WD_Black D50 Game Dock Review: Wicked-Fast External Storage

Notebooks often have limited storage capacity, despite significant advancements over the last few years. An M.2 drive is only the size of a stick of gum, but not every laptop can fit more than one or two drives at a time, and some users aren't comfortable opening up their machine to upgrade them, which ultimately limits their storage capabilities. This is particularly painful in gaming notebooks, when many games can take up dozens of gigabytes a piece. Western Digital thinks it has a solution, though. The WD Black D50 Game Dock is an all-in-one Thunderbolt 3 dock and PCI Express NVMe storage controller...

Phison E18 With Micron B47R Preview: Future Of PCIe 4 SSDs

A number of today’s best performing, PCIe Gen 4 solid state drives are built around Phison’s E18 controller. If you remember, way back when the AMD Ryzen 3000 series debuted, a number of SSD providers also launched Phison PS5016-E16 based drives alongside the processors to highlight some of the benefits of the platform's PCI Express Gen 4 bandwidth. Those early drives paired the Phison E16 with some of Toshiba’s BiCS4 NAND flash memory and SK Hynix DRAM to produce some fast SSDs at the time, but the E16 wasn’t actually a native PCIe 4 solution. Soon thereafter, Phison began...

Intel Optane Memory H20 Review: Performance Where It Matters

Intel first showed off its Optane Memory H20 solid state drive late last year. Just in case you missed the initial news, Optane Memory H20 is the follow-up to 2019’s Optane Memory H10, which combines 3D Xpoint-based Optane Memory technology and QLC (quad-level cell) 3D NAND flash on a single M.2 storage device. The Intel Optane Memory H20 is a hybrid solid state drive that leverages Intel’s latest Optane Memory media and 144-layer QLC NAND flash memory, but is designed to offer the benefits of both. Like the first-gen H10, the new Optane Memory H20 will find its way into utlrabooks,...

Samsung SSD 980 Review: Affordable NVMe PC Storage

Although the company just recently fleshed out its flagship line of PCIe Gen 4 NVMe solid state drives with the 2TB SSD 980 Pro, Samsung is already back at it, with yet another family of drives that target a different market segment. While the Samsung SSD 980 Pro is intended for workstations types, performance enthusiasts and gamers that crave nothing but the best, the new Samsung SSD 980 drives – sans “Pro” – we’ll be showing you here today, target more mainstream computing applications. The branding of the new Samsung SSD 980s may be reminiscent of their higher-end...

Intel SSD 670p Review: Snappy, Budget-Friendly NVMe Storage

Intel is releasing a new family of solid state drives today, targeting mainstream users and everyday computing tasks. The new Intel SSD 670p series leverages the company’s latest 144-layer QLC 3D NAND flash memory technology, with an improved dynamic SLC caching algo and updated PCIe Gen 3 controller. Unlike some of the more recent ultra-high-end PCIe Gen 4 SSDs to be released recently, complete with insanely high sequential transfer speeds north of 7GB/s, the Intel SSD 670p eschews the blazing sequentials in favor of optimized performance for random transfers at low queue depths that are...

Samsung SSD 980 Pro 2TB Review: Flagship PCIe 4 NVMe Storage

In September of last year, the initial salvo of Samsung SSD 980 Pro drives was launched. At the time, Samsung SSD 980 Pro PCIe 4 NVMe drives in capacities of 250GB on up to 1TB were made available, but a 2TB drive had been announced and was on the roadmap as well. It took a bit of time for Samsung to make the 2TB drive a reality, but nevertheless it is here now, and we’ve got one on hand for some benchmarking and evaluation. Except for its obviously higher capacity, the 2TB Samsung SSD 980 Pro doesn’t differ from the smaller drives that were previously made available. Due to how the...

ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 And S50 Lite Review: PCIe 4 Speed Or Value

ADATA has been consistently expanding its line-up of XPG, or Xtreme Performance Gaming branded hardware, targeting PC enthusiasts and gamers. The XPG family now consists of everything from micoSDXC cards all the way on up to full gaming systems and notebooks. XPG's SSDs (Solid State Drives), however, are arguably the most extensive array of products in the company's portfolio. ADATA has a myriad of XPG SSDs available, at a wide variety of price points and performance levels. The two drives we’ll be showing you here today, the new ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 and XPG GAMMIX S50 Lite, are both...

