Sabrent Rocket 4 2TB SSD Review - Refreshed Standard Bearer

Sabrent has refreshed its Rocket 4 line of SSDs with modern components, delivering a better overall user experience and greatly enhanced efficiency.

Published
Updated
Manufacturer: Sabrent (SB-RKT4L-2TB)
7 minutes & 18 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 95%
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The Bottom Line

Sabrent's Rocket 4 refresh is better than the original, ranking amongst the best PCIe Gen4 SSDs currently available.

Pros

  • + Gaming
  • + Throughput
  • + User experience
  • + PS5 compatible

Cons

  • - None

Should you buy it?

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Introduction & Drive Details

This current crop of DRAMless SSDs, which can saturate the PCIe Gen4 interface with more than 7,400 MB/s throughput, has forever changed the solid-state storage landscape. Gone are the days when you sacrificed a ton of user experience to save a buck or two. Because of advancements on the flash front, speed in particular, you can get what used to take 8-channels, a ton of power, and expensive onboard DRAM to accomplish with half the channels and no onboard DRAM.

The subject of today's review is a perfect testament to this recent development. Sabrent's "refreshed" Rocket 4 series is meant to replace its aging Rocket NVMe 4.0, Rocket 4 Plus, and Rocket 4 Plus-G series SSDs, as these SSDs are all built from what is now, or soon to be EOL (End of Life) components.

Sabrent's new Rocket 4 is a PCIe Gen4 x4 interface saturating SSD, just like the Rocket 4 Plus it's set to replace. Like its predecessors, the new Rocket 4 can dish out over 7,400 MB/s sequential throughput, but this time it's twice as efficient in getting there. Sabrent's newest PCIe Gen4 SSD needs only 4-channels, half the power and does not need expensive onboard DRAM to deliver real-world performance that is in-fact overall, substantially superior to its predecessors.

Sabrent's new Rocket 4 SSD is powered by Phison's PS5027-E27T DRAMless 4-channel controller:

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Behind its E27T controller, we have a Kioxia BiCS6 2,400MT flash array. This is the exact hardware configuration found on the Corsair MP600 Elite we recently reviewed, so we know this to be a quite potent combination.

The new Rocket 4, even with no onboard DRAM, half the channels of its PCIe Gen4 flagship predecessors, this power-sipping single-sided masterpiece is overall the best performing PCIe Gen4 SSD Sabrent has ever delivered. Impressive.

With its preferred single-sided design, 7,400 MB/s throughput, power efficiency, mild thermals, and PS5 storage expansion compatibility, Sabrent's new Rocket 4 has a lot to offer. Now, let's get some exact numbers.

Drive Details

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Like all Sabrent SSDs, the Rocket 4 is supported by Sabrent's own free SSD toolbox software, Rocket Control Panel, enabling convenient features such as device registration and firmware updates directly from your desktop. Get it HERE. Additionally, Sabrent offers free Acronis cloning software to complement its Rocket 5 SSDs. Get it HERE.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Intel Test System

AMD Test System

Because we at TweakTown like to be first at everything whenever we can, we will present our storage performance results for the test subject on both 14th Gen Intel and 7000 Series AMD platforms going forward for the foreseeable future. Because Intel still delivers the best real-world storage performance, (Look Here), our running chart will continue to be Intel-based until AMD can deliver better real-world storage performance than its rival.

Buy at Amazon

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$214.99$219.99$219.99
Buy at Newegg
$239.99$239.99-
* Prices last scanned on 4/24/2024 at 9:14 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

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.

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We only chart SSDs that can deliver a minimum of 5,500 MB/s read, which is Sony's original recommendation.

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At 6,497 MB/s, Sabrent's new Rocket 4 is ideal for PS5 storage expansion. We prefer fast 4-channel SSDs, such as our test subject for PS5 storage expansion, because they are cost-effective, cool running, and single-sided. Excellent.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO

CrystalDiskMark

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We employ CDM as our standard measurement for both sequential throughput and Q1T1 random read. Here, we find our test subject fully capable of delivering Sabrent's quoted up to sequential throughput, which unsurprisingly are identical to the similarly configured Corsair MP600 Elite. Additionally, Sabrent's newest contender cranks out an impressive 104 MB/s at 4K Q1T1 random reads; best to date for a flash-based DRAMless SSD. Impressive.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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A read score of 10,725 isn't very impressive, but it's still respectable for a 4-channel DRAMless SSD arrayed with BiCS 6 flash.

