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PSA: Not all PCIe 4.0 SSDs deliver the kind of speeds you might expect

Transcend MTE240S SSD
(Image credit: Transcend)

When the first PCIe 4.0 SSDs arrived on the market, they boasted top speeds of around 5,000MB/s. Then a new generation of PCIe 4.0 models armed with fancy new controller hardware arrived, touting speeds in excess of 7,000MB/s, leaving PCIe 3.0 models in the dust. Transcend's new MTE240S, however, is also a PCIe 4.0 SSD, but its rated specifications are more in line with a PCIe 3.0 drive.

Announced in Japan, a translated reading of the press release pitches the MTE240S as a "highly durable SSD" rated to deliver up to 3,800MB/s of sequential read performance, and up to 3,200MB/s of sequential writes (2,800MB/s for the 500GB model). Both are fast in a vacuum, but well below even first-gen PCIe 4.0 models.

For comparison, Samsung's 970 Evo Plus, one of the best SSDs for gaming, is a PCIe 3.0 model that is rated to hit read speeds of up to 3,500MB/s and write speeds of up to 3,300MB/s on the 2TB and 1TB drives (the 500GB and 250GB SKUs are rated to deliver writes of up to 3,200MB/s and 2,300MB/s, respectively).

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SATA, NVMe M.2, and PCIe SSDs on blue background

(Image credit: Future)

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That's not to say Transcend's latest SSD is a bad option—pricing has yet to be determined and, along with the drive's actual performance (versus rated specs), will ultimately dictate the value proposition—but it does serve as a reminder that it's important to check the spec sheet before buying new hardware.

Having said that, part of Transcend's marketing pitch for the MTE2406 is a bit dubious. On the drive's product page, the company highlights the fact that PCIe 4.0 doubles the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0, further noting "PCIe 4.0 speeds up your PC and reduces system latency." Which is technically true, but not really utilized to much effect in the MTE2406.

Available in 500GB and 1TB capacities, both models come equipped with a slim graphene heatsink. As for endurance, Transcend lists the total write capacity at 1,700 TBW for the 1TB model, and 850 TBW for the 500GB model. The drives carry a five-year warranty.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).