Potential SK Hynix SSD Alternatives? Solidigm P41 Plus / P44 Pro | Crucial P3 / P3 Plus

Hi everyone!

I was looking to upgrade my SSD from the Western Digital SN750 250GB that I currently have, and I wanted to share some interesting options that I’ve found. Might be compelling, especially for those who cannot get ahold of the much-loved SK Hynix Gold P31! Unfortunately, it can be a bit hard to come by in Canada, the best option I’ve found is to import a 500GB one from the US for 102 CAD on Amazon…

Not to spoil what I’ve found (even though I’ve already done that in the title :slight_smile:), but it looks like there are two compelling options from Solidigm, which is owned by SK Hynix but was previously responsible for Intel’s SSD division. It doesn’t look like there’s much discussion of this brand here on the Framework forum, so here we go!

Now, SK Hynix itself has a drive called the Platinum P41, which can make things pretty confusing. Here’s the basic gist of the SSDs I’m gonna discuss in this post:

SK Hynix Gold P31 - 128L TLC | DRAM | PCIe 3.0
SK Hynix Platinum P41 - 176L TLC | DRAM | PCIe 4.0

Solidigm P41 Plus - 144L QLC | DRAM-less Hybrid pSLC Cache | PCIe 4.0
Solidigm P44 Pro - 176L TLC | DRAM | PCIe 4.0

Basically, the Solidigm P41 Plus is a successor to Intel’s 670p, targeting general use applications. Tom’s Hardware review is here.

The SK Hynix Platinum P41 and Solidigm P44 Pro seem to be largely identical but branded in under different names.

This community post about the Platinum P41 discussed its efficiency. It seems that under sustained loads, the Gold P31 consumes less power, but since it is much slower it will take a longer time to finish an operation, meaning that total efficiency is better on the Platinum P41. For those who want the speed of the Platinum P41 but were put off by its price, the P44 Pro sounds like a pretty solid option.

The Solidigm P41 Plus, while being much slower, actually has better idle power consumption than the Platinum P41 and P44 Pro. To quote the review:

The 2TB P41 Plus has good idle power consumption, and although this matters most in battery-limited laptops, any proper NVMe drive should pull very little power when idle. Still, every bit helps on a desktop. In terms of efficiency, however, the P41 Plus is merely average. It does beat the older QLC drives but falls short of the P3 Plus, SN770, and Platinum P41. On the other hand, the Crucial P3, not shown here, proved to be super-efficient as a PCIe 3.0 version of the P3 Plus.

This is still a good showing, and we would absolutely recommend the P41 Plus for laptop use. However, there are reasons why it would be less efficient than the P3 Plus. We’ve already mentioned controller differences earlier in the review. There are also flash differences, including the I/O rate and architecture. For example, charge trap flash may be more power-efficient with simpler programming, although many potential factors exist. It’s possible Micron’s 176-layer QLC is a bit more efficient.

It looks like Crucial’s P3 and P3 Plus are also solid contenders for very good efficiency. Here’s a quote from the P3’s review, in particular:

The Crucial P3 is the most efficient drive we’ve yet tested, besting not only the P3 Plus but also the Platinum P41. As we predicted, the peak power consumption is also lower than the P3 Plus. The Gold P31, the “gold” standard for PCIe 3.0 efficiency, still does pretty well.

I find this pretty interesting! The P3 and P3 Plus are both DRAM-less and use the same QLC flash and controller, but the Plus is PCIe 4.0 while the regular P3 is PCIe 3.0. However, the lower endurance in Micron’s flash here does make me feel a little bit wary… The 500GB P3 variants have only 110TBW of endurance, compared to the 500TBW on the 500GB Platinum P41 and 200TBW on the 512GB Solidigm P41 Plus. Despite this, I think they could still be rather compelling alternatives, especially since Crucial SSDs are very easy to get in Europe as far as I can tell!

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a drive that quite has the same mix that makes the SK Hynix Gold P31 so good: DRAM, 4-lane controller, PCIe 3.0 for power savings, great performance, good endurance, incredible efficiency.

