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SK Hynix Gold S31 SATA SSD Review: SK Hynix Barrels Into US Market

SK Hynix barrels into the U.S. SSD market

Editor's Choice
(Image: © SK Hynix)

SK Hynix hit a homerun with the Gold S31, so while the company is late to enter the retail consumer SSD market in the USA, it apparently spent its time tweaking and tuning its new design to perform alongside the best. 

The Gold S31 delivers stellar performance for a SATA SSD: It consistently traded blows with the mainstream competition and proved itself a worthy adversary. The drive responded quickly to requests, and performance was still solid even after saturating the write cache. It was also rather efficient during file transfers, and at idle, too.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Gold S31 isn’t quite as flashy as some SSDs we have reviewed, but it holds its own with what seems like an Onigiri or rice ball-inspired label on the top of the silver case. It’s 2.5” 7mm form factor is large compared to M.2 options like Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro. Because it uses the SATA interface, it requires an extra cable that might detract from a clean-looking build, but that's par for the course with SATA drives.

The Gold S31 isn't quite as fast as NVMe options, but SK Hynix outfitted the S31 Gold with competitive endurance ratings and a five-year warranty. It's also priced very competitively, making it a top value at the time of writing and earning our recommendation. Overall, the Gold S31 is a good choice for the budget gamer or overclocker just as much as it is for those looking for an affordable and simple upgrade for their laptop or desktop.

MORE: Best SSDs

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  • mdd1963
    Impressive results...

    (I rarely use a SATA SSD larger than 500 GB or 1 TB anyway)

    However, with pricing roughly equal to Crucial's MX500, I'm not sure I'm willing to make the leap without someone else first taking the risk on reliability/endurance testing, etc...

    Given a need for a SATA drive, when someone else is paying, I'll take Samsung's 860 EVO

    When I am paying , it's Crucial MX500... :)

    Given a year's worth of history of lots of samples tested with few to no failures noted, I'll gladly try this Hynix unit, but, they will have to undercut Crucial by more than $3 or so.... Given equal pricing (which seems to be the case based on 1 TB unit current prices), I'd stick with Crucial at this point....
    Reply
  • computerprogrammer2028
    Currently I have a WD VelociRaptor 500 GB Workstation Hard drive: 3.5 inch/10000 RPM. The speed of which was blazing for a HDD. But is aging since I got it back in 2013 (7 years ago). So I decided to take a dive into the world of SSD's. I ran across the SK Hynix Gold and was impressed with the price for a 500GB SSD and the speed. I'm not so much concerned about reliability since I'm keep my old Raptor HDD and use it to backup the SSD. But with the review + a 5 year warranty, how can you lose here? The price is competitive as well with provided friendly migration tools. I'll miss using my Raptor, but no more noisy HDD mechanical drive, and welcome to the world of quiet and fast HDD's. One day I'll replace my Raptor HDD backup probably with a 1TB WS Blue drive(7200RPM) to take over backup chores, but at least it won't be due to a failed drive and lost data.
    Reply
  • thgmds
    I bought the SK hynix s31 500gb for my mac mini late 2012.
    Like any enthusiast running some tests I realized that DriveDx is showing me a note that I don't know what it is, the SMART test does not present any problem.

    Issue on driveDX:

    ID | NAME | TYPE | UPDATE | RAW VALUE | VALUE | THRESHOLD | WORST | LAST MODIFIED | STATUS
    204 Soft ECC Correction Life-span online 8.035 1 0 1 - 1.0% Warning

    This is a problem, should I call the guarantee?

    Thanks,


    Above have all log from DriveDx after 3 days of use.

