Sabrent Rocket Q: Is the First 8TB M.2 SSD Worth Buying?

by birtanpublished on November 25, 2020

folks welcome to one cool thing where we show off the latest gear and software that comes through PC labs now these days PC labs is virtual of course because we're locked down here in New York City where our headquarters are so I'm John burek reporting from home and I have on the line here with me Chris Tobin one of our hardware analysts he's also at home and is specializing these days and components CPUs storage things of that sort so one of our recent tests that we did was on a rather unique SSD from a company called Sabourin Sabourin is probably not the first

Company you would think of when you think of storage they tend to make adapters and things of that sort if you've seen them on Newegg and other retailers but we have an interesting SSD line from Saverin here and Chris took the highest capacity one for test drive so Chris could you share with us why this Sabourin SSD which is called the rocket Q so special sure so this is a first nvme of its kind it's an eight terabyte nvme and 220 280 drive that fits 8 terabytes as I said all on the one stick which is a bit revolutionary and it changes the game I think for a

Lot of both PC owners and laptop owners who only have a single slot available on their computer so 8 terabytes so have we seen an 8 terabyte SSD before in any form factor I mean you said that's an m2 which is a little stick which tends to be the kind of drive that gets installed on a laptop or in certain slots on a desktop motherboard but have we seen a terabyte anywhere else we haven't seen one before a Seifert is actually the first to market with and a terabyte SSD that you can use to upgrade your machines but Samsung is gonna be following close behind we currently have

The 4 terabyte version of the 870 qvo and they Samsung has announced plans to release an 8 terabyte version sometime in August okay right yeah when we were reviewing the bathmate version of the qvo they hadn't released pricing yet we just knew it was coming pretty soon so Sabourin sort of stolen march on samsung here but um there's a particular I guess use case for this drive right because you can clearly get smaller capacity drives and in many cases for instance if you're using a desktop you could put multiple drives in the desktop right so you can

Easily sort of say put two fours or four two terabyte drives in a system if the system is able to accommodate it so how would you say but what is sort of the use case for this drive I guess it's you only have one slot and you gotta make the most of it right pretty much and primarily you're gonna find that with laptops laptops almost always come with just a single m2 upgradable slot whether it be for your storage or anything else any other peripherals and this is a way for you to take a laptop and really upgrade its storage by a lot or like you said if there's a motherboard on your

Desktop PC that only has a single m2 slot which some holder older motherboards most certainly do this is a way to do kind of supercharger storage all in one go right yeah I guess the idea is if it's a desktop though you go and just use that slot you know put whatever in that slot and then supplementary in a supplementary matter put say a SATA Drive on the outside so this is specifically for you've owned up one slot you gotta make the most of it you don't have any other sort of options so I'm in common with the Samsung as I understand it this uses what's called

Qlc memory can you get into a little bit about what does qlc memory it's only a few drives if you've seen to date use that correct correct so PLC stands for quad level cell which it refers to there's a couple different types there's TLC and mlc as well which are triple level cell and multi-level cell and SSDs use these or the way that an SSD will use that is basically determining how much storage you can get into a particular amount of space and so the qlc uses four bits per cell which is a good way to get a lot of space or get a lot of storage into a less space but one

Of the biggest trade-offs between qlc TLC and mlc is qoc tends to be the less durable of all the different types so TLC is generally higher and then mlc as well okay so plc generally shows up in budget drives because you are able to use less sort of nand Tyrael the memory modules and get the same amount of capacity versus say a TLC or an mlc but one of the things about qlc that I think just even from specs never mind from testing is that it tends to be rated by the manufacturer for what are called lower durability ratings or right durability ratings what can you

Say about that yeah so right their ability basically refers to its it's measured in a term called tbw which stands for terabytes written and it'll basically say how much write the data you can write to that tribe before the cells start to degrade they won't outright fail but you might end up with a little bit less storage space as time goes on if you hit that limit often times normal users will not hit those limits but we are talking about an 8 terabyte SSD here so we might get some power users and some enterprise users interested in it as well right yes

I mean that's the thing with this drive is 8 terabytes I mean Sabourin makes other versions of it that are less than 8 terabytes like most SSD lines you can get them in multiple capacity as this was just interesting in that you can get it in an 8 but that kind of suggests to me that you know if you're going to be using this for very right intensive operations like say you're a video editor who's writing very large files all the time and multiple versions every day maybe it's less suited so much if you're filling the drive and rewriting it then

