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.
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.
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