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dBrand Darkplates 2.0 PS5 & SSD Review and Temperature Tests

7 mars 2022 à 01:08

dBrand Darkplates – Are they Good or Bad for your PS5 SSD & System Temperatures?


The Playstation 5 is one of the oddest looking consoles in…well.. ever! I think we can all agree that when Sony unveiled the console, a large number of us assumed it was concept art, or a tech demo. But no, the PS5 is white and black, has fins and is huge! When they announced that the side plates of the system were removable, it took all of about 10 minutes for brands to start getting to work on replacement side panels (or ‘Plates’) for the console in a multitude of colours and patterns. Sony, needless to say, immediately started pursuing legal action against these companies for infringement of their design and intellectual property without permission and of all the companies that received this legal onslaught, very few made the headlines as loudly as Brand and their Darkplate series. Thanks to a combination of speed of producing concepts, to an arguable savvy social marketing management team, they appeared on the bulk of mainstream gamer news sites and editorial platforms with their ‘illicit’ Darkplates. Sony won the battle of course, but dBrand seems to feel they can win the war with the release of their Darkplate 2.0, a new take on the shape and presentation of the PS5 plates, featuring additional ventilation, a tongue in cheek reference to their legal battles (with a user highlighting to me that the binary 01101 etc embossed inside is translated to the cease and decide Sony issued Brand) and creates a much more compact looking system that can also arrive in multiple colours, patterns and optional LED lighting. Now, I generally never look at things like this on NASCompares, as I focus almost exclusively on storage (NAS, DAS, HDDs, SSDs, Switches, Routers, IP Cameras, etc, etc), however, the Brand DARKPLATE 2.0 covers open up TWO important area of concern for some buyers that ARE very much in my/NASCompares wheelhouse. 1, Do these plates undermine or nullify the negative pressure air in/air out system the PS5 uses with its central fan and 2) if an m.2 SSD expansion drive is installed in the available bay of the PS5 (also inevitable given the baseline storage the system has and AAA games in 2022 onwards), does the increased block of heat that the SSD+HEATSINK+M.2 Cover panels result in ambient heat that the system is not efficiently ejecting? So, today I want to talk a little about these plates, but more importantly, run a series of tests that measure the temperature of the internal system AND the SSD expansion bay in a series of different setup scenarios. But, before we go any further, let’s take a closer look at the dBrand Darkplates themselves and how they install/look on the PS5

DESIGN - 9/10
QUALITY - 9/10
EFFECTIVENESS - 7/10
PRICE - 4/10
VALUE - 4/10


6.6
PROS
👍🏻Nice design, feel, patterns and colours
👍🏻In shape when deployed makes the system look a lot more subtle and understated (no tall fins)
👍🏻
👍🏻The Vented dark plate vents do not seemingly undermine the PS5 negative pressure cooling
👍🏻
👍🏻Mesh covered vents can be removed for cleaning
CONS
👎🏻Quite pricey for what you are getting
👎🏻The vented panels seem largely useless throughout temp testing

 

Twice the Price – What’s the Difference?

The Design and Cooling Differences of the Brand Darkplates 2.0 for PS5?


So, first and foremost, the vent panels of the Brand Darkplates. These are not featured on the official PS5 plates and are one of the biggest differences between the two (and almost certainly form part of the argument that these are not infringing on Sony’s copyright. It should be highlighted though that there are not fan-assisted, they do not connect with any internal/USB power source to increase airflow and are designed to be used above the existing PS5 system fan to allow more air to be pulled into the system before it gets pushed out the back of the console. This is where the concern is for some regarding how these pass airflow vents will undermine the PS5 active cooling system when in operation.



Fairplay to Brand, the presentation of the Darkplate 2.0 kit is incredibly chic, with a box that opens from the middle on dual hinges that reveals the individual plates wrapped in plastic and black foam, then cleaning fabric and a Darkplate 2.0 reference card. It’s all very modern in presentation and dBrand make several references to the Sony legal action, their ‘fight the man style stance and generally trying to promote this as more than just plastic for your home console. It is all laid on pretty thick, but it’s still a good retail kit.



One question many buyers have about the dBrand Darkplates is about value for money. Once you step aside from the marketing and legal fandango, you are looking at type plastic plates for your PS5 that are $59 to buy. Now, Sony is already releasing their own plates now at a notably higher price, but also you need to factor in that ALOT of budget eTailers (eshops, online retailers, etc) are now selling plain black budget plates for upgrading your PS5 for just $29 – half the price fo the black dBrand Darkplates. You can also add that if you wanted to upgrade your PS5 with a new SSD and wanted to ensure low operating temperatures and/of the longevity of the SSD, then you can look at PS5 designed SSD heatsinks for the system for as little as $20. So that means that the dBrand Darkplates 2.0 arriving at $59 puts it very much in a price bracket than many might think. The PS5 designed heatsink as an optional purchase is particularly pertinent as not only will it ensure that your PS5 SSD runs at a much better general heat level, but it does so with little/no impact on the system cooling (testing here on NASCompares several times in 2021/2022). So, do the dBrand Darkplates keep the system running cool still?

How the dBrand Darkplate PS5 Temperature Testing was Conducted?


For this test, I used the following components in four different hardware configurations, with each test cycle featuring four individual components that feature heavy Write activity actioned by moving 300GB of data from the internal system SSD and over to the expansion SSD, gameplay of two PS5 titles located on the SSD and a heavy Read activity by moving the games back onto the default system storage. When each test was completed, I turned the system completely off for 15 minutes and removed the side plates between tests, to allow the system the chance to dissipate heat. This seemed reasonable instead of leaving the system off for hours at a time to completely cool naturally and as long as all tests were afforded this same cool-down period equally, it still kept things even. Here are the hardware components used in this these tests:

  • PS5 System
  • Original Official Cover Plates
  • Seagate Firecuda 530 1TB SSD with EK Official Heatsink
  • Seagate Firecuda 530 1TB SSD without Heatsink
  • M.2 SSD Cover Plate
  • Sabrent PS5 Designed Heatsink
  • Twin Node Temperature Sensor

In all tests, a temperature node was placed an inch beneath the core system fan to measure ambient system temperature at all times. This was to see if 1, the ventilated debrand plates prevented the PS5 negative pressure cooling doing its job and 2, to see if the additional heat of the SSD with/without a cover would particularly increase heat in light of the brand plates changing the system passive cooling system. The first thing to do was to get a default/baseline from the PS5 system in all these tests, so I set up the PS5 in its original plates. I installed the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD, set in place the metal m.2 cover plate, closed the system side plates and then begun running the tests on this ‘control’ or ‘baseline’ setup.



After the first range of tests were completed, I removed the official PS5 cover plates, left the system to cool for an hour (removing and then replacing the SSD at the start and end including the m.2 cover plate), then added the dBrand Darkplates to repeat all the tests.



The range of tests and operations were repeated in this near-identical setup (but with new plates) around 2 hours after the start of the first tests and with little meaningful change in the room temperature.



Next, I wanted to see what impact that m.2 cover plate had on the running of the PS5 with the dBrand plates, so after test phase 2 was completed, I powered the device down and removed the m.2 cover plate. This time I did not leave it covering the SSD during test phase 3. The Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD used for these tests features its official EK gaming heatsink and it would be interesting to see if the additional passive ventilation in the dBrand plates would allow the air to be better drawn through the m.2 SSD bays even slightly.



