Lexar’s 2019 SSD Lineup Explored: NVMe, SATA, and USB-C Drives

Manufacturer: Lexar Lexar’s 2019 SSD Lineup Explored: NVMe, SATA, and USB-C Drives

Lexar is a name known to anyone who has shopped for removable storage over the years, being a fixture in the memory card space in particular until then-parent company Micron announced the end of the business in mid-2017. Micron was seeking a buyer, and they found one in Longsys, which acquired the Lexar brand later that year.

With the brand reborn and a full lineup of products which include memory cards, USB flash drives, and both internal and external SSDs, Lexar isn’t going anywhere. And while I have experience with Lexar’s memory cards and USB JumpDrive lineup (I still use the P20 reviewed here), I had yet to check out their SSDs. Until now.

Product Specifications

Lexar NM600 NVMe SSD

  • Capacity: 240GB, 480GB
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Interface: PCIe Gen3x4
  • Speed:
    • 240GB sequential read up to 2000MB/s read,sequential write up to 1200MB/s, IOPS up to 110/151K
    • 480GB sequential read up to 2100MB/s read,sequential write up to 1600MB/s, IOPS up to 188/156K
  • NAND flash: 3D TLC
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to 70°C
  • Storage Temperature: -40°C to 85°C
  • Shock Resistant: 1500G, duration 0.5ms, Half Sine Wave
  • Vibration Resistant: 10~2000Hz, 1.5mm, 20G, 1 Oct/min, 30min/axis(X,Y,Z)
  • TBW: 240GB: 120TB, 480GB: 240TB
  • DWPD: 240GB: 0.46, 480GB: 0.46
  • MTBF: 1,500,000 Hours
  • Dimension (W x L x H): 80 x 22 x 2.25 mm / 3.15” x 0.87” x 0.09”
  • Weight: 9g


Lexar NS200 SATA SSD

  • Capacity: 240GB, 480GB, 960GB
  • Interface: 2.5” SATA III (6Gb/s)
  • Speed:
    • 960GB sequential read up to 550MB/s, write up to 510MB/s, IOPS up to 88/80K
    • 240-480GB: sequential read up to 550MB/s, write up to 510MB/s, IOPS up to 95/90K
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to 70°C
  • Storage Temperature: -40°C to 85°C
  • Shock Resistant: 1500G, duration 0.5ms, Half Sine Wave
  • Vibration Resistant: 10~2000Hz, 1.5mm, 20G, 1 Oct/min, 30min/axis(X,Y,Z)
  • TBW: 240GB: 120TB, 480GB: 240TB, 960GB: 480TB
  • DWPD: 240GB: 0.46, 480GB: 0.46, 960GB: 0.46
  • Dimension (W x L x H): 100.2mm x 69.85mm x 7mm / 2.75” x 3.94” x 0.28”
  • Weight: 34g

Lexar SL100 Pro USB-C SSD

  • Capacity: 500GB, 1TB
  • Interface: USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Speed: Up to 950MB/s read, up to 900MB/s write
  • System Supported:
    • Mac OSX 10.6+
    • Windows 10/7/8
    • Standard USB (Type-A or Type-C) port
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to 70°C
  • Storage Temperature: -40°C to 85°C
  • Dimension (W x L x H): 55 x 73.4 x 10.8 mm / 2.165” x 2.89” x 0.425”
  • Weight: 70.5g / 0.155lbs(Without Cable)
Pricing
Manufacturer Description

“Designed to elevate your PC experience with faster load times and transfer speeds from boot-up to shut down, the Lexar NM600 M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe Solid-State Drive (SSD) will put you in the computing fast lane with speeds up 2100MB/s read and 1600MB/s write.It’s supported by the PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe 1.3 technology standard and built with the latest 3D NAND flash.”

“Get the speed you need to take multitasking on your old laptop or PC up a notch with the Lexar NS200 2.5” SATA III (6Gb/s) Solid-State Drive (SSD). You’ll be able to power through your day with fast speeds of up to 550MB/s read, 510MB/s write, app response times and better overall performance for gaming, photo, and video editing, or other multimedia applications.”

“Quickly and securely store and access your content anywhere with the Lexar Professional SL100 Pro Portable SSD. With sleek, slimline styling and a premium aluminum finish, it provides superior performance on the go, with speeds up to 950MB/s read and 900MB/s write. Available in 500GB and 1TB capacities.”

Lexar NM600 NVMe SSD

Lexar's 2019 SSD Lineup Explored: NVMe, SATA, and USB-C Drives - Storage  1

We received the 480 GB version of the NM600, a PCIe Gen3 x4 drive with rated sequential performance of up to 2100MB/s read and 1600MB/s write. These speeds are obviously not reaching the limits of what this interface can provide, but are in line with value-oriented NVMe options and similar to a drive such as Mushkin’s Helix-L, while being quite a bit higher than Intel’s 660p.

