Essential P2 overview | Rock Paper Shotgun
For the final yr, there’s been one SSD that is utterly dominated the roost in my greatest SSD for gaming rankings, and that is the WD Blue SN550. Few SSDs have come near matching its quick learn and write speeds and aggressive pricing, and it stays top-of-the-line worth NVMe drives you should buy in the present day. Nevertheless, we’d lastly have a worthy various to the SN550, and that is Essential’s P2.
Accessible in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB measurement capacities (the identical because the SN550) with costs beginning at a mere £39 / $45, the Essential P2 matches the SN550 on value nearly beat for beat. Certainly, the 500GB mannequin I’ve acquired on take a look at right here at present prices an equivalent £48 / $58 to the 500GB SN550, and each drives include the identical 5 yr guarantee and the identical form of endurance rankings, too. Even their high sequential speeds are comparable. Each drives are rated for as much as 2400MB/s learn, for instance, and their sequential write speeds are available in at a most of 1900MB/s for the P2 and 1950MB/s for the SN550.
On paper, they may virtually be one and the identical drive to unsuspecting eyes, making it exhausting to know which one to get when you’re out there for a brand new SSD. In observe, although, they’re fairly completely different, with the Essential P2 beating the SN550 on random learn velocity in my benchmark checks (random speeds being a a lot better indicator of on a regular basis efficiency than sequential ones), however falling behind on random write and switch speeds. Total, I might most likely nonetheless suggest going for the SN550 once they’re each the identical value, however the P2 continues to be price contemplating if you will discover it for much less.
In any case, it is learn speeds which might be essential for gaming, and right here the P2 excels. Once I ran it by means of AS SSD’s 1GB 4K random take a look at, for instance, which measures how lengthy it takes for a drive to learn and write 1GB’s price of tiny 4K information, the P2 completed with a powerful learn velocity of 54.4MB/s, placing it method out in entrance of the SN550’s rating of 44.5MB/s. The P2’s rating additionally beats Samsung’s not too long ago launched and equally budget-minded 980 SSD as properly, which managed 51.8MB/s, and is virtually neck and neck with Samsung’s dearer 970 Evo Plus, which completed the identical take a look at with 55.2MB/s.
That is fairly good going for such an inexpensive drive, and far sooner than what you’d get from a similarly-priced SATA SSD, too. Certainly, the 500GB mannequin of my present SATA advice, Samsung’s 860 Evo, nonetheless goes for £60 / $65 at time of writing, and that can solely get you a random learn velocity of 41.9MB/s, making the Essential P2 30% sooner in everyday use.
The Essential P2’s random write speeds are lots higher than what you’d get from its present SATA rivals as properly, with its results of 117.3MB/s providing the same 24% bump over the 860 Evo. Nevertheless, whereas the P2 is a transparent step up over SATA SSDs on this division, it nonetheless pales compared to different NVMe drives. The Samsung 980 SSD is not far off, coming in at 121.0MB/s, however the WD Blue SN550 managed a whopping 157.3MB/s on this take a look at, which is among the greatest outcomes I’ve ever recorded for a PCIe 3.0 NVMe drive.
The SN550 additionally carried out higher in AS SSD’s copy benchmark as properly. This take a look at transfers three completely different file sorts from my OS drive to the SSD: an ISO folder consisting of two massive information, a Program folder with numerous little information, and a Recreation folder that is made up of information each huge and small. The Essential P2 completed the ISO take a look at with a velocity of 738MB/s, the Program take a look at with 767MB/s and the Recreation take a look at with 697MB/s – all first rate sufficient speeds in comparison with the most effective SATA SSDs (which regularly handle not more than 400-600MB/s on this take a look at), however very like its random write velocity efficiency, these outcomes cannot maintain a candle to the 1000-2000MB/s scores I usually see on different NVMe drives. Certainly, the Blue SN550 got here in with respective scores of 1370MB/s, 1009MB/s and 1628MB/s, the latter of which is greater than twice as quick because the P2.
Along with the WD’s superior write velocity, these are fairly compelling causes to go for the Blue SN550 when you’re after a drive that is extra of an all-round workhorse. When you’re the kind of one that commonly strikes massive information round their PC, then you definitely’ll spend lots much less time ready round for issues to complete with the SN550, making it extra handy for on a regular basis use.
If all you need is an inexpensive drive that is going for use for video games, although, then the P2 continues to be price contemplating if you will discover it at an excellent value. Certainly, in my sport loading time checks, the P2 was just about neck and neck with the SN550, usually solely differing by 1-3 seconds in my timed Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, Closing Fantasy XV and Monster Hunter: World checks. That is virtually nothing within the grand scheme of issues, and really a lot consistent with the form of occasions I recorded for the Samsung 980 SSD, too. The P2’s efficiency elsewhere will not be so sizzling, however on the subject of loading occasions, it is up there with the most effective.
As I mentioned earlier, the WD Blue SN550 continues to be the most effective worth NVMe drive general in my eyes, but when you will discover a Essential P2 on a budget (which has been recognized to occur from time to time), then it is nonetheless acquired all the things it wants to supply comparable gaming efficiency the place it counts. The P2 is unquestionably a greater purchase than rival SATA SSDs at this type of value, however except you discover one on sale or going for significantly lower than its WD rival, the Blue SN550 continues to be the NVMe drive to beat proper now for these on a finances.