    ### SYSTEM INFORMATION ###
    Report Timestamp : 20 de outubro de 2020 14:00:15 BRT
    Report Timestamp (ISO 8601 format) : 2020-10-20T14:00:15

    Application Name : DriveDx
    Application Version : 1.9.1.670
    Application SubBuild : 0
    Application Edition : Standalone
    Application Website : https://binaryfruit.com/drivedxDriveDx Knowledge Base Revision : 11/11

    Computer Name : Mac mini
    Host Name : Mac-mini
    Computer Model : Macmini6,2

    OS Boot Time : 2020-10-20T13:41:18
    Time Since Boot : 00h 18m 57s
    OS Name : macOS
    OS Version : 10.15.7
    OS Build : 19H2
    OS Kernel Version : Darwin 19.6.0

    SAT SMART Driver Version : N/A
    ATA Command Support Tolerance : verypermissive
    N of drives with S.M.A.R.T support : 1



    ### DRIVE 1 OF 1 ###
    Last Checked : 20 de outubro de 2020 13:59:14 BRT
    Last Checked (ISO 8601 format) : 2020-10-20T13:59:14

    Advanced SMART Status : OK
    Overall Health Rating : GOOD 97.6%
    Overall Performance Rating : BAD 1.0%
    SSD Lifetime Left Indicator : GOOD 100%
    Issues found : 1

    Serial Number : EN***WWN Id :
    Volumes : Machintosh
    Device Path : /dev/disk0
    Total Capacity : 500.1 GB (500.107.862.016 Bytes)
    Model : SHGS31-500GS-2
    Form Factor : 2.5 inches
    Firmware Version : 90000Q00
    Drive Type : SSD

    Power On Time : 8 hours (8 hours)
    Power Cycles Count : 13
    Current Power Cycle Time : 0.3 hours



    === DEVICE CAPABILITIES ===
    S.M.A.R.T. support enabled : yes
    DriveDx Active Diagnostic Config : Default SSD config Sector Logical Size : 512
    Sector Physical Size : 4096
    Physical Interconnect : SATA
    Logical Protocol : SATA
    Removable : no
    Ejectable : no
    ATA Version : ACS-3 (minor revision not indicated)
    SATA Version : SATA 3.2, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s)
    Bay # : 2
    I/O Path : IOService:/AppleACPIPlatformExpert/PCI0@0/AppleACPIPCI/SATA@1F,2/AppleIntelPchSeriesAHCI/PRT1@1/IOAHCIDevice@0/AppleAHCIDiskDriver/IOAHCIBlockStorageDevice
    Attributes Data Structure Revision : 0
    SMART Command Transport (SCT) flags : 0x0
    SCT Status supported : no
    SCT Feature Control supported : no
    SCT Data Table supported : no
    Error logging capabilities : 0x1
    Self-tests supported : yes
    Offline Data Collection capabilities : 0x51
    Offline Data Collection status : 0x2
    Auto Offline Data Collection flags : 0x0
    : no
    : 0xc0000020
    : 2020-10-20T13:59:14
    : 0x40000020
    : 0x1
    Last Email Report Timestamp : 2020-10-20T13:59:14
    Last Email Report Reason Flags : 0x40000020
    Last Email Report State Change Flags : 0x1


    === CURRENT POWER CYCLE STATISTICS ===
    Data Read : 1.5 GB
    Data Written : 2.9 GB
    Data Read/Write Ratio : 0.51
    Average Throughput (Read) : 39.9 MB/s
    Average Throughput (Write) : 186.4 MB/s

    Operations (Read) : 59.437
    Operations (Write) : 74.678
    Operations Read/Write Ratio : 1
    Throughput per operation (Read) : 26.6 KB/Op
    Throughput per operation (Write) : 41.2 KB/Op

    Latency Time (Read) : 0 ns
    Latency Time (Write) : 0 ns
    Retries (Read) : 0
    Retries (Write) : 0
    Errors (Read) : 0
    Errors (Write) : 0


    === PROBLEMS SUMMARY ===
    Failed Indicators (life-span / pre-fail) : 0 (0 / 0)
    Failing Indicators (life-span / pre-fail) : 0 (0 / 0)
    Warnings (life-span / pre-fail) : 1 (1 / 0)
    Recently failed Self-tests (Short / Full) : 0 (0 / 0)
    I/O Error Count : 0 (0 / 0)
    Time in Under temperature : 420 minutes
    Time in Over temperature : 0 minutes


    === IMPORTANT HEALTH INDICATORS ===
    ID NAME RAW VALUE STATUS
    5 Retired Block Count 0 100% OK
    177 Wear Leveling Count 1 100% OK
    179 Used Reserved Block Count Total 0 100% OK
    180 Unused Reserved Block Count Total 891 100% OK
    233 Media Wearout Indicator 0x64 100% OK
    241 Total LBAs Written 198 (99.0 KB) 100% OK


