4TB SSD Roundup: All 4 TB+ Solid State Drives

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If you work with storage-heavy apps or simply want quick access to your complete Steam library, there is really no substitute for a high-capacity SSD. For now, four terabytes is the largest amount of SSD storage space you can find in the consumer market. And even then, availability is somewhat limited.

From the manufacturers’ perspective, building SSDs in even higher capacities is not really an engineering problem (at least in the 2.5″ and Add-in Card form factors). The major stopping block is the high cost for end-users. This is why we mainly see really large capacities in the enterprise market. However, the cost of Flash memory has been dropping for some time. And thanks to the arrival of cheaper chips in the form of TLC (triple-level cell) and QLC (quad-level cell) NAND, it’s now easier than before to justify investing in larger capacities.

Here, we’ve rounded up every 4TB SSD we could find as of October 2020. As of now, however, only a few manufacturers build 4TB or larger drives for consumers. Most are in the 2.5-inch SATA or external form factors, but there are also a few others. The number of different 4TB PCIe/NVMe M.2 SSDs is still limited but has grown somewhat in 2020.

4TB M.2 NVMe SSDs

1. Sabrent Rocket Q4

Sabrent Rocket Q4 4TBSabrent’s Rocket SSDs are top sellers in the U.S. market as they seem to strike a good balance between performance and value. Sabrent is also, so far, one of just a few manufacturers to offer 4TB SSDs in the M.2 form factor, and the first to offer an 8TB model on the consumer market (Rocket Q). The Rocket Q4 uses the same type of cost-effective QLC memory as the Rocket Q and is the first high-capacity SSD to make use of the PCI Express 4.0 (or Gen4) interface.

At this time, PCIe Gen4 is only supported by the latest AMD platforms, meaning an X570, B550, or TRX40 motherboard in combination with a 3rd-gen Ryzen or Threadripper processor or later. Intel Z490 motherboards may support the interface, but 10th-generation Core processors do not.

When paired with a compatible system, the Rocket Q4 offers sequential read speeds of up to 4,900 MB/s and writes at up to 3,500 MB/s. It’s also backward-compatible with the Gen3 interface but in that case, you will hit the speed limit at 3300 MB/s (read/write).

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

2. Corsair Force Series MP510

Corsair Force MP510 4TBCorsair’s Force MP510 has been on the market for a couple of years, but the 4TB capacity was added to the lineup only recently. Since it uses the Gen3 interface, the drive’s sequential performance is not as high as the Rocket Q4 and other Gen4 SSDs, but it uses higher-end 96-layer TLC NAND memory chips.

The 4TB version’s controller is the same Phison E12 and the performance numbers are also identical to the 2TB variety at up to 3,480 MB/s sequential reads, and 3,000 MB/s writes. 4K random reads/writes are rated at up to 580,000 IOPS (read) and up to 680,000 IOPS (write). Thanks to its use of TLC flash and its high capacity, the endurance rating is a massive 6,820 TBW (terabytes written).

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

3. Sabrent Rocket

The Rocket naming is used for several different SSDs, but this is the original Gen3 model, with no extensions to the name. This was the first consumer-oriented M.2 2280 (22 mm wide, 80 mm long) SSDs to be offered in a 4TB version.

Much like the Corsair Force MP 510, the four-terabyte Sabrent Rocket uses 3D TLC NAND memory chips and a Phison E12 controller. Consequently, the performance figures are nearly identical as well, with sequential read/write speeds of up to 3,450 MB/s (read) and 3,000 MB/s (write).

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

4. Adata XPG SX8100

Adata XPG SX8100 4TBXPG is a sub-brand owned by Adata, which has had a strong presence in the SSD space for many years. The XPG SX8100 stands out a bit from the other 4TB Gen3 alternatives, as it uses a Realtek RTS5762 controller instead of the Phison variety used in most of the others. Like its main competitors, however, the drive uses similar 3D TLC NAND and it is also close in terms of performance.