After Test Phase 3 was completed, I had one final test and that was using the Sabrent PS5 designed heatsink inside the dBrand darkplate setup. Swapping the Seagate Firecuda 530 EK Heatsink version in favour of the bare/non-H/S version for this test, I installed it + the Sabrent heatsink and then replaced the Darkplates for testing as before. It would be interesting to see if the increased surface mass of the Sabrent would possibly benefit from the dBrand plates and/or if the system would be impacted in any way.



So, there you have it. Those were the tests. So, now let’s go through the results and everything we observed. It is worth remembering that the temperature for the airflow/ambient temps inside the PS5 between each test (due to factors such as the time of day and surrounding room temp that were beyond my control) at the start and end of each test cycle had a few degrees of difference between tests and although I will be adding start/end temp levels into consideration, the increase between them inside each test will be primarily what I will compare, as it will demonstrate how well the system adapted/adjusted to the change in hardware setup. For the SSD temperature, I have used CrystalDisk for PC to access the logs of the SSD controller and see how the SSD changed temp throughout the four tests each time. The spike in the graphs represent the peak of the heat recorded during each test and decreased between tests. This temp was NOT a constant and just shows its highest point.


Key – Heavy-Write = Heavy Write Activity (300GB) moving games from internal PS5 Storage to M.2 SSD, Far-Cry-6 = Far Cry 6 Gameplay, Demon -Souls = Demon Souls Gameplay, Heavy-Read = Heavy Read Activity (300GB) moving games from M.2 SSD to internal PS5 Storage

Original PS5 PLATES + Seagate FC530 H/S + M.2 Cover Test Results


In test one, I used the original PS5 Plates, the Seagate Firecuda 530 H/S Edition and the m.2 expansion cover plate. Here are the results:

Type of Reading

Ambient System Temp.

SSD Controller Peak Temp.

Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.8 = 0.6°C

45°C

Far-Cry-6

21.6 > 24.0 = 2.4°C

43°C

Demon -Souls

22.8 > 26.6 = 3.8°C

48°C

Heavy-Read

20.8 > 24.3 = 3.5°C

51°C


The general system temperature throughout the tests was quite normal for the PS5 (as you would expect in this default setup) but the SSD controller temperature was higher than I would have liked (especially compared to a PC setup) and a lot of that can be blamed on that M.2 cover plate. I have raised this before, but I do not think the cover for the M.2 is a good design for a closed system like the PS5.



 

dBrand PLATES +Seagate FC530 H/S + M.2 Cover Test Results


The next test was the dBrand Darkplates this time, but still with the same Seagate Firecuda 530 H/S SSD and m.2 cover plate. This was mainly to see if the additional ventilation would be a positive/negative to the system’s negative cooling (as its introduction of two meshed vents had to make an impact!).

Type of Reading

Ambient System Temp.

SSD Controller Peak Temp.

Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.5 = 0.3°C

28°C

Far-Cry-6

20.4 > 22.2 = 1.8°C

39°C

Demon -Souls

21.0 > 24.0 = 3.0°C

44°C

Heavy-Read

20.9 > 24.8 = 3.9°C

47°C


The SSD temperatures were still predictably high, because of that m.2 cover, but overall the system temperature was very close to the official test temperatures and in some cases even managed to be a little cooler. Below is the temperature of the SSD controller at each test. Still higher than in a PC/Open setting, but a pinch lower.



 

dBrand PLATES + Seagate FC530 H/S + NO M.2 Cover Test Results


Next I wanted to remove the m.2 plate from the equation, so I repeated the previous test setup hardware WITHOUT the M.2 cover plate. Would allowing more active airflow in contact with the SSD heatsink help?

Type of Reading

Ambient System Temp.

SSD Controller Peak Temp.

Heavy-Write

21.3 > 21.0 = -0.3°C

18°C

Far-Cry-6

20.1 > 23.2 = 3.1°C

29°C

Demon -Souls

20.9 > 22.2 = 1.3°C

39°C

Heavy-Read

22.2 > 24.0 = 1.8°C

45°C


Overall the numbers were better for the SSD but negligible for the ambient temps. Nothing incredible and certainly not something that makes the dBrand plates worth the $59 asde from their look, but they did seem to run a slightly cooler system temp most of the time. The SSD controller was definitely a noticeable degree lower in running temp and although it still reached a height of 45 degrees after all the tests, it maintained the lower temperature recording for longer than the previous two tests.



 

dBrand PLATES + Seagate FC530 H/S + Sabrent PS5 H/S Test Results


The final test was the most unofficial sony one of the three, using the dBrand plates in conjunction with the Sabrent PS5 designed heatsink. This heatsink fills the entire M.2 slot and is raised slightly from the expansion aby in order for active airflow drawn by that internal fan to travel over/through the grooves of the heatsink. Use of the Sabrent heatsink means that I have to switch the Firecuda 530 SSD out for the same SSD but without the official/pre-applied heatsink. Now, the question here is that if the system internal negative pressure cooling is not as efficient with the vented panel of the dBrand plates, will that means that air flow over the Sabrent heatsink will be reduced (as the air gets pulled through the circular vents of the plates and not the grooved front vents of the PS5 normally?

Type of Reading

Ambient System Temp.

SSD Controller Peak Temp.

Heavy-Write

21.9 > 22.4 = 0.5°C

28°C

Far-Cry-6

19.8 > 24.9 = 5.1°C

32°C

Demon -Souls

20.3 > 22.9 = 2.6°C

33°C

Heavy-Read

18.5 > 20.9 (fan increased) = 2.4°C

38°C


Overall, this was a great test and the SSD temperature was at its lowest here than in any other test. The ambient system temperature was good too, lower at boot and by the end of a test wave than any other test. The only thing that marred it slightly was the fact the system fans appeared to ramp up in the closing stages of the heavy read test.



Let’s compare each test vs the default setup below.


In all four scenarios, games were being loaded from the Seagate Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD inside the PS5 expansion bay and an interesting take from this is the varying differences in temperature between them (in the white and red graphs) that, even if you factor small changes in the environmental temperatures around the machine, are still notably different, the more access airflow had to those heatsinks. Likewise, you can see that the temperatures displayed for the ambient system temperature were from the last seconds of each test in jsut the standard setup in conjunction with either plate set choice were still incredibly similar. Therefore I think this indicates that the system temp with the dBrand plates is still comparable in either setup (at most 1-2 degrees of difference):

Click to view slideshow.

Comparing the initial setup with dBrand and Official PS5 plates side by side, you can see that most fo the internal PS5 temperatures were largely identical and it’s only really on the SSD controller reports that we see a significant difference (with the dBrand SSD heatsink being the lower temperature at boot, but closing in on the same temp as the official plates as each test was completed. Overall, comparing these showed (at least to me) that the use of the dBrand plates did not impact the PS5 system operational temp levels negatively.


