The Bottom Line
For years SK Hynix has been the brand behind many OEM drives with just a small footprint in the consumer market with its Canvas lineup. After its acquisition of LAMD in 2012, SK Hynix had put all the pieces together for an all inclusive SSD that could compete against the likes of Samsung, Micron and SanDisk.
Launching the Gold S31, SK Hynix is introducing its new SuperCore series of consumer SSDs. These solutions are aimed at the mainstream users particularly gamers, designers and content creators wanting the best performance the SATA III interface can provide.
As mentioned above, the Gold S31 is an inclusive design offering 72-layer 3D NAND, DRAM and 4th generation "Quartz" Controller all designed and produced by SK Hynix, it is offered in several capacities including 250GB, 500GB and 1TB. Built on the foundation of quality and reliability the Gold S31 offers 600 TBW, 0.3 DWPD, 328GB per day for the 1TB capacity.
Marketing performance reaches up to 560 MB/s read and 525 MB/s write. MSRP of the SK Hynix Gold S31 in the 1TB capacity comes in at $123.99 with a five-year warranty.
Packaging for the S31 features a gold nugget on the front with branding below.
The drive itself offers that same image on an aluminum chassis.
On the flip side, we have capacity listed top right along with serial and model numbers
Pulling the drive apart, we have the chassis supplemented with a plastic retainer for holding the PCB.
The main components here are the DRAM to the left, "Quartz" controller in the middle and 3D NAND to the right.
Testing for SSD is done with the drive at 50% fill.
Kicking off our benchmarks, we have the Gold S31 in the 1TB capacity reaching 540 MB/s read and 489 MB/s write for sequentials. 4KQD1 offers 31.5 read and 92.9 write.
Over to Anvils, I was able to get a 1763.17 read score and 1850.5 write score offering a combined 3613.6
PCMark8 storage testing took a touch over an hour for the Gold S31 and gave us a score of 4961 and bandwidth of 245.31 MB/s.
Last, we have the numbers from the Final Fantasy Stormblood benchmark. Within this bench we have six scenes that offer a game load timer. AS you can see from the results above, the Gold S31 is only fractions slower than the latest PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD in game loading scenarios.
In closing, the Gold S31 is a fantastic start for SK Hynix in the consumer market as the S31 does offer solid build quality with the aluminum enclosure and all the mounting options one would need.
As for performance, the Gold S31 was on point with 540 MB/s read but did shy away in write performance to 489 MB/s. 4KQ1 testing showed 31.5 MB/s or ~7700 IOPS for read and 92.9 MB/s or ~22600 IOPS for write. Anvil reached a total score of 3613, which is typically considered low for SATA III drives but with this being a new system we will know in the future as more drives are tested. PCMark8 reached a final score of 4961 with average throughput at 245 MB/s and last we ran through our Stormblood game load with a time of 14.2 only a half second slower than the E16.
Overall, SK Hynix has positioned this drive quite well offering 600TBW for the 1TB capacity, performance that's at the top of what SATA III offers and a five year warranty that matches the big players in the market. Adding to this is the MSRP at $123.99, which is positioned just under the comparable 860 EVO from Samsung.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Carbide 275R (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Corsair MP600 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
With its solid price point, excellent reliability rating and five year warranty, the Gold S31 is a top-tier offering and a solid start for SK Hynix.
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