Reviews |Lexar NM620

Lexar NM620 Review

Ultra-fast bare bones storage for video and photo editing

Lexar NM620 review
Review

Price when reviewed

£92

$160

Our Verdict

Having languished in the background for almost a decade, M.2 SSD’s are finally coming to the fore. The latest M.2 NM620 is a prime example, balancing performance and price; the only issue is finding a machine or enclosure fast enough to keep up.

Our OWC Envoy Express is Thunderbolt 3 enabled but tops out at 1553MB/s; that’s just over half the speed documented for this M.2 2280 SSD.

Nevertheless, tested to the max as a working drive for 4K video production, the NM620 performed without a glitch. Although even with the hardware enclosures speed limitations the test results didn’t quite hit the enclosures transfer ceiling.

For

  • Fast transfer speeds
  • Error checking
  • Reasonable price

Against

  • 1TB may be a bit small beyond 4K
  • Not as fast as stated

What is the Lexar NM620?

The NM620 M.2 2280 is an NVMe SSD that has been designed to cope with intensive workloads such as video editing or for that matter any other job that requires ultra-fast transfer speeds.

The NM620 provides read speeds of up to 3,300MB/s and write speeds of 3,000MB/s in ideal conditions, making it an ideal solution for 4K and higher resolution video editing.

Lexar NM620 review

Specification wise, aside from the primary 1TB of storage the NM620 features low-density Parity Checks (LDPC). This technology is designed to fix data errors automatically before they become apparent.

As many video editors are now having to work on the move, the new NM620 looks to be an ideal choice especially seeing as how it has been designed with the latest energy-saving technology incorporated. This means that popped inside the OWC Envoy Express while it will draw power, it won’t be as much as some other drives of this type.

Specification

  • Capacity: 256GB, 512GB and 1TB
  • Interface: PCIe Gen3x4
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Speed: 3300MB/s read 3000MB/s write
  • NAND Flash: 3D TLC

Performance

Once popped inside the OWC Envoy Express and formatted to the Mac OS APFS file format, the drive was benchmarked and used in real-world tests.

Looking at the benchmark results, and even when taking into consideration the slowing of transfer speeds due to the OWC Envoy Express, the drive achieved the following results:

Read: 1229.3MB/s
Write: 1133.2MB/s

Not bad on both accounts, but these results are well below the stated transfer rates that Lexar has given, this is due in part to the enclosure, but still I’ve tested other M.2 drives in this enclosure that have done better offering similar transfer speeds.

During the test, it was also possible to see that while the read speeds remained consistent, the write speeds would fluctuate from the 600’s to 1200’s.

In the real-world test, however, the drive handled footage from the Sony FS7 well, delivering transfer speeds that enabled smooth editing, the application of filters and exporting from Final Cut Pro X as well as Premiere Pro.

Final thoughts

The Lexar NM620 is a decent enough drive, and I’ll update this review as soon as a faster enclosure arrives. 

Used inside an external enclosure for portable video editing, the drive handled the data transfer requirements of Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro. There was little if any noticeable lag when editing, and the enclosure kept the drive cool enough to see a little drop in performance through a four-hour editing session. 

While the drive is rated at 3300MB/s read and 3000MB/s write, in this test I could only draw half of that speed due to hardware limitations. 

Used in OWC Envoy Express, the performance was good but still fell short of the constraints of the hardware available. I will update this test with a new faster enclosure soon.

Overall. The Lexar NM620 did well coupled with a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure for use when video or photo editing. It’s also a great price, but it would have been good to see an SSD at least twice the capacity.

For more information, check out the Lexar.com website.

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