The XPG S70 Blade is a high-performance PCIe 4.0 SSD that I’ve had the pleasure of testing while wearing my other hat over at Digital Foundry, so when I spotted that it had been reduced over at Best Buy I dashed to my computer (exaggeration) to let you know. Right now, a roomy 2TB model is going for $220, the lowest price we’ve ever seen for a drive of this spec.
There are plenty of PCIe 4.0 SSDs out there, but XPG have a reputation for delivering high value SSDs that still perform great – and the S70’s sequential read and write speeds of 7400MB/s and 6800MB/s, respectively, mark it as one of the very fastest on the market. It also comes with a five year manufacturer warranty, which is a nice value-add.
The same drive is sold out on Amazon, but it’s retailed from $230 to $250 before – making the Best Buy price a historic low. If we have a look at other 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSDs, the cheapest example from a mainstream brand is a $240 Crucial P5 Plus, which hits only 6600MB/s and is therefore a bit slower when it comes to large file transfers (although random speeds are much more similar). There’s also an Inland Performance drive for $190, but it’s one of the slower first-generation PCIe 4.0 options at 5000MB/s.
So: very fast drive, very low price – for what it is. I think the big question here is whether you actually need a drive of this speed, and that boils down to where you’ll be using it and how much you believe in DirectStorage coming to save us all from long game load times.
Let’s tackle the first question first – you’ll need a motherboard that supports PCIe 4.0 or later to get the maximum speeds from this drive. The first PCIe 4.0 motherboards appeared with AMD’s X570 platform in 2019, so if you’ve bought or upgraded your computer in the last four years you have a good chance of supporting PCIe 4.0 – and if you plan on upgrading soon, then the drive will still operate at PCIe 3.0 speeds in any motherboard that supports M.2 NVMe SSDs in general. The other place this drive works well is in the PS5, where you can use it to expand the console’s woeful 667GB of internal storage to something a little more expansive – great if you like to keep multiple AAA PS5 titles installed at once.
The answer to the next part is less clear – DirectStorage is definitely coming, with the API having been released last month, but it’s not obvious when we’ll see the first DirectStorage titles actually get released, and how much the difference will be in terms of non-compatible SATA drives, compatible PCIe 3.0 drives and optimal PCIe 4.0 drives like the S70 Blade above. It’ll probably take longer than you think, on the order of months or years, but my hunch is that the game load time benefits will be impressive once the technology does actually arrive. So there’s no rush then, but adding a PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 drive to your PC is still a good bet if you need the storage anyway – as it’ll only become more useful in the future.
Anyway, that just about does it for this deal. Let me know what you think in the comments, as it’s always helpful to direct our deals coverage, and if you have any questions about SSDs do get in touch! Thanks for reading as always, and we’ll see you tomorrow for more dealios.