RESULTS:

TEST Original PS5 Plates + SSD + M.2 Cover

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 PS5 Plates + SSD + M.2 Cover

Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max
Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.8 = 0.6°C

45°C

20.2 > 20.5 = 0.3°C

28°C

Far-Cry-6

21.6 > 24.0 = 2.4°C

43°C

20.4 > 22.2 = 1.8°C

39°C

Demon -Souls

22.8 > 26.6 = 3.8°C

48°C

21.0 > 24.0 = 3.0°C

44°C

Heavy-Read

20.8 > 24.3 = 3.5°C

51°C

20.9 > 24.8 = 3.9°C

47°C


 

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 vs Original PS5 Plates (WITHOUT m.2 Cover Plate)


Whereas if we look at comparing the default PS5 setup+SSD+m.2 cover against the dBrand plates+SSD+no cover, we see that temperatures were even better for the SSD controller. In terms of ambient airflow, the uncovered SSD heatsink did not really negatively impact the PS5 system and in the areas, it did get hotter than the official PS5 plates and cover, it was very small indeed and negligible at best!


RESULTS:

TEST Original PS5 Plates + SSD + M.2 Cover

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 PS5 Plates + SSD + NO M.2 Cover

Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max
Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.8 = 0.6°C

45°C

21.3 > 21.0 = -0.3°C

18°C

Far-Cry-6

21.6 > 24.0 = 2.4°C

43°C

20.1 > 23.2 = 3.1°C

29°C

Demon -Souls

22.8 > 26.6 = 3.8°C

48°C

20.9 > 22.2 = 1.3°C

39°C

Heavy-Read

20.8 > 24.3 = 3.5°C

51°C

22.2 > 24.0 = 1.8°C

45°C


 

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 vs Original PS5 Plates (with m.2 Cover Plate)


Finally, there is comparing the default setup of the official plates versus using the dBrand Darkplates, M.2 SSD and the Sabrent PS5 designed heatsink. The controller was easily at it’s coolest point on the tests using the Sabrent heatsink, which wasn’t a big surprise. However, what really stood out was that the heat increase inside the PS5 system (although STARTING lower) increased quite quickly. Even though it was still lower than the SSD+official heatsink+m.2, it increased fast enough to make me wonder if the additional vents of the dBrand design lost some of that sucked in airflow directly next to the Sabrent heatsink. Here is how they compare:


RESULTS:

TEST Original PS5 Plates + SSD + M.2 Cover

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 PS5 Plates + SSD + SABRENT HEATSINK

Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max
Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.8 = 0.6°C

45°C

21.9 > 22.4 = 0.5°C

28°C

Far-Cry-6

21.6 > 24.0 = 2.4°C

43°C

19.8 > 24.9 = 5.1°C

32°C

Demon -Souls

22.8 > 26.6 = 3.8°C

48°C

20.3 > 22.9 = 2.6°C

33°C

Heavy-Read

20.8 > 24.3 = 3.5°C

51°C

18.5 > 20.9 (fan increased) = 2.4°C

38°C


Throughout Feb 2022, I will be publishing the videos of my tests (x3 videos) and they will be published below. Take a look at them as they get published, as well as my video detailing the results of temperature testing of the Sabrent PS5 SSD heatsink:


Note: if a video is showing as ‘unavailable’, it means it is still awaiting publication in the schedule and will be coming soon.

dBrand Darkplate 2.0 Temp Test 1

dBrand Darkplate 2.0 Temp Test 2

dBrand Darkplate 2.0 Temp Test 3

Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Temp Test


 

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 for PS5 and Keeping it Cool? – Conclusion & Verdict


Overall, I would say that the pricetag of the dBrand Darkplates is a lot more about having a unique looking and possibly better design looking PS5 in your home, than it is about improvements on systems temperatures and efficiency. The $59 price tag of the base/default dBrand Darkplate 2.0 kit is quite steep, when there are budget $25-30 PS5 plate kits in the market right now and the ventilation that forms a big part of the design of these newly refreshed designed plates looks interesting/effective, but in reality seems to change the operating temperature of the PS5 very little. Therefore although they don’t seem to improve the temperatures much, it can be argued that the plates do NOT undermine or negatively affect the PS5’s negative cooling system. Regarding their use in conjunction with an SSD, m.2 PC style heatsink or a PS5 designed alternative, the differences between identical setups with the official PS5 plates or Darkplates were too similar to declare any form of advantage. Ultimately, in 2022, if you want the SSD that is housing your bigger games to run at its coolest, investing in a better system designed heatsink or running without the m.2 cover plate is much, much more recommended than upgrading cover plates. I like the look, feel, presentation and overall design of the dBrand Darkplates, I just question whether they are worth $59, or double the price of budget plate replacements out there.

PROs of the dBrand Darkplates 2.0 CONs of the dBrand Darkplates 2.0
Nice design, feel, patterns and colours

In shape when deployed makes the system look a lot more subtle and understated (no tall fins)


The Vented dark plate vents do not seemingly undermine the PS5 negative pressure cooling


Mesh covered vents can be removed for cleaning

Quite pricey for what you are getting

The vented panels seem largely useless throughout temp testing



 


 

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PS5 SSD Comparison 2022 – Seagate Firecuda 530 vs WD Black SN850 vs Samsung 980 Pro vs Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

28 février 2022 à 02:23

PS5 Loading Comparison of the WD Black SN850, Seagate Firecuda 530, Samsung 980 and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD


The Playstation 5 has had the support of SSD storage upgrades now for the better part of half a year and in that time, ALOT of different SSDs have arrived on the scene that make promises to be your PERFECT PS5 SSD upgrade. However, despite all of these more modern releases, there are still four SSDs that arrived on the scene BEFORE sony enabled the SSD expansion feature of the PS5 that are among the very best performing SSDs in the system right now. These are the Samsung 980 Pro (released in Autumn 2020), the WD Black SN850 (also released in Autumn 2020), the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus (released in winter 2020/2021) and finally the Seagate Firecuda 530 (released in summer 2021). These four SSDs are not only easily the most popular SSDs for PS5 SSD upgrades among the majority of gamers, but they also bring different unique qualities each that make the stand out – Value, Price, Durability and IOPs (more understandable as the reactivity in practice). I have discussed these four SSDs several times on NASCompares and on the NC YouTube channel, but now in 2022 with so many different options in the market to choose from, do these SSDs still cut the mustard? And if they do, which one does the best job? Let’s compare these SSDs in PS5 performance.


Note – I compared these four SSDs last year when the PS5 SSD expansion option was enabled and you can find my first wave of tests below:


PS5 SSD Faceoff I (video)- WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 vs Samsung 980 vs Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD


PS5 SSD Faceoff II (video)- WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 vs Samsung 980 vs Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD


PS5 SSD Faceoff ALL (article)- WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 vs Samsung 980 vs Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD

Test 1 – Spiderman Miles Morales #1


A PS5 launch title, this test comprised of seeing which SSD loaded the game world (from the title screen) the fastest. The difference was INCREDIBLY small and came down to the frame!



Winner – Samsung 980 Pro, 03:966 Seconds

Test 2 – Spiderman Miles Morales #2


Sticking with Spiderman Miles Morales, the next test is an in-game world load, fast travelling to another part of the open world. Again, a very quick load and all four SSDs were incredibly close.



