The Bottom Line
- + Gaming
- + Consumer Workloads
- + Pricing
- - None
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Introduction & Drive Details
Netac has been, until recently, primarily an OEM builder of memory products. Based in China, Netac has been building memory products for decades and even claims to be the inventor of the USB flash drive. Netac is the supplier of products and solutions in the field of global flash applications. In other words, if a third-party company wants to bring forth a memory product, Netac can build it, and that company can label it in its name.
Now Netac is looking to broaden its global footprint by competing in the DIY market with its own branded products. Having already realized success as a retail brand in Asia and South America, Netac is looking to break into the North American marketplace. Now, as a builder of OEM SSDs, Netac is in a very good position to deliver more value than typical third-party SSD resellers can. A variable BOM or Bill of Materials is part of its value superiority strategy.
Now, a variable BOM can and has been a point of contention in the past as some companies have hidden the hardware changes or made inappropriate changes, like swapping TLC for QLC. Netac is very upfront about its products with a variable BOM. They told us upfront that the controller and flash for its NV7000 series are not fixed and may be produced in various configurations, but all configurations will meet its stated performance specs. We are fine with this because it ensures Netac can deliver more value inherently because they are not wed to any particular controller or flash.
The drive we have on the bench today is a perfect example of a variable BOM making for the best consumer value. The NV7000 1TB SSD we received is an IG5236 controlled M.2 PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe SSD arrayed with 128L SK hynix flash. This is a configuration we've not seen before, but we are intimately familiar with both the controller and flash and know firsthand the performance prowess both have. The NV7000 has also been sold configured with a Phison E18 controller and arrayed with Micron B47R flash. Both configurations offer exceptional performance and meet or exceed factory specifications, and we consider both to be overall equivalent in the performance department.
But here's the rub. In July, when the E18 version was in circulation, it sold for $175 for 1TB, a lot of money at 17.5 cents per gigabyte. Compare that with the version we have on the bench today, currently selling for $98 or 9.8 cents per gigabyte. What a bargain! Hey, we have no problem with a variable BOM when it results in a performance per dollar ratio like that. We see this as a huge win for the consumer, and when you see the performance this baby has to offer, you will see it's arguably the best performance to price SSD on the market - certainly, the best value in 7,000 MB/s throughput.
Certain controllers are known to deliver more sequential read throughput on AMD-based systems, which is why we run a quick CDM on these SSDs with our 5900X-based test bench to see what we can get.
Netac specs its NV7000 1TB as capable of up to 7,000/5,500 MB/s. We can hit almost 7,500 MB/s throughput. Impressive.
Across the board, these prices are the best we've seen to date for any 7,000 MB/s capable SSD.
The drive itself is pretty much a masterpiece for PC or PS5. The NV7000 comes with a sized perfectly for the PS5 heat sink, making it even more of a bargain than at first glance.
Jon's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Z690 HERO
- CPU: Intel Core i9-12700K - Buy from Amazon
- 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.
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.
We had to do a double take when we saw 6,487 MB/s because it's the second-best PS5 read performance we've ever gotten from an IG5236-controlled SSD. This is the first time we've come across the IG5236 in front of an SK hynix 128L flash array, and at least in this benchmark, it's proving to be significantly better than when the IG5236 is paired with Micron B47R. Impressive.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO
The 128 Layer SK hynix arrayed NV7000 impresses mightily in terms of read throughput as demonstrated by its third best-ever performance for an SSD tested against our supremely powerful Intel-based test rig. Sequential write throughput, as expected, is limited by the same 128 Layer flash. We are fine with this, as sequential write throughput is utterly meaningless in the consumer space.
Anvil's Storage Utilities
In terms of synthetic numbers, 128 Layer hynix flash takes a backseat to the numbers put forth by IG5236 controlled SSDs arrayed with Micron B47R. However, things even up when we get to performance that matters.
Sequential performance at QD4 comes in pretty much as expected for a 1TB IG5236-controlled SSD.
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. Overall, write performance as it applies to the consumer realm is the least important performance metric, simply because data in the consumer realm is write infrequently and read frequently. For example, how often is a game installed vs. how many times it's played?
4,200 MB/s is quite good, so no complaints here.
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. This chart reveals our hynix 128 Layer arrayed NV7000 1TB does gaming significantly better than other 1TB IG5236 controlled SSDs, like the S70 Blade 1TB, arrayed with Micron B47R. This agrees with our PS5 findings as well.
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
This time B47R has the advantage as it relates to more heavy consumer workloads.
PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark
The runaway leader here continues to be Plextor's 1TB M10P, an IG5236-controlled SSD arrayed with BiCS 4 256Gbit flash, so we can see that if Netac were to implement BiCS flash on its NV7000, performance would not suffer in the least. Here we find the NV7000 easily beating the 1TB S70 Blade.
Okay, variable BOM, as it relates to how Netac is doing it, seems to offer an advantage to the consumer. We've seen the NV7000 configured in an earlier iteration with a Phison E18 controller and Micron B47R flash. We've tested this combo so many times we know exactly how it will perform even though we didn't ourselves actually test it. We are also intimately familiar with IG5236-controlled SSDs arrayed with B47R (S70 Blade), and even BiCS flash (M10P).
Our NV7000 presented us with a different hardware configuration that we'd not tested before in that it is arrayed with hynix 128 Layer flash. It turns out that this configuration delivers real-world performance every bit as good as we get from Micron B47R and even better in some benchmarks.
The consumer gets the win here because Netac is selling the NV7000, an SSD capable of 7,400 MB/s throughput, for 9.8 cents per gigabyte. Incredible bargain, really the best we've seen to date, especially for a hyper-class SSD with a beefy PS5 compatible heat sink.
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. The NV7000 is a TweakTown Elite performer and ranks 15th all-time on our chart of 51 SSDs. In fact, the iteration we received looks like it's actually a better performer with hynix flash and IG5236 than it would be with E18 and B47R or IG5236 with B47R.
Netac is bringing value like none other with its NV7000 SSD, making it TweakTown Elite and worthy of our highest award.
The Bottom Line
Best value for a hyper-class SSD.