Biostar is releasing its first NVMe solid state drive family and that could be good news for gamers on a budget. While not the fastest on the market, the company's new M500 series is generally cheaper than the competition.
The new drives come in the M.2 format, which are those gumstick-sized SSDs, and shuttle data through the PCIe bus. They utilize 3D TLC NAND flash memory chips and come in four capacities with varying levels of performance. They include:
- M500 1TB: 1,700MB/s seq. read, 1,100MB/s seq. write
- M500 512GB: 1,700MB/s seq. read, 1,100MB/s seq. write
- M500 256GB: 1,600MB/s seq. read, 1,100MB/s seq. write
- M500 128GB: 1,500MB/s seq. read, 550MB/s seq. write
To put those figures into perspective, Samsung's 960 Evo drives are rated to deliver up to 3,200MB/s of sequential read performance and up to 1,900MB/s of sequential write performance. Even Biostar's top-performing M500 SSDs don't come come close to those speeds, with the gap in read performance being especially high.
That said, they are still considerably faster than even the speediest SATA-based SSDs, save for write performance on the 128GB model. They're also attractively priced in the realm of NVMe drives. Here are the MSRPs:
- M500 1TB: $269
- M500 512GB: $149
- M500 256GB: $99
- M500 128GB: $59
That's about as cheap as it gets for a 1TB NVMe SSD, and compared to the 960 Evo (on sale for $422.65 on Amazon), it's far more affordable.
Biostar's M500 drives come protected in a diamond shaped heatsink to give the SSDs an "edgy gaming look" and efficient cooling to prevent throttling. They also feature data activity and temperature LED indicators.
"The LED Smart Temperature display delivers real-time temperature status of the solid state drive in three different levels: green for temperature below 50C, yellow for temperature between 50C to 65C, and red for temperature above 65C. The LED Data Transmission display data transmission status: blue light for access status and a green light for PCIe transmission mode (Gen 2 / Gen 3)," Biostar explains.
Biostar didn't say when these new drives will be available to purchase.