Winner – DRAW, Samsung 980 PRO / Seagate Firecuda 530, 04.166 Seconds (less than a single frame between them)

Test 3 – Lego Worlds


Switching back to a PS4 title, I selected Lego Worlds as it is a surprisingly long loading game for the previous generation that (despite the PS5’s increased power and NVMe SSD performance) is quite a demanding game to load into its open world, sandbox mode. Each test for a completely fresh, randomized sandbox mode without internet connectivity involved. I measured this (as it is a dynamic loading screen) at which SSD hit 100% asset loading first.



Winner – WD Black SN850, 25:087 Seconds (Seagate Firecuda 530 shortly afterwards)

Test 4 – Deathloop


Released in late 2021, Deathloop is a fast-paced game that is semi-open-world and prioritized its framerate and colourful assets. This test was direct from title screen load and into an early stage of the game. Loading was compared from the immediate load screen (as the title screen animation can vary)



Winner – WD Black SN850, 07.050 Seconds (Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus shortly after)

Test 5 – CALL OF DUTY WARZONE


A very popular game on all platforms, Call of Duty Warzone is a very tough game to test as it is ‘always-online’ and cannot be played without a server connection that is hit every time any action is performed at the title screen/menus. This test tried to remove as much of the server connection as possible, using bots only training match, but still had server connections that could not be avoided (so these should be taken into account). Loading was deemed ‘completed’ when you had character control (existing aircraft immediately as the option appeared for control)



Winner – Seagate Firecuda 530, 01:13:085 Minutes (WD Black Closely behind)

Test 6 – SPIDERMAN PS5 REMASTERED #1


The next test was very similar to tests 1 and 2, but this time with Spiderman, remastered for the PS5 using the Miles Morales engine upgrades, and the initial test was once again measuring the time it took the game to load into the world from the title screen. Once again, incredible close and came down to the frame and took less that 2-3 seconds across the four.



Winner – Seagate Firecuda 530, 01:854 Seconds

Test 7 – SPIDERMAN PS5 REMASTERED #2


Back to Spiderman Remaster for a 2nd test. A fast/travel test ‘in world’ much like the test with Spiderman M/M. Once again, lightning-fast loading was the order of the day.



Winner – Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, 03.839 Seconds

Test 8 – Ghost of Tsushima: Legends #1


The next test was using the PS5 version (Directors cut) of Ghost of Tsushima. Using the Legends mode, I was able to set up two different instances of direct-to-game world loading from the main menu. Each test transition ALSO includes an opening world overview cut scene that includes in-world assets (i.e silent background loading with the player watching fixed views), so ‘full’ loading in both instances was judged at the point when the player was given character movement control (the fade-in-effect). The first test, focusing on a tightly knit but graphically detailed area, went like this:



Winner – TIE, Samsung 980 PRO and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, 27:774 Seconds

Test 9 – Ghost of Tsushima: Legends #2


Moving on to test two of Ghost of Tsushima, legends mode, this was another open-world area that has an enormous amount of NPCs to factor in and a larger area. Results were as follows:



Winner – Three-way Tie, Samsung 980 PRO, WD Black SN850 and Seagate Firecuda 530, 39:164 Seconds

Test 10 – ROCKET LEAGUE


Another popular multi-platform game, the next test used Rocket League. A single exhibition match test, using bots 4v4, this was never going to be a particularly taxing test but included because this is such a popular game for many.



Winner – Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, 06:654 Seconds (but only a few frames ahead of all other SSDs)

Test 11 – LAST OF US PART 2 #1


Arriving at the tail end of the PS4 generation’s place as the top gen, Last of Us Part II is an incredibly hefty game (in terms of performance and graphics) and this is achieved with incredibly subtle use of silent/background loading throughout the game’s campaign and also a substantial title-screen to game loading time (one of the loading games of its generation with only the likes of GTA V and RDR2 in the same league). A massive combination of heavy chunks of data and a horrendously large number of smaller files. Put that all together and you have a bit of a loading nightmare for lesser SSDs! Two tests were conducted on Last of Us Part II with these SSDs. The first test featured an incredibly closed in area of the game that cannot afford the luxury of exchanging high-quality textures and assets in favour of lower ones (typically accessible via fixed camera work or distance management). Here is how it turned out in the SSD comparison.



Winner – Samsung 980 PRO, 46.654 Seconds (it loaded ALOT faster and although the difference was negligible in repeated tests, it still was the fastest each time)

Test 12 – LAST OF US PART 2 #2


The 2nd test of The Last of Us Part 2 was in a significantly more open area that on the one had afforded the game the luxury of loading out assets in favour of lesser ones that were unseen/far away, but also had a larger base level of assets to load in initially from the title screen load. Here is how the WD Black SN850, Seagate Firecuda 530, Samsung 980 Pro and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD compared:



Winner – TIE, Seagate Firecuda 530 and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, 01:36.638 Minutes


So, those were the tests, let’s tally up the results! No ‘half points’ in the case of a tie/draw, as even if two or more SSDs loaded at the same pace, it is still a win for both!


Note – If you want to check out the continuous testing of the WD Black SN850, Seagate Firecuda 530, Samsung 980 and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD for PS5, we have been testing these four SSDs (and many others) over on our YouTube Channel. If you want to check out the playlist for each SSD below, you can use one of the 4 links here.


Click to load the respective video playlist in another tab/window:


Seagate Firecuda 530 PS5 SSD Playlist


WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Playlist


Samsung 980 Pro PS5 SSD Playlist


Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PS5 SSD Playlist

WD Black SN850, Seagate Firecuda 530, Samsung 980 Pro and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD Comparison – The Results


Going through the results, we are able to see that the overall winners on points are the Seagate Firecuda 530 and Samsung 980 Pro SSDs. Also, they were notably similar in the games they succeeded at (a lot of ties/draws).



Samsung 980 Pro – 5


Seagate Firecuda 530 – 5


Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus – 4


WD Black SN850 – 3


 

TOP 4 Recommended PS5 Storage Expansion Compatible SSDs

WD Black SN850


Seagate Firecuda 530


Samsung 980 Pro


SABRENT Rocket 4 Plus


500GB – $169.99

1TB – $249.99


2TB – $549.99

500GB – $149.99

1TB – $239.99


2TB – $489.99


4TB – $949.99.

250GB – $69.99

500GB – $119.99


1TB – $199.99


2TB – $429.99

1TB – $200

2TB – $469.99


4TB – $999.99


If you are interested in learning more, I have reviewed all four of these SSDs here on NASCompares and a lot with a barrage of PS5 tests for this article, the reviews have all featured around 16 different PC benchmark tests via CrystalDisk, ATTO, AS SSD and AJA performance. Find out more below.

