SK Hynix Gold P31 Review

SK Hynix Gold P31 SSD Review

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Last Updated on January 1, 2022 by Daniel

The SK Hynix Gold P31 is a nice device that is an excellent performer for the price. It’s not the fastest drive on the market but it is more than fast enough for a lot of use cases. Its random write performance is good for the price and its sequential write performance is better than other drives we’ve tested at the same price point.

The drive comes in a wide range of capacities and the largest drive is capable of read speeds up to 550 MB/s. The drive is not designed to be used as an upgrade for a slower drive in a system and it is recommended to use it with a SATA interface.

Hynix is a well-known company in the hard disk drive market and they have been making SSDs for a while. We recently reviewed one of their drives, the Hynix P32. While the P32 is a nice drive for the price, it has a smaller cache and it was only available in a 4GB capacity.

The Hynix P31 is an upgrade drive for the P32. It uses the same controller and the same NAND flash as the P32, but it has a larger cache and comes in capacities up to 128GB. The drive has a faster interface and a larger cache.

SK Hynix Gold P31: BENCHMARKS

Here’s how the SK Hynix Gold P31 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

  • CrystalDiskMark Sequential: 3,602.05MB/s (read); 3,432.28MB/s (write)
  • CrystalDiskMark Random Q32: 2,442.2MB/s (read); 2,657.3MB/s (write)
  • 10GB file transfer: 4.53 seconds
  • 10GB folder transfer: 5.3 seconds
  • PCMark10 SSD: 2,296 points

TEST SYSTEM SPECS

This is the system we used to test the SK Hynix Gold P31

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
  • CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Spire
  • RAM: 32GB T-Force Vulcan Z CL18 @3,600MHz
  • Motherboard: MSI B550 Pro VDH Wi-Fi
  • Graphics card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC Gaming
  • OS SSD: Samsung 980 Pro @ 500GB
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 750W
  • Case: ThermalTake Core V21

SK Hynix Gold P31: Performance

SK Hynix Gold p31 ssd

Utilizing the PCIe 3.0 x4 interface, the P31 is far superior in terms of raw speed. We see sequential read speeds of 3,602MB/s, beating out the Samsung 970 Evo, 970 Pro, and WD Black SN750. 

The sequential write speeds put it even further ahead at 3,432MB/s, which is over 400MB/s faster than all of its competitors. Our recent testing showed that only the Corsair MP400 came close to matching the P31’s performance, but it fell short by over 100MB/s in both tests.

When it comes to random performance, which is more important for everyday use, the P31 continues to lead the pack. With random read speeds of 2,442 MB/s and random write speeds of 2657 MB/s, it’s closer to PCIe 4.0 SSDs than to Samsung 970 and WD Black SN750 families of products that offer 300-400MB/s speeds. Although it can’t compete with sequential read/write performance, it outperformed the PCIe 4.0 Silicon Power US70 in random write speed.

With the current price of the SK Hynix Gold P31, it’s an easy recommendation, especially for laptop upgrades, where its single-sided PCB design should make it easier to fit and its green PCB won’t be an eyesore. As a result, the MP400 offers solid competition, and its 1TB capacity is better than the P31’s. However, the P31 is faster and offers a greater capacity at 750TBW (compared to the MP400’s 400TBW), and is only slightly more expensive.

SK Hynix Gold P31: Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Random strength Few capacities
Strong value Dull looks
Fast for PCIe 3.0

It’s worth buying if…

Speed is what you want

The SK Hynix Gold P31 is a good option if you want to get the most out of your PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. If you want to get faster speeds, you’ll have to upgrade to PCIe 4.0, which will cost more and may require a new motherboard.

You are thinking about the value

When speed comes at a fair price, it is even better. Even QLC-based SSDs are competitively priced with the P31’s strong dollar-per-gigabyte ratio.

You’re upgrading the storage on your laptop

The SK Hynix Gold P31 combines all the memory onto one side of the PCB, making it a slimmer drive that may fit into laptops better than some other two-sided models.

You shouldn’t buy it if…

You are putting the finishing touches on your gaming rig

While the P31 would be great in a gaming rig, if you like to show off your components, you might not like the plain green PCB of this SSD. Since your motherboard probably isn’t green, it will stick out quite a bit.

 If you want maximum capacity

Speed and value are good for the P31, but SK Hynix doesn’t offer anything larger than 1TB. If you have multiple PCIe slots, the Corsair MP400 may be a better choice since it is available in capacities of 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB.

You have PCIe 4.0 slots

Despite its good performance, the P31 isn’t as fast as the Silicon Power US70, which is only a little more expensive.

VERDICT

SK Hynix Gold P31 exceeds many of its competitors in terms of performance, but new PCIe 4.0 SSDs are gaining market share with better speeds and fair prices.