HP EX900 Pro M.2 SSD Offers Major Performance and Endurance Upgrades

HP EX900 Pro

HP EX900 Pro (Image credit: Biwin Storage Technology)

HP will soon release a drive that looks like a replica of the original HP EX900 SSD. As spotted by hardware publication Guru3D, HP's unannounced EX900 Pro M.2 SSD has been listed with substantial performance and endurance uplifts.

The EX900 Pro still comes in the M.2 2280 form factor with a single-sided design and slides into your regular PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. Biwin's listing is extremely stingy on the the technical details of the drive, so it's hard to tell if it'll be one of the best SSDs upon release. For example, it's unclear what kind of SSD controller or NAND the EX900 Pro uses. 

The original EX900 leverages Silicon Motion's SM2263XT DRAM-less controller, which features Host Memory Buffer (HMB) technology, and Micron's 64-layer 3D TLC (triple-level cell) NAND chips. In layman's terms, HMB allows SSD vendors to use a certain amount of your system's memory to compensate for the lack of DRAM on the SSD itself. The EX900's ratio is 1MB of memory for every 1GB of NAND memory.

Biwin listed EX900 Pro 256GB, 512GB and 1TB drives with DRAM sizes of 256MB, 512MB and 1GB, respectively. This suggests that HP could be using a SSD controller with DRAM for the EX900 Pro.

HP EX900 Pro Specifications

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ModelSequential Read (MBps)Sequential Write (MBps)Random Read (IOPS)Random Writes (IOPS)Endurance (TBW)Warranty
EX900 Pro 1TB2,0951,965283,000286,0006505 years
EX900 Pro 512GB2,0801,800193,000282,0003205 years
EX900 Pro 256GB1,9601,120167,000259,0001605 years
EX900 1TB2,1501,815250,000260,0002003 years
EX900 500GB2,1001,500120,000108,0002003 years
EX900 250GB2,1001,300120,000105,0001003 years
EX900 120GB1,900650110,000100,000703 years

While the prior EX900 started at 120GB, based on the Biwin listing, the Pro variant will start at 500GB. The change in density is only the tip of the iceberg though, as the EX900 Pro also flaunts improved performance and endurance levels.

In general, the EX900 Pro has slower sequential reads compared to the EX900 drives, but it's a mere 7% difference. The sequential write results vary, depending on model. For example, the EX900 Pro 256GB model has roughly 14% lower sequential writes than the EX900 250GB, but the EX900 Pro 512GB model delivers up to 20% higher than the EX900 500GB model.

The EX900 Pro excels in the random performance area. We're looking at enhancements between 39% and 61% in random writes and between 147% and 161%, depending on the capacity.

The endurance levels for the EX900 Pro have improved considerably as well. Improvements pan from 129% to 225%, depending on which models you're comparing. This huge upgrade could only mean that HP is utilizing higher density NAND than before, perhaps the Micron 96-layer 3D TLC chips.

Whatever ingredients HP is utilizing with the upcoming EX900 Pro, the company seems pretty confident in their reliability. HP backs the EX900 Pro with a limited five-year warranty, two more years than the previous EX900.

At the moment, price and release date for the EX900 Pro drives are unknown. But since there's a listing, we expect HP to release the SSDs soon. 

Zhiye Liu
News Editor and Memory Reviewer

Zhiye Liu is a news editor and memory reviewer at Tom’s Hardware. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • tennis2
    Biwin listed EX900 Pro 256GB, 512GB and 1TB drives with DRAM caches of 256MB, 512MB and 1GB, respectively. This suggests that HP could be using a DRAM-less controller for the EX900 Pro
  • Soul_keeper
    Unfortunately, since these are geared towards windows gamers, there is no way to update the firmware for those that don't use windows. Unless i'm mistaken?
    Apparently there is only a windows desktop app for this process and no bootable iso.
    I wouldn't recommend one of these to a linux or mac user.
  • mdd1963
    Offering 60% of the sequential reads speeds of the 970EVO might be an 'upgrade', but, it is hardly 'major'... unless the original really sucked...