One of the most significant modern inventions in computer technology was the Solid-State Drive (or SSD). These hard drives are magnitudes faster than the old-school spinning drives, making tasks like booting up your computer take seconds instead of minutes. The newer M.2 NVMe SSDs are even faster, connecting directly to the motherboard without the need for slow and messy SATA cables.
XPG sent us their new Gammix S70 Blade. It’s an M.2 NVMe SSD that was designed to be compatible with the brand-new PCIe Gen 4×4, meaning it that it’s compatible with the fastest form of connectivity on the market. It’s also compatible with the PS5. They sent us one so that we could provide our readers with a fair an unbiased review.
Zoom In: Specs
- Capacity: 1TB
- Speed: 7400MB/S
- Form factor: M.2 2280
- PCIe 4.0
- Supports NVMe 1.4
- SLC caching
- Optional heatsink
- Price: $159.99
Prefer video instead? Our reviewer Cody unboxes and reviews the XPG S70.
The XPG Gammix S70 Blade is an all-black M.2 2280 form factor drive. It comes with an optional black, brushed metal heat sink that has the XPG logo on the front in white and an isometric triangle design etched into its surface. The heat sink is very slim, which is the main thing that distinguishes the S70 Blade from the regular S70 (which had a much thicker one). This is worse for heat distribution, but better for form factors that don’t allow much space, like the PS5.
According to XPG’s website, the S70 Blade can achieve read speeds of up to 7400MB/s (up to 6100MB on the PS5) and write speeds of up to 6800MB/s. For comparison, my third gen Silicon Power M.2 drive only has a max read of 2200MB/s and a max write of 1600MB/s. The XPG drive absolutely blows my SP drive out of the water…on paper. The margins are a little closer in practice.
To be fair, I should preface by admitting that my system uses an Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II motherboard, which only has PCIe Gen 3. You need a motherboard with PCIe Gen 4 in order to get the most out of this drive’s speed. That said, my testing yielded a 2376MB/s read and 2795MB/s write speed for the S70 Blade. This is still considerably faster than my SP drive, but not the exponential difference you might expect judging by the reported maximum speeds.
Other benchmarks for the S70 Blade reported from users with PCIe Gen 4 motherboards reported better results, with read speeds in the high 2,000s and write speeds in the high 4,000s. Still nowhere near the reported maximum, but much closer.
Is it Good for Gaming?
Higher read speeds cut down on launch and loading times on all games, but they are particularly valuable for open world games like GTA 5, Skyrim, Fallout 4, and The Witcher 3. These benefit the most from SSDs, since the faster read speed helps to keep load times to a minimum and reduces stutter and texture pop-in, which is common when your system has to load in massive environments quickly.
I tested the S70 Blade by downloading Skyrim and Horizon: Zero Dawn. I saw a few textures pop-ins on Horizon, but the overall experience for both games was significantly improved. Loading times were minimal and fast traveling to a new area felt more streamlined.
Is the S70 Blade worth the Money?
The S70 Blade is a high-end M.2 NVMe SSD that was designed specifically for use with the PS5 and high-end PCs that utilize PCIe 4.0 but don’t have room for giant heatsinks. It’s more affordable and promises higher max read/write speeds than the popular Samsung 980 Pro. Benchmark testing reveals that they perform much closer in real life, but the XPG drive still edges out Samsung, which is no easy feat.
It’s a great SSD for users with PCIe Gen 4. Gen 3 users can find similar performance in much cheaper drives.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The XPG Gammix S70 Blade doesn’t live up to all it promises, but it’s still a powerful SSD that edges out competitors in its price bracket. It’s an excellent choice for anyone with a PS5 or a PC with a PCIe 4.0 motherboard.
- PCIe 4.0 insures the fastest connectivity possible
- Slim heat sink makes it good for PS5 and SFF PCs
- More affordable than similar SSD
- Benchmarks don’t come close to reported max speeds
- Slimmer heatsink is less efficient at heat dissipation
- XPG branding is upside-down if hold-down screw is on the right