Gigabyte Aorus Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSD9/10 (Expert Score)
Meta-review: At launch, and when used in combination with an X570 motherboard and Ryzen 3000-series CPU, editors agree that this M.2 SSD is very hard to beat.
Gigabyte was one of the first manufacturers to launch SSDs that take advantage of the additional bandwidth in the PCI Express 4.0 (PCIe 4) interface. As of 2019, the Aorus Gen4 is, therefore, one of a few M.2 SSDs to offer 5 GB/s sequential read transfer rates. Only AMD platforms (3rd-gen Ryzen and Threadripper) support PCIe 4 on the consumer market initially.
Overview: Memory Type, Controller, and Cache
The initial batch of M.2 drives to offer support for the PCIe 4.0 interface all used the same controller/NAND combination, namely the Phison E16 controller and 96-layer Toshiba TLC NAND memory modules. In other words, the Aorus Gen4 offers about the same performance as competing drives from Corsair and Sabrent Rocket Gen4.
All of the initial PCIe 4 M.2 SSDs also use a DDR4 DRAM buffer to speed up transfers along with an SLC-mode cache.
Aorus Gen4 Vs. Sabrent Rocket Vs. Corsair MP600
|Phison E16 PCIe 4.0 SSD Comparison||Gigabyte Aorus Gen4 1TB||Sabrent Rocket Gen4 1TB||Corsair Force MP600 1TB|
|Controller||Phison E16||Phison E16||Phison E16|
|Form Factor (Interface)||M.2 2280 (PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.3)||M.2 2280 (PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.3)||M.2 2280 (PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.3)|
|NAND Flash type||Toshiba 96-layer 3D TLC||Toshiba 96-layer 3D TLC||Toshiba 96-layer 3D TLC|
|Random Read||750K IOPS||750K IOPS||680K IOPS|
|Random Write||700K IOPS||750K IOPS||600K IOPS|
|Sequential Read (max)||5,000 MB/s||5,000 MB/s||4,950 MB/s|
|Sequential Write (max)||4,400 MB/s||4,400 MB/s||4,250 MB/s|
|Write Endurance||1800 TBW||1800 TBW||1800 TBW|
|Warranty||5 years||5 years||5 years|
Gigabyte’s Gen4 Aorus drive is available in 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB capacities. All of them offer the same maximum 5,000 MB/s sequential read transfer rate, but write transfers are 2,500 MB/s in the 500 GB model. This is the usual side-effect of increased performance due to parallelization (or lack thereof).
Although the controller and memory chips are identical on these early PCIe 4.0 SSDs, some performance aspects differ – at least on paper. Compared to the Sabrent Rocket Gen4, the Aorus appears to be slightly slower. The Aorus might, however, benefit from the fact that it’s equipped with a large copper heat spreader.
According to many reports, PCIe 4.0 SSDs run quite hot while active. In any event, the Gigabyte Aorus was one of the PCIe 4.0 SSD performance leaders in 2019.
Power Consumption (Laptop Suitability)
Due to the copper heat spreader on top, the Aorus Gen4 is not suitable for installing in a laptop.
Warranty and Endurance Rating
Gigabyte offers a 5-year warranty with the Aorus Gen4, which are the usual terms for high-end SSDs. The terabytes written (TBW) endurance ratings are excellent at 1,800 TBW for the 1TB model and 3,600 TBW for the 2TB capacity.
If you’ve already invested into an X570 motherboard … the GIGABYTE AORUS NVMe Gen4 SSD will absolutely provide you with the fastest M.2 SSD money can buy.
This is easily the fastest drive I’ve ever experienced and it’s so much faster than the previous generation …
- Exceptionally fast over PCIe 4.0
- Great endurance in TBW
- Heat spreader keeps temps down
- More expensive than some competitors
Specification: Gigabyte Aorus Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSD