Lexar NM610 NVMe 1TB Review – Go Fast For Very Little
Lexar NM610 1TB NVMe
The Lexar NM610 M.2 NVMe SSD family is a lineup for the more cost-conscious market claiming to offer decent speeds with a low cost to upgrade to over traditional SATA solutions. The NM610 is a fairly basic NVMe drive offering up very little bells and whistles and operating sans DRAM but the advertised speeds are decent enough to have it competing with the likes of the Crucial P1 and the Intel 660p, both of which are fairly popular choices in the $100-120 USD price range. In our suite, we don't have the Intel 660p but thankfully the Crucial P1 is close enough to give you an idea of a point of comparison
Lexar NM610 NVMe Lineup
The Lexar NM610 Family of NVMe SSDs is featuring Intel's 64 layer TLC NAND modules powered by a Silicon Motion SM2263XT controller. The interesting part of the lineup offering up to 2,100 MB/s Reads and 1,600 MB/s Writes on the 1TB and 512GB models (2,000/1,200 on 250GB) is that these drives are DRAM-less. They instead rely on the SM2263XT uses the feature known as Host Memory Buffer that shares some of the system memory to handle the buffering. If your concerned that'll it'll chew up your memory capacity don't worry, it won't.
Lexar NM610 Lineup
|Lexar NM610 250GB||Lexar NM610 500GB||Lexar NM610 1TB|
|Form Factor||Single sided M.2 2280||Single sided M.2 2280||Single sided M.2 2280|
|Interface||PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.3||PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.3||PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.3|
|Controller||Silicon Motion SM2263XT||Silicon Motion SM2263XT||Silicon Motion SM2263XT|
|Memory||Intel 64 Layer TLC||Intel 64 Layer TLC||Intel 64 Layer TLC|
|Sequential Read||2,000 MB/s||2,100 MB/s||2,100 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||1,200 MB/s||1,600 MB/s||1,600 MB/s|
|Random Read||110,000 IOPS||188,000 IOPS||188,000 IOPS|
|Random Write||151,000 IOPS||156,000 IOPS||156,000 IOPS|
First Look At The Lexar NM610 NVMe – Unboxing And Closer Look
The packaging of the Lexar NM610 could easily deceive you into thinking it's a higher tier product thanks to its well-designed box and layout. The problem with it is you will not find any information regarding performance on the box other than an 'Up To 2100MB/s transfer' label on the top of the back. The speeds and feeds specifications on the packaging is very important for the off the shelf shoppers and more information is needed there. The internal packaging does a great job of protecting the drive while being transported from the factory to your home.
The drive itself features a nice black PCB so that it's not a distracting eyesore once installed on a desktop motherboard without a heatsink, but it's slightly marred by the bland and largely white sticker on the outer facing side. While I can complain that the sticker is boring I can't complain that they put it on upside down.
Our test bench is now using the EVGA Z370 Classified K paired with an Intel Core i9-9900K at 5GHz paired with 16GB DDR4 3200 RAM and decided to go sans dedicated GPU. The reasoning for this was simple as I had to remove the GPU to access the secondary m.2 slot so that I could run the tests. Before starting the tests I loaded the NVMe drive up to 60% capacity so that the testing would not be run on a clean empty drive.
|CPU||Intel Core i9-9900K @5GHz|
|Memory||G.Skill Trident Z 2x8GB (16GB) 3200MHz CL16|
|PSU||Cooler Master V1200P|
|OS||Windows 10-64 Bit|
|Motherboard||EVGA Z370 Classified K|
|Case||Lian Li T70X|
Lexar NM610 NVMe
ATTO Disk Benchmark
As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware software to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as the host connection to attached storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark.
The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adapters (HBAs), hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.
Crystal Disk Mark 6.0
CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software Made by a Japanese coder named Hiyohiyo and is one of the simplest and most frequently used tests for storage due to its simple and easy to understand UI. It measure sequential reads/writes speed,measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed,select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill).
AS SSD is the opposite of ATTO as it uses incompressible data rather than compressible data and simulates the worst possible scenario imaginable for an SSD which gives the best understanding of performance when pushing the drive to its limits.
We separate the IOPS and MB/s in the results for ease of reading.
ANVIL's Storage Utilities
Anvil's Storage Utilities benchmark may be a bit of an older benchmark, but it's still very much relevant today. It takes various performance and response time metrics and gives them a score in read and writes then delivers an overall rating, which is useful to see where an HDD or SSD slots in general performance.
The Lexar NM610 1TB NVMe proves itself a competent competitor to drives like the Crucial P1 keeping up with it and often surpassing it in read and write performance at the higher end. Through the testing we see that smaller packets fo data are handled more quickly due to its use of the Host Memory Buffer showing that it isn't always a negative to not have the DRAM on the drive but it can come in handy for large file transfers.
While the Lexar NM610 displays decent all around performance for the price I would recommend this drive, and others in this performance category, to be used mostly for secondary NVMe storage for things like games and have a much faster, even if it has to be smaller in capacity, drive for primary storage.
The only real complaints I have about the Lexar NM610 1TB NMVe drive are its unattractive sticker and lack of software. The lack of software means that inexperienced upgrades will likely have to seek help for upgrading to this drive where a basic cloning utility like so many other drives come with could go a long way to adding to this drives value.
At the time of publishing the 1TB model is out of stock but the 515GB is readily available for it's $69.99 asking price at Amazon.
Products mentioned in this post
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The Lexar NM610 1TB NVMe proves itself a competent competitor to drives like the Crucial P1.
- Good performance
- Black PCB
- Priced appropriately
- No software
- Distracting sticker