For something like archiving like say a video archive that you're not going to change much or like all your white WAV files or something of that sort I mean what do you think would be sort of the ideal use case for this from like a data and usage point of view sure yeah I mean it's it's not so good as a nightly backup Drive because again if you're writing a lot of data to it it is going to exhaust that durability rating pretty quickly but if you're you know installing games onto it a lot of people are you know especially with games like Call of Duty now taking it I think it's

Upwards of 240 gigabytes just for one game we're sort of entering this new era where you do need much larger drives in order to store these gains especially if you want to play more than one at a time and you want to have quick load times for it so you could use this as your Steam library folder you could use it as your media folder or your your Drive excuse me your your media drive or would work as a backup would say if you don't do frequent backups let's say if you're only backing up once a month or once even once a week it might be more

Suited to that but otherwise you're gonna want to look for maybe one of Saveur and slower are another Drive that has a higher durability rating to it so that you can be sure that it's gonna last for the long haul right so the TBW rating tends to not in an absolute sense but tends to correspond to the memory type on the drive right so the QL sees that we've seen tend to have relatively lower tvw ratings and the TL seeds of the same capacity is that correct correct yeah qlc is known for its budget aspects it is a it is a way to make a larger drive

Cheaper than it would be otherwise but when we're talking about otherwise we're saying TLC which can have higher durability but will also come with a higher price point as a result right now one way of looking at like tvw ratings is by capacity right so for instance you have the 8 terabytes aberrant there which has a tvw rating of 18 hundred terabytes written over its lifetime right so this scale is according to capacity as I understand it so if you have the same drive in half the capacity at 4 terabytes the tvw rating is also half or roughly half right I mean I

Don't think it's perfect scaling but it's close right it's close yeah basically the if you go down the scale it goes up a little bit per so the 18th or the a terabyte has 1800 terabytes per terabyte written through ability rating the 4 terabyte has 940 so it's just a little bit over half right and then you go down one more you get to the two terabyte which is 500 and 30 terabytes written and then the one terabyte which is 260 right so I guess what draws from that is if you're looking at any drive whether it's qlc TLC whatever it's based on know that just because something has

A higher terabytes written rating that's also tied into its capacity so a higher capacity will also mean a higher term it's writ rate simply blue there are more cells there to be written ok yeah that's good for folks who are you know looking at these things to know because higher is generally better but higher can be higher because the capacity factor not necessarily because anything in need about the memory cells themselves if that makes sense exactly oh cool so I'm I mean the other aspect of TLC is performance right so you spent a lot of time testing this

Drive on our storage testbed which has been relocated to virtual quarters out of PC labs what did you see generally about this drive in terms of its performance it's a PCI Express drive so it has sort of different traits than a SATA Drive would but how did it perform in general um in general it was just a merrill around the midpoint it's not it's not a screamer it's not gonna it's not gonna break any records it's not going to be the the drive that sort of sets a new standard for the rest of the drives to aspire to but it performs quite well I

Mean especially for a qlc Drive which sometimes can suffer a little bit in performance compared to TLC it does hold its own against some TLC drives and is as you can see from our charts here well it didn't do so great in PC Mar 10 and our overall test as you go through you can see that it generally does start to pick up a little bit as we go to tests like booting Windows 10 launching games and going through Adobe Creative Program launching on during the copy test it actually pretty much went right to spec it was rated for 3,200 megabytes per second read and 2900

Megabytes per second right and it did just under that so we're we're looking at a drive that really does what it says it's gonna do but it doesn't claim that it's gonna be the best thing ever and that's perfectly fine I mean if you're really looking for a high performance drive that can really put up with a lot of speeds you're gonna want to look at maybe like a one terabyte ELC instead this is really for people who need a lot of data to be transferred into a big spot that's just a single slot which doesn't generally lead to needing a lot of performance it's more like you said

Like a backup drive or an archive Drive and if you're doing those kinds of tasks there's the amount of time it takes for it to backup your data or install a game onto it is not the biggest deal Prabhat yeah so I mean the whole idea behind is being maximum capacity in the minimum number of slots what that leads people to wonder is if it's unique what does it cost right and is Sabourin sort of charging a premium for this given that the only game in town at the moment so the big reveal is what does theater by drive cost rice is not gonna be cheap you actually might be able to get an