SPEED - 9/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻Highest PCIe 4×4 M.2 Performance Right Now
👍🏻176 Layer 3D TLC NAND is Unparalleled right now
👍🏻
👍🏻Best Example of Phison E18 Performance
👍🏻
👍🏻Highest Endurance PCIe Gen 4×4 M.2 SSD Right Now
👍🏻
👍🏻Inclusive Data Recovery Services
👍🏻
👍🏻PS5 Compatibility Fully Confirmed
👍🏻
👍🏻Available in up to 4TB
CONS
👎🏻Costs more than most
👎🏻Heatsink is an Additional Purchase
SPEED - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻FINALLY, a first-party heatsink for the Samsung 980 Pro
👍🏻One of the first PS5 Expansion Compatibility confirmed SSDs
👍🏻
👍🏻Performance still stands up well in 2022 (almost 1.5yrs since original release)
👍🏻
👍🏻Impressively dense NAND for one of the earliest gen PCIe 4 SSDs still
👍🏻
👍🏻Still has some of the highest 4K Random IOPS in the market
👍🏻
👍🏻Very, VERY good temperature reports in PC use during sustained use
👍🏻
👍🏻Very Good Pricing Now
CONS
👎🏻Heat dissipation in a PS5 environment was not as good as I hoped (PS5 closed bay design at fault really)
👎🏻Traditional Write performance, even at 2TB, looks a little lacklustre against the competition in 2022
👎🏻
👎🏻Still no 4TB version commercially available
SPEED - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻High Availability Worldwide
👍🏻
👍🏻One of the first PS5 Expansion Compatibility confirmed SSDs
👍🏻
👍🏻Performance still stands up well in 2022 (almost 1.5yrs since original release)
👍🏻
👍🏻Impressively dense NAND for one of the earliest gen PCIe 4 SSDs still
👍🏻
👍🏻Still has some of the highest 4K Random IOPS in the market
👍🏻
👍🏻Very Good Pricing Now
👍🏻
👍🏻Regular Firmware updates
CONS
👎🏻Heat dissipation in a PS5 environment was not as good as I hoped (PS5 closed bay design at fault really)
👎🏻
👎🏻Traditional Write performance, even at 2TB, looks a little lacklustre against the competition in 2022
👎🏻
👎🏻Still no 4TB version commercially available
SPEED - 9/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻Genuinely Impressive Performance
👍🏻One of the Affordable 7,000MB/s Drive on the Market
👍🏻
👍🏻PS5 Compatibility Confirmed
👍🏻
👍🏻Decent Amount of DDR4 Memory Cache
👍🏻
👍🏻96 Layer 3D TLC NAND Hugely Beneficial
👍🏻
👍🏻One of the Earliest Phison E18 SSDs
👍🏻
👍🏻Surpasses Samsung/WD PCIe 4 SSDs in some key areas
CONS
👎🏻IOPS rating is noticeably lower than most competitors
👎🏻Endurance (DWPD/TBW) has dipped noticeably since it’s predecessor
👎🏻
👎🏻Still Outperformed by the Firecuda 530
👎🏻
👎🏻Warranty (1yr unless registered) seems needlessly complex

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR ANY OTHER NAS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD – PS5 EXPANSION GUIDE & TEST RESULTS

27 décembre 2021 à 01:22

PS5 SSD Expansion Testing with the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD

Modern SSD are not cheap! It’s super annoying that despite Solid State Drives being commercially available for more than a decade, that they are still expensive. Part of that is because the storage capacities have got bigger and another big reason is that they are getting faster all the time! However, occasionally a middle ground can be reached and the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD is a great example of that. Thanks to the use of more cost-effective NAND (the cells on the physically SSD board that hold the storage) modern PCIe NVMe M.2 SSDs have the potential to be cheaper, though this does lessen their performance and durability. The Sabrent Q4 SSD is technically lower than the recommended 5,500MB/s read speed needed for the PS5 SSD expansion bay, however, the drive IS still compatible and DOES still appear when installed in the latest software beta firmware release. Here is the PS5 internal Benchmark for the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD at the initialization of the system:

Whether you are looking at upgrading the SSD on your PS5 because you are running out of space or because you heard that some SSDs can increase load times for your favourite games, it is always going to be sensible to spend a few minutes researching before pulling the trigger and spending hundreds on the Sabrent Rocket Q4 to avoid finding out that the benefits are negligible or, worse still, actually slow your games down! Equally, you should always factor in that the PS5 is a relatively new console and games developers are still in the early stages of maximizing how much they can do with the CPU, Memory, GPU and (of course) super-fast NVMe M.2 SSD. Therefore the commitment you make on buying an SSD upgrade to your PS5 needs to also factor in that it will still perform well in the years to come. The Sabrent Rocket Q4 meets a number of the key specifications of the PS5 storage bay, but then again many, MANY SSDs do. So today I want to put this SSD through it’s paces with many games to see how well it compares against the internal PS5 SSD doing the same thing. NOTE – FULL Videos of the testing of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 that combined cover more than an hour can be found at the bottom of the article. This article primarily covers the load times of games and saves on the PS5 using the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD and how they compare with the internal PS5 loading the same game. If you want to watch the full videos that cover PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 use that feature frame rates, texture swapping, asset management and more, I recommend you watch those videos at the end of this article.

What Are the Specifications of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD?

Before we go through the load time testing of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 on the PS5, it is worth taking a look at the hardware specifications. Unlike traditional Hard Drives and SSDs that were using the PS3 and PS4 that used SATA connectivity, this new generation of SSD storage using M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 architecture. This is a very, VERY big difference physically, in terms of maximum performance and opens up ALOT of specifications that you should keep an eye on. Aside from the capacity (i.e the amount of data the Sabrent Rocket Q4 can hold in gigabytes and terabytes) the key ones to factor in when buying an SSD are the following:

  • Controller & NAND – These are the brain of the SSD (handling the transfer of data as quickly and efficiently as possible) and the physical cells on the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD that hold the data.
  • Sequential Read – This is the reported maximum access speed that the data on the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD can be access when accessing large blocks of data
  • Sequential Write – This is the reported maximum speed that data can be written to the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD. As far as the PS5 architecture goes, this is much less important right now but could become important later in the system’s life as games, services and the level to which the Sabrent Rocket Q4 can be accessed changes.
  • IOPS – These represent the number of individual operations the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD can handle per second, based on the smallest size possible. Again, not strictly relevant in the PS5 right now because of the way data is largely front-loaded on modern games, but may well impact how larger and evolved worlds and multiplayer games are developed in future
  • TBW, MTBF & DWPD – Terabytes Written and Drive Writes Per Day, these indicate how much the drive is designed to withstand in activity over a 5 year or daily basis (respectively), Before the drive begins to deteriorate in performance or eventually fail. The PS5 will hardly be able to hit these kind of numbers daily BUT these figures will give you a good idea of the lifespan of the SSD beyond 5 years. Given the lifespan of some consoles can cross over a decade, the higher these numbers are, the better!

Here are the official specifications of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD:

SABRENT Rocket 4 + SB-RKT4P-1TB

SB-RKT4P-2TB

SB-RKT4P-4TB

Price in $ and $ 1TB – $139 2TB – $299.99 4TB – $699.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3
NAND QLC NAND 96L QLC NAND 96L QLC NAND 96L
Capacity 1TB Single Sided 2TB Double Sided 4TB Double Sided
Controller Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E16-PS5016


IMPORTANT – This article contains ALOT of gifs to demonstrate the loading times of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD versus the internal PS5 SSD, so the page/gifs might take an extra minute to load. Please be patient OR watch the videos of the full testing at the bottom of the page.
So, now you know the hardware specifications of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD and you also know that (at the time of writing!) the Sabrent Rocket Q4 is supported by the PS5 SSD expansion bay.

