The Bottom LineOverall the best performing flash-based SSD we've ever tested, even faster than the 2TB model.
Introduction & Drive Details
About a month ago, we crowned a new TweakTown consumer SSD performance champion. The 2TB SK hynix Platinum P41 delivered overall the best real-world performance we've ever seen. It managed to unseat our longtime flash-based consumer performance champion, Plextor's M10P 1TB. This accomplishment becomes especially impressive considering high-performance single-sided PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSDs have, without exception, been considerably faster at 1TB than at 2TB.
With this in mind, we speculated that a 1TB SK hynix Platinum P41 would likely be faster than the 2TB model, maybe even considerably faster if it followed the same path as those before it. Typically, 1TB single-sided SSDs are faster than their 2TB counterparts due to die density. For example, flash of the same variety is faster at 256Gbit than it is at 512Gbit, 512Gbit faster than 1024Gbit, and so on. Typically, we see this right off the bat when we run CDM and look at Q1T1 random read where, without exception up to this point, single-sided 1TB SSDs perform significantly better due to lower density die flash packages.
Better low queue depth random read performance always translates to better real-world performance when comparing different capacities within the same product line. As we ran CDM on the 1TB Platinum P41, we instantly realized that it uses the same die density flash as its larger 2TB sibling because Q1T1 random read performance is identical (96 MB/s) at both capacity points. The 1TB model is outfitted with 512Gbit flash stacked 8-die high, and the 2TB model 512Gbit stacked 16-die high. This is a first as it relates to hyper-class single-sided Gen4 SSDs, at least the first we are aware of. What this means is the 1TB model, if indeed faster than the 2TB model, will only be slightly faster.
As we like to do with SSDs capable of 7,000 MB/s throughput, we ran the 1TB 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.
Based on CDM, it looks like the 1TB model generally has slightly higher read throughput, and the 2TB model has slightly better write throughput. This makes sense for their respective capacity points when both employ the same die density flash.
SK hynix specs its 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. Like its 2TB sibling, the 1TB model can substantially exceed its factory sequential read/write specs.
Across the board, these are the highest "up to" random IOPS factory specs we've seen for any flash-based consumer SSD. And as we know from the 2TB model, these are not overstated.
The Platinum P41 1TB 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 1GB (possibly 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: Sabrent Rocket DDR5 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, which is 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.
Interesting result here as it mirrors what we see from CDM in that the 1TB seems to have slightly higher read throughput than the 2TB model. The Platinum P41, even though not marketed as such, makes for an excellent PS5 M.2 storage expansion device, provided it's paired with a compatible heat sink.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO
Like its 2TB sibling before it, the 1TB Platinum P41 gives us a new lab record for sequential read on an Intel platform. A mere 5 MB/s separates it from the 2TB model. This is insignificant, and well within the range of variability between runs, so we will need to look at some real-world data for concrete evidence that the 1TB reads better than the 2TB model. If this is indeed the case, it will without question deliver our highest user-experience score to date for a flash-based SSD.
Sequential write throughput is a bit more clearly defined, where we see the 2TB model with what appears to be a clear advantage. The all-important Q1T1 random read performance metric (96 MB/s) is identical for both 1 and 2TB capacity points.
Anvil's Storage Utilities
This time, the 2TB model has the upper hand as it can apparently crank out more random read IOPS at high queue depths. Either way, the SK hynix Platinum P41 is the undisputed champ when serving data to the host. Impressive.
Sequential performance comes in at high levels. And in fact, if we look beyond 128K, the Platinum P41 delivers the second highest sequential read throughput of any SSD we've ever tested. Do keep in mind that sequential performance is, for the most part, inconsequential in the consumer space.
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. Now, this is real-world data, and here we do see concrete evidence that the 2TB model has slightly better write performance than the 1TB model.
So, our real-world transfers concur with what CDM pointed to. The 1TB model reads slightly faster, and the 2TB writes slightly faster. Another lab record goes to the 1TB Platinum P41. Impressive.
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. Although still within the realm of variability between runs, this is the second real-world test that points to the 1TB Platinum P41 having a bit more read throughput than the 2TB. Another lab record is handed off from the 2TB P41 to the 1TB P41, with both being vastly superior to any flash-based SSD before it.
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
As we see it, this result is a clearly defined win for the 1TB model over the 2TB model. This can't be chalked up to run variability. Another lab record goes to the 1TB Platinum P41, and along with that, we feel this seals the deal as to it being the most powerful flash-based consumer SSD to date. Outstanding.
PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark
Not so clearcut here as the 2TB just edges out the 1TB for the second-best all-time flash-based consumer SSD.
Back when we reviewed the 2TB SK hynix Platinum P41 we speculated that the 1TB model would likely be faster than the 2TB model because it would likely be populated with faster, lower die density flash based on what others had all done to that point. This turned out to be incorrect as, for the first time, as far as we know, a single-sided Gen4 SSD employed the same capacity die at 1 and 2TB.
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. While we were wrong in our speculation that the 1TB Platinum P41 would employ faster flash, our prediction that it would likely be faster turned out to be correct. Why is it faster? Not sure, really, but it could potentially be sporting a higher DRAM to NAND ratio than the 2TB model. We would have to rip the label off and decode the DRAM package to verify, but we aren't going to take it that far.
The 1TB SK hynix Platinum P41 keeps it all in the family and supplants its 2TB sibling as currently being the world's best performing flash-based consumer SSD. Guess we need to see what the 500GB model has under the hood.
- User Experience
The Bottom Line
Overall the best performing flash-based SSD we've ever tested, even faster than the 2TB model.
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