The EX900 M.2, but just better

The EX920 is the successor of the HP EX900 M.2 NMVE SSD. On this review, we are going to check out if this $100 USD NVME storage device is enough to sate our appetite for a budget oriented, performance driven SSD.

First off, the HP EX920 M.2 NVME SSD we’ve got is the 256GB version featuring 64L 3D TLC NAND Flash. The controller on the other hand is the Silicon Motion SM2262; An upgrade from the entry level SM2263XT found on the outgoing EX900. This SSD comes in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB variants. That’s 2 model less from the again, outgoing EX900.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

HP EX920 M.2 256GB NVME SSD

Capacity256GB (512GB, 1TB)
ControllerSilicon Motion SM2262
NAND Flash3D TLC NAND
Form FactorM.2 2280
Sequential Read3200MB/s
Sequential Write1200MB/s
Random Read IOPS180K IOPS
Random Write IOPS250K IOPS
Warranty5 Years
TBW160TB

Our unit is again the 256GB variant, with a 3200MB/s read and 1200MB/s write performance. Warranty is 5 years, which is excellent for a 160TB TBW SSD.

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:

The HP EX920 comes inside a small packaging with a two part internal plastic shell. Nothing extraordinary here folks.

HP EX920 M.2 NVME SSD (1)

No screw nor a spacer to see here which is typical for any budget oriented offering.

HP EX920 M.2 NVME SSD (2)

DESIGN, LAYOUT AND CONNECTIVITY:

The HP EX920 M.2 256GB NVME SSD is a simple looking M.2 fellow in a 2280 form factor. No heat-sinks to see here but we get to see two of the NANDs and the SM2262 controller branded in HP fashion.

HP EX920 M.2 NVME SSD (5)

The EX920 is a double sided M.2 NVME drive with two 64GB NAND and a Nanya DRAM for each side. Again, no heat-sinks here to gawk at.

HP EX920 M.2 NVME SSD (4)

Overall, the NMVE drive looks nice in matte black PCB. Installation should turn out well on any system.

TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:

Our storage device reviews revolves around the use of various storage benchmark tools and real world benchmarks. Our setup fills up the test drive to at least 50% of its capacity. This is done so to negate the FOB (Fresh Out the Box) performance of the drive; ensuring that we are testing the drive near its expected usage. The drive is formatted under NTFS and is attached to its natively supported interface. This is to ensure the system is at its optimal testing state.

HP-EX920-Benchmark-(5)

TEST SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
ProcessorIntel Core i5-6600K
MotherboardASUS Z170-A / SuperMicro C7Z270-CG
CoolerCryorig C1 Top Flow
MemoryCrucial Ballistix Tactical @ 2666MHz 4x4GB Kit
GraphicsASUS GTX 1060 STRIX OC 6GB
StorageCrucial BX200 480GB
PowerCORSAIR RM850X
DisplayDELL U2715H
OSMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro

THROUGHPUT PERFORMANCE:

Throughput performance in MB/s is measured with CrystalDiskMark. First up on the test is the Sequential read and write performance, measured with a block size of 1MB, 1GB transfer size and 32 Queue Depth. This test is more in line with large file transfers; similar to watching a movie.

HP EX920 Benchmark

The second one is the Random 4K read and write performance, measured with a random block size of 4KB, 1GB transfer size and 32 Queue Depth. This test is more in line with small file transfers; similar to transferring installation files and reading game data.

HP EX920 Benchmark (1)

The HP EX920 featured strong sequential and random transfer rate performance figures. It is able to achieve a sequential performance of 3102 MB/s for the read and 1020MB/s for the write, while random 4K performance are at 416 MB/s random read and 290 MB/s write respectively.

IOPS PERFORMANCE:

Input/Output Operations per Second is is measured with AS SSD. The Random 4K-64Thrd read and write benchmark is used for this test. Performance is measured with a random block size of 4KB, a 1GB transfer size and 64-thread IO requests. This tests the storage medium’s ability to use Native Command Queuing (NCQ) at higher Queue Depth. A Useful metric for server side applications.

HP EX920 Benchmark (2)

The read and write IOPS performance of the drive are excellent. Just way better than the HP EX900’s performance.

ACCESS TIME PERFORMANCE:

The read and write latency is measured with AS SSD using a 512KB block size. Access Time is just as important as the throughput and IOPS performance of the drive; allowing us to peak into how fast or slow a storage medium can access a given data. Latency is measured in milliseconds.

HP EX920 Benchmark (3)

The drive’s read latency is recorded at 0.029ms, while the write latency is at 0.031ms. One of the best overall so far.

REAL WORLD PERFORMANCE:

Our real world performance test consists of 3 file folders containing 6GB worth of text files, images and videos each. The files are copied within the drive using TeraCopy to evaluate the storage medium’s performance. File copy performance is measured in seconds.

HP EX920 Benchmark (4)

The HP EX920 features a favorable file copy performance over the rest of the drives. I admit though that the copy performance for the text files could be better.

WRAPPING IT UP:

The HP EX920 M.2 256GB NVME is a strong contender within the $100 USD bracket. Sequential and random 4K performance for an instance, are near the advertised levels while real world performance is nothing to laugh at too.

Compared to the outgoing HP EX900 model, the EX920 just stomps it in every way possible. It’s nice too see performance gains this much without an extra attached to the MSRP.

The HP EX920 is an excellent storage drive no matter where we look at. Simply an excellent strorage device with performance and price in mind.

  • STRONG SEQUENTIAL PERFORMANCE
  • EXCELLENT RANDOM 4K PERFORMANCE
  • FAST ACCESS TIMES
  • AMAZING PRICE POINT
  • SMALL FILE COPY PERFORMANCE
  • COULD USE A BUNDLE

TechPorn Awards 2018 (1)

HP EX920 M.2 256GB NVME SSD
  • PERFORMANCE
  • BUILD QUALITY
  • FEATURES
  • AESTHETICS
  • VALUE
3.8

Summary

The HP EX920 is an excellent storage drive no matter where we look at. Simply an excellent strorage device with performance and budget in mind.