Sequential performance is up to 3,500MB/s (sequential read) and 3,000MB/s  (sequential write). Its maximum 4K random read/write IOPS is a bit more modest at 300K/240K IOPS. The drive’s endurance rating is also behind the Corsair Force MP510 at 2560 TBW.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg

5. OWC Aura P12

OWC Aura P12OWC (Other World Computing) is a U.S. company with a long history in RAM and HDD/SSD upgrades for Apple hardware. In recent years, the company has however specialized in various types of high-capacity storage solutions – mainly external storage bays and cabinets, but also a range of internal drives.

The OWC Aura P12 is an SSD in the conventional M.2 2280 form factor that has much in common with the other 4TB M.2 SSDs. This includes a Phison E12S controller and TLC NAND, as well as similar performance at 3,400MB/s (sequential read) and 3,000MB/s  (sequential write). OWC does not provide an endurance rating but mentions that all Aura P12 drives come with 7% overprovisioning, i.e. spare capacity for wear leveling.

Check prices: Amazon

6. Sabrent Rocket Q

Sabrent Rocket Q 4TB NVMe SSDThis variety of the Rocket also comes with a Phison E12S controller, but instead of TLC (triple-level cell) NAND, it’s equipped with more affordable QLC (quad-level cell) NAND memory chips. This will shave about $100 off the cost of a 4TB drive. There is also an 8TB variety of this drive, which until now is a unique option in the M.2 form factor.

Compared to the above non-Q Sabrent Rocket, the Rocket Q’s sequential read/write speeds are a bit lower at up to 3,200 MB/s (read) and 2,000 MB/s (write). We have tested the 1TB Rocket Q and noted that it performs better than other SSDs of the same type, i.e. the Intel 660p/665p and Crucial P1 (both of which also use QLC NAND).

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

4TB 2.5″ SATA SSDs

If you are looking for lots of fast internal storage space at a more reasonable cost, SATA drives tend to offer lower prices per GB. For quite some time Samsung was the only manufacturer with 4TB or larger consumer SSDs in the market, but as of 2020, Western Digital/SanDisk is also offering high-capacity alternatives. Here’s how Samsung’s 860 lineup compares.

Product
Entry-level
Samsung 860 QVO SSD 4TB - 2.5 Inch SATA 3 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76Q4T0B/AM), Gray
Mid-range
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E4T0B/AM)
High end
SAMSUNG 860 PRO SSD 4TB - 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal Solid State Drive with MLC V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P4T0BW)
Image
Samsung 860 QVO SSD 4TB - 2.5 Inch SATA 3 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76Q4T0B/AM), Gray
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E4T0B/AM)
SAMSUNG 860 PRO SSD 4TB - 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal Solid State Drive with MLC V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P4T0BW)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
550 MB/s
550 MB/s
560 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
520 MB/s
520 MB/s
530 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
97,000 IOPS
98,000 IOPS
100,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
89,000 IOPS
90,000 IOPS
90,000 IOPS
Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
7,500 IOPS
10,000 IOPS
11,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
42,000 IOPS
42,000 IOPS
43,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
11,549 Reviews
42,391 Reviews
1,601 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
5 years
5 years
Endurance rating
1,440 TBW
2,400 TBW
4,800 TBW
Price
$459.74
$541.72
$698.95
Entry-level
Product
Samsung 860 QVO SSD 4TB - 2.5 Inch SATA 3 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76Q4T0B/AM), Gray
Image
Samsung 860 QVO SSD 4TB - 2.5 Inch SATA 3 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76Q4T0B/AM), Gray
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
550 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
520 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
97,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
89,000 IOPS
Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
7,500 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
42,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
11,549 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
Endurance rating
1,440 TBW
Price
$459.74
Mid-range
Product
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E4T0B/AM)
Image
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E4T0B/AM)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
550 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
520 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
98,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
90,000 IOPS
Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
10,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
42,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
42,391 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
2,400 TBW
Price
$541.72
High end
Product
SAMSUNG 860 PRO SSD 4TB - 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal Solid State Drive with MLC V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P4T0BW)
Image
SAMSUNG 860 PRO SSD 4TB - 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal Solid State Drive with MLC V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P4T0BW)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
560 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
530 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
100,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
90,000 IOPS
Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
11,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
43,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
1,601 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
4,800 TBW
Price
$698.95

Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Comparison of different NAND memory types

More recent NAND allows for storing additional bits per cell, with the drawbacks of reduced endurance and performance.

