Never Fall Behind with the NEUTRON NX500

By Chris Stolze, on August 9, 2017

NVMe storage is ridiculously fast, but runs pretty hot. While the more common M.2 form factor makes it incredibly easy to install fast storage in cramped spaces, this also leads to higher temperatures which may lead to throttling.

Our new NEUTRON NX500 puts super-fast NVMe storage in an add-in-card (AIC) form-factor that stays cool under pressure thanks to its custom-designed heatsink.

Looking at the NX500, you’ll quickly notice the massive black aluminum heatsink and backplate as well as its stealthy black shroud. This cooling solution keeps the NX500’s controller nice and cool, peaking at close to 50C when compared to an M.2 drive which can reach temperatures of up to 90C or higher under load. Under the hood, the NX500 is built with multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory which is more reliable and faster than more common triple-level cell (TLC) flash.

Installing the NX500 is incredibly easy, simply find an open PCIe slot on your system’s motherboard with at least 4x PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes available, slot the card in, and secure it in place with your cases thumbscrews.

 

 

On the OS side, you can optimize the NX500’s performance by ensuring that its write-caching policy is set to “enable write caching” on the device as well as having it set to turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing.

 

 

Additionally, when you first setup the NX500 as a secondary drive, you can setup a MBR partition table with a 1024B alignment and a 4KB allocation unit size.

 

Now, just how fast is the NX500? It’s ludicrously fast. Topping out at around 2800MB/s and 1300MB/s on sequential reads and writes respectively, the NX500 is an awesome solution for reading and writing large files as fast as possible, though it's important to note that this performance can vary depending on your system configuration.

Here’s a quick screenshot from my test bench after running a few quick synthetic benchmarks..

How does this translate to real-world performance? First of all, the NX500 rarely throttles thanks to how cool it stays when under load. Here’s a quick snapshot of NX500 in a test system alongside an identical system that’s using an M.2 SSD (NX500 on the left and M.2 SSD on the right).

In gaming, larger game assets can be loaded into memory much faster, however that varies from game to game and the files are generally small enough to not be as effected by the bump in speed, that being said, large file transfers such as video files and other massive workloads can take full advantage of NVMe storage.

And that’s pretty much it! The NX500 is a fantastic solution for fast, reliable storage that stays cool and is backed by our 5-year warranty.


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