Adata Nighthawk And Blackbird PCIe 5 SSDs Will Take Flight With 14GB/s Read Speeds
So, you think your solid state drive (SSD) is fast? It might very well be. Heck, just about any modern SSD is zippy, especially when compared to a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) with spinning platters. But whatever drive you're rocking in your PC, it's not as fast as Adata's upcoming "Project Nighthawk" and "Project Blackbird" models that are bound for a CES announcement.
Those new models will make the jump to PCI Express 5.0, which affords double the bandwidth. Whereas the fastest PCIe 4.0 models top out at around 7,000MB/s, both the Nighthawk and Blackbird will be twice as fast for sequential reads, with Adata claiming 14GB/s. Sequential writes will be blazing fast too, at 12GB/s for the Nighthawk and 10GB/s for the Blackbird.
Adata says the Nighthawk drive will fly with a Silicon Motion SM2508 controller, while the Blackbird drive will peck at reads and writes with an InnoGrit IG5666 controller. It's not clear if the NAND flash memory chips will differ between the two drive models.
If we had one bit of advice for Adata, it would be to drop "Project" from the final product names but stick with "Nighthawk" and "Blackbird" for its forthcoming SSDs. Sometimes the industry gets bogged down in boring numbers like Samsung's 980 Pro and WD's SN850 (and upcoming SN850X), rather than nifty model names like Sabrent's Rocket line.
We're picking nits, admittedly. What matters most is a combination of performance, capacity, reliability, and price. We don't have all the details yet, but Adata says its Nighthawk and Blackbird SSDs will both be offered in capacities up to 8TB, which would go a long way towards giving your growing Steam catalog room to expand further (and to apply beefy game updates).
We can only imagine where pricing will land. Probably an arm, leg, and maybe a kidney for the 8TB models. However, it's all about pushing the envelope at this early stage. For consumers, Intel's Alder Lake platform is the only one that can take full advantage of a PCIe 5.0 SSD. Even then, it really boils down to how you use your PC. There are specific cases where increasingly faster data transfer speeds can yield a benefit, but for the average user, even a SATA-based SSD will feel fast. That's also true of gaming, though that should eventually change as developers leverage Microsoft's DirectStorage API.
Anyway, Adata will formally introduce its new SSDs at CES, as well as a handful of other products, including DDR5 RAM, peripherals, some new laptops, and more.