For those that have never heard of SK hynix, they are one of the big guys, believe it or not. They stand right beside companies such as Samsung, Micron, Kioxia (formerly Toshiba), and SanDisk/WD. They make NAND flash memory. In fact, they are the worlds 2nd largest memory manufacturer. SK hynix has been in the flash, and more to the point, the SSD business for some time…but they have never marketed their own retail NVMe SSD…until today. They are determined to make an entrance with the worlds first 128-Layer TLC 4D NAND flash memory SSD. And they have succeeded.
Let’s go one step further though… Samsung has pretty much had free reign for several years as their SSDs are completely proprietary, meaning the controller, NAND flash and DRAM cache memory are all built in-house. This has allowed Samsung a great deal of flexibility in their SSD manufacturing as they don’t have to rely on partners for components. More recently, we have seen similar from Crucial with their P5 NVMe SSD as well. What we have never seen though, is a manufacturer make this jump with their very first retail SSD to market. Until today. SK hynix has done just that.
The SK hynix Gold P31 NVMe SSD is a PCIe 3.0 SSD that follows the latest NVMe 1.3 protocol and comes in 500GB and 1TB capacities. Listed specifications speak to performance of 3500MB/s read and 3200MB/s write with low 4k random IOPS of 570K read and 600K write. This SSD has a 5-year limited warranty and the lifespan of the 1TB version we are testing today is 750TBW.
MSRP pricing for the SKhynix Gold P31 NVMe SSD is $74.99 (500GB) and $134.99 (1TB) and we had to check to make sure this was correct. It is. It counters what we have seen in the industry if performance for this SSD is as listed, which makes it a upper tier, or premium, SSD with an entry level SSD price. Check Amazon pricing here.
The SK hynix Gold P31 NVMe SSD contains their own proprietary NVMe 4-channel SSD controller, code named the Cepheus Controller , two pieces of the worlds first 4D 128-layer TLC NAND flash memory with SLC caching and the SK hynix DRAM cache memory. It is a single sided SSD.
Each piece of NAND has a RAW value of 512GB before formatting and the total available storage space available after formatting is 931GB. But that’s not all. SK hynix has teamed up with Macrium to provide their customers with a free copy of their Data Migration Tool which can be found here.