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Question NVMe for Laptop

gpse

Senior member
Oct 7, 2007
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What's the best NVMe SSD for a laptop? SK hynix Gold P31 can only be found in my country (Canada) for a very expensive price, so I'm looking for something similar power consumption wise.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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Be sure to check and see if your laptop supports full length drives. Some only support half length, which can greatly limit choices.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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you can always buy it on ebay and have it shipped + vat ... i was eyeing that exact nvme drive, incredible speed for the power usage. with that said what is the usage for you? is the entire laptop low power or will this drive only yield you another 6 to 10 mins more usage (that seems to be the difference from my experience. will that really matter to you? personally i love the low power for lower heat more then longer laptop use as my batteries never seem to last long.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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you can always buy it on ebay and have it shipped + vat ... i was eyeing that exact nvme drive, incredible speed for the power usage. with that said what is the usage for you? is the entire laptop low power or will this drive only yield you another 6 to 10 mins more usage (that seems to be the difference from my experience. will that really matter to you? personally i love the low power for lower heat more then longer laptop use as my batteries never seem to last long.
I was thinking he wanted low power for better thermals.
 

gpse

Senior member
Oct 7, 2007
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My laptop will support full sized nvme, (2280). The rest of my laptop is power efficient (8550u thin laptop). I checked eBay, but the drive is still $50-$100 more expensive than other drives with the exchange rate.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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Some options might be the western digital sn550 (blue) or sn750(black). The sn550 is a relatively slow drive, however it's cheap and doesn't use much power. The adata sx8200 and mushkin pilot-e are reasonable as budget alternatives.

None of these are anywhere close to the p31 though.
However, WD changed some of the components of the drive which hurt it's performance (in which the lowly WD Green SN350 can pretty much match its performance, and the SN550 is now in the "do not buy" category. And with the Adata SX8200, they have changed the components at least four different times over the last 12 months, so a consumer has no way of knowing which revision (and performance) they will get.

I even saw recently that Adata switched out TLC NAND for QLC on their SX8100 drive without changing model numbers, which resulted in a pretty decent "real world" performance drop.
https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/m03r1m
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/wd-blue-sn550-ssd-performance-cut-in-half-slc-runs-out
Expreview's TxBENCH benchmark results revealed that both revisions of the WD Blue SN550 deliver similar write performance as long as the SLC cache isn't filled up. The average write performance for the WD Blue SN550 was 2,160 MBps. Once the SLC cache runs out, the write performance dropped to 390 MBps.

Although Expreview didn't provide the numbers for the previous revision, the outlet claimed a 50% performance hit. In our own tests, the original WD Blue SN550 hits 880 MBps in sustained write testing. The new revision, on the other hand, provides a write performance that just barely beats the inferior WD Green SN350 when both drives have their SLC caches occupied.

I understand that supply chains have been strained with the whole Covid mess, but the components they are swapping in are cheaper and can really lower their performance.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
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May 4, 2000
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Even samsung, crucial/micron, kingston, and team group are guilty of that...
True, but from what I've read about the recent Samsung drive changes, the overall performance pretty well stayed the same.

The SN550, SX8200, and the SX8100 on the other hand showed pretty dramatic changes.

The key is for the buyer to know this going in when making their decision, because component swapping without disclosure has seen a dramatic increase over the last 18 months or so in the world of SSDs.
 

fralexandr

Platinum Member
Apr 26, 2007
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True, but from what I've read about the recent Samsung drive changes, the overall performance pretty well stayed the same.

The SN550, SX8200, and the SX8100 on the other hand showed pretty dramatic changes.

The key is for the buyer to know this going in when making their decision, because component swapping without disclosure has seen a dramatic increase over the last 18 months or so in the world of SSDs.
The newer 970 are actually faster for the most part since they have significantly larger slc cache, but the tlc used is vastly inferior.
Personally, I'd think the slc cache size difference should be enough to call it something else.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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Perhaps consider the 970 Evo (non plus)? I don't think they changed the specs on that, and the performance is still quite good if I do remember correctly. It should be cheaper than the Plus variants as well.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
15,299
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Perhaps consider the 970 Evo (non plus)? I don't think they changed the specs on that, and the performance is still quite good if I do remember correctly. It should be cheaper than the Plus variants as well.
Since they say their laptop has an 8th gen Intel CPU, honestly a efficient SATA SSD might get them the best battery life (since the SK Hynix P31 in unavailable/too expensive in their market).

I had a 850 EVO in my laptop for many years until I replaced with the P31, and the overall battery life has stayed practically the same.
 

gpse

Senior member
Oct 7, 2007
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Since they say their laptop has an 8th gen Intel CPU, honestly a efficient SATA SSD might get them the best battery life (since the SK Hynix P31 in unavailable/too expensive in their market).

I had a 850 EVO in my laptop for many years until I replaced with the P31, and the overall battery life has stayed practically the same.
My laptop only has a M.2 Slot, so I cannot use a SATA drive.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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Looks like the 14" 720s only supports pcie/nvme drives
With that out of the way, and with the P31 pretty much being unavailable in the OP's market, my recommendations would be for a drive like the Samsung 980 (non pro) or the Intel 660P. Of course the P31 is kind of in a league of its own when it comes to power usage/consumption for laptops.

Both of those seem to be among the more efficient NVMe drives outside of the Hynix. The Intel 670P is a higher performing newer version of the 660P, but it appears they had to increase the power consumption over its predecessor, so it probably wouldn't be a good choice for what you're looking for in a NVMe drive.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,174
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Some options might be the western digital sn550 (blue) or sn750(black). The sn550 is a relatively slow drive, however it's cheap and doesn't use much power. The adata sx8200 and mushkin pilot-e are reasonable as budget alternatives.

None of these are anywhere close to the p31 though.
I am also in Canada and have run into this issue. The SK Hynix costs too much. The SN550 is fine for my usage in terms of speed in my Mac mini, but it is not recommended for Mac laptops. Because Macs don’t take advantage of all the power management features of third party SSDs, the SN550 runs at about 0.3 A at idle, meaning it draws 1 Watt even at idle. In my Mac mini that doesn’t matter but I don’t want to put one of those into a MacBook Pro. IIRC, the Apple OEM drives use about 1/3 the power at idle.

I looked at the WD SN350 but I suspect it will have similar behaviour to the SN550. However I’m not sure since I’ve seen no tests of this in a Mac.

The Crucial P2 does sip power in a Mac at about 0.3 Watt at idle, but I’ve heard occasional reports of instability with these in Macs so that’s not ideal either.

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