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SK Hynix Adds 2TB Model to P31 Line, Our Favorite Laptop SSD

SK Hynix
(Image credit: SK Hynix)

SK hynix has expanded its Gold P31 family of SSDs with a high-capacity 2TB option. These drives are considered to be among the fastest and most energy-efficient SSDs with a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface in the industry, holding a spot on our Best SSDs page as our favorite pick for laptops. With the addition of 2TB versions, SK hynix's Gold P31 family will be able to address applications that require higher storage capacities. 

The SK hynix Gold P31 SSD lineup is based on the company's homegrown Cepheus controller, coupled with an LPDDR4-4266 DRAM cache as well as 128-layer 3D TLC NAND memory. The manufacturer rates its Gold P31 2TB drive for an up to 3500 MB/s sequential read speed and an up to 3200 MB/s sequential write speed (when pSLC cache is enabled), which is very high for a PCIe 3.0 SSD. As for random read/write performance, SK hynix says claims up to 570K for random 4KB reads and up to 600K for random 4KB writes.

(Image credit: SK Hynix)

But while performance of SK hynix's Gold P31 SSD looks impressive, power efficiency is where SK hynix's Cepheus controller truly shines. Formally, all of SK hynix's Gold P31 drives are rated for up to 6.3 Watts power consumption in active mode. But in keeping in mind that the Gold P31 SSD 500TB barely consumed 3W of power under peak loads, it is reasonable to expect the 2TB version to stay in around the same ballpark.  

Power consumption may not be the most important characteristic of a desktop SSD, but it is very important for notebooks. Keeping in mind that SK hynix equips its Gold P31 SSD with a thin heat spreader, the drives are indeed a good fit for laptops.  

Yet another advantage offered by SK hynix's Gold P31 2TB SSD is its endurance. The drive is rated for up to 1200TBW (terabytes  written), or 0.32 drive writes per day (DWPD) over five years. While definitely not a record, a 0.32 DWPD rating is still high when compared to cheap 3D QLC-based offerings. 

SK hynix has already started to sell its Gold P31 2TB SSD at Amazon. The current price is rather high: $279.99 is comparable to prices of considerably faster 2TB SSDs with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface and is higher when compared to drives with a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. But perhaps as stock increases, the drive will dip to more reasonable price levels.