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SK Hynix Gold P31 Budget M.2 NVMe SSD Review

This review takes a closer and refined look at SK Hynix Gold P31 Budget M.2 NVMe SSD. Naturally, observing a variety of high-speed SSD-type memories can be appealing, but the one would likely also consider budget-class SSD-type solutions when constructing their computer. A bit more research might be necessary when upgrading a non-contemporary computer distinct from the latest model. The primary objective this time was to transition from a smaller and less swift NVMe 3.0 SSD-type memory to something more capacious and speedier.

Starting with Intel P660 SSD

Initially, the laptop was equipped with an Intel P660 SSD, which is not the poorest option, but its current capacity proves inadequate. The speeds of the Intel P660 further underscore the necessity for an intervention, as they approach twice the magnitude of SATA SSDs. Evidently, the laptop lacks support for NVMe 4.0, prompting the pursuit of NVMe 3.0 alternatives.

Exploring NVMe Options

At first glance, the straightforward Fanxiang S500 Pro 1 TB NVMe SSD caught their attention, priced at approximately 45 euros for the 1 TB variant and roughly 80 euros for the 2 TB model. However, the advent of Amazon Prime Day brought about a reduction in the cost of the SK Hynix Gold P31 M.2 NVMe SSD to the same 45 euros for 1 TB. Although the 2 TB version of the SK Hynix Gold P31 boasts a black appearance, the 1 TB version was advertised in green, an aspect of little significance as it remains concealed within the laptop.

Reassessing Storage Needs

The realization dawned that an additional 2 TB was unnecessary this time around, as the laptop neither possessed remarkable freshness nor significant value. Opting against impulsively embracing the NVMe 4.0 SSD was a deliberate choice, given the laptop’s incompatibility with it. There were no plans to replace the laptop, hence the intention to shift the new SSD to another, more capable system. The old Intel memory wouldn’t be discarded; instead, it would be housed within a Ugreen NVMe SSD 10 Gbit/s USB enclosure.

Advantages of SK Hynix Gold P31

What makes the SK Hynix Gold P31 the preferred choice? Aside from the aforementioned discounted rate, it offers reasonable DRAM, commendable warranty coverage, some form of software support, and the fact that the SK Hynix Gold P31 stands out as a highly efficient memory. This quality could prove advantageous within a poorly ventilated laptop.

Testing and Integration

This time, the testing of the SK Hynix Gold P31 would take place within their extensive test computer (equipped with NVMe 4.0 compatibility), where the majority of assessments would be conducted. Subsequently, the SK Hynix Gold P31 would be integrated into its standard home, allowing for a swift run-through of a few speed tests and an assessment of temperatures within the laptop casing.

SK Hynix Gold P31 SSD
Image Source : Amazon

Technical Specifications of SK Hynix Gold P31

Physical size M.2 2280 S3
Connection PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Controller SK Hynix Cepheus
Memory SK Hynix 128L TLC
Theoretical read speed up to 3500 MB/s
Theoretical write speed up to 3200 MB/s
Endurance (TBW) 750 TB
Price $63.99


SK Hynix Gold P31 Appearance

As mentioned, this time the appearance of the SK Hynix Gold P31 is of little importance, as the memory will be placed within a laptop. However, it should be noted that the SK Hynix Gold P31 can come in a green variant for its 1 TB version, while black is reserved solely for the 2 TB memory version. On this occasion, the user received the SK Hynix Gold P31 in black, despite it being the 1 TB version. It’s possible that changes were made in production, given the earlier promise of this shade of green in customer reviews.

 SK Hynix Gold P31 Minimal Kit and Cooling

The included kit is quite minimal, lacking even a screw, which might disappoint those who plan to utilize the SK Hynix Gold P31 as a secondary drive within their system. Additionally, the SK Hynix Gold P31 arrives without any passive cooling solutions, potentially putting it at a disadvantage when compared to offerings from other manufacturers. None of these aspects are necessary for the user’s laptop.

Eco-Friendly Packaging of SK Hynix Gold P31

All the packaging features labels indicating that it can be discarded in the forest, as it decomposes within 180 days. Yes, the transparent packaging will also degrade, or at least that’s what the labels suggest. Nothing but a pleasant experience.

