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SK hynix Canvas SL308 500GB review

SK hynix are probably still better known for producing the chips inside other manufacturers’ SSDs, but the company has taken major steps in recent months to raise market awareness for their own drives.

The SL308 can be seen more as a refresh of the previous SL301 than anything radically new. While it looks identical to its sibling, it uses a newer controller and denser TLC NAND; the 500GB SL301 used eight NAND packages, the SL308 uses just four to get to the same capacity.

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SK hynix quote sequential read/write figures for the drive as 560MB/s & 490MB/s respectively – figures which were confirmed by the ATTO benchmark. When tested, the drive produced a figure of 564MB/s which is the same figure as the SL301. Writes came in at 500MB/s which is considerably faster than the official figure and slightly faster than the SL301.

When it came to random 4K performance the SL308 produced a mixed bag of results. The official figure for reads is up to 100,000 IOPS which is very good for a TLC based drive. Under the IOMeter benchmark, the review sample produced a read score of 97,570 IOPS – a little way off the official figure but still very good. The tested write figure of 76,829 IOPS was some way behind the official 85,000 IOPS rating.

SK hynix’s drive management software is a very useful download. It may not be as comprehensive as competitor software (such as that available from Samsung) but it is intuitive and stable. That said, we do feel that the cloning tool should be integrated into the main package rather than available as a separate download.

The drive has a guide price of £120 inc. VAT in the UK. Scan currently have stock for £112.99 inc. VAT.

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Pros

  • Solid overall performance.
  • Competitive price.

Cons

  • 4K random write performance is behind the claims, based on our test method.

Kitguru says: The 500GB SL308 is aimed at a tough market segment and SK hynix have given the drive a good chance with its competitive price.

WORTH BUYING

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Rating: 8.0.

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