All of this is to say that I haven’t really made up my mind on what SSD I should get :slight_smile: Has anyone here had experiences with these drives? What are your thoughts on them, especially compared to the SK Hynix Gold P31? Hopefully these options can maybe help those who can’t get their hands on a P31 or are looking for great efficiency but feel limited by the P31’s PCIe 3.0 interface.


My conclusion is the P31 is best for efficiency due to low idle amp draw, which is what you will be consuming most of the time. Then the P41 is the best for performance but has twice the idle amp draw. The Samsung 990 just came out and is still priced to high. So P31 or P41 is my suggestion.


As one of the people from that linked thread, this is intriguing! Thanks for sharing, I’ll be sure to give it a recommendation!

I own both a SK Hynix P31 and P41. While the idle draw is important, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that the Framework is pcie 4.0 capable. The additional battery life I might squeeze out with the lower idle is just not worth the performance hit, and for the times I want that performance the fact that it will race to idle quicker than the pcie 3.0 bound drive should balance things out. Basically I think it ends up being a wash in whihc case take the speed. Also this P41 is running pretty cool. With all of my power saving tweaks on Fedora 37 I get between 9.5-11 hrs on battery, so the extra 15-30minutes I might get by hamstringing the laptops sustained performance is not really worth it to me, also when plugged in … none of that matters, I will take the performance every time.


I think it’s a bit unfortunate that Tom’s Hardware doesn’t seem to test idle draw with ASPM enabled for NVMe drives anymore. If you look at the review for the SK Hynix Gold P31, you can see that it leads the pack with ASPM disabled, but it actually falls behind other drives like the Crucial P2 and Samsung 980 Pro when it is enabled. While the difference there is in the milliwatts, I’d like to see the results for this in the newer drives. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any of the more recent reviews have numbers with ASPM enabled, so it’s hard to say. It might even be that the ASPM-enabled numbers are so close that it’s insignificant? Either way, it’s pretty disappointing.

I ended up going with a 1TB Crucial P3 since it was on sale, hoping that the relatively modern PCIe 3.0 controller, Micron QLC, and DRAM-less design makes it efficient without noticing any slowness in my casual day to day use. However I still think that the Solidigm P44 Pro would be a great choice for people who are looking for efficiency without sacrificing speed.

If all the NVMe drives differs in 15 minutes of battery life, you can choose any one you want, it doesn’t matter.

@Bernd_Steinzimmer Except the difference can be much greater than that. Plus a more efficient drive will run cooler, providing better performance for longer, especially in a thermally constrained environment like a laptop.

How much greater? 1/2/3 hours?

@Bernd_Steinzimmer This article is quite old at this point but relevant. Now compare this result for the SK Hynix P41 to this result for the Intel 600p. You can see a large difference in power consumption. The difference in battery life used to be around an hour between worst and best. Given how power-hungry some drives are in pursuit of performance, and how efficient the P41 is, I can only imagine how much the difference can make today.

It looks like you overestimate the effect of the drives power consumption. The SK Hynix uses 1 Wh with heavy load, the battery of the Framework laptop is 55 Wh. But the laptop don’t run 55 hours, you might get 6 hours. So it doesn’t really matter if another drive uses 2 or 3 Wh with heavy load.

@Bernd_Steinzimmer It looks like you underestimate it. Why don’t you come up with some data to prove me wrong?

What I said is true, there is about an hour difference in battery life between the worst performance (from an efficiency standpoint) and best performing 1TB NVMe drives in that article. The Intel 600p listed in that article was a middle of the road performer and the SK Hynix drive uses half the power AND is substantially more performant so not only is it more efficient while working it also gets to idle quicker.

No, I don’t think drive choice is the single biggest factor in determining battery life. Display and CPU are FAR bigger factors. But if you are trying to maximize battery life, then the importance of drive choice grows. The choice of expansion cards also matter for FW laptops too, this has already been established and I imagine they draw even less power than an SSD would.

Prove me wrong.

