Before we even began testing, we knew the Tempo would deliver excellent performance simply because it is a Samsung Gen 3 x4 PCIe SSD. The Tempo did not disappoint, proving that it can still hang with its NVMe counterparts. We love the heat sink on the Sonnet design. It does virtually eliminate any thermal throttling issues that we previously experienced with the Samsung SM951 AHCI SSD.
Sonnet's Tempo really shines with arguably the most important category of our testing - moderate workloads. Looking at back at our moderate workload testing, the Tempo was able to handily outperform all but the 950 Pro with ease; even defeating the 950 Pro once with slightly better Vantage steady-state performance. Samsung's superior architecture was on full display considering the Tempo is an almost two-year-old AHCI based SSD and yet it is still able to outperform most modern NVMe based SSDs with moderate workloads.
Our user experience while running the Sonnet Tempo SSD as our OS disk is outstanding. Every task we threw at the drive was handled almost instantaneously. Our system booted as fast or faster than any SSD we've ever used. These are the hallmarks of a superior SSD. After all, it all comes down to the user experience.
Sonnet's Tempo presents us with a conundrum of sorts. Based on the performance it delivers, it is easy to recommend the Tempo to our readers. But, we do feel that the Tempo is an overpriced piece of hardware, especially for the typical Windows enthusiast. Sonnet's primary focus is Mac first. Mac users typically don't mind spending more for less, or they would not be using a Mac in the first place. With this in mind, the Tempo may be appropriately priced for Mac users.
Additionally, we are a bit skeptical of Sonnet's one-year warranty, but it's still not a deal breaker because the Samsung SM951 at the heart of the Tempo is a known entity. Sonnet's Tempo is a custom design with a much-needed heat sink, which will improve the SM951 AHCI's overall longevity as well as performance consistency.
Sonnet's Tempo PCIe SSD is TweakTown recommended for Mac users who don't mind paying a premium.
- Price Point
- One-Year Warranty
|Quality including Design and Build||95%|
|Bundle and Packaging||85%|
|Value for Money||70%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||88%|
The Bottom Line: Although the Sonnet Tempo AHCI PCIe AIC SSD is overpriced, it is a moderate workload powerhouse that will deliver the goods for Mac users.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Drive Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 2 [Drive Details]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup & Drive Properties]
- Page 4 [Synthetic Benchmarks – ATTO & Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 5 [Synthetic Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks (OS) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks (Secondary) - IOPS, Response & Transfer Rate]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) – PCMark 8 Extended]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) – 70/30 Mixed Workload]
- Page 10 [Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]