SK Hynix Gold S31 SSD
SSD sets a dynamic new standard with top-tier speed and proven quality.
For years, I’ve stuck to a specific brand when looking for hard drives to supplement my offline storage options. I like to make sure that I’m getting a quality product and with so many knock-off brands online, I really try to stick with ones I know like Toshiba, Western Digital, and Seagate. That said, sometimes it pays to go with a brand that you are less familiar with. SK Hynix is a manufacturer out of South Korea that has had a relatively small footprint in the hard drive market. Some of the memory in Apple computers is supplied by Hynix and so when I was approached to review the Gold S31 SSD from SK Hynix, I took a chance.
DETAILS & FEATURES
The SK Hynix Gold S31 SSD puts “superior performance at the core of your PC upgrade.” It provides read speeds up to 560 Mb/s and write speeds up to 525 Mb/s. The hard drive is powered by an in-house 3D NAND, controller, and DRAM. It’s been tested and proven reliable and stable with 1.5 million hours MTBF and best-in-class 600 terabytes written. The hard drive comes in three different sizes with 1TB capacity being the largest. It retails for approximately $119 (at the time publishing). All three sizes come with a five-year warranty.
- Ideal for: Gamers/Creators
- Capacity: 1TB/500GB/250GB
- Interface: SATA III 6Gb/s
- Form Factor: 2.5-inch
- Sequential Read Speed: Up to 560 Mb/s
- Sequential Write Speed: Up to 525 Mb/s
- TBW (Terabytes Written) Up to 600TBW (1TB)
- Controller: SK Hynix Controller
- Item Dimensions: 3.94 x 2.75 x 0.28 inches
- Weight: 2.15 ounces
The S31 SSD comes in a rather striking black box with the SK Hynix branding printed on the front. The SSD comes packaged in an anti-static bag and is easily installed into an existing computer or hard drive enclosure that is compatible with SATA III. The case of the SSD is impressive. When I first took a look at it I actually thought that it could potentially stand — alone without an enclosure. The exterior is aluminum and the hard drive is well-protected from exterior elements.
For te sting purposes, I added it to an SSD RAID enclosure from Akitio. This allowed me to test the drive speed through a Thunderbolt 3 connection, which is up to 40GB/s. Because I was using this drive with a Mac, I first had to format that hard drive so that it could be read by my computer. Using Disk Utility, I erased the drive and formatted it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). After the formatting, the disk was showing 999.2 GB free.
The first application I used to test the S31 was Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test. This measured the read/write speed of a targeted disk. In this case the disk was the S31 SSD. The result was 467.6 MB/s write and 514.1 MB/s read. These results were inline with the specs outlined by SK Hynix. The second test I ran was using AJA System Test Lite. This specifically tests disk read/write speeds in relation to video/media file handling. The first test I ran using this software was for processing 4K video. The results were 472 MB/s Write and 501 MB/s Read. Since this was very close to the results I received from the Blackmagic test, I ran one additional test which assumed the video processing file was a 1080P HD file. This slowed down the read/write speeds quite a bit (316/347 MB/s respectively).
SK Hynix has a really nice product with the S31 Gold SSD. It’s providing solid performance and the results I got from my individual testing was completely in line with the specs for the SSD. With a lower-end price point ($119 at the time of writing this article), I think it’s a clear candidate for someone looking to boost their performance with an SSD.