Gigabyte isn't a major player in the solid state drive space, though it's certainly trending in that direction. Having already launched two separate lines of 2.5-inch SATA SSDs, the company today announced its first PCIe M.2 models in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities.
The advantage of NVMe over SATA is that it has the potential to deliver much faster speeds. Gigabyte isn't shooting for the stars, though, and instead is content to dial things back for price tags that builders might find more palatable compared to performance-oriented NVMe drives.
We're told the 128GB model will sell for $49.99 and the 256GB model will go for $69.99, both of which will be available in the US sometime this week. Gigabyte isn't saying when the 512GB model will be available or how much it will cost, but if pricing scales with the other two, it will be one of the more affordable 512GB NVMe drives out there.
There's a performance trade off to hit those price points. Gigabyte says the 128GB can deliver up to 1,100MB/s of sequential read performance and up to 500MB/s of sequential write performance. The 256GB model kicks things up a notch, to 1,200MB/s and 800MB/s, respectively.
For comparison, Samsung's 960 Evo is rated to deliver sequential read and write performance of up to around 3,200MB/s and 1,900MB/s, respectively, depending on capacity. Those drives are also priced higher, though—Amazon has the 250GB model on sale for $108.45, which is around 35 percent higher than the MSRP on Gigabayte's 256GB model.
From our vantage point, it looks like Gigabyte's new drives offer a performance bump over SATA alternatives (mostly in read performance) at a smaller markup than is typical of NVMe. We haven't tested these drives yet, so we'll reserve judgement until we've actually benchmarked them.
The new drives are backed by a 3-year warranty.
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