Zotac’s speedy Sonix drive joins the NVMe SSD field

When solid-state drives started to hit the performance ceiling of the SATA interface and the AHCI protocol, manufacturers started looking to PCIe and the NVM Express protocol to open up a new vista of performance. A few PCIe SSD options, like Intel's 750 Series and Samsung's 950 Pro, have been on the market for a little while, but the competition is starting to heat up. With its Sonix PCIe SSD, Zotac is officially entering the field.

The Sonix is a 480GB SSD that uses the add-in card form factor rather than the more compact M.2 2280 design typical of other PCIe SSDs. It houses Toshiba MLC NAND and a 512MB cache of DDR3 RAM. The Sonix supports NVMe and four lanes of PCIe 3.0 connectivity, a combination that promises a lot of performance.

Zotac's claimed read and write speeds for the Sonix are impressive. Zotac claims the drive can reach sequential read speeds of up to 2,600 MB/s, and sequential writes as fast as 1,300 MB/s. For comparison, Zotac claims that its Premium SATA SSDs are capable of 560 MB/s sequential reads and 500 MB/s sequential writes. That's a healthy boost for moving to the new interface.

The better comparison, of course, is with other PCIe drives. Samsung's 512GB 950 Pro is specified for 2,500 MB/s sequential reads and 1,500 MB/s sequential writes, while Intel's 400GB 750 Series drive promises 2,200 MB/s sequential reads and 900 MB/s sequential writes.

If the Sonix lives up to Zotac's claims, it could be quite the contender. It's a little concerning, though, that Zotac didn't provide random I/O specs at all, an unusual omission for any SSD. The Sonix PCIe SSD ships with a low-profile adapter and comes with a three-year warranty.  Zotac has not yet announced pricing and availability.

Comments closed
    • MOSFET
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]vista of performance[/quote<] 2 of those 3 words appearing together gave me a good chuckle. Thanks!

    • kn00tcn
    • 4 years ago

    why is it a CG render

      • MOSFET
      • 4 years ago

      I imagine your question is rhetorical, but these things stand out:

      [quote<]A few PCIe SSD options, like Intel's 750 Series and Samsung's 950 Pro, have been on the market for a little while, but the competition is starting to heat up. With its Sonix PCIe SSD, [b<]Zotac is officially entering the field.[/b<][/quote<] Soon....soon.... [quote<]Zotac claims[/quote<] [quote<]If the Sonix lives up to Zotac's claims[/quote<] [quote<]It's a little concerning, though, that Zotac didn't provide random I/O specs at all, an unusual omission for any SSD. [/quote<] [quote<]Zotac has not yet announced pricing and availability.[/quote<] Not trying to cast doubt on Zotac as a vendor. Through work, I've dealt with 5 Zotac GPUs in the last 7 years, starting with two fanless 9500GT's. One had an issue 1.5 years in, and the RMA process was excellent. Not sure where one of the 9500GT's went, but the remaining 9500GT, GT 240 (also fanless), and two GT 630's all work flawlessly to this day.

        • Chrispy_
        • 4 years ago

        Zotac is the Nvidia product arm of PC partner, and their quality is equal to Sapphire, which is the AMD product arm of PC partner.

        Whilst people aren’t sure about Zotac’s history and reputation (they’ve not been around as long as Sapphire), Sapphire is one of the oldest GPU vendors on the market with a great track record.

          • jessterman21
          • 4 years ago

          Edit – answered my own question

    • NTMBK
    • 4 years ago

    They should call the successor the SuperSonix.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 4 years ago

    If you can get an SSD with NVMe in a M.2 interface then why the heck is that thing so big?

      • Neutronbeam
      • 4 years ago

      Reasons!

        • JDZZL
        • 4 years ago

        Good ones!

      • adampk17
      • 4 years ago

      LOL, good question!

      • djayjp
      • 4 years ago

      So that people (like me) who don’t have m.2 support can just plug it into pcie (I presume).

      • w76
      • 4 years ago

      Cooling perhaps? Some of those little drives throttle due to thermals.

      • zalbard
      • 4 years ago

      Probably the raid controller and cache.

        • Ethyriel
        • 4 years ago

        And a good controller doesn’t just magically make a drive fast, a big part of it is more NAND chips working in parallel. Those chips take space.

      • kuraegomon
      • 4 years ago

      Airflow. One presumes that this bad boy runs pretty hot. Honestly, even if I had M2 support, I’d prefer an add-in card form factor right now for a PCIe SSD. There have been quite a few reports of temperature-triggered throttling with gumstick drives.

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