    === TEMPERATURE INFORMATION (CELSIUS) ===
    Current Temperature : 42
    Power Cycle Min Temperature : 37
    Power Cycle Max Temperature : 42
    Lifetime Min Temperature : 25
    Lifetime Max Temperature : 54
    Recommended Min Temperature : -20
    Recommended Max Temperature : 80
    Temperature Min Limit : -20
    Temperature Max Limit : 80


    === DRIVE HEALTH INDICATORS ===
    ID | NAME | TYPE | UPDATE | RAW VALUE | VALUE | THRESHOLD | WORST | LAST MODIFIED | STATUS
    1 Raw Read Error Rate Life-span online 0x0 166 6 166 - 97.6% OK
    5 Retired Block Count Life-span online 0 100 36 100 - 100% OK
    9 Power On Hours Life-span online 8 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    12 Power Cycle Count Life-span online 13 100 20 100 - 100% OK
    100 Vendor Specific Life-span online 0x35AE 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    168 Vendor Specific Life-span online 0x1 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    169 Vendor Specific Life-span online 0x2 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    171 Program Fail Count Total Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    172 Erase Fail Count Total Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    174 Unexpected Power Loss Count Life-span online 5 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    175 Program Fail Count Chip Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    176 Erase Fail Count Chip Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    177 Wear Leveling Count Life-span online 1 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    178 Used Reserved Block Count Chip Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    179 Used Reserved Block Count Total Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    180 Unused Reserved Block Count Total Life-span online 891 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    184 End-to-End Error Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    187 Flash Read Fail Count Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    188 Command Timeout Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    194 Temperature (Celsius) Life-span online 42 58 30 46 - 40.0% OK
    195 Hardware ECC Recovered Life-span online 0x0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    196 Reallocated Event Count Life-span online 0 100 36 100 - 100% OK
    198 Offline Uncorrectable Block Count Life-span offline 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    199 UDMA CRC Error Count Life-span online 0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    204 Soft ECC Correction Life-span online 8.035 1 0 1 - 1.0% Warning
    212 Vendor Specific Life-span online 0x9C 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    233 Media Wearout Indicator Pre-fail online 0x64 100 1 100 - 100% OK
    234 Vendor Specific Life-span online 0xC0 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    241 Total LBAs Written Life-span online 198 (99.0 KB) 100 0 100 - 100% OK
    242 Total LBAs Read Life-span online 177 (88.5 KB) 100 0 100 - 100% OK



    === DRIVE ERROR LOG ===
    error log is empty


    === DRIVE SELF-TEST LOG ===
    # | LIFETIME (H) | TEST TYPE | PROGRESS | STATUS | LBA of 1st error
    1 8 Short offline 100% Completed without error -



    === DEVICE STATISTICS ===

    General Statistics (revision 1)
    0x08 Lifetime Power-on Resets : 13
    0x10 Power-on Hours : 8 hours
    0x18 Logical Sectors Written : 387.132.407 (184.6 GB)
    0x20 Number of Write Commands : 4.002.025
    0x28 Logical Sectors Read : 346.085.957 (165.0 GB)
    0x30 Number of Read Commands : 6.889.375
    0x38 Date and Time TimeStamp : 28.800.000 ms

    General Errors Statistics (revision 1)
    0x08 Number of Reported Uncorrectable Errors : 0
    0x10 Resets Between Cmd Accept. and Compl. : 0

    Temperature Statistics (revision 1)
    0x08 Current Temperature : 42 °C
    0x20 Highest Temperature : 54 °C
    0x28 Lowest Temperature : 25 °C
    0x50 Time in Over-Temperature : 0 minutes
    0x58 Specified Max Operating Temperature : 80 °C
    0x60 Time in Under-Temperature : 420 minutes
    0x68 Specified Min Operating Temperature : -20 °C

    Transport Statistics (revision 1)
    0x08 Number of Hardware Resets : 54
    0x18 Number of Interface CRC Errors : 0

    Solid State Drive Statistics (revision 1)
    0x08 Percentage Used Endurance Indicator : 0 %
    Reply