Hot off the heels of Inland Professional's successful low-cost SATA III SSD review, the company is back with an NVMe series designed for your budget build or upgrade.
The Inland Professional 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 x2 (shortened to Inland NVMe from this point forward) is a very low-cost series that starts at just $37.99. The series uses the Phison PS5008-E8 controller and Toshiba BiCS FLASH 3D memory just like the MyDigitalSSD SBX, Kingston A1000, and the new Corsair MP300 series.
What makes the Inland NVMe series different from the others is the price. This series costs less than the others cost yet uses the same hardware configuration, architecture, and firmware. The series falls in the emerging SATA-Replacement products designed to give shoppers an alternative to SATA with a budget-friendly NVMe M.2 option.
Inland Professional is only courting a small portion of the market with this release. There isn't a 1TB option at this time, so gamers looking for a large capacity, but budget-friendly, NVMe drive will have to look elsewhere. The Inland NVMe does come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.
Performance varies by size with the highest coming from the largest capacity. The Inland NVMe 512GB tops the list with 1,550 MB/s sequential read and 950 MB/s sequential write speeds. The same drive also delivers up to 220,000 read and 150,000 write IOPS.
The Inland NVMe 256GB has a shallow performance drop off but the 128GB model steps over a cliff. Sequential read performance comes to 1,500 MB/s and 1,300 MB/s. Sequential write performance scales up to 800 MB/s on the 256GB but only 400 MB/s on the 128GB. Most modern SATA SSDs have a difficult time writing more than 400 MB/s so it's not like the Inland NVMe 128GB is a step backwards compared to drives shipping today, but some older SATA SSDs can write sequential data a little faster.
Pricing, Warranty, And Endurance
Performance is only one selling point for the Inland NVMe series. This series sells at very low price points yet still delivers strong endurance for the low-cost NVMe category.
The Inland NVMe 128GB starts at just $37.99 and gives users 100 TBW (terabyte written) coverage. The 256GB model moves the price scale up to $59.99 but doubles the endurance to 200 TBW. The 512GB model again doubles the endurance to 400 TBW, but you will need to spend $109.99.
The Inland M.2 series SSDs all ship with a limited 3-year warranty.
A Closer Look
Inland ships the M.2 SSDs in a plastic blister pack that secures the drive but lacks any accessories. The drive is about as basic as you can get. Inland chose the Phison PS5008-E8 reference design and didn't change anything from the factory. The drives don't even have an Inland Professional label.
With some products, we would complain about the lack of artisanship but not with this series. Inland had one major goal, get this series to market as cost effective as possible and then leverage the bill of materials advantage to pass the savings to end users.
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