There are a couple of new or upcoming consumer PCIe 4.0 SSDs that I have been waiting on for quite a while. Finally, we are getting closer to them actually being available. The most striking advantage of PCIe 4.0 is higher sequential bandwidth. A PCIe 4.0 x4 link can do about 7,000 MB/s.
Keep in mind that you will need an appropriate CPU and supporting chipset in order to get PCIe 4.0 support. So far, this means an AMD Ryzen 3000/5000 Series Desktop or Threadripper 3000 series HEDT CPU. With AMD Ryzen 3000/5000 Series Desktop CPUs, you also have to have an X570 or B550 chipset motherboard. Intel’s upcoming Rocket Lake desktop processors will have PCIe 4.0 support next year. If you use a PCIe 4.0 drive in a PCIe 3.0 system, it will fall back to PCIe 3.0 speeds.
Having higher sequential performance is useful if you want to transfer very large files. It is also very useful if you are running SQL Server on your workstation. Tasks like backing up and restoring databases, creating and rebuilding indexes, and running DBCC CHECKDB all rely on sequential performance.
Samsung 980 PRO
Samsung is finally releasing the Samsung 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD on October 12, 2020. This new family will have higher sequential performance than most existing PCIe 4.0 SSDs. You will see 7,000 MB/s read and 5,000 MB/s write speeds (with the 1TB model). On the negative side, it uses TLC NAND instead of MLC NAND, which decreases its write longevity.
Initially, it will be available in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB sizes. The 250GB size (which I would avoid) is $89.99, the 500GB size is $149.99, and the 1TB size is $229.99. There are rumors of an eventual 2TB model.
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus
Sabrent recently announced the Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus utilizes the new 12nm Phison PS5018-E18 SSD controller which enables significantly faster sequential performance with 7,000 MB/s read and 6,850 MB/s write speeds. This is actually pretty close to what a PCIe 4.0 x4 link is capable of.
These sequential write performance figures are higher than the Samsung 980 PRO. They are much higher than previous PCIe 4.0 SSD’s using the older 28nm Phison PS5016-E16 controller which maxes out at sequential performance of about 5,000 MB/s read and 4,400 MBs write speeds. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus will be available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes. We don’t know what pricing will be or when they will be available. This drive also uses TLC NAND.
If you have recently built (or are planning on building) an AMD desktop or HEDT system, you might want to look at using one of these drives if possible. Just to be clear, having a PCIe 4.0 drive is not going to make a huge difference for many common tasks. It won’t make your system boot noticeably faster for example.
One of these drives might help Microsoft FS2020 load faster though. BTW, I have a blog post about building a system for FS2020.
If you have any questions about this post, please ask me here in the comments or on Twitter. I am pretty active on Twitter as GlennAlanBerry. Thanks for reading!