PCIe Gen 3, With Micron TLC And No RAM
Lexar have released a new NVMe 1.4 NM620 SSD family which uses a modified Innogrit IG5216 Shasta+ controller along with the Micron 64-Layer 3D TLC we see in the majority of drives on the market. It doesn’t have any sort of RAM cache but the 1TB model that TechPowerUp reviewed does have a 208 GB SLC cache to ensure that you don’t encounter slowdowns when writing large files.
The choice to skip an integrated heatsink proved to be effective, with no evidence of thermal throttling during their torture tests. The same is true of the pseudo-SLC cache, with the drive offering the second highest random write speed they have tested, as long as you keep the files around 1GB or so. In some tests it was outpaced by Lexar’s own NM610 but overall the new family proved to be the better performer.
The price is an example of the trend that is happening, even if no one wants it to. At $0.16/GB the drive feels expensive for a PCIe 3.0 drive with no RAM cache, but unfortunately that is currently a decent price, as we see the price of all drives slowly creeping up again. On the plus side we aren’t seeing supply shortages; one trend we do want to see continue!
The Lexar NM620 uses a custom DM620 flash controller from Lexar. In our real-life performance testing we saw good performance results, despite the lack of a DRAM cache chip. With over 200 GB, the pseudo-SLC cache is also large enough to handle all bursts in write activity.