Samsung’s 860-series SSDs stand out in that none of them use the same type of Flash memory. The 860 QVO uses quad-level cell (QLC) NAND chips, the 860 EVO uses triple-level cell (TLC) NAND, and finally the Samsung 860 PRO is one of the increasingly rare type of SSDs that still use multi-level cell (MLC) NAND.

MLC – as found in the 860 PRO – is the oldest variation of NAND in this case, but is still the superior technology in terms of performance and endurance. MLC is followed by the newer and denser TLC type (860 EVO), which is somewhat slower and less durable. The most modern and least durable type today is QLC (860 QVO).

Additional bits in every cell increases the number of charge states in each transistor. This makes them more prone to voltage drift and other issues that need to be corrected, which is a reason why high-density NAND doesn’t perform as well.

Of course, the newer memory types are not without advantages. The main one is that the higher densities allow for lower production costs. And as for performance, the difference is quite small as long as you are on the bandwidth-limited SATA bus. So, modern QLC SATA drives can definitely compete with the older technologies unless you plan on putting the drive through extremely heavy duties.

In other words, due to the heavy price premium,  we would only recommend the 860 PRO to the most demanding users who constantly work with large amounts of data or use the drive in a busy server. Almost every other user will be perfectly happy with the performance of the 860 EVO or QVO.

The 2.5″ Competiton: WD/SanDisk

A few months into 2020, Western Digital and its subsidiary SanDisk also started offering a range of 4TB SSDs in the well-known WD Red, WD Blue, and SanDisk Ultra lineups. As usual, the WD Red targets NAS builders, while WD Blue represents the value segment. The 4TB SanDisk Ultra 3D likely follows the same pattern as the other capacities, meaning that it’s essentially a WD Blue with a different sticker.

Product
WD Red (NAS)
Western Digital 4TB WD Red SA500 NAS 3D NAND Internal SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s - WDS400T1R0A
WD Blue (Value)
Western Digital 4TB WD Blue 3D NAND Internal PC SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s - WDS400T2B0A
SanDisk Ultra 3D
SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND 4TB Internal SSD - SATA III 6 GB/S, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/S - SDSSDH3-4T00-G25
Image
Western Digital 4TB WD Red SA500 NAS 3D NAND Internal SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s - WDS400T1R0A
Western Digital 4TB WD Blue 3D NAND Internal PC SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s - WDS400T2B0A
SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND 4TB Internal SSD - SATA III 6 GB/S, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/S - SDSSDH3-4T00-G25
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
560 MB/s
560 MB/s
560 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
530 MB/s
530 MB/s
530 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
95,000 IOPS
95,000 IOPS
95,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
82,000 IOPS
82,000 IOPS
82,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
205 Reviews
26,469 Reviews
12,340 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
5 years
5 years
Endurance rating
2,500
600 TBW
600 TBW
Price
$519.99
$449.88
$399.99
WD Red (NAS)
Product
Western Digital 4TB WD Red SA500 NAS 3D NAND Internal SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s - WDS400T1R0A
Image
Western Digital 4TB WD Red SA500 NAS 3D NAND Internal SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s - WDS400T1R0A
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
560 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
530 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
95,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
82,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
205 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
2,500
Price
$519.99
WD Blue (Value)
Product
Western Digital 4TB WD Blue 3D NAND Internal PC SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s - WDS400T2B0A
Image
Western Digital 4TB WD Blue 3D NAND Internal PC SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s - WDS400T2B0A
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
560 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
530 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
95,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
82,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
26,469 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
600 TBW
Price
$449.88
SanDisk Ultra 3D
Product
SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND 4TB Internal SSD - SATA III 6 GB/S, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/S - SDSSDH3-4T00-G25
Image
SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND 4TB Internal SSD - SATA III 6 GB/S, 2.5"/7mm, Up to 560 MB/S - SDSSDH3-4T00-G25
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
560 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
530 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
95,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
82,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
12,340 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
600 TBW
Price
$399.99

Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other then the SanDisk and WD Blue being identical in all but name, the NAS-oriented WD Red SA500 also shares many of its specs with the other drives in the trio. All three of these drives use a Marvell 88SS1074 controller combined with 64-layer (3D) TLC memory chips from SanDisk.

