SK Hynix Gold P31 SSD review: The first 128-layer NAND drive is fast and affordable too

The SK Hynix Gold P31 NVMe SSD moves the needle on the industry seismometer just enough to makes this review far easier to write. Two points alter the needle’s path: The P31 is not only the first drive to sport 128-layer TLC NAND, it’s also the first in my experience to feature eco-friendly packaging. Huzzah!

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best SSDs. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.

Design and specs

While the SK Hynix Gold P31 uses the same 2280 (22 mm wide, 80 mm long) form factor as most SSDs, the similarities stop there. Instead of the usual 96 layers of TLC NAND, the P31’s TLC NAND sports 128. How this translates to “4D,â€� as the company refers to it in the product brief, rather than 3D, I’m not sure. There’s DRAM cache on board, and NAND is employed as secondary cache, though we were not given the amounts involved. Whatever they are, they’re effective.

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