Lexar Professional NM700 1TB M.2 SSD Review

Lexar is getting into the NVMe SSD business, and today we have their fastest SSD to date on the bench. Let's take a close look.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Mon, Feb 1 2021 8:20 AM CST
Rating: 73%Manufacturer: Lexar (LNM700-1T-A10U)

Introduction & Drive Details

Lexar is a well-known brand when it comes to CF cards, SD cards, and the like. Now they have decided to get into the NVMe SSD business as one of the first Chinese-owned companies to do so. Lexar's NM700 is Gen3 based, employs Marvell's 88SS1092 8-channel controller and TLC flash of Intel origins. In terms of the controller, we like Lexar's choice of Marvell's 88SS1092 because it has proven that it is capable of being a workload juggernaut and potentially unrivaled for gaming, as evidenced by Plextor's M9P+, which was only recently dethroned by Samsung's 980 Pro and WD Black SN850.

Now, should you be in the market for Lexar's fastest SSD to date, it's not going to be easy to find at the 1TB capacity point, as it appears Amazon only has 256GB and 512GB models for sale. We had to do a lot of searching to find a 1TB model for sale, and the pricing is quite a bit higher than we were hoping to see. We assume the pricing reflects the "Professional" moniker Lexar has donned the NM700 with.

Okay, let's get into the review, keeping in mind that this is Lexar's first stab at the NVMe SSD market.

Drive Details

Lexar Professional NM700 1TB M.2 SSD Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 42 IMAGES

Sequential read speeds are tops for a Gen3 SSD. Write speed is a bit low, as are quoted maximum random speeds. A 5-year warranty is nice to see, along with a good TBW rating.

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The drive is a single-sided design, which we prefer.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon

Lexar Professional NM700 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$86.00$86.00$86.00
* Prices last scanned on 3/5/2021 at 5:47 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

SSD Software

Lexar SSD Dash

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Lexar offers their SSD Dash software. However, if you are in the United States, you likely cannot download it due to ongoing USA/China tech disputes. However, you aren't missing a thing because it's essentially useless without the ability to even update the firmware.

You will be better served with the following free tools:

If you need to clone, there is freeware for that Click here to download and free monitoring software Click here to download as well.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM & Anvils

CrystalDiskMark

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Sequential read speed looks excellent, exceeding factory specs. The rest is not so good, as evidenced by our charts.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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Acceptable write performance here, however, we value read performance most, and this is where the NM700 falls flat. As we mentioned earlier, the NM700 utilizes the same Marvell 88SS1092 controller as Plextor's M9P+, and we had hoped that the NM700 would give us similar results. If we look at the read score, we can pretty much ascertain at this point that's not going to happen.

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Max random write performance is in-line with factory specs, but random read performance is way off. We don't chart this category, but it could be the worst random read performance we've seen from a TLC powered NVMe SSD. This is a perfect example of why we test the way we do. SSDs can perform way differently when they are empty.

Synthetic Benchmarks: AS SSD & ATTO

AS SSD

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This time, the NM700 can best Plextor's M9P+. However, overall, another lackluster performance considering this is a TLC SSD with onboard DRAM.

ATTO

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Great performance at 512B transfers and close to full speed at 128K transfers.

Real-World Testing: Transfer Rates & Gaming

Transfer Rates

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The 1TB NM700 averages 716 MB/s while transferring our 100GB directory. Excellent.

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When serving data to the host, our test subject manages an average of 2,308 MB/s. Again, excellent performance.

Game Level Loading

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Gamers take notice. The NM700 can deliver the goods for you.

Real-World Testing: PCMark 10 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 user experience. Of the two tests, we feel that the Quick System Drive Test most accurately replicates a typical user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

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These tests matter most because they reflect on user experience while doing normal consumer tasks. We had high hopes that the NM700 would perform much like the M9P+ because they use the same controller, and the M9P+ is the best we've seen from any Gen3 SSD. We don't get what we wanted, not even close.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

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This is the test we consider our most important, and the NM700 falls flat.

Final Thoughts

Lexar is just getting into the NVMe SSD business and, so far, has offered only two models, with the Lexar Professional NM700 being its flagship model. The drive is composed of quality components, as evidenced by its 5-year warranty and endurance rating of 600 TBW. The flash is a bit of a mystery. We are told it is Intel 3D TLC. However, we feel the numbers would be significantly better if the flash was of higher quality.

Lexar Professional NM700 1TB M.2 SSD Review 41 | TweakTown.com

Our user experience ranking finds the Lexar Professional NM700 down near the bottom of our chart. We had hoped it would deliver a user experience like that of Plextor's M9P+ because they both employ the same Marvell controller.

Lexar Professional NM700 1TB M.2 SSD Review 42 | TweakTown.com

Lexar's Professional NM700 1TB didn't deliver many highlights, but there are a couple that are noteworthy. Transfer rates for both read and write were surprisingly good, with the NM700 delivering more than many SSDs we consider to be better. Additionally, and for some of you, it may be the most important factor, Lexar's Professional NM700 1TB is one of the better gaming SSDs on the market.

Pros

  • Transfer Rates
  • Gaming
  • Endurance/Warranty

Cons

  • Workloads
  • Pricing
  • Availability
Buy at Amazon

Performance

70%

Quality

80%

Features

70%

Value

70%

Overall

73%

The Bottom Line

Expensive, good at gaming, but below average workload performance.

73%

Lexar Professional NM700 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$86.00$86.00$86.00
* Prices last scanned on 3/5/2021 at 5:47 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

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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