Testing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD with the PS5 – Test Parameters

All of the tests of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD on the PS5 were conducted in groups of 5 games at a time. In the event of a game arriving on a disc, the full disc data and all current updates were transferred over the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD. The disc might be present, but it is only for system verification and would be an identical setup to the PS5 internal SSD that it is being compared against. The SSD was tested using the latest PS5 Beta Firmware update (3.0 or 3.1 depending on the time of testing as a further update was made available during the widespread testing) and although the supported drives when the SSD expansion feature might change, the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD is fully functioning and supported on the PS5 at the time of writing. So, let’s get started on the testing of each game:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Nexus Loading Test

This test was loading from the title screen to the central hub world (Nexus) of Demon Souls, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 2 Test

This test was loading to the Smithing Grounds of Demon Souls, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 1 Test

This test was loading to the first main area of Demon Souls, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test I

This test was loading to the starting area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test II

This test was loading to the first main transitional area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Borderlands 3 Full Loading Test I

This test was loading Borderlands to the Title Screen fro the PS5 Main menu on Borderlands 3, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Borderlands 3 Level Load Test II

This test was loading a save game from the title screen to the Pandora World Area, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Castle Loading Test I

This test was loading the Castle Area of Resident Evil Village, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Stronghold Loading Test II

This test was loading the Stronghold of Resident Evil Village, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Dartmoor Loading Test I

This test was loading the Dartmoor level on Hitman 3, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Mendoza Loading Test II

This test was loading the Mendoza level on Hitman 3, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Oddworld SoulStorm Loading Test

This test was loading from the title screen to an early, lighting heavy area of the 2.5D platformer Oddworld Soulstorm for PS5, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Terminator Resistance Level Loading Test

This test was loading Terminator Resistance Infiltrator Mode, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – GTA V Full Game Loading Test

This test was loading the Grand Theft Auto V from the PS5 menu to gameplay on the Single Player Mode, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Dead By Daylight Bots Test

This test was loading the tutorial Bots Mode on Dead By Daylight, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Red Dead Redemption II Campaign Loading Test

This test was loading the Blackwater Area of Red Dead Redemption II in single Player, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Subnautica Loading Test I

This test was loading from the title screen to a fresh creative mode save load on Subnautica, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – No Man’s Sky Creative Mode Loading Test

This test was loading No Man’s Sky in Creative Mode from the Title screen, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – In Rays of the Light Loading Test I, Outside

This test was loading the outside world area of In Rays of the Light, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – In Rays of the Light Loading Test II, Inside

This test was loading the underground bunker area of In Rays of the Light, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Star Wars Fallen Order Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the Kashkykk area of Star Wars Fallen Order from the title screen, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Star Wars Fallen Order Trial Loading Test II

This test was loading a combat challenge, mid-game, of Star Wars Fallen Order from the title screen, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Testing – Doom Eternal Level Loading Test I

This test was loading a level in Doom Eternal from the title screen, comparing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

 

Full Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD PS5 Test Videos

If you want to see the FULL testing of every PS5/PS4 game with the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD, you can watch the videos below. These tests have been grouped into 5 games per video, with each game being assessed on Loading Times, Frame Rate, Texture swapping, Asset Popping and compared against the exact game being loaded on the PS5 SSD. NOTE – These videos are being edited and published throughout September and October, so if a video is showing as ‘unavailable’ below, it might not be published yet, but should be up shortly!

 

SABRENT Rocket 4 + SB-RKT4P-1TB

SB-RKT4P-2TB

SB-RKT4P-4TB

Price in $ and $ 1TB – $139 2TB – $299.99 4TB – $699.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3
NAND QLC NAND 96L QLC NAND 96L QLC NAND 96L
Capacity 1TB Single Sided 2TB Double Sided 4TB Double Sided
Controller Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E16-PS5016
Sabrent Rocket Q4 PS5 SSD Test 1

Sabrent Rocket Q4 PS5 SSD Test 2

Sabrent Rocket Q4 FULL Review

Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Revealed

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Addlink A92 SSD Review – The Lowest Priced PS5 SSD You Can Buy?

13 décembre 2021 à 01:35

Review of the Addlink A92 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

I think it would be fair to say that NVMe SSDs that take advantage of QLC NAND in order to provide a much lower price point get a bit of a bad RAP. The Addlink A92 SSD from Addlink is the 3rd and lowest priced entry into their PS5 A-Series of SSDs for expanding your console storage and a lot of that affordability stems from the use of more low priced NAND. For those that are not away, an SSD is made of several internal components – a controller (the brains of the outfit), the memory (keeps things moving) and the NAND (where the data actually lives). The NAND on an SSD can dictate many things, that include the total storage, speed and durability of the SSD as it is regularly written to. In the world of SSD, the least enduring and performing NAND you can use typically is QLC NAND (quad-layer cell) but what you lose, you then gain in being able to get a lot more storage space for your money. The A92 NVMe SSD for PS5 however is something a pinch different. Arriving with PCIe Gen 4 M.2 connectivity, a controller that is used by many of the big-name SSD brands, same DDR 4 memory as many and arriving with PS5 compatibility, this QLC SSD might actually be quite a sensible move for a considerably more closed system like the PS5 – given that most typically users are going to Read data from the SSD 95% over 5% Writing games when downloading etc. Even the on-paper benchmarks which appear lower than the PS5 recommended minimum benchmark are then countered by the PS5 itself clocking it OVER the recommended 5,500MB/s minimum needed for PS5 compatibility. So, today I want to fully review the Addlink A92 NVMe SSD for PC and PC gaming, benchmark it on PS5, performance test it on a PC and hopefully help you decide whether the Addlink A92 is an SSD worthy of your gaming system? Let’s begin.

Interested in the Addlink A95 SSD? Here is the Addlink A95 Prosumer PS5 SSD Review herehttps://nascompares.com/2021/10/15/addlink-a95-ps5-ssd-review-bringing-its-a-game

Alternatively, there is the mid-range Addlink A90 NVMe SSD for PS5 Here – https://nascompares.com/2021/10/15/addlink-a95-ps5-ssd-review-bringing-its-a-game

Addlink A92 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

Fairplay to Addlink – the A92 SSD DEFINITELY works on the PS5. From its confirmed benchmarks to like for like performance comparisons on PS5 (Full tests HERE), it cannot be said that this rather modest QLC M.2 NVMe SSD is not suitable for PS5. Arriving as easily one of the best value SSDs for the PS5 storage expansion upgrade, as well as being one of the highest performing QLC SSDs I have yet to feature on the channel in 2021, I have almost nothing but praise for it. My professional ‘hat’ will tell you that QLC NAND SSD is always to be avoided, as they lack the long term endurance and performance of their TLC alternatives in the market. However, it has to be acknowledged that their utility is much more closed gaming systems like the PS5, where the end user cannot push these SSDs in particularly hard or any unconventional ways. Therefore there is an argument that QLC NAND SSDs might have finally found their ideal use for most day-to-day users. Of course, the performance of the Addlink A92 in the PS5 seems great now, but we have no idea how much devs are going to push the PS5 hardware in years to come and if the A92 has the staying power in your system to still be a reliable storage upgrade to run your games in 2023-2024. That said, at this price tag, with it’s the inclusive heatsink and arriving at almost half the price of some other brands at the 4TB level, those looking for a much more affordable PS5 SSD upgrade have little to complain about here.

