Lexar NM710 1TB Review (Page 2 of 10)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

When it comes to looks, the Lexar NM710 1TB is a very simple looking NVMe SSD, both in appearance and physical layout. Looking at the photo above, we can see that a thin blue heatsink is included to make it look nice and not expose the components. The heatsink contains the company branding, model name, and PCIe generation. The Lexar NM710 1TB is PlayStation 5-compatible, since the total thickness is below 11.25mm.

The Lexar NM710 1TB is an M.2 2280 format SSD. When it comes to the M.2 physical standard, the M.2 2280 designation means the size of the drive is 22mm by 80mm. Its components are located on the black printed circuit board, which we will take a closer look at in just a moment. The NVMe 1.4 logical device interface is what the Lexar NM710 1TB works on. As with any NVMe interface, the NM710 1TB plugs into compatible motherboards directly for faster read and write speeds compared to SATA devices. The M.2 NVMe 1.4 logical interface works over PCIe 4.0. The weight of this SSD is 7g.

Turning the Lexar NM710 1TB NVMe SSD 1TB over reveals a label placed on the PCB that contains lots of regulatory certification logos along with the branding and model name. Furthermore, the label contains the part number, capacity size, and serial number. Other than that, there are no components of note on the backside of the NM710 1TB. This drive is manufactured in China.

Upon closer inspection, we can see some key components on the Lexar NM710 1TB after removing the thin heatsink. We see a Maxio Technology controller with the label "MAP1602A-F3C". This also happens to be the exact same controller used with the recently reviewed Netac NV7000-t 1TB. This controller on the M.2 socket uses the PCIe 4.0 standard. The memory for this drive is built into the controller itself rather than being found on the drive.

As a cost-saving method, there is no DRAM for this controller. Generally, DRAM on SSDs is utilized to write data to the drive as a cache. A table is stored that maps the physical logical block addresses located on the NAND flash memory. DRAM IC chips are not cheap though, so it is not uncommon for budget drives to keep these out. This does come at a cost of performance, as DRAM-less SSDs will store this mapping data directly on the NAND flash or your computer's RAM via something called the Host Memory Buffer, which is quite a bit slower than onboard DRAM. In the case of the Lexar NM710 1TB, it uses an HMB to compensate for the lack of DRAM.

The Lexar NM710 1TB NAND flash memory contains the label "RH14TAA1442256G". These are 176-layer triple level cell chips, likely similar to the Micron B47R. There are a total of four NAND flash memory chips on this drive. The rated write endurance is rated at 600TBW, which equates to about 330GB per day for five years. This is the same TBW as other budget drives using TLC ICs like the WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe SSD 1TB and Crucial P5 Plus 1TB at 600TBW, but significantly better than the QLC-based Crucial P3 Plus 1TB at 220TBW. 24GB out of the 1024GB total capacity, or about 3%, of the drive was used for controller overhead. The actual usable space is 1TB, as advertised. You will see 931GB in Windows. The average power consumption is specified at 4.3W.

At 5000MB/s read and 4500MB/s write, these are modest numbers over the PCIe 4.0 interface, but this is a budget drive. To see how these specifications play out in our tests, we will pit the Lexar NM710 1TB against other PCIe 4.0-based NVMe drives from other major manufacturers.

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
CPU Cooling: DeepCool AK400 Digital
Motherboard: MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk
RAM: Thermaltake TOUGHRAM XG RGB DDR4-4000 2x8GB
Graphics: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 TI
Chassis: Corsair 5000D
Power: SilverStone Decathlon DA850 Gold 850W
Storage: Samsung EVO 970 1TB, Lexar NQ100 480GB
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Compared Hardware:
- Lexar NM710 1TB
- ADATA Legend 960 1TB
- Corsair MP600 Core XT 2TB
- Crucial P3 Plus 1TB
- Crucial P3 Plus 4TB
- Crucial P5 Plus 1TB
- Crucial P5 Plus 2TB
- Kingston FURY Renegade 1TB
- Kingston KC3000 1TB
- Lexar Professional NM800 PRO 2TB
- Netac NV7000-t 1TB
- Patriot P400 1TB
- Western Digital WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe SSD 1TB
- Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD 1TB
- XPG Atom 50 1TB
- XPG Gammix S70 Blade 1TB

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 8.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 5.70
7. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 10
8. Benchmark: PCMark 10
9. Benchmark: 3DMark
10. Conclusion