At $1,500, the 8TB monstrosity of an M.2 SSD will set you back the average price of a decent gaming laptop. But the Sabrent Rocket Q doesn't just push capacity to the highest we've seen with a slim M.2 SSD; it also impresses with the great performance and efficiency that comes courtesy of the new Phison E12S controller and 96L QLC flash.
QLC flash does have its downfalls, like lower endurance and slower write performance after the SLC write cache gets filled up during large file transfers, but the Phison E12S controller helps push the Rocket Q to the fastest performance we've seen from a QLC drive. The large dynamic write cache, a benefit of the massive capacity, also helps reduce the inherent performance issues that typically plague QLC SSDs.
There are a few things to keep in mind, though. The Rocket Q comes with a sophisticated LDPC error correction engine that helps provide viable write endurance during the warranty period. However, it's still about one-half to one-third of normal TLC SSD endurance. The warranty is a bit tricky, too. The drive comes with a one-year warranty, but you can extend that to five years if you register the drive within the first 90 days of purchase. That's a bit of a hassle.
Adata's XPG SX8200 Pro is a close competitor. Adata uses a very responsive overclocked SMI controller and Micron's equally-responsive TLC flash, so the SX8200 Pro is the better buy if you're looking for higher performance and longevity. The 2TB SX8200 Pro costs only a few dollars more at $260, which is well worth considering given the benefit of TLC flash. Otherwise, if you want to save a few bucks, the Rocket Q is close on performance and costs less. It even beats the WD Black SN750.
The same goes if you compare the Rocket Q to most other low-cost QLC NVMe and SATA competitors. The Sabrent Rocket Q M.2 NVMe SSD offers a lot of performance for your dollar against Intel's 660p, 665p, and Crucial's P1, and WD's Blue 3D.
But many people looking at the Sabrent Rocket Q are probably interested in its big capacity: The 8TB model leads the market in such a form factor. The only real drawback, besides the typical slow write speed we see with QLC SSDs after the write cache fills, is its hefty $1,500 price tag. Intel's Optane SSD 905P stands out as the only drive that can command such high pricing, but it doesn't offer the sheer capacity of the Rocket Q.
While it can't beat the mainstream TLC NAND-based SSDs in terms of write endurance, as long as the workload is within its cache, Sabrent's Rocket Q will perform wonderfully.
Sabrent's Rocket Q qualifies as one of the best bang-for-your-buck M.2 SSDs in the entry-level segment. You can pick and choose from the different capacity points, offering an upgrade for almost any budget. It can set you back a month's worth of rent for the spacious 8TB model, though.
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