do it? You need to download MPtools for SM2259XT2 controller from and find out the exact model of the memory used in the SSD (important!). The whole process is shown in detail in the video.

See the author’s video for more details: