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Hyundai Sapphire Low-Cost SSD Review

Conclusion

For many of our readers, the Hyundai Sapphire won't even appear on the shopping radar for personal use, but we all have people to buy for from time to time. The Sapphire sticks out at Newegg due to the large price difference against the competition, at least when it's in stock. For two months, we saw the drive during our SSD price audit we use to create our Best SSDs monthly column. The drive intrigued us, but it became a project after stumbling on Hyundai Technology at CES.

We didn't know what to expect because there isn't a lot of public information available about the Sapphire. For all we knew, the drive had an older SandForce controller. I'm glad we did take the time to test the very low-cost drive because it gave us a fresh look at the growing DRAMless market. There are several new products at Newegg and Amazon from Asian companies entering the US market with low-cost SSDs. I suspect many of those products use DRAMless designs, but there is no guarantee that what ships today will be the same configuration that ships tomorrow. The Asian SSD market and media don't hold the companies to the same high standards as we do in North America and Europe. All the companies building products for China and other less developed countries do not use the same tactics, but the bar is much lower.

Hyundai Technology is a US-based company, so we hope it doesn't play the same game as the imported products. Retailers import all SSDs, but company practices often change by region. Having a trusted low-cost SSD provider will go a long way with end users. When it comes to SSDs, many of the more established brands have let us down over the years. Once the trust is lost, it's difficult to recover, regardless of price. We will have to keep an eye on Hyundai and see if the company can build a solid reputation in the SSD market.

The Sapphire isn't a bad SSD for the price. It ships with a five-year warranty and is very cheap. Hyundai didn't try to advertise the drive for anything more than it is. That goes a long way. The drive is not a performance powerhouse, but it’s a good SSD for your parents to surf the web with and check email.


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  • AgentLozen
    This SSD seems to be competent enough in its price class. It's not something I would ever buy, but I can see it's appeal in low cost computers.

    I think I would feel better about this type of SSD in a year or two when 3D NAND phases out old planar stuff. By virtue of 3D memory's naturally high endurance and performance, this sort of SSD will become more desirable and less cringe worthy.
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    Surprisingly acceptable performance, given that it's a DRAMless drive from an unexpected brand. I was afraid it was going to be even worse than Sandisk's low-end junk (Z410, SSD Plus), but I guess not.

    Too bad they can't keep it in stock at $50. Newegg saying sold out, with a $193 price tag. Otherwise it would be an easy recommendation for budget builds.

    I'd like to see a design like this at the 500GB capacity point. I feel like that's a much more comfortable capacity if it's going to be the only drive in a system. And an SSD-only system is the dream. A ~$100 price would make that viable even on a fairly restricted budget.
    Reply
  • AgentLozen
    Sakkura said:
    I'd like to see a design like this at the 500GB capacity point. I feel like that's a much more comfortable capacity if it's going to be the only drive in a system. And an SSD-only system is the dream. A ~$100 price would make that viable even on a fairly restricted budget.

    I like the words you're typing.
    Reply
  • DavidC1
    It's actually better to get a regular modern HDD. SSDs like this will feel fast for a bit but will screech to a halt. That's much worse than a constant chug.

    The steady state performance is the real performance. Few hundred IOPs aren't better than HDDs, without mentioning the more complete stops you'll notice with these kind of drives.
    Reply
  • DavidC1
    "The Hyundai Sapphire provides inconsistent performance. In some application tests the drive performs well compared to the others, but in other tests, it falls well short of the competition."

    This is ridiculous. Most of the applications show less than 5% gain. I mean you are talking about saving 2-3 seconds at most.
    Reply
  • Reaver192
    DAVIDC1, would you mind explaining further type of systems you have encountered this with? I have seen that problem when people use aftermarket SSD's on macbooks because trim cannot be automatically enabled, and has to be reset after each update manually so trim is off and the users are not aware of it which will slow the drive speed dramatically over time. Is it a situation like this that you're referring to? I have not noticed that issue with any of my builds and my current PC has had numerous games installed and uninstalled on it, with a mediocre SSD at best. I'm interested in avoiding the pitfall you have mentioned. Thanks
    Reply
  • Gregory_3
    I'm surprised to see anyone still clinging to standard HDDs. I've been using multiple SSDs of various kinds for years, beginning with Intels. It's certainly possible to get along without them, but for serious gaming, they are absolutely essential in my view. If you computer is nothing more than an office tool, then the continued use of the HDD might make economic sense. But it won't be long before the prices eclipse and the whole matter will be settled.
    Reply
  • 4745454b
    The read/write speeds of 500+/400+ seemed good, but all the rest of the tests showed it being much slower than the other drives. After looking at the first test I thought it might be a good drive, but now I wouldn't touch it.
    Reply
  • raventothepowerofpi
    hdd's dont work if youre traveling though @davidc1
    Reply
  • JimmiG
    19766081 said:
    I'm surprised to see anyone still clinging to standard HDDs. I've been using multiple SSDs of various kinds for years, beginning with Intels. It's certainly possible to get along without them, but for serious gaming, they are absolutely essential in my view. If you computer is nothing more than an office tool, then the continued use of the HDD might make economic sense. But it won't be long before the prices eclipse and the whole matter will be settled.

    Well until you can buy 4 TB SSD's for under $200, I'll continue to "cling" to my HDD's.
    Reply