Introduction & Drive Details
Back in 2020, SK hynix dropped its first consumer NVMe SSD. The SK hynix Gold P31 was unique for its day. It was the first time we'd seen a power-sipping 4-channel SSD capable of running with Hyper-Class 8-channel SSDs. The secret sauce was its 128-layer hynix flash array. It was certainly the best performing consumer flash ever introduced, giving the end-user superior performance where it matters most, random read.
The P31's superior random read performance enabled it to deliver the second-best gaming performance we'd ever seen from a flash-based SSD, easily beating the likes of Samsung's 970 Pro. This coming from a 4-channel SSD was unprecedented and put the rest of the industry on notice that SK hynix can do it better than anyone and do so with total vertical integration. The P31, like the P41 we have on our bench today, is all SK hynix. Hynix makes the controller, the flash, and the onboard DRAM cache.
The aforementioned Gold P31 was one of the last of its generation to make its way to retail channels, and that's the same path we are seeing with the newly minted Platinum P41. Hynix's newest is their first consumer PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD. It's been a long time coming, with every other purveyor of NVMe SSDs we can think of having already boarded the Gen4 NVMe train years back or at least previous to SK hynix doing so. Saving the best for last? It seems a bit late, but hey, seeing how the Platinum P41 2TB is overall the best performing flash-based consumer SSD we've ever tested, it's certainly well worth the wait.
As we like to do with SSDs capable of 7,000 MB/s throughput, we threw the Platinum P41 on our AMD-based test system to get a feel for its maximum sequential throughput under ideal conditions, as AMD can, at times, deliver more throughput than Intel.
SK hynix specs their newest consumer offering as capable of up to 7,000 MB/s sequential read throughput and up to 6,500 MB/s sequential write throughput. Predictably conservative throughput specs as demonstrated by the above benchmark where we are getting in excess of 300 MB/s more for both read and write. Excellent.
Across the board, these are the highest "up to" random IOPS factory specs we've seen for any flash-based consumer SSD. 1.4 million IOPS random read for the 2TB model we are testing today is particularly interesting because that is performance where it matters most in the consumer realm. Typically, this metric falls well short in our testing, so we will have to see what happens. Random write is performance that's, for the most part, meaningless for typical consumers, so we don't give a rip about it also being the highest we've seen spec'd to date.
The Platinum P41 2TB is a preferred single-sided design featuring a two-package flash array composed of SK hynix 176-layer flash behind an 8-channel SK hynix 8-channel Aries controller, and 2GB SK hynix LPDDR4 DRAM. This is the ideal configuration for maximum compatibility and power efficiency while delivering full Gen4 throughput.
Jon's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Z690 HERO
- CPU: Intel Core i9-12700K
- Cooler: Alphacool Eissturm Hurricane Copper 45 - Buy from Amazon
- RAM: TeamGroup T-Force Delta DDR5 6400MHz 32GB - Buy from Amazon
- Graphics Card: MSI SUPRIM X RTX 3080 12GB - Buy from Amazon
- Case: PrimoChill's Praxis Wetbench - Buy from Amazon
- Power Supply: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1200W - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
Sony PlayStation 5 - M.2 Storage Expansion
PS5 Read Performance
With Sony's wildly popular PlayStation 5 console now enabled for M.2 NVMe SSDs to be used as fast storage expansion, we include results for PS5 compatible SSDs we test as a part of our reviews going forward. We are utilizing the newest PS5 hardware and software versions.
For 5,500 MB/s plus capable SSDs like Platinum P41 that don't have an adequately sized PS5 compatible heat sink or other SSDs where the heat sink provided doesn't fit and can be removed, we both use and recommend Sabrents unparalleled PS5 heat sink available here.
We only chart SSDs that can deliver a minimum of 5,500 MB/s read, Sony's original recommendation. We note that with the latest PS5 software update, even SSDs that only do 4,200 MB/s no longer trigger a low-performance warning; nevertheless, we are sticking by Sony's original recommendation of 5,500 MB/s minimum read requirement.
Excellent result here, especially for a 2TB SSD, as it's within 80 MB/s of the highest we've recorded. The Platinum P41, even though not marketed as such, makes for an excellent PS5 M.2 storage expansion device.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO
Off to an impressive start with the Platinum P41 2TB delivering the most sequential read throughput we've ever seen from any SSD running on an Intel platform. Excellent. Sequential write throughput comes in at 264 MB/s higher than advertised, also excellent.
Anvil's Storage Utilities
This is truly impressive as the Platinum P41 2TB smashes a long-standing lab record for read score by almost 500 points. This is performance that matters. Wow. And it gets even better when we take a look at our max random read IOPS testing.
The Platinum P41 2TB delivers as advertised, even under our more demanding test conditions. This is the first time a flash-based hyper-class consumer SSD has done so. At 1.43 million IOPS, it's 32% higher than anything on our chart.
Sequential performance comes in at high levels. And, if we look beyond 128K, the 2TB Platinum P41 delivers the second highest sequential read throughput of any SSD we've ever tested. Do keep in mind that sequential performance is inconsequential in the consumer space for the most part.
Real-World Testing: Transfers, 3DMark SSD Gaming Test, PCM10 Storage
Our 100GB data transfer test is not your ordinary 100GB of data. Ours is a crushing mix composed of more than 62K files. Once again, the Platinum P41 2TB sets the bar.
Serving data to the host is performance that matters, and the Platinum P41 2TB does it better than any flash-based consumer SSD we've tested to date. Outstanding.
3DMark SSD Gaming Test
UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is in fact the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing.
In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to test an SSDs gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:
- Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
- Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
- Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
- Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
- Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
Gaming is a performance metric that matters to the majority of DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. Now, this should grab your attention if you are a gaming enthusiast. The Platinum P41 2TB is by far the best performing flash-based SSD related to gaming we've ever tested. Amazing.
PCM10 Storage Tests
PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.
The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with mainstream user experience.
PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark
The Platinum P41 2TB is a heavy consumer workload juggernaut. This is especially impressive for a 2TB SSD with only two flash packages.
PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark
Stellar performance here where it matters most. Again, the second-best performance we've ever seen from a flash-based SSD.
Once again, it appears that SK hynix is last to the party, but once again, the huge memory company is doing it better than anyone before them. The Platinum P41 2TB is an absolute beast, setting lab records right and left, more importantly, exactly where performance matters most. Overall, it is the highest performing flash-based consumer SSD we've ever tested.
This fact directly reflects on SK hynix 176-layer flash being the best or second-best performing flash currently adorning consumer SSDs. Finally, something better than BiCS4, and maybe even better than BiCS 5.
We will point out something that most may not even consider. The 2TB Platinum P41, because it is arrayed with only two flash packages, might not even be the fastest P41 in the stable. It's highly likely that the 1TB model is an even better performer as it likely has faster, lower capacity die contained within its two flash packages. This has always been the case for two package arrayed SSDs, and we are pretty certain the Platinum P41 is no exception. We will have to find out firsthand here very soon.
We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage and 3DMark gaming storage tests. We consider a user experience score of 11K or more to verify an SSD as a TweakTown Elite performer. As we alluded to at the start of this review, the Platinum P41 2TB is the best performing flash-based consumer SSD ever made.
Priced right and unmatched performance have earned the SK Hynix Platinum P41 2TB our highest award.
- User Experience
The Bottom Line
Overall the best performing flash-based SSD we've ever tested!