The WD Red stands out by being optimized for NAS use, which is reflected in its endurance rating at 2,500 TBW compared to 600 TBW in the WD Blue and SanDisk Ultra. This is likely due to a larger amount of spare capacity (overprovisioning in SSD terms) that will allow it to last considerably longer.

A Quick Look at Endurance Ratings

samsung 860 QVO SSDAs you may have noticed from the specs, the main differentiator in the different 2.5″ SATA price brackets is not so much performance as it is endurance measured in terabytes written (TBW). For the vast majority of users, this is not a major concern, since none of the drives listed above are likely to wear out before all other parts of the computer are on the scrap heap.

The endurance issue is also compensated by the capacity of a 4TB SSD. Few users will never come close to, for example, the 1,440 TB of writes that Samsung guarantees for the 860 QVO writes ever – and even less so during the warranty period.

So the main drawback with the QVO is the limited 3-year warranty, compared to the 5-year warranty offered with the competitors (even the WD Blue, which has a lower endurance rating).

External 4TB SSDs

If you just want lots of really fast storage to go – in a compact form factor – you actually have quite a few options. Unlike hard drives, solid state drives are not limited by the size of spinning platters, only on how the manufacturers decide to arrange the memory chips and layout of the PCB. Oddly enough, storage giants like SanDisk and Samsung don’t offer 4TB or larger drives in their well-known Extreme and T5/T3 ranges. Instead, several smaller manufacturers have found a niche here.

One thing to keep in mind when shopping for an external SSD is rated performance. What you really need to avoid is ending up with a glorified thumb drive that’s barely faster than a mechanical hard drive. The best-performing drives use either the USB 3.1 Gen2 or Thunderbolt interfaces. Here are some of the leading models right now.

Product
Glyph Atom RAID SSD 4TB Silver (External USB-C, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3) AR4000SLV
VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2) – Up to 540MB/s Data Transfer, 3D NAND Flash
U32 Shadow 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
Glyph Atom RAID SSD 4TB Silver (External USB-C, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3) AR4000SLV
VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2) – Up to 540MB/s Data Transfer, 3D NAND Flash
U32 Shadow 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
Sequential performance (max., MB/s)
950 MB/s
540 MB/s
575 MB/s
Interface
USB 3.1 Gen2
USB 3.1 Gen2
USB 3.1 Gen2
Average rating
User reviews
19 Reviews
612 Reviews
12 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
3 years
3 years
Price
$749.95
$589.00
Price not available
Product
Glyph Atom RAID SSD 4TB Silver (External USB-C, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3) AR4000SLV
Glyph Atom RAID SSD 4TB Silver (External USB-C, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3) AR4000SLV
Sequential performance (max., MB/s)
950 MB/s
Interface
USB 3.1 Gen2
Average rating
User reviews
19 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
Price
$749.95
Product
VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2) – Up to 540MB/s Data Transfer, 3D NAND Flash
VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2) – Up to 540MB/s Data Transfer, 3D NAND Flash
Sequential performance (max., MB/s)
540 MB/s
Interface
USB 3.1 Gen2
Average rating
User reviews
612 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
Price
$589.00
Product
U32 Shadow 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
U32 Shadow 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
Sequential performance (max., MB/s)
575 MB/s
Interface
USB 3.1 Gen2
Average rating
User reviews
12 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
Price
Price not available

Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Out of these three best-selling 4TB external drives, it’s clear that the Glyph Atom RAID SSD is the best-performing option. It actually consists of two smaller M.2 drives in a RAID 0 array, which nearly doubles transfer rates compared to a single drive. It is also ‘Thunderbolt 3 compatible’, meaning that it should play well with recent MacBook Pros.

