SK hynix has been around the block for quite some time in the storage and PC hardware space. Lately, the brand has been going big on NVMe drives, and the SK hynix P41 and P31 M.2 models are among its top sellers. We’ve spent the last few weeks with SK hynix’s latest SSDs and found them have great performance for the price.
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SK hynix P41 & P31 NVMe SSD hands-on look
Launched back at CES in January, the SK hynix P41 is the brand’s latest internal M.2 NVMe SSD. With rated transfer speeds of up to 7000MB/s read and 6500MB/s write, this drive is the fastest yet from the brand. It expands the existing lineup of P-series drives, which is accompanied by the P31 that we’re also taking a look at today.
As M.2 NVMe SSDs, there’s no wires or cables required to hook these up, as they only need a compatible M.2 slot on your motherboard. Even more, should you want to pick up a drive to use even in future builds but have a system that only supports PCIe 3.0, then you can simply grab the SK hynix P41 and place it in your system. Sure, it’ll be limited to PCIe 3.0 speeds, but as soon as you upgrade, the full power of the drive will be unlocked, making it a versatile option for all.
Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet:
- Read speeds up to 7,000 MB/s and write speeds of up to 6,500 MB/s with proprietary SK hynix HYPERWRITE cache technology
- Five-year warranty, superior reliability and stability
- Tested and validated through 1,000 hours of HTOL (Stress Test) with MTBF reaching 1.5 million hours, up to 1,200 TBW (TeraBytes Written)
Now, down to the nitty-gritty. I’ve been using the SK hynix P31 and P41 NVMe SSDs for the better part of the past few weeks. I’ve used both drives as boot disks for my Ryzen 7000 system and honestly, noticed very little, if any difference in the day-to-day running of the desktop.
I installed both drives in the M.2 slots on my motherboard before installing Windows, so during the installation I couldn’t tell them apart, which actually added to the testing. My first Windows install, and a lot of initial testing of the Ryzen 7000 system, was done from the P31 drive. While this M.2 SSD only maxes out at 3300MB/s read and 3200MB/s write in our testing, it ran extremely smooth with AMD’s latest platform. In fact, the drive worked so well that it felt better than other, faster drives I’ve used in previous-generation systems. The system booted promptly and was always responsive, even though the PCIe 3.0 SSD was slow in comparison to its newer sibling, the P41.
Our use of the SK hynix P41, honestly, is much of the same. There’s little to no difference in the day-to-day use of the system with the P41 installed over the P31. Programs might launch a little faster, but the difference is almost not even noticeable. However, data-heavy workloads are much quicker with the P41. That comes from the 6600MB/s read and 6300MB/s write speeds, which we found to be slightly below the rated target in our testing. We ran CrystalDiskMark several times to be sure of the results, and each time came within a few MB/s, showing that our testing was accurate for this drive. At around 400MB/s slower on the read, and 200MB/s slower on the write compared to what SK hynix rates this drive, it’s still among some of the fastest storage on the market, and there hasn’t been a single time that I’ve felt it wasn’t fast enough for gaming, 3D design, or CAD work.
Overall, I’ve been very pleased with the SK hynix P31 and P41 M.2 NVMe SSDs, with the P31 being the most impressive to me. Given it’s a PCIe 3.0 drive, and its read/write speeds coming in right along with what we’d expect, the drive just felt… great. This is due, in part, to SK hynix’s dedication to using quality chips and components for its SSDs, as the brand uses 128-layer NAND and a DDR4 DRAM cache on the drive. These high-end parts are very welcomed in even the lower-cost P31, as that’s really what lends to how fast the drive feels in the system.
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