While M.2 form factor SSD is getting more common and affordable nowadays, there will always be users who demanded more when it comes to high-speed storage. Add-in-card form factor SSD is one of the many solutions for this group of users, and the Gigabyte AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD 1TB we have here is one of the fastest NVMe SSD in this form actor that available in the market.

Specifications

Interface PCI-Express 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3
Form Factor PCI Express Card
Total Capacity 512GB / 1TB
Warranty Limited 5-years
NAND 3D TLC Toshiba BiCS3
External DDR Cache 1024MB
Sequential Read Speed Up to 3480 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed Up to 3080 MB/s
Random Read IOPS Up to 610K
Random Write IOPS Up to 530K
Meantime between failure (MTBF) 1.8 million hours
Power Consumption (Active) Average: R: 6.2W : 5.9W
Power Consumption (Idle) 485mW
Temperature (Operating) 0°C to 70°C
Temperature (Storage) -40°C to 85°C

Unboxing

Unlike most of the AORUS lineup products we’ve seen to date, the AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD comes with a rather simple and clean design for its packaging – this gives it a premium feel as compared to the rest. The reflective ChromaFlair AORUS logo and the name of the product itself is the only thing you’ll find at the front of the box. At the back of the box, you’ll find the specifications of the SSD in different languages and a QR code that links you to the product page.


AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD (3)

Upon removing to box cover, you’ll find the AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD sits tightly in the middle of a piece of thick foam. Since the installation is pretty straight forward, AORUS didn’t include any additional documents or accessories together with the SSD.

Just so you know, the AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD isn’t just an expansion card with an M.2 NVMe installed on it. The NAND flash chips, controller and relevant components are soldered directly to the PCB.

Here’s a closer look at the key components of the SSD – the Phison PS5012-E12 controller, 3D TLC Toshiba BiCS3 NAND flash and 1024MB worth of SK Hynix DDR4 memory for DRAM caching.

AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD (7)

Just like most of the AORUS product lineup, you’ll find the RGB lighting section at the side of the SSD. The RGB lighting effects can be controlled with Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion 2.0 software, or simply turned off if you prefer to have a clean and simple system without RGB lightings.

Review: Gigabyte AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD 1TB 1

The AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD also comes with a metal backplate, so you can pretty much expect the amount of enforcement to the PCB.

Test System Setup

CPU Intel Core i7 8700K @5GHz
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex
Memory G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB @3200MHz
Graphics Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming OC 6G
Power Supply Enermax MaxTytan 1250W
Primary Storage Gigabyte UD PRO 512GB SATA SSD
Secondary Storage WD Black 6TB
CPU Cooler Raijintek Orcus 240
Chassis Cooler Master Test Bench V1
Operating System Windows 10 64bit

Synthetic Benchmarks

CrystalDiskMark

Developed by a Japanese coder that goes by the nickname Hiyohiyo, CrystalDiskMark is one of the most frequent used SSD Benchmark utility to measure SSD’s read and write performance.

AS SSD Benchmark

Widely used SSD benchmarking utility that uses incompressible data to simulate the worst possible scenario for an SSD and thus giving a much lower sequential read and write speed result than what has been stated by the manufacturer as result of the heavy workload.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The most frequently used benchmarking utility by many manufacturers for performance specification. As ATTO Disk Benchmark uses compressible data rather than incompressible data, it results in higher benchmark scores.

File Transfer Speed Test

For this test, we’re using a collection of test data which consists of large and small files total up to 30GB, both compressible and incompressible.

The read and write performance is pretty consistent for both freshly installed drive and filled above 80% of its maximum capacity. On our synthetic benchmark test, the performance remains pretty consistent at 3400 MB/s read and 3050 MB/s write. On the actual file transfer performance however, we’re getting around 1800 MB/s read and 1900 MB/s write average with our 30GB over test data.

Verdict

For a high-performance SSD, its cooling solution could actually use more surface for even better cooling performance even though the recorded temperature during heavy read and write operations is just around 61~63°C. While the design is entirely up to AORUS to decide, but we would recommend adding more surface to the heatsink will definitely help to dissipate heat faster.

That aside, if speed is your utmost priority when it comes to a high-speed storage device, the AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD 1TB will definitely not disappoint you. It’s 3480 MB/s sequential read and 3080 MB/s sequential write speed makes it one of the fastest NVMe SSD around, as long your motherboard supports PCIe 3.0 x4 and NVMe 1.3 protocol in order to reach the advertised speed.

The AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD comes in two different capacities of 512GB and 1TB at the price of RM 699 and RM 1090 respectively. The price might be slightly on the higher side, but if you’re looking for the balance point between price, performance, and aesthetics, the AORUS RGB AIC NVMe SSD is a pretty reasonable choice to consider.

Pros

  • Solid and premium build quality
  • Easy to install
  • Comes with 1024MB DRAM cache
  • High sequential read and write speed

Cons

  • The heatsink is a little sharp on the edge
  • Temperature can be lower with more surface on the heatsink

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