SPEED - 6/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
DURABILITY - 3/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 7/10


6.0
PROS
👍🏻Genuinely Impressive Performance on a Phison E16 SSD in PS5 & PC
👍🏻First Time QLC NAND SSDs might have found a home
👍🏻
👍🏻Inclusive Heatsink and STILL lower in price than the Sabrent Rocket Q4 by around 10%
👍🏻
👍🏻PS5 Benchmark rated at 5,600MB/s+
👍🏻
👍🏻Lowest Prices 4TB 2280 PCIe4 SSD in the Market
CONS
👎🏻QLC NAND SSD’s are always a bit of an industry negative and durability is very low
👎🏻Low Sustained Write Performance

Addlink A92 SSD Review – Packaging

Shiny. Very, VERY Shiny! That is how I would begin in describing the packaging here. Arriving in somewhat holographic packaging, the retail box of the Addlink S95 pulls no punches here when it comes to aiming at the gamers, with most of the focus going to performance stats and highlighting their A Game gamer series (the A92, A92 and A92).

The rear of the box makes a point of not only highlighting that this SSD is PS5 compatible, but also it’s one of the first SSDs I have had in for review that actually features the official PS5 logo. Along with that, there is a little nod to the heatsink and rather unique (at least as far as other M.2 SSDs on the market) application of the heatsink, using a much more malleable substance (we will go into more detail later) they are keen to highlight that this does an improved job of maintaining the SSD temperature. This will be covered at the last 3rd of this review in the testing and benchmarking.

The contents of the box are a little small, but not in a bad way. A first-time setup guide and warranty information is included in a booklet (as well as the usual web/3D-Barcode links), as well as the SSD itself (with heating pre-applied).

The Heatsink on the Addlink A92 is an interesting mix of elements that include aesthetical design, air efficiency and professional application. Addlink have an impressive range of m.2 NVMe solutions in their catalogue, many using modified versions of this heatsink (depending on the product series), so the need to add the Add AGame logo and PCIe4.0 architecture makes sense.

Looking at the A92 heatsink directly, it is a sweet looking design. Comprised of 3 main elements, a pre-cute metal plate with air channel grooves, a secondary metal clip that surrounds it and finally the thermal silica gel pad that connected the Heatsink to the SSD.

Looking at the Addlink A92 at an angle shows that, despite the aggressive nature of the heatsink, it is actually not very tall. In fact, the Low-Profile designed heatsink is only has a 9.1 mm height, with the total Heatsink+silica+SSD coming to just under 11.25mm. With space being at a premium in the PS5 M.2 SSD slot (and users wanting a little space around/above their SSD+HS to promote any airflow, this is particularly impressive.

Likewise, the heatsink is fractionally raised from the SSD a degree higher than most SSD+HS combos on the Adddlink A92, as the silica gel between them is particularly thick and envelopes the chips underneath a tad (on purpose). This means that is a surrounding around that can capture passing airflow around the SSD, that is not obstructed by a surrounding casing.

Removing the Addlink A92 Heatsink was NOT easy. I cannot stress enough how well attached this heatsink was! I nearly snapped the SSD in two trying to remove it. The SSD uses an adhesive coated silica gel that covered the entirety of the M.2 NVMe SSD, but also slightly envelopes each chip on the drive. It doesn’t smother them (so no touching the PCB) but it does surround the edges of each component to cover a greater physical density, whilst still remaining tidy.

A closer look a the heatsink base shows you just how well it surrounds each chip (with clear indications of where each was placed from imprints). Additionally, you can see that the consistency of the silica gel pad is not the same as the reusable pads in other heatsinks, with this substance having more in common with thermal paste found on CPUs. The slightly porous nature of it definitely seemed to ensure that the components were adequately covered and it does leave you with a distinct feeling of quality and professional application.

Taking the time to clean a little of the silica gel away, you can see that the A92’s controller is much lower on the board than many other SSDs (where it will more often be located directly beneath the m.2 key connector.

As mentioned, the Addlink A92 NVMe SSD fits very neatly into the PS5 SSD upgrade slot, with a clear few millimetres between the heatsink and the m.2 slot cover. Although it is worth highlighting that this heatsink was originally designed for a gaming desktop PC installation (like 99% of other M.2 SD heatsinks), so I will hold full judgement on how efficient the A92 heatsink is for PS5 heat dissipation for another article/video soon.

So that is the physical design of the Addlink A92 SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the Addlink A92 cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

Addlink A92 SSD Review – PS5 Benchmark

Upon installing the Addlink A92 SSD into the PS5, the system gave an impressive benchmark of 5620MB/s. It should be noted that the PS5 has a very unique benchmarking system internally for its own software needs and although Sony recommends that you only use SSDs with a reported 5,500MB/s+ performance (sequential Read) minimum, we have seen SSDs with a lower reported PC benchmark of this be rated at 5,500MB/s+ om the PS5 benchmark. So, there is definitely wiggle room there.

To put the Addlink A92 SSD PS5 Performance Benchmark into a little perspective, here is how it compares against the Sabrent Rocket Q4, as these SSDs that are both PS5 supported and VERY similar architecture:

Addlink A92 PS5 Benchmark – 5620MB/s Sabrent Rocket Q4 PS5 Benchmark – 5621MB/s

With very little difference between the top three others in this tier, it is a solid benchmark. Additionally, the Addlink A92 takes care of overprovisioning at the NAND/Controller level (with four 96L QLC NAND modules of 512GB), so that means that this 2TB SSD is genuinely available as 2TB on the Playstation 5 Storage manager (not 1,920GB as seen previously):

Full PS5 Testing of the Addlink A92 (along with the A90 and A95) are available HERE on the NASCompares YouTube channel. But for now, let’s carry on with looking at the hardware of the A92, how it conventionally benchmarks and how it compares with currently favourite QLC NAND SSD, the Sabrent Rocket Q4.

Addlink A92 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

The first thing to look at is the architecture of this SSD. Later we will compare it against a very similar built SSD, the sabrnet Rockeet QLC, but for now, here is how the SSD SSD is built:

Addlink A92

1TB – $139/£115 – 2TB – $267/£249 4TB – $539 / £499

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3
NAND QLC KIOXIA 96L
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided
Controller Phison E16-PS5016
Warranty 5yr

I know a lot of the above will seem needlessly technical, so below we can bring the most important considerations into sharper focus.

Hardware Focus of the Addlink A92 SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Phison E16. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and Phison are one of the bigger 3rd party SSD controller manufacturers in the world! I say 3rd party, because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Whereas some brands source some/all components for their SSDs from 3rd parties – which is not necessarily a bad thing for both them and the industry (there are pros and cons on either side). Phison has been at the cutting edge of this subject for years now and the newer E18 was first revealed last year in 2020, but due to the pandemic making storage trends unpredictable and semi-conductor shortages, most SSDs that utilized the Phison E18 eventually arrived in 2021. Before that though was the Phison E16, the brands first PCIe 4.0 controller for NVMe SSD and it was widely featured by SSD brands at launch. This controller is one of the biggest reasons that the Addlink A92 can actually back up its promises about the 5,00MB/s+ Sequential Read (sequential data = big chunks of data). However, that is not the only reason.