Samsung SSD 870 EVO Review: The Fastest SATA SSDs Yet

Samsung is expanding their line-up of SATA-based solid state drives, with a new series of products designed to balance performance and capacity. A few months back, the company launched the SSD 870 QVO series of drives, based on QLC, or quad-level cell, V-NAND. These new Samsung drives launching today – the Samsung SSD 870 EVO series – are similar in many regards, but EVO SSDs feature Samsung’s latest TLC (triple level cell) V-NAND, with the commensurate firmware to match. These new TLC-based drives also offer slightly higher performance than their QLC-based predecessors, with...

WD Blue SN550 SSD Review: Superb, Budget NVMe Storage

Spinning hard disks are completely out for just about all but the very cheapest of systems. Solid state drives like the WD Blue SN550 we'll be evaluating in this article are here to stay, and continue to make their way into lower-priced, ever more affordable notebooks and desktops. That's no doubt due to the fact that these drives' asking prices have consistently dropped year over year. In 2020, there hasn't been much good news on the affordable, widely-available PC hardware front, but SSD availability has been one bright spot. There's never been a better time to grab an SSD to speed up any PC...

Samsung T7 Portable SSD Review: Blazing Fast, Portable Storage

Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled the privacy-minded Portable SSD T7 Touch. This external USB-C storage device delivered high capacities up to 2TB and impressive read-write speeds over USB 3.2 Gen 2. Its headlining feature, however, was an integrated fingerprint reader to effortlessly unlock the drive’s AES 256-bit encryption. Not everyone needs this one-touch access to their files though, and would prefer a more straightforward external storage solution. For these users Samsung has released a non-touch variant of the T7 to shed some cost, but keep the rest of the goodness intact. Samsung...

Samsung SSD 980 Pro Review: Blazing Fast PCIe 4.0 Storage

We first caught a glimpse of the Samsung SSD 980 Pro all the way back at CES in early January. The highly-anticipated drive was tucked away in a display case in Samsung’s massive booth on the show floor, but other than the branding, some early claimed performance data, and the fact that drive had a native PCIe 4.0 interface, details were scant. All that changes today, though. We’ve gotten our hands on a couple of shiny, new Samsung SSD 980 Pro drives – in 250GB and 1TB flavors – and are finally able to give you the full scoop. The Samsung SSD 980 Pro series of solid state...

ADATA Falcon And Swordfish SSD Reviews: Affordable NVMe Storage

By now, everyone with even the vaguest of interest in PC technology can tell you how much snappier solid state drives are than even the fastest of spinning disks of yesteryear. There have been some interesting wrinkles recently, like ultra-high speed drives that ride the PCI Express 4.0 bus, but in test after test, regardless of drive type, just having a modern SSD offers enough of a boost to make an older PC feel new again. Similarly, it's basically a necessity to slap an SSD like one of the ADATA drives we'll be showing you here, into a new system build to not make any big sacrifices in responsiveness....

Kingston DC1000M SSD Review: Big, Fast NVMe Storage

Kingston recently released its DC1000M series of solid-state drives for data center applications, capped off by a massive 7.68TB model. The DC1000M series leverages a hot-pluggable U.2 (2.5”, 15mm) form factor, that’s compatible with U.2 backplanes and the drives target mixed-use, data-intensive workloads, including Cloud computing, web hosting, high-performance computing (HPC), virtual infrastructures, and AI and deep learning applications. There are four drives in the initial Kingston DC1000M family, bookended by a 960GB model and the aforementioned 7.68TB behemoth. We’ve got...

Samsung SSD 870 QVO Review: Terabytes Of Solid State Storage

Although much of the excitement in the solid state storage market revolves around the latest, bleeding-edge NVMe-based drives, there is still a massive need for SATA-based solutions. Not only are there a myriad of legacy systems ripe for upgrades that rely on SATA, but owners of current-gen systems often want more affordable, higher-capacity -- but still fast -- solid state storage to pair with their NVMe boot drives. Samsung has traditionally been a leader in the space, with a succession of popular drives over the years. The newest members of the family, the Samsung SSD 870 QVO we’ll be...

Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 SSD Review: Premium, Fast Storage

It's been nine months since AMD unleashed its Zen 2 processors and, more importantly as it related to this article, the X570 chipset with its PCI Express 4 connectivity, into the world. In the time since then, there hasn't been a torrent of extra-fast flash released by all that many storage vendors; even at launch, we only had Gigabyte's Aorus PCIe 4 SSD on hand to test. Considering that Gigabyte's drive could far outstrip the bandwidth available in PCI Express 3.0 x4 drives, while putting up some solid IOPs figures, it seems that those who feel a need for speed would want these drives, assuming...

Crucial X8 Portable SSD Review: Fast, Value-Priced Storage

Over the last few years the USB connectivity has gone through some major changes. We've been through USB 3.0, USB 3.1, and now USB 3.2. And that's not even taking into account all the different generations that were released. Like USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 3.2 Gen 2, and now USB 3.2 Gen 2x2. Oh, and don't forget, Gen 4 is coming soon as well. If just going through the names is enough to make your head spin, try keeping track of all their respective bandwidth and throughput specs.  The reason we wanted to start with the USB interface is because there's going to be a handful of people...

Samsung T7 Touch SSD Review: Fast, Secure Portable Storage

Samsung has been at the forefront of the solid-state storage market for a number of years now. We’re not just talking about its mainstream internal SSDs either, which have been popular amongst enthusiasts. Samsung offers a wide array of solid-state storage solutions, ranging from miniscule microSD cards, all the way on up to monstrous, high-capacity enterprise-class drives meant for big-iron servers. The company has also put considerable focus into its an array of portable storage solutions, to cater to a wide range of users. We’ve shown you many of Samsung’s portable SSDs in...

Addlink S70 SSD Review: Speedy, Affordable NVMe Storage

Addlink isn't a particularly well-known manufacturer in the PC storage space, but the company has been in the business for a little over a decade. Online shops carry all sorts of flash memory products from Addlink, from micro SD cards to PCI-Express 4.0 solid state drives, and all points in between. However, just because you may not be as familiar with a certain brand or product doesn't mean it's not worth paying attention to. At the risk of giving away the conclusion in the first paragraph of this review, we dare say that Addlink's S70 M.2 SSD is one of those situations. As you'll see in the features...

Kingston KC2000 NVMe SSD Review: Competitive Pricing And Performance

Kingston recently expanded its portfolio of solid state drives, with a new family of products targeting high-performance desktop and workstation applications. The Kingston KC2000 series of drives feature a PCI Express Gen 3.0 x 4 controller, 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory, and boast of peak transfer speeds north of 3GB/s. The drives are offered in an array of capacities, ranging from 250GB all the way on up to 2TB, and they support a number of security-conscious features as well. All told, the Kingston KC2000 series drives try to cater to a myriad of use cases, from mainstream consumer desktops,...

Asura Genesis Xtreme SSD Review: Speedy NVMe With RBG Bling

Now that SSDs and their components have been substantially cost-reduced and essentially gone mainstream, there are more and more players in the space. What was once a market reserved for but a few top-tier semiconductor manufacturers, is now increasingly crowded by new, lesser-known third-party companies looking to capitalize on the increasing demand for super-fast storage. One such company is Asura Technology. Asura was founded less than a year ago, and has developed a high-end, NVMe SSD with a handful of interesting features, targeted specifically at gamers and performance enthusiasts -- the...

Toshiba BG4 SSD Review: Mini But Mighty NVMe Storage

Toshiba announced its next-generation BG4 solid state drive all the way back at CES in early January of this year. The diminutive, little Toshiba BG4 isn’t about the latest and greatest in bleeding-edge SSD storage performance or pushing the envelope in terms of throughput. However, it does still represent a significant step forward in regard to power and performance in the smallest of form factors – you’ll see exactly what we mean in a couple of the photos below. The 1TB Toshiba BG4 we will be showing you here is essentially a single-chip solution, cable of multi-gigabyte per...

Kingston DC500 SSD Review: High Capacity Enterprise Storage

Kingston has been a dedicated stalwart of the memory, storage, and peripheral markets for many years. The company’s products target virtually every type of user, from entry-level first-time PC builders to seasoned sysadmins. The products we’ll be showing you here today, the Kingston DC500R and DC500M solid state drives, target the latter type of user, in need of reliable, high-capacity SSD storage for enterprise and data center applications. At first glance – of both their physical design and specifications -- the Kingston DC500R and DC500M drives appear to be similar. The ‘R’...

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