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Crucial P3 Plus 4TB PCIe 3.0, 3D NAND, NVMe, M.2 SSD, up to 5000MB/s - CT4000P3PSSD8

£121.185£242.37Clearance
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The main way it achieves this is by being a DRAM-less SSD drive. This saves a big chunk of the manufacturer's bill of materials, and thanks to advances in the latest controllers, it can be surprising how little impact this has on performance. Such drives are slower, don't get me wrong, but this new SN770 still quotes read and writes of 5,150MB/s and 4,900MB/s, respectively. Not bad. When it comes to the real-world tests, we time how long it takes to copy a 30GB game install across the drive and use PCMark10 and Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, which includes a level load test. The point is, there's not much this Lexar drive can't do, and for a good price. If you have a spare Gen4 slot in your machine, and you are desperate for more game storage space, I highly recommend you look to the Lexar NM790 to fill that slot. In need of a lot more storage capacity? Look no further than the Lexar NM790. Available with up to four terabytes of storage, there's really no need to worry about your burgeoning Steam library any longer with one of these installed in your PC. It's also pretty speedy in random workloads, which will make for a snappier system. It comes in at 75MB/s read and 291MB/s, which is in the mix with some of the faster Gen4 and first-wave Gen5 drives we've tested.

In other words, while the speed freak in me loves what NVMe brings to the table, I recognize that in practice, it's usually not that noticeable. If you're looking to get the most from your money when it comes time to build a gaming PC, good SATA SSDs remain an excellent option, with prices now falling below 10 cents per GB. Rather more specific to this WD drive is the latest 2.0 version of the company's Game Mode drive management software. WD claims it improves game loading times courtesy of a so-called "read look-ahead" algorithm, which predictively caches game data. It now runs automatically, detecting when games are loaded. How much that kind of feature actually makes a difference in the real world is notoriously difficult to pin down. But it's unlikely to be revolutionary. The Lexar does differ from many others we've looked at. We've come to expect higher-end Gen4 drives to rely on Phison's very popular E18 controller, but the Lexar doesn't. It uses a MaxioTech MAP1602A controller, a less known quantity in the US and EU markets. This makes for overtly different behaviour in testing to more common controllers, but not in a bad way.

The Intel 670p is an older driver, but it is also a proven budget option that is often on steep sale. It’s best to grab it at 1TB or 2TB, as the 512GB model is slower with a smaller pSLC cache. The drive has DRAM, which is nice, and it has the fastest QLC on the market, even now. Performance outside of the cache does not suffer as much as a consequence.

SK hynix’s Gold P31 is great if you’re looking to increase your laptop storage, not only to gain capacity but to gain battery life, too. While some drives may perform well against the Gold P31 in benchmarking, the SK hynix is much more power-efficient, which will lead to longer off-the-charger sessions. Laptop users who prioritize battery life should definitely put the new SK hynix Gold P31 at the top of their drive list. Additionally, the Gold P31's very strong write performance and ultra-high efficiency make it a well-rounded choice for many desktop users as well. As for the actual flash memory used, it's SK Hynix's latest and very greatest 176-layer 3D TLC NAND. It's about as advanced as TLC memory currently gets, and SK Hynix claims a 40% performance boost over its old 128-layer chips. The net result is sequential read and write specs for this 2TB model of 7,000MB/s and 6,500MB/s respectively.

It's in the real-world tests where the SN770 really struts its stuff. You'd be hard-pushed to tell the difference between this drive and much faster offerings in most day-to-day operations. Given this is the cheaper drive right now, that counts for a lot. The SN850 is the better drive if you need better performance, but you will pay considerably more. Silicon Power is a brand that probably doesn’t get much attention compared to the likes of Samsung or WD, but when you look at its XS70 NVMe SSD with its high-end specifications, it's clear that the brand name isn't everything. Armed with the latest Phison controller and high-performance NAND flash memory, a drive like the Silicon Power XS70 should have no problem competing with thebest SSD on the market.

The era of PCIe 5.0 SSDs is upon us, propelling us to new heights of stratospheric SSD performance. Blazing-fast PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSDs, which offer up to twice the sequential speeds of the older PCIe 4.0 standard, are now supported with Intel and AMD's current platforms, the Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 and 13th-Gen Raptor Lake. It's great if your desktop system can handle a PCIe 5.0 drive, but they are still new and expensive, so they aren't a requirement: For example, the PCIe 4.0 Samsung 990 Pro is our current choice for the best SSD overall, and the best SSD for gaming. This drive is rated for 7,450 / 6,900 MBps of sequential read/write throughput and 1.2 / 1.55 million read/write IOPS. That means less time waiting for game levels to load or videos to transcode, not to mention a snappier experience in Windows.If you're copying a game from one drive to another or validating game files in Steam, faster NVMe drives make a difference. They can also shave off a second or two when it comes time to load a game level, but the more significant difference is against hard drives, where even a slower SATA SSD is much faster. Go beyond a certain point, and all SSDs start to feel similar. The XS70 is designed with PS5 compatibility in mind so the heatsink isn’t as bulky as some others you might come across. It really does look good. Admittedly I'm talking about an SSD here, and its not the kind of thing you'll spend time looking at, but Silicon Power's designers deserve credit. Finally, on the speeds and feeds, this 2TB drive is rated at 1,200TB for write endurance. As it happens, that's precisely the same as the new Samsung 990 Pro 2TB. But it's also far from some other competing M.2 SSDs.

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