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Last updated on July 8th, 2021 at 08:33 am

While SATA SSDs are lightning fast compared to traditional mechanical drives, the latest M.2 products are significantly faster still. As NAND production increases and technologies become more sophisticated, getting the best possible drive becomes even more important.

Samsung SSD 980 PRO

The new drive sees the introduction of not only a new in-house controller but also the latest generation of Samsung's V-NAND.  The new PCIe 4.0 controller goes by the name Elpis. Details of this controller are pretty thin on the ground at the time of writing but what we do know is that it's built on an 8nm process, (the previous generation PCIe 3.0 controller in the SSD970 PRO, Phoenix, uses a 14nm process).

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Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB

The 2TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus sits in the middle of a three drive line-up, alongside the entry 1TB model and the recently launched 4TB flagship drive. The Rocket 4 Plus series are the first we've seen using Phison’s next-generation PS5018-E18 controller. For the 2TB version of the Rocket 4 Plus, Sabrent has used eight (four per side of the PCB) packages of Micron B27B 96-layer 3D TLC NAND to go along with the controller.

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WD Black SN850 1TB

WD are in the fortunate position to have all three parts of the component jigsaw; NAND, controller and cache chip available in house so all three can be tuned to get the maximum out of any given drive. The SN850 uses WD's G2 controller which is used in combination with BiCS4 96-layer 3D NAND.


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Patriot Viper VP4300 2TB

Patriot was early to the table with the Viper VP4100 and now we have the second generation Viper VP4300. Up until now the Gen4 drives we've looked at either have in-house controllers (WD and Samsung) or a controller from Phison (the E16 or the latest E18 chip) but for the Viper VP4300, Patriot has opted for a third option, by using a controller from a company called Innogrit.

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Corsair MP600 PRO 2TB

Corsair has fitted the MP600 PRO with a well-designed aluminium heatsink to help alleviate any overheating issues when the drive is working with heavy workloads. The really clever bit of the design is, if you have a motherboard that has its own cooling system for M.2 drives, the heatsink can be easily removed from its cradle by releasing four clips leaving you with the bare drive to play with.

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