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We employ Anvil's random read test as our standard for measuring max random read IOPS. This test is very accurate as it at its core is Iometer skinned over. We test at QD128. At 828K IOPS, our test subject is delivering the second most random read throughput we've encountered to date for 2TB DRAMless SSD.

ATTO

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ATTO gives us a clear picture of what transfer sizes a particular SSD favors in terms of sequential throughput. We chart 128K transfers. At a queue depth of four, the 2TB Rocket 4 favors sequential transfers of 128MB or larger when serving data to the host (reading) and 64K or larger when programming (writing) data. Peak throughput at small file sizes is exactly what we are looking for here, and our test subject delivers exceptionally well in this regard.

Real-World Testing: Transfers, 3DMark SSD Gaming Test, PCM10 Storage

Transfer Rates

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Our 100GB data transfer test is not your ordinary 100GB of data, ours is a crushing mix composed of more than 62K files. Write performance random or sequential, is an infrequent operation and such, we do not consider it to be an important performance metric in the consumer space. An example being how many times is a game installed vs. how many times it's played.

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Unlike programming (writing) data, serving data to the host (reading) is always an important performance metric as it relates to the consumer space. Throughput here is essentially equal to its Chinese made counterparts, such as the VP4300 Lite, and as expected practically identical to the MP600 Elite.

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 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 SSD's 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.
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Gaming is a performance metric that matters to most DIY consumers, especially for the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. With a score of 4,543, the new Rocket 4 is delivering essentially equivalent gaming performance to Sabrent's retiring gaming-focused Rocket 4 Plus-G. And just as it is with the Rocket 4 Plus-G, the new Rocket 4 comes with Phison's exclusive I/O+ DirectStorage optimized technology baked right in. With it, a properly equipped PC can load up to 60% more gaming data with 99% less CPU utilization. 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. These tests directly correlate with mainstream user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

This test writes 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of user experience.

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Although a bit slower here than some of its Chinese-made competition, it again delivers equivalent to, or better than, its predecessors.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test.

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We consider 5K+ here a milestone of sorts, especially for a PCIe Gen4 SSD. Of all the tests we run, we consider this one to be the best reflection of a typical consumer user experience. Here is where we find our test subject not only demolishing its Chinese-made competition but also demolishing any previous PCIe Gen4 SSD Sabrent has ever made. Outstanding, and as we see it, clear proof that the new Rocket 4 is indeed superior to any of its Gen4 predecessors.

Final Thoughts

Sabrent's newest Gen4 SSD is exactly the kind of SSD that we've come to prefer in the PCIe Gen4 space. These superfast 4-channel SSDs deliver performance that is excellent overall, along with great thermal properties, on a preferred single-sided PCB. As we see it, the new Rocket 4 is about as good as it gets for a PCIe Gen4 SSD, and we believe it to be clearly superior to any of its 8-channel predecessors. Additionally, it's the first single-sided Sabrent SSD of its kind, and we love that too.

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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 considered a user experience score of 15K or more to verify an SSD as a TweakTown Elite performer. As shown here, Sabrent's Rocket 4 2TB is exactly tied with the MP600 Elite for the best-performing 2TB DRAMless SSD we've encountered to date.

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It's the highest performing PCIe Gen4 SSD Sabrent has delivered to date. It's overall the second-best performing 2TB DRAMless SSD we've tested to date and as such well deserving of one of our highest awards.

Performance

95%

Quality

95%

Features

95%

Value

N/A

Overall

95%

The Bottom Line

Sabrent's Rocket 4 refresh is better than the original, ranking amongst the best PCIe Gen4 SSDs currently available.

TweakTown award
95%

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$214.99$219.99$219.99
Buy at Newegg
$239.99$239.99-
* Prices last scanned on 4/24/2024 at 9:14 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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