However, it doesn’t use an actual, full-featured Thunderbolt 3 interface, and neither does Oyen Digital’s U32 Shadow. Both utilize the USB-C 3.1 Gen2 interface, which has a maximum bandwidth of 10 Gbps.  This is also true for the VectoTech Rapid, which offers about the same performance as the U32 (approximately SATA 6 Gbps speed).

Additional High-Capacity Options

There are also a few other high-capacity alternatives on the external SSD market:

Oyen Digital U32 Shadow Dura – This is, unsurprisingly, a close relative to the previously mentioned U32 Shadow from Oyen Digital. The difference is that it comes in a more durable rubber-enclosed case, making it shockproof and somewhat water-resistant. At least according to the manufacturer (we could find no IP-rating though). Check price >>

Oyen Digital MiniPro Dura – The MiniPro Dura also shares many features with the U32 Shadow (Dura) from the same manufacturer. This drive, however, is a bit larger (oddly enough, considering the name) and complies with the military-grade test MIL-STD-810G 516.6. The warranty is only one year instead of three, perhaps reflecting that it’s supposed to be used in the field. Check price >>

MiniproV3 ssdOyen Digital SSD MiniPro RAID V3 – The MiniPro RAID is an enclosure that can be purchased separately or equipped with up to two 4TB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs. A total of 8 GB of fast storage space should be enough for most use cases. For the same reason, it’s much larger than most portable drives and requires external power. As the name implies, you can set up your drives in RAID for striping (performance) or mirroring (backup). There’s also a Dura version of this drive/enclosure. Check price >>

istorageiStorage diskAshur PRO2 – If you value security higher than any other aspect, then – and only then – this might be the drive for you. It comes with a code lock and all the military-grade security certifications you can imagine. You also get AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption. Performance is not nearly as impressive at 148 MB/s (read) and 140 MB/s (write). Check price >>

BUSLink driveBUSlink Disk-On-The-Go External Slim Portable – Last but not least, BUSlink offers external SSDs in sizes all the way up to 7.68 GB. In other words, they likely use enterprise SSDs from Samsung or Micron inside. The drive uses the USB 3.1 Gen2 interface, offering up to 10 Gbps of bandwidth. Unfortunately, BUSlink doesn’t provide any more detailed performance data. Check price >>

4TB+ Enterprise SSDs

If money is no object, or you happen to run a data center, it’s possible to buy SSDs in even higher capacities than 4TB, such as Samsung’s 30.72 TB PM1643. This monster will probably set you back around $12,000. Most enterprise drives are both very expensive and very durable, as they are intended for the server market.

Endurance in this market is usually measured in DWPD (drive writes per day) or petabytes written (PBW) instead of terabytes written (TBW). Enterprise SSDs are a bit outside of the scope for this article, but for the sake of perspective, we’ll take a brief look at a pair of interesting models.

Product
INTEL SSDPEDKE040T701 Solid State Drive 3.5"
Micron 5200 ECO | MTFDDAK7T6TDC-1AT1ZABYY | 7.68TB 2.5" SATA 6GB/S 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND | 3 Million Mttf | Industry Leading Solid State Drive SSD
Image
INTEL SSDPEDKE040T701 Solid State Drive 3.5"
Micron 5200 ECO | MTFDDAK7T6TDC-1AT1ZABYY | 7.68TB 2.5" SATA 6GB/S 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND | 3 Million Mttf | Industry Leading Solid State Drive SSD
Interface
PCIe NVMe 3.1 x4
SATA
Form factor
HHHL (CEM3.0)
2.5"
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
3200 MB/s
540 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
1900 MB/s
520 MB/s
Random read IOPS
617,500 IOPS
95,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS
225,000 IOPS
9,500 IOPS
Warranty
5 years
5 years
Endurance rating
23.23 PBW
8.4 PBW
Price
$2,874.00
$1,179.30
Product
INTEL SSDPEDKE040T701 Solid State Drive 3.5"
Image
INTEL SSDPEDKE040T701 Solid State Drive 3.5"
Interface
PCIe NVMe 3.1 x4
Form factor
HHHL (CEM3.0)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
3200 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
1900 MB/s
Random read IOPS
617,500 IOPS
Random write IOPS
225,000 IOPS
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
23.23 PBW
Price
$2,874.00
Product
Micron 5200 ECO | MTFDDAK7T6TDC-1AT1ZABYY | 7.68TB 2.5" SATA 6GB/S 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND | 3 Million Mttf | Industry Leading Solid State Drive SSD
Image
Micron 5200 ECO | MTFDDAK7T6TDC-1AT1ZABYY | 7.68TB 2.5" SATA 6GB/S 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND | 3 Million Mttf | Industry Leading Solid State Drive SSD
Interface
SATA
Form factor
2.5"
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
540 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
520 MB/s
Random read IOPS
95,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS
9,500 IOPS
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
8.4 PBW
Price
$1,179.30

Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What makes these SSDs somewhat interesting from a consumer/enthusiast perspective is that they can be used in an actual end-user machine and not just high-end servers. The Intel drive is a half-height PCI Express Add-in card, while the Micron 5200 ECO uses the common SATA interface (as opposed to SAS).

Moreover, both drives are built with mostly the same hardware as consumer models, most importantly 64-layer 3D TLC NAND. This keeps the prices in check (relatively speaking) versus extremely expensive alternatives such as eMLC. Drives that use SLC, or single-level cell memory, are the oldest and most durable SSDs of all, but they are almost impossible to find these days even in the enterprise space. The production cost has always been prohibitive. Current SSDs, however, often use an SLC-mode cache to speed up transfer rates.

Summary

NAND memory

Evolution of NAND Flash memory.

SSD prices have dropped at a steady pace, partly thanks to smaller production processes (in nanometers), but mostly thanks to additional bits per cell. However, the cost per GB is obviously still high compared to mechanical hard drives. For most PC builders today, the most cost-effective solution is still to combine a lower-capacity SSD with a slow conventional hard drive for backups and other files that are not frequently accessed.

On the other hand, some categories of users can definitely take advantage of a 4TB+ SSD. The fast transfer rates are an advantage for everyone working with large files. Photo-, video- and audio editing come to mind. But if the price was no object, we’d really like to store everything on SSDs.

The options are still few, but it’s 100% certain that we’ll see more high-capacity SSDs in the future, at even higher capacities than 4TB. And hopefully at reasonable prices, thanks to the proliferation of QLC NAND and other more efficient production processes.

We will update this page at regular intervals.

As a PC gaming enthusiast since the 3dfx Voodoo era, Jesper has had time to experiment with a fair few FPS-improving PC parts over the years. His job at GPCB is to test and evaluate hardware, mainly focusing on GPUs and storage devices.

7 Comments
  1. VectoTech Rapid take apart disassemble would be great to see internal SSD. Is it Micron?

    On the other hand, your information is outdated:
    VectoTech Rapid 2TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
    https://www.amazon.com/VectoTech-Rapid-External-Portable-Solid/dp/B01JKMZ6L6

    Check out the pictures with USB C connector and cables. Albeit the speed is outdated. Amazing!

    • Thanks for the info, will uppdate asap. I have yet to see a full review of the vectotech. But Micron or Toshiba NAND would be the most likely.

  2. More with updated speed information:

    VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
    Super fast Read/Write speeds up to 540Mb/s
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NC1RI61

  3. Thanks. Please, note that the article text still states:
    “The VectoTech Rapid is bound by the limits of the USB 3.0 (or USB 3.1 Gen1) interface and it’s, therefore, slower than its competitors”.

    On the other hand:
    Brand new higher-capacity internal SSD (4 TB & 8 TB) from Micron will allow higher-capacity external portable SSD
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/brand-new-higher-capacity-internal-ssd-4-tb-8-tb-from-micron-will-allow-higher-capacity-external-portable-ssd.2208536

  4. You forgot the OWC Express 4M2 NVMe, which offers true Thunderbolt 3 performance. You can bolt in four Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 SSDs and get a 4TB external drive with 2,883 MB/s read speeds for about $900. ?

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