SK Hynix Gold P31 SSD
Image Source : Amazon

SK Hynix Gold P31 Software

SK Hynix Gold P31 provides a data migration tool along with an SSD storage software update tool. Both applications are quite straightforward, but they are at least present, unlike those offered by less expensive manufacturers.

Performance of SK Hynix Gold P31

To be honest, the allure of the SK Hynix Gold P31 lies in its promise to match the speed of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus. Simultaneously, this memory, aided by Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) ECC, is recognized for its enhanced durability compared to the Samsung 970 EVO Plus, WD Black SN750, or Crucial P5. Moreover, the SK Hynix Gold P31 provides S.M.A.R.T. support, although it lacks OPAL compatibility, resulting in the absence of BitLocker support.

SK Hynix Gold P31 SSD
Image Source : Amazon

Hardware Configuration and Performance Analysis

Computer Hardware:

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z790 AORUS ELITE (with F3 BIOS version)

Processor: Intel Core i9-13900K

Processor Cooler: Fractal Design Celsius+ S36 Dynamic AIO

Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4060 Ti GAMING OC 8G

RAM: G. SKILL Trident Z5 RGB Black DDR5 32GB 5600MHz CL36 Kit of 2

Memory: Samsung 990 PRO SSD + SK Hynix Gold P31

Power Supply Unit: Xilence, 1050W, Performance X, 80+ Gold

Computer Case: Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL

Operating System: Windows 11 64-bit (2022H2 update)

Copying Small Data and Performance

Copying relatively small data presents a favorable performance with the SK Hynix Gold P31, maintaining speeds below 3 GB/s. The average speed for copying to this SSD ranged from 2.6 to 2.85 GB/s. Notably, these tests involve copying small files rather than a single large ZIP archive.

CrystalDiskMark Measurements

CrystalDiskMark measurements indicate a sequential read speed of around 3563 MB/s, surpassing the manufacturer’s specifications. Additionally, the sequential write speed reached approximately 3245 MB/s, also exceeding the promised speeds.

AS SSD Benchmark Assessment

Utilizing the AS SSD Benchmark tool, one can assess SSD memory reading and writing speeds across different modes, yielding comparable results. In this scenario, the SK Hynix Gold P31 performs as anticipated for an SSD. AS SSD Benchmark tests typically yield more conservative speeds compared to CrystalDiskMark.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The ATTO Disk Benchmark test underscores the drive’s consistent and predictable performance, showcasing stable results.

Anvil’s Storage Utilities Performance Test

In the Anvil’s Storage Utilities performance test, the SK Hynix Gold P31 scores 19,263 points. Interestingly, this SSD’s performance is on par with the Samsung 980 PRO model, which outperforms it in terms of specifications and price.

Laptop Performance Comparison

On the same laptop, a couple of SK Hynix Gold P31 tests reveal a similar performance pattern to the mainframe. However, it’s important to consider that the SK Hynix Gold P31 on the laptop already hosts an operating system.

SK Hynix Gold P31 SSD
Image Source : Amazon

SK Hynix Gold P31 Review Conclusion

In the case of the user, placing the SK Hynix Gold P31 within an older laptop brings about a rather unobtrusive presence for this SSD-type memory. In laptops, the focus typically leans toward cooler and more energy-efficient SSDs, a feature that the SK Hynix Gold P31 also promises.

Temperature Performance

Throughout the tests, the SK Hynix Gold P31 displayed a maximum temperature of around 53 degrees, which is quite commendable for an NVMe SSD lacking a factory-installed passive cooling radiator.

Storage Capacity Considerations

Regrettably, the SK Hynix Gold P31 lacks a 4 TB version, which would have been convenient for those seeking to employ this SSD for game storage. However, a 2 TB version might suffice for storing a couple of games. It’s worth considering that modern games consume significant space, ranging from 40 to 120 GB or more.

While the exact size of an installed game like Cyberpunk 2077 may vary, its initial download exceeds 115 GB. The user’s intention is to accommodate a few fewer demanding games on the SK Hynix Gold P31, making the 1 TB capacity suitable.

Performance Comparison with Original Intel P660 SSD

In direct comparison, the SK Hynix Gold P31 proves notably faster than the original Intel P660 NVMe SSD initially equipped in the laptop. The Intel SSD now resides within the Ugreen-made external storage frame with a 10 Gbit/s connection. The user also invites comments regarding their potential review of this NVMe SSD framework in the future.

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