Unboxing and Review of Sabrent Rocket Q 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

The Sabrent Rocket Q surprised the PC community in May 2020 as the industry-first 8 TB internal NVMe SSD, thanks to the use of QLC NAND flash. We were able to get our hands on it and see how it performs.


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Available only in M.2 2280 form factor, Rocket Q can have capacities from 500 GB to 8 TB. The advertised maximum sequential read/write speeds are 3300 MB/s and 3000 MB/s through the PCIe 3.0×4 interface, which will be slightly different for each size.

The SSD has a MTBF of 1.8 million hours and rated endurance levels from 120 TBW to 1800 TBW. It is provided with a 5-year warranty.


Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

The Rocket Q is packed in a tiny metal box, painted in white. The outer cardboard box is printed with the SSD’s model name, capacity, UPC code and some regulatory labels.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

Included in the box is a user manual for the installation, as well as a free copy of Acronis True Image software. It allows you to easily backup, clone and move your data and operating system to the new drive.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

Only the top side of the blue printed circuit board (PCB) is occupied by the components for our 2 TB model (SB-RKTQ-2TB). There is not much information on the stickers, except for the model name and serial number.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

Paired with the SSD are the custom RKT 303 memory controller and Micron’s latest 96-Layer 3D QLC NAND flash (IA7HG66AWA). The controller is basically a rebranded version of the Phison PS5012-E12S. A single 4 Gb (512 MB) DDR3L-1866 RAM chip from Nanya (NT5CC256M16ER-EK) is also present for caching.

*We have briefly explained the differences between TLC and QLC NAND flash in the UD70’s review, which you can read for more details. In short, QLC-based SSDs allow for higher capacities and cheaper costs, but sacrifice some endurance and raw write speeds.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

Same as the Rocket, the sticker on top is a copper foil, which helps increase the total heat capacity to delay thermal throttling in long transfer.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

The PCIe 3.0×4 interface has a theoretical bandwidth of 32 GT/s or 3.94 GB/s, achieved via the M.2 (M-Key) connector.


Testing Methodology

To test the performance of the solid-state drive, we use four well-established storage benchmarking software. They are CrystalDiskMark, ATTO Disk Benchmark, AS SSD Benchmark, as well as HD Tune Pro.

CrystalDiskMark can measure both sequential and random 4KB read/write speeds with a queue depth of 32. ATTO Disk Benchmark can test how the drive performs across different transfer block sizes, mostly in a sequential environment. AS SSD Benchmark can provide both normal read/write speed and the IOPS performance of the drive. HD Tune Pro can be used to simulate a large file transfer of up to 100 GB.

We also recorded the time to copy three files of 10 GB, 500 MB and 250 MB from a RAM disk to the SSD, to simulate a real-world situation.


Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

In CrystalDiskMark, the Rocket Q was able to reach sequential read/write speeds at 3470 MB/s and 3050 MB/s. At queue depth 32, the random 4K performance was sitting at 750 MB/s and 660 MB/s.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

Slower performance was observed in AS SSD Benchmark than CDM. Sequential read/write speeds dropped to around 3010 MB/s and 2760 MB/s. With higher queue depth at 64, the random 4K speeds increased to 1770 MB/s and 2330 MB/s.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

The Rocket Q scored 6038 in the test. It achieved a maximum 454261 IOPS in read and 597764 IOPS in write. IOPS number represents how well a drive handles random input and output operations.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

Performance started to stabilize in ATTO Disk Benchmark, when the test file size was larger than 64 KB. The read/write speeds topped out at about 2850 MB/s and 3200 MB/s.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

We got an extremely similar situation as the Silicon Power UD70, while simulating large-sized file transfer in HD Tune. The Rocket Q maintained a steady write speed at over 2800 MB/s for the first 100 GB of data.

Since both the Rocket Q and UD70 are QLC-based SSDs, the manufacturers will have to assign 20% to 25% of the total capacity as pseudo-SLC cache, in order to hide the slow raw write speed of the QLC NAND flash (~300 MB/s vs ~1000 MB/s for TLC). That’s why their write speeds in HD Tune did not decreased much in the 100 GB and 300 GB tests. However, this technique will require a certain amount of free space in the drive to function well.

Sabrent Rocket Q PCIe NVMe SSD

The Rocket Q took approximately 6.72 seconds to complete copying three files, sized around 15 GB. The write speed stayed at 2.26 GB/s during the transfer.


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The Rocket Q was able to match the similarly-equipped Silicon Power UD70 in almost all areas of the benchmarks, if not slightly better. Both sequential and random 4K performance was ranked on the top 5 in our tested drives.

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The 100 GB HD Tune test looks “small”, compared to the huge SLC cache (> 270 GB) of the Rocket Q. It could sustain write speed at around 2830 MB/s.


Unboxing Treatment Recommendation

The Sabrent Rocket Q utilizes the QLC NAND flash to hit a lower price or create previously-impossible capacities. The read/write performance is great, matching most normal TLC-based NVMe SSDs, when the SLC cache is not saturated. Please bear in mind the drastically lower durability (TBW or Terabytes Written) ratings, if you tend to run a lot of write-heavy tasks on the drive.

The Rocket Q is priced at $219.99 USD for 2 TB and $109.99 USD for 1 TB (MSRP) with a 5-year warranty. This means it only costs about $0.11 USD per GB. It is slightly more expensive than the UD70 at $191.99 USD (MSRP), but the advantage of the Rocket Q is having the higher 4 TB and 8 TB models.

You can purchase the SSD from your local/online resellers or the links below from Amazon and Newegg.

Thanks Sabrent for providing us the SSD for review. (Review Sample)

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