The Solidigm P44 Pro is the latest flagship PCIe 4 M.2 SSD from Intel’s former NAND division, which is now owned by SK Hynix. We can’t imagine it’s been easy for SK Hynix to reinvent this storage division, especially in a crowded market that’s seeing reduced prices for the latest PCIe 4 SSDs while we wait for the first PCIe 5 SSDs to land. However, the P44 Pro boasts some mightily impressive specs for the money.
SSD pricing is critical at the moment, given that real-world differences in speed are often indistinguishable for many tasks, and the P44 Pro seems to be right on the money, sitting at $220 US / £210 GBP for a 2TB model and $130 US / £115 GBP for 1TB, while the 512GB model will set you back $80 US / £85 GBP.
WD’s Black SN850X costs a little more for 2TB and a bit less for 1TB, while both SSDs have the same endurance ratings, at 750 terabytes written (TBW) for the 1TB model we’re reviewing here, rising to 1,200TBW for the 2TB model.
The Solidigm P44 Pro performance has the edge on its competitors. While WD’s Black SN850X dips down from a claimed write speed of 6,600MB/sec to 6,300MB/sec when you drop from 2TB to 1TB, the P44 Pro maintains its claimed 6,500MB/sec for both capacities, only falling to 4,700MB/sec when you get down to the 512GB model.
There’s no heatsink-equipped model, unlike the Black SN850X, so you’ll need to use your motherboard’s cooling or purchase a third-party heatsink, but many new motherboards come with at least one M.2 heatsink these days.
If you don’t use a heatsink, the Solidigm gets toasty enough after a minute or two under full load to throttle. With a heatsink attached, though, the Solidigm P44 Pro CrystalDiskMark speeds were bang on, hitting a 7,200MB/sec read speed and 6,558MB/sec write speed, which was up there with the likes of the Samsung 990 Pro, Kingston Fury Renegade and WD Black SN850X.
Its random 4K 32-queue-depth 16-thread and results of 5,900MBsec for reads and 5,092MB/sec for writes is also either in first or second place compared to the aforementioned competitors. The same also goes for its single-queue-depth single-thread performance of 343MB/sec for reads and 87MB/sec for writes.
However, the Solidigm’s best performance was seen in the game access times in 3DMark’s storage suite, with by far the quickest times of all the SSDs previously mentioned, along with the fastest load read speeds.
For example, loading Battlefield V it hit 1,367MB/sec with an access time of 56μs, compared to 1,080MB/sec and 67μs for the WD Black SN850X, 971MB/sec and 77μs for the Samsung 990 Pro and 856MB/sec plus 88μs for the Kingston Fury Renegade.
Solidigm P44 pros and cons
- Excellent sequential speeds
- Competitive price
- Great game load performance
- Not as cheap as similar PCIe 4 M.2 SSDs
- Other SSDs have higher endurance ratings
- Heatsink required to prevent throttling
Solidigm P44 Pro specs
The Solidigm P44 Pro specs list is:
|Controller||SK Hynix Aries|
|Endurance rating||750TBW (1TB), 1,200TBW (2TB)|
Solidigm P44 Pro price
The Solidigm 44 Pro price isn’t cheap, but it’s competitive for the fast performance on offer.
Price: Expect to pay $220 US / £210 GBP (2TB), $130 US / £115 GBP (1TB), $80 US / £85 GBP (512GB)
Solidigm P44 Pro review conclusion
The keen prices for the Solidigm P44 Pro range are welcome and this drive series ultimately offers slightly better bang for your buck than the WD Black SN850X, and it also performed much better than the Kingston Fury Renegade in the 3DMark game performance tests too. However, the Kingston SSD is also much cheaper, costing £180 for 2TB and £95 for 1TB and has a higher TBW endurance rating
Most of us are unlikely to get close to the P44 Pro’s write limits, though, so for maximum performance it’s still a great buy whether you need 512GB, 1TB or 2TB capacities, so long as you pair it with a heatsink. For those looking for slightly better value, the Kingston Fury Renegade is cheaper at every capacity, but the Solidigm P44 Pro is a fantastic speed demon for not much more cash.
Looking for more storage upgrade options? Check out our guide to the best gaming SSD where we recommend options for every budget, with 1TB drives starting from just $55.
Solidigm P44 Pro rating
The fastest M.2 SSD we’ve tested for game loads, although you can get similar performance for less money elsewhere.