One of the most important components of an overclocked computer is an SSD hard drive, at least for the boot drive. ProClockers has put many SSD drives to the test in our SSD hard drive reviews with today's top benchmarking tools to give you the most accurate SSD hard drive review for every model we test. We test for performance and speed, as we are always looking to max out our last tests.
For the Last couple of years that PCIe based SSD’s have been around, they have been firmly in the realm of the more deep-pocketed enthusiast niche. In the last few months, we’ve seen some more budget-friendly drives coming out based around newer low-cost controllers. These entry-level drives are aiming squarely at displacing SATA SSD’s with performance several times higher in the same cost per capacity segment. Today we’ll be checking out Kingston’s Entry-Level offering, the A1000. Offering more than double the performance than SATA is even capable of for a price nearly identical to a premium SATA offering, this just might be one foot in the grave for SATA SSD’s.
In the consumer PC world, Intel is a very well-known name, but not typically for storage. If you are familiar with Intel’s SSD offerings, you either work around datacenters, or more likely, you’ve had some time with one of the datacenter drives gone consumer known as the Intel 750 series. You know, the one everyone wanted to water cool a few years ago. More recently you may be familiar with some of the Optane offerings, but Intel now has SSD’s targeted squarely at the mainstream segment of the consumer market with the 760p series. Offered in M.2 form-factor with capacities ranging from 128GB to a whopping 2TB, this might just be your next SSD.
The storage world is a continuous march towards bigger, better, and eventually, cheaper. You always have those on the bleeding edge willing to pay the early adopter tax on the latest and greatest, but much of the market is a generation or two behind just to avoid a second mortgage. SSD’s have been around awhile now, most directly replacing mechanical disks on the SATA III 6 Gbps bus that turns ten years old later this summer. More recently, Solid-State Drives have moved to PCIe through the universally confusing M.2 port but the cost per gigabyte has left most still using the 2nd drive for more space with the operating system and a few things on the SSD only. PCIe NVMe drive prices have been trickling down, but we are just now starting to see a level of cost parity from PCIe to SATA SSD’s and today we’ll be looking at a new offering from Corsair that aims to take on that market segment.
The PC world is no stranger to ground-breaking, revolutionary memory announcements. They come along every so often promising order of magnitude increases in speed, capacity, and so on. The few that actually materialize into a physical product are often lackluster and fade from existence in days to months or are quickly eclipsed by incremental updates to existing technology. When 3D XPoint was announced a few years ago as this crazy new storage and memory hybrid, most of the industry shrugged it off as another cry of ‘wolf!’ since NAND based NVMe drives were just starting to take off.
A couple years back Intel and Micron introduced us to 3D XPoint memory at a press conference. The claims made about this new type of memory used in the Intel Optane SSD 900P 480GB were eye popping and frankly, at the time, almost unbelievable. By now Optane memory is old news and we all know that a small Optane memory chip can give platter drives new lives and increase system storage speed drastically. Optane is so new it literally exists in its own new category and was expected to run at approximately 3x the price of regular NVMe NAND flash drives. We are pleased to find that instead of the 3x price expected the Intel Optane SSD 900P 480GB comes in at a more consumer friendly $0.86 per GB of storage closer to 2x the price of NVMe drives.
Sometime back Crucial came out with a new BX300 lineup of drives and while TLC (Triple Level Cell) has been raging through the market Crucial holds the line with the BX300 lineup and moved back to MLC (Multi-Level Cell) a more durable more expensive type of flash. Not only did they return to MLC for the BX300 they chose 3D Flash! Most techies know TLC flash stores 3 Bits of information per cell making it less expensive but each cell is used more so it has a shorter lifespan than MLC which stores 2 Bits of Information per cell and is a little more expensive than TLC. Now SLC is Single Level Cell and stores 1 Bit of information per cell and is mostly reserved for Enterprise class drives hence so expensive you have to sell the family cow to afford it.
If you’ve been following along with all of the new Intel platforms this year like Z370 and X299, you’ve probably heard buzzwords about support for Intel Optane Memory Technology, but what does that mean exactly? It means a lot of big words layered over some existing technologies and married with a little bit of new Intel magic. In English? Well, it means you can skip the big, expensive new NVMe drive, and use a slower but much larger hard drive or solid state drive you already have, and let Intel Optane make it much faster and more responsive.