Entire other laptop for the same amount that you would spend on this because the eight terabyte is fairly going for $14.99 ninety-nine okay I mean what any SSD you have to look at from the point of view of like was it cost per gigabyte or in this case per terabyte alright so what it's the the per gigabyte price in this and how does that compare against sort of some of the lesser capacity versions of this and other drives sure so at the height is a bit of a conflicting Drive because at the top end it actually gets more expensive which is generally not the case with SSDs that we

See the more storage that's available on the drive the more that you're going to be able to or the less that you'll actually spend per gigabyte the the strange thing or the unique thing would say about the rock EQ is that in this line of both one terabyte and the two terabyte versions are actually a great value they do quite well as far as putting themselves up against even some some very valid pics like the WD blue SN 550 which only goes for 10 cents per gigabyte at the one terabyte version this is this is twelve cents per gigabyte at the one terabyte version but

Once you go up to the four terabyte and eight terabyte tears you run into a 21 cents per gigabyte and 19 cents per gigabyte respectively which is quite a bit on the high end even for especially for a qlc Drive yak you'll see tends to be sort of budget solutions so there is a bit of a premium here for getting all that in one drive and in one slot and and the way that we would say that if you really need all this storage on one slot this is pretty much gonna be your only option but if you can find a way to get a connector card like we can show you in a second you could get two to two

Terabytes on there and spend quite a bit less while still getting the same amount of storage in the same space you do need to have a PCIe slot for that yeah that's yeah actually with what we were preparing for this video I found one of these in a box from a motherboard maker you can if you have a desktop and it has a spare PCI Express slot it's small a card like this I'll hold it up here for you basically don't look very pretty but what you see are a couple of em two slots on this so you could put multiple em two drives on a single card and that in a slot like you would a video

Card and use that as sort of an SSD on a PCI Express card and some of them come with four slots so you could conceivably do something like for two terabyte SSDs and if the card costs you under hundred bucks and the two terabyte version of this is how much is it Chris it's the two terabyte is only two forty nine which comes up to twelve cents per gigabyte so it's it's quite a bit less than the a terabyte version and your your other option two is just going to be as we mentioned at the top of this at the top of this video Samsung is looking to release a SATA based a terabyte qlt

Drive sometime next month and if the pricing follows the same trend that we saw with the original launch that that drive could end up being about $500 less and the 8 terabytes apron so the value of the saver of mega may not look so great in about a month so we'll see how that how that plays out and to whether you can put that drive in your system or not right so you have a laptop you can't force a drive in it because it's unless it's an old laptop that has a two and a half inch Bay right so this might be your only solutions in a laptop

Situation but in a desktop situation you might very well be able to put that Samsung in there we don't know Samsung may well decide to put a premium price on the two blues it's the only beater bike SATA you know of the moment right so this remains to be seen what will happen yeah so I'm given that this is $59 in the eater by capacity Chris this is clearly a little bit of an investment as either an upgrade or as a PC build component we I noticed that there's a five-year warranty on this drive from Sabourin but there's a little bit of a catch what is that

So by default the saber will come with a one-year warranty if you don't do anything if you just buy the drive chuck it in and then you've done you'll get the one-year warranty on it but if you register with Sabourin you register the drive via the serial number you will get a five-year warranty which is a little bit uncommon generally that 5-year warranty is just sort of built into the purchase price and so the registration is a bit strange but a little understandable – they're a newer company that storage space so alright so basically do that make sure you when you

Buy it you register right away so you gonna keep it got it exactly right in terms of a software they came with it you could get into that a little bit but I don't think there was anything too surprising there was a Acronis package I believe that it let you download and what beyond that it also comes with a rocket control panel software which as you mentioned is a brain it's a bit boiler plate it really does mean the main things that you expect you can format your drive manage to drive change the drive letter and paths that kind of thing and then also do it can run a

Secure race and also an encryption okay so pretty much standard stuff for an SSD pretty much okay well cool this drive is $15 it's available now comes in four capacities but the one that is most interesting for our purposes here is the 8 terabytes aberrant rocket Q which is the only m2 PCI Express drive that you get in that capacity at the moment so thanks for giving us lowdown on it Chris it's been good talking to you all and we look forward to seeing you on the next one cool thing

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