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@Bernd_Steinzimmer if I did not optimize my choices I would not be getting 9.5-11 hours on battery. I sit at 4.54-4.83 watts, if I was adding 2-3w on heavy load sure it might not matter if I was not doing heavy loads, but that heat has to go somewhere just like the heat from everything else, and that heat will mess with the overall performance. An inefficient drive may on average add 1w of consumption at which point my battery life drops to 7.5-9 hours. Now I decide I don’t care about what ports I am using and add another 1w of usage because I don’t want 4 usb-c ports anymore and my battery life drops to 6.5-8 hours. Hell while we are at it I will hit myself with a blindingly bright display set to 100% and eat another 2w. I am now up to 8.54w-8.83w of consumption at what is essentially idle or light usage. So at this point I am probably averaging that 4 hour battery life everyone complains about…it matters, every little bit matters because it quickly adds up and those spikes in power usage can go on a lot longer than you might think. Of course YMMV.

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I think that you have overestimated the impact of the drive’s power consumption on your calculations. The Framework laptop uses 55 Wh, the SK Hynix uses 1 Wh. You might get 6 hours out of the laptop. So it doesn’t matter if another drive uses 3 or 2 Wh.

If the SSD has a high idle power consumption that will impact battery life significantly. If a drive uses 500mW more on idle it would for example impact my idle consumption from 2.5W to 3W which is 20% more/worse. Write/read efficiency obviously only matters when the drive is actually doing something aka this is highly workload dependent.

I went for the Crucial P3 as it was easy to get in the UK: free shipping straight from Crucial. It did take almost 2 weeks though as it came from Prague! I would have paid a few pounds more to order from Scan if I’d known.

I don’t remember seeing the Solidigm P41 Plus you mention when I was looking, but I’ve just checked Scan and they have it for around the same price as the Crucial P3 (currently slightly cheaper as of this post). I’m not sure what I’d go for now they have this in stock: I’m very ignorant regarding SSDs so the tomshardware review of the P3 was enough to convince me.

There’s also the Toshiba Kioxia Exceria, which Techpowerup liked , and is the absolute cheapest 500GB I could find but the list of cons, especially the tiny 19GB SLC cache, persuaded me to spend a little more for the Crucial P3.

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Just for reference 2TB Performance Results - Solidigm P44 Pro SSD Review: Platinum P41, Take Two (Updated) | Tom's Hardware also the con of no heatsink has had absolutely no effect. The P41 at least has absolutely no need for one, under regular use it usually sits at about 37C.

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Adding in for anyone looking, while it’s the 1TB not 2TB version, in the power draw charts on their Crucial T500 2TB review, TechPower Up has in their charts the P44 Pro. So you can get good idle with power management, and under their read & write tests.

However, looking at the T500 power usage, I’m a bit tempted by that. Need to compare general performance otherwise, see which I want to use.

According to 2TB Performance Results - Crucial 2TB T500 SSD Review: The All-Around Gen 4 SSD - Page 2 | Tom's Hardware, the T500 sports a fair bit better performance, overall, than the P44 while having only a slightly higher max power usage (according to their testing) than the P44. Which lines up with TechPowerUp’s numbers. The hope is that it stays in various idle/power savings modes more often, so the slightly higher active use ends up equaling out, or saving power. I think I might get the T500 2GB myself.

Keep in mind that TechPower Up does only test “without power management”. These numbers should only be directly relevant if the drive is always busy. In a notebook with full power management where the SSD can idle often, the numbers can be VERY far from that. And different SSDs can have very different power consumptions in their sleep modes and very different times to go to sleep or wake up again.

So at the very least you should check the tables for power consumptions and latencies of those sleep modes and compare that to other known power efficient SSDs.
And last time I checked Crucial did not publish anything regarding those sleep modes.
And that I consider an admission, that they do not care about those much, same with WD.

They do have Idle with ASPM enabled numbers, and I presume the Read/Write is in that same state, although probably so busy it effectively doesn’t have a chance to enter any kind of power saving modes.

TechPowerUp has stayed including some numbers with power management enabled, however they are usually at least 5x as high (sometimes 500x as high) as some other reviewers have tested. So something may be up with TechPowerUp’s numbers.

For example the SK Hynix P31 Gold is rated to go to 4 mW in its lowest power state and Anandtech reported 3 mW, however TechPowerUp reported 365 mW.