SK Hynix Beetle X31 evaluate: This 10Gbps USB SSD scurries
July 4, 2023 5 min read
At a look
Table of Contents
Prime 10Gbps performer
Compact, rounded design
Obtainable solely in pale gold
Pricier than the competitors
Barely sooner, and barely dearer than the competitors on the time of this writing, SK Hynix’s first foray into USB SSDs, the Beetle X31 is an certified success.
Value When Reviewed
512GB/$71.06 I ITB/$92.69
Greatest Costs At this time:
Evocative designs, catchy names, and engaging packaging all assist to promote a product. Witness Seagate and WD’s apply of promoting mainly the identical storage units at each mainstream customers and players. To not point out Apple, which has raked in trillions off of its famend consideration to product presentation and intelligent advertising terminology.
SK Hynix has adopted go well with to an extent with its excellent-performing Beetle X31 exterior SSD. The identify and packaging are suggestive (The Mummy?), as is the design… considerably. I really want they’d gone to city theme-wise with the drive’s precise look, however given the chart-topping efficiency, I’ll let that slide.
Additional studying: See our roundup of one of the best exterior drives to find out about competing merchandise.
SK Hynix Beetle X31 design and worth
With a vivid sufficient creativeness (and the suggestion of the image on the packaging proven under), the X31 does have considerably the looks of a beetle. With out the appendages or division of the elytra and thorax, that’s.
SK Hynix may need executed higher calling it “Scarab” and utilizing colours extra evocative than the pale gold it ships in. However that’s a matter for advertising professionals.
The Beetle X31 is concerning the measurement of a scarab beetle at round 1.8-inches vast, 2.9-inches lengthy, and 0.57-inches thick. It weighs lower than two ounces and the metallic shell appears very rugged. There are non-skid pads on the underside, and a Sort-C port and exercise gentle on one finish.
As of this writing, the X31 Beetle is offered on Amazon in 512GB/$71.06 and 1TB/$92.69 flavors. That’s above common for a 1TB, 10Gbps USB SSD and is likely to be a tricky promote when well-known Samsung’s 1TB T7 Transportable is $10 cheaper.
The innards of the X31 should be NVMe from the 1GBps efficiency we noticed. SATA tops out at round 550MBps, ruling that out. The inner design little question leverages certainly one of SK Hynix’s personal SSDs. TLC NAND is probably going employed, judging from its efficiency when secondary cache runs out. Extra on that under.
How does the SK Hynix Beetle X31 carry out?
The Beetle X31 proved barely sooner than the competitors general, although the margin could be largely unnoticeable to the bare eye. Nonetheless, sooner is quicker, and SK Hynix can cling its hat on the Beetle’s success.
The sequential single-queue, single-thread learn is the place the X31 made hay in CrystalDiskMark 8. In any other case, it was only a hair slower than the SanDisk Professional-G40.
The SK Hynix Beetle X31 turned in a sooner combination time than the 10Gbps competitors in our 48GB switch exams.
Although the Beetle X31 turned in an excellent 450GB write time, it went about reaching it in odd vogue. It began out at round 450MBps for the primary 50GB or so, jumped to round 850MBps for almost all of the write, then when it ran out of secondary cache close to the tip (treating the TLC as SLC, writing one bit/degree as a substitute of three bits/eight voltage ranges), it dropped to round 250MBps.
It’s the primary stint that’s uncommon, not the center or finish. This was replicated over all of the preliminary runs, in addition to the additional runs we ran to verify of what we have been seeing.
Notice that the time proven under occurred when the drive was squeaky new. It turned in considerably slower instances (about 100 seconds longer) writing 450GB after our 48GB exams have been run. In different phrases, count on considerably slower giant file writes from the 1TB drive throughout on a regular basis use.
The Beetle X31 took the number-one spot amongst 10Gbps SSDs in artificial benchmarks and our 48GB switch exams. It may additionally have taken the highest spot from the OWC Envoy Pro FX within the 450GB write if it have been accessible as a 2TB mannequin, although it’d nonetheless have been shut given the X31’s propensity for gradual begins.
Must you purchase the SK Hynix Beetle X31?
The X31 is at present our high 10Gbps performer, however being barely sooner doesn’t offset its steeper price ticket. Regardless, it’s a snug design with an amusing and entertaining moniker. Efficiency throughout the competitors being so shut, store this class on worth.
How we check
Exterior drive exams at present make the most of Home windows 11, 64-bit working on an X790 (PCIe 4.0/5.0) motherboard/i5-12400 CPU combo with two Kingston Fury 32GB DDR5 4800MHz modules (64GB of reminiscence whole). Each 20Gbps USB and Thunderbolt 4 are built-in to the again panel and Intel CPU/GPU graphics are used. The 48GB switch exams make the most of an ImDisk RAM disk taking on 58GB of the 64GB of whole reminiscence. The 450GB file is transferred from a Samsung 990 Professional 2TB which additionally runs the OS.
Every check is carried out on a newly formatted and TRIM’d drive so the outcomes are optimum. Notice that in regular use, as a drive fills up, efficiency will lower because of much less NAND for secondary caching, in addition to different components.
Caveat: The efficiency numbers proven apply solely to the drive we have been shipped and to the capability examined. SSD efficiency can and can range by capability because of extra or fewer chips to shotgun reads/writes throughout and the quantity of NAND accessible for secondary caching.Distributors additionally often swap parts. When you ever discover a big discrepancy between the efficiency you expertise and that which we report, by all means, tell us.