The NM600 makes use of Silicon Motion’s SM2263XT controller, a DRAM-less design using Host Memory Buffer architecture or HMB (link opens a PDF). The drive uses Micron 3D TLC NAND which helps provide better performance than what we have seen from low-cost QLC drives.

Performance testing was carried out on a new ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi motherboard using an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor, with the system running Windows 10 1903 and the latest drivers.

At higher queue depths the Lexar NM600 performs up to its rated specifications, coming in just shy of its advertised 2100 MB/s read speeds and exceeding its rated 1600 MB/s writes. 4K random results place the NM600 just above the MyDigitalSSD SBX, with considerably higher 4K random read performance than a Crucial P1 or Intel 660p at the default Q8T8 setting in CrystalDiskMark.

Lexar NS200 SATA SSD

Lexar's 2019 SSD Lineup Explored: NVMe, SATA, and USB-C Drives - Storage  2

Lexar’s NS200 is a 2.5-inch SATA drive, and our 480GB version sits in the middle of the lineup with 240GB and 960GB versions also available. This particular drive offers rated sequential performance of up to 550MB/s read and 510MB/s write.

The NS200 uses Silicon Motion’s SM2258H controller, and its Micron 3D TLC NAND is coupled with 512MB of SK Hynix DRAM. These specs bode well for its performance, and are quite similar to those found in the Crucial MX500 SSD.

As with the NM600 above, benchmark results come from an ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi motherboard with an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor running Windows 10 1903.

As you can see from the basic benchmark results in the gallery above the Lexar NS200 offers good SATA performance, hitting its rated read speed at QD32, though its write speeds did not hit the theoretical 510MB/s sequential, offering instead up to about 480MB/s (QD32). Performance naturally scales down at lower queue depths, with the lower limit visible in the ATTO QD1 test result.

Lexar SL100 Pro USB Type-C SSD

Lexar's 2019 SSD Lineup Explored: NVMe, SATA, and USB-C Drives - Storage  3

Lexar’s SL100 Pro is a small external SSD that connects via USB 3.1 with both Type-C and Type-B cables in the box. The full potential of the drive requires the 10Gbps connection of USB 3.1 Gen2, and speeds of up to 950MB/s read and 900MB/s write are advertised.

The enclosure weighs 2.5 oz and has a smaller footprint than a credit card (about the same size as my Samsung T3 drive), with a thickness of less than half an inch (2.165 x 2.89 x 0.425 inches). It has a nice build quality with a brushed aluminum exterior, and Lexar provides DataVault Lite software on the drive for encrypting your files if you choose to use it.

The Lexar SL100 Pro was connected via USB 3.1 Gen2 with benchmark results coming from a 2019 HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 notebook running Windows 10 1809.

Results show the drive hitting the rated 950 MB/s read speed almost exactly, with the QD4 ATTO result topping out at 952.56 MB/s. Writes were short of the mark, with results not reaching 900 MB/s, topping out at just under 850 MB/s in our testing. The initial write numbers under Windows may seem to be well over 1 GB/s, but OS caching is at play and speeds soon settle to sub-800 MB/s numbers over larger transfers.

Pricing and Conclusion

The 2019 Lexar SSD lineup offers good performance, but in the competitive storage landscape we have to look at pricing here in the USA to make a determination about these drives. To this end we checked out the current prices on Amazon.com:

Pricing seems fair, with the NM600 offering just a bit higher read performance on paper vs. the Crucial P1 for its $5 premium. NVMe drives are getting less expensive, and I like the trend of cheaper TLC options after seeing some pretty low numbers from budget QLC drives. The SATA NS200 is a solid performer that is a bit less expensive than its Crucial counterpart as well, so no complaints there.

As to the SL100 Pro, this rugged little drive is still quite capable even though it did not quite hit its rated write speeds. The market for such drives is very limited right now, with many of the USB 3.1 SSDs actually only providing Gen 1 speeds (Samsung’s T5 is rated at up to 540 MB/s, for example).

I would personally lean toward pairing a drive like Lexar’s NM600 with the Orico NVMe enclosure I tested earlier this year, which at the current $42.99 pricing of the Orico enclosure would be a total investment of 107.98, representing of course a large discount compared to the SL100 Pro – though without any encryption software.

Lexar's 2019 SSD Lineup Explored: NVMe, SATA, and USB-C Drives - Storage  4

In any case it’s nice to see another player in the SSD market. Lexar lives on as a solid option in the storage space, just like the old days.

Video News

About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest Podcasts

Archive & Timeline

Previous 12 months
Explore: All The Years!