Gigabyte is entering the M.2 SSD market with three drives of varying capacities--128GB, 256GB, and 512GB--that promise to outperform their SATA counterparts. The 128GB and 256GB capacity drives are currently available; the 512GB capacity drive is expected to start shipping soon.
The aptly named Gigabyte M.2 PCIe SSDs offer all the usual benefits: improved performance in a smaller package that doesn't require separate power and transmission cables. In its announcement today, Gigabyte claimed its SSDs rise above competitive models because they "must undergo and clear extreme temperature and pressure stress tests to ensure their quality and durability." It didn't offer any specifics, though, and most products are stress-tested.
But the company is willing to put its money where its mouth is. The Gigabyte M.2 PCIe SSD is covered by a three-year or 100TB written (TBW) warranty and boasts a 1.5 million hour Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rating. Unless you're in the habit of constantly saving, deleting and re-saving a couple dozen gigabytes of data every day (or messing with the space-time continuum), you should be good for those three years.
Performance-wise, the 128GB model offers speeds of up to 1,100MB/s sequential read, 500MB/s sequential write, 90,000 random read IOPS and 100,000 random write IOPS. For the 256GB model, those numbers increase to 1,200MB/s sequential write, 800MB/s sequential read, 80,000 random read IOPS and 150,000 random write IOPS. Specs for the 512GB model are currently unknown. All three capacities use the 2280 form factor.
The Gigabyte M.2 PCIe SSD clearly demonstrates the company's growing interest in the M.2 storage market. For example, in July, it announced several riser cards that offer extra slots for M.2 PCIe SSDs, so people don't have to break the bank for a motherboard with multiple slots. Between its motherboards, new line of UD Pro SATA SSDs, M.2 riser cards and now these SSDs, Gigabyte has created its own portfolio of products for the storage-minded.