SK hynix lays claim to fastest PCIe 4.0 SSD

SK hynix has released the Platinum P41 PCIe 4.0 SSD amid claims of unmatched speeds and reliability.

The M.2 gumstick format device was first announced in January. It has 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities, sequential read speeds up to 7,000 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 6,500 MB/s with, SK hynix says, an industry-leading endurance rating of up to 1,200 TBW.

It also says the Platinum P41 is capable of up to 1,400K IOPS in random reads and up to 1,300K IOPS in random writes, claiming this is the highest-end throughput on the PCIe 4.0 interface.

Dae Jung Cho, head of SSD marketing at SK hynix, pushed the performance rating in a statement, saying: “We are delighted to introduce the Platinum P41, the first of our Platinum series of SSDs to drive the strongest PCIe Gen4 bandwidth experience for computing needs.”

SK hynix Platinum P41 NVMe

All this performance pushing by SK hynix drove us to collate sequential and random IO performance for PCIe 4.0 SSDs to see if it is right. This table is the result:

SK hynix comparison

We only listed SSDs with a minimum of 1.4 million random read IOPS, and we highlighted the highest numbers in the random and sequential performance categories. Chinese supplier Inspur shares the highest random read IOPS rating, at 1.5 million, with Kioxia’s FL6.

This FL6 is classed as a storage-class memory drive by Kioxia and uses fast SLC (1 bit/cell) NAND unlike the other SSDS in our table which use inherently slower TLC (3 bits/cell) 3D NAND. They rely on parallel access within the drive and fast controllers to reach the speeds they do.

The FL6, like virtually every other SSD in the table, is optimized for random reads and not one breaches the 1 million random write IOPS barrier other than SK hynix’s Platinum P41 – with up to 1.3 million random write IOPS. This is more than three times faster than the fastest alternatives we list.

Two SSDs share the top place in sequential read bandwidth – the Platinum P41 and Inspur’s Enterprise NVMe SSD, both with 7GBps. But, once again, SK hynix wins at writing, with the top sequential write bandwidth of 6.5GBps. 

Blocks & Files thinks that, with the top random write IOPS rating, the highest sequential write performance, and joint first place in sequential read performance, SK hynix is justified in claiming it has unmatched speeds and the highest-end throughput of PCIe 4.0 SSDs. This is despite it not being the fastest random read IPS performer, sharing joint fourth place with Kioxia’s CM6, behind Inspur, Kioxia (FL6), and Micron.

The Platinum P41 would excel as a mixed workload enterprise SSD. SK hynix says it is now available for purchase on Amazon in the US, and the prices are 2TB: $259.99, 1TB: $149.99 and 500GB: $104.99.