The NAND on the Addlink A92 is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance. The Addlink A92 and it’s Phison 16 arrive with 96 layer 3D QLC NAND onboard but it’s pairing with QLC NAND (not the more common but arguably more expensive TLC NAND) but does feature it at 96L, which is on par with more current-gen PCIe 4 M.2 SSDs in the market.

Much like the Controller on the Addlink A92 being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The Addlink A92 SSD uses DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the Addlink A92 takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the Addlink A92 use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the Addlink A92 (apparent from querying that NAND), as it is still (at release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe SSDs in the market at both QLC use AND those at PCIe Gen 3. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the Addlink A92, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

Addlink A92 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The Addlink A92 SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below), although rather odd that there is no 8TB version, given the space increases that QLC SSDs allow and some brands able to squeeze 8TB on a 2280 SSD at QLC level. The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the majority of PS5 supported SSDs price point in most regions. Below is a breakdown of how each Addlink A92 SSD compares against its closest competitor, the Sabrent Rocket Q4:

Brand/Series Addlink A92

1TB – $139/£115 – 2TB – $267/£249 4TB – $539 / £499

Sabrent Rocket Q4

1TB – $159/£140 – 2TB – $319/£285 4TB – $749/£605

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3
NAND QLC KIOXIA 96L QLC Micron 96L
Max Capacity 2TB – Double Sided 4TB – Single Sided
Controller Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E16-PS5016
Warranty 5yr 1yr/5yr
500GB Model N/A N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A N/A
1TB Model AD1TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-1TB
Price in $ and $ $139 / £135 $159 / £140
2TB Model AD2TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-2TB
Price in $ and $ $267 / £249 $319 / £285
4TB Model AD4TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-4TB
Price in $ and $ $539 / £499 $749 / £605
500GB Model N/A N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A N/A
DWPD N/A N/A
1TB Model AD1TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-1TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 200TB 200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000
DWPD 0.1DWPD 0.1DWPD
2TB Model AD2TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-2TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 400TB 400TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000
DWPD 0.1DWPD 0.1DWPD
4TB Model AD4TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-4TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 800TB 800TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000
DWPD 0.1DWPD 0.1DWPD

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as the expected massive drop in durability (chiefly focused on daily/annual write activity) is massive compared with other higher tier SSDs in the market, allow on par with the Sabrent Rocket Q4. s mentioned, although the durability of an SSD is incredibly important, the PS5 (and indeed PC gaming outside of streaming and recording/capture) is an INCREDIBLY heavy READ activity, so although durability is important still, the drop to 0.1 Drive Write per day (when compared against the 0.4 and 0.9 DWPD of the A95 and A90) is not as make-or-break as it might have been elsewhere.

As you might expect from the use of the Phison E16 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually pretty similar to the 96L Sabrent Rocket Q4. This is still very impressive anyway (if compared against older-gen SSDs and not prosumer class drives). As aside from the NAND on the A92, the rest of the architecture of the drive is actually very similar indeed to the Firecuda 520, Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0 and Silcon Power US70 – with write performance vs those TLC NAND SSDs almost half in some places (getting considerably worse at the lower capacities). Below is the read and write of the Addlink A92 vs the Sabrent Rocket Q4, along with reported IOPS:

Brand/Series Addlink A92

1TB – $139/£115 – 2TB – $267/£249 4TB – $539 / £499

Sabrent Rocket Q4

1TB – $159/£140 – 2TB – $319/£285 4TB – $749/£605

500GB Model N/A N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A N/A
1TB Model AD1TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-1TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4700MB 4700MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 1850MB 1850MB
2TB Model AD2TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-2TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4850MB 4800MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3600MB 3600MB
4TB Model AD4TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-4TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4900MB 4900MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3600MB 3500MB
Brand/Series Addlink A92 Sabrent Rocket Q4
500GB Model N/A N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A N/A
1TB Model AD1TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-1TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 180,000 180,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 450,000 450,000
2TB Model AD2TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-2TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350000 350000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 700000
4TB Model AD4TBA92M2P SB-RKTQ4-4TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350000 350,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700000 700,000

So incredibly similar! There are a few slithers of difference here, but given the 10% or so price decrease in the Addlink A92 (as well as the fact it includes a premium heatsink), it does make that drive look the better choice of the two. That said, both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Let’s get the Addlink A92 on the test machine!

Testing the Addlink A92 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The Addlink A92 was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the Addlink A92 over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 41C between each test being conducted.

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHAMRK

The first tests were conducted using the ATTO disk benchmark software. The first was a 256MB test file size and below is a breakdown of the transfer rates and IOPS. The 2nd Test was a 1GB test file and finally, the last test was with a 4GB test file. The system was given 1-minute cool downtime between tests, no screen recording software was used (remove overhead) and a heatsink was used throughout (no reboots)

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.24GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 3.49GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.23GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 3.53GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.23GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 3.53GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Test were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write task to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

Next, I switched to AS SSD benchmark. A much more thorough test through, I used 1GB, 3GB and 5GB test files. Each test includes throughput benchmarks and IOPS that are respective to the larger file sizes (important, if you are reading this and trying to compare against the reported 4K IOPS from the manufacturer).

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 4231MB/s Read & 3958MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 4307MB/s Read & 3935MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 4350MB/s Read & 3938MB/s Write

Overall, the Addlink A92 was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were a little lower than I expected, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context. Below is the full temperature reading throughout the entire tests, with the SSD and its unique heatsink maintaining a solid temperature of between 40-50 degrees throughout – very impressive for a QLC NAND SSD, though still higher than the A90 and A95 that were tested before it.

Addlink A92 SSD Review – Conclusion

Fairplay to Addlink – the A92 SSD DEFINITELY works on the PS5. From its confirmed benchmarks to like for like performance comparisons on PS5 (Full tests HERE), it cannot be said that this rather modest QLC M.2 NVMe SSD is not suitable for PS5. Arriving as easily one of the best value SSDs for the PS5 storage expansion upgrade, as well as being one of the highest performing QLC SSDs I have yet to feature on the channel in 2021, I have almost nothing but praise for it. My professional ‘hat’ will tell you that QLC NAND SSD is always to be avoided, as they lack the long term endurance and performance of their TLC alternatives in the market. However, it has to be acknowledged that their utility is much more closed gaming systems like the PS5, where the end-user cannot push these SSDs in particularly hard or any unconventional ways. Therefore there is an argument that QLC NAND SSDs might have finally found their ideal use for most day-to-day users. Of course, the performance of the Addlink A92 in the PS5 seems great now, but we have no idea how much devs are going to push the PS5 hardware in years to come and if the A92 has the staying power in your system to still be a reliable storage upgrade to run your games in 2023-2024. That said, at this price tag, with it’s the inclusive heatsink and arriving at almost half the price of some other brands at the 4TB level, those looking for a much more affordable PS5 SSD upgrade have little to complain about here.

PROs of the Addlink A92 CONs of the Addlink A92
Genuinely Impressive Performance on a Phison E16 SSD in PS5 & PC

First Time QLC NAND SSDs might have found a home

Inclusive Heatsink and STILL lower in price than the Sabrent Rocket Q4 by around 10%

PS5 Benchmark rated at 5,600MB/s+

Lowest Prices 4TB 2280 PCIe4 SSD in the Market

QLC NAND SSD’s are always a bit of an industry negative and durability is very low

Low Sustained Write Performance

 


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