It is much too easy in the storage world to get caught up in the hype of increased performance as we move from 550MB/s at SATA 3 all the way up to 5GB/s and higher with the newest NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs. Let’s face it; 5GB/s in a SSD the size of a stick of gum is pretty amazing, especially when we look at that SSD being up to 8TB in capacity. We overlook the SATA 3 2.5″ notebook SSD. True fact, and actually a bit amusing when we consider the vast importance and large number of computers that either contain, or have the potential to upgrade to a SATA 3 SSD from a hard drive. There is an absolute massive market share devoted to SATA 3 SSDs alone.
SK hynix knew that. When they were contemplating exactly which SSD to release to the retail marketplace last year, the SK hynix Gold S31 SATA 3 SSD was the natural choice. We posted a review of their 2nd release, the Gold P31 NVMe SSD just yesterday. For those not familiar with SK hynix, they are a monster in the flash industry, and in fact, they are the 2nd largest memory manufacturer on the planet. Though much of their success has come from DRAM cache memory modules, it was only a matter of time for SK hynix to branch out into the consumer SSD market. Like Samsung, they have the ability to market completely proprietary SSDs, in that, the SSD controller, NAND flash memory and DRAM cache chip are all made in-house.
The SK hynix Gold S31 is a SATA 3 SSD of the 2.5″ notebook form factor and it is 7mm thick. It is available in capacities of 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB and performance is listed at 560MB/s read and 525MB/s write with low 4K random disk access at 95K IOPS read and 87K IOPS write. It has a 5-year warranty with 600TBW and SK hynix has a partnership with Macrium where one can download migration software here.
The physical components of the Gold S31 start with a two piece exterior flat silver aluminum casing that is secured through indentations on the sides of the SSD.
There is a very attractive and simple branding sticker on the front with a fully detailed sticker on the bottom of the SSD as well.
Inside we find a green 1/3 size PCB (printed circuit board) that contains a piece of 3D 72-layer NAND flash memory, the SATA SSD controller in the center with an in-house DRAM cache chip on the right side. All three pieces are of SK hynix manufacture.
This is a two-sided PCB and each piece of NAND flash memory is 512GB RAW value. When this SSD is formatted, 931GB is available for user storage. When disassembled, we can see that there is also a red plastic framing that keeps everything nice and secure.
The SK hynix Gold S31 SATA 3 SSD has been out for awhile and enjoys a very rare scoring of 4.7/5 through over 2000 ratings in the US, and over 1000 in Canada. Amazon pricing for this SSD is $45.99 for the 250GB, $60.99 for the 500GB and $103.99 for the 1TB capacity which is excellent.