Reviews |Lexar NM700 M.2 NVMe SSD

Lexar NM700 M.2 NVMe SSD Review

Ultra-fast large capacity storage for a very reasonable price

Lexar NM700 M.2 NVMe SSD review
Review

Price when reviewed

£133

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Our Verdict

A few months back, I took a look at the Lexar NM610 M.2 SSD. This ultra-fast storage made it ideal for videographers and photographers who need a fast and reliable working drive.

While the MN610 was fast, Lexar also produces the N700 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD. The same form factor is essentially a touch faster with a maximum read speed of 3500MB/s and a writing speed of 2000MB/s.

In the test, the measured read speed was impressive and tested on both Mac and PC systems using DaVinci Resolve the drive supplied the working transfer rates needed to edit video smoothly.

For

  • Ultra fast
  • Cheap for the speed and capacity
  • Mac and PC compatible

What is the Lexar NM700 M.2 Nvme SSD?

The Lexar NM700 is essentially a faster version of the Lexar NM610. If none of those numbers mean anything to you then don’t worry, it’s next-generation storage. Like the old hard drives, but smaller, slimmer and a hell of a lot faster.

These new drives use completely different technology to the traditional SATA drives that we’ve been using for the last 20 years or more. These new M.2 form factor NVMe SSD offer far greater speeds and reliability.

They’re far more expensive, a 1TB 2.5-inch SSD will set you back around £30 while one of these will be a good £100 more.

While SATA drives, 2.5 and 3.5-inch have been around for years, this new form factor only started to appear in 2013. At that point, it was used in the Mac Pro 2013, the trash can, and since then they’ve started to appear in all manner of laptops and PCs.

For most of us a simple compatible empty external enclosure is all the we need to access this new technology. I’ve used the Netstor Thunderbolt 3, but there’s plenty of other options which are far cheaper.

Today a fast SATA Optical drive will offer speeds up to 140MB/s, a SSD will offer transfer speeds up to around the 500MB/s mark whereas an m.2 SSD will be closer to 3500MB/s, that’s quite some difference.

What this all means is that with one of these drives installed into the appropriate slot on your computer, or external hard drive, you’ll find you can happily edit 4K and even 8K video. At least if your machine can take it.

Specification

  • Capacity: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Interface: PCIe Gen3x4
  • Dimension (L x W x H): 80 x 22 x 2.25 mm
  • Weight: 9g

Features

As with the NM610, the Lexar NM700 M.2 NVMe SSD comes in either 256GB, 512GB or 1TB versions. I’ve taken a look at the 1TB version in this test and installed it into the Netstor NA611TB3 Thunderbolt 3 external enclosure.

The NM700 is quite an upgrade from the Lexar NM610 with a maximum read speed of 3500MB/s and Write Speed of 2000MB/s. That puts this drive in the upper-middle ranking for this relatively new technology.

Lexar NM700 M.2 NVMe SSD review

Build and Handling

The NM700 utilises the M.2 2280 form factor which has become the dominant connector and shape type for this storage. Thankfully there’s plenty of options for external enclosures or special upgrade cards for most computers.

The interface is PCIe Gen3x4 again, which is pretty standard.

Installing these drives is easy enough, as they generally push-fit into place, and then a small screw is used to secure them in place.

Other than that, plug in the enclosure, power on, and you’ll be alerted to initialise or format the drive. This takes a second or so, and then you’re ready to go.

Performance

I’ve tested using the Intel NUC 9 Extreme Kit and connected through Thunderbolt 3 as well as a MacBook Pro. Firstly I tested the Mac Performance utilising the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test.

Then once the Mac had overheated and switched itself off for a rest I switched to the Intel NUC 9 Extreme Kit.

The results from both were impressive and evenly matched using the Netstor enclosure.

Lexar NM700 M.2 NVMe SSD review

The results were as follows:

Single drive formatted as Mac OS Journaled:

Read Speed = 1512MB/s
Write Speed = 1315MB/s

Single drive formated as ExFat:

Read Speed = 1489MB/s
Write Speed = 1294MB/s

Essentially the upshot of all this testing is that the drive is fast and will cope with all types of video editing you wish to throw at it at this moment in time.

I hammered the drive connected to the increasingly impressive Intel NUC 9 and got stuck into some 4K video editing and grading.

Throughout there were no signs that the drive was struggling to keep up.

At the end of the test I have to say I am highly impressed with the Lexar NM700 – it’s relatively cheap for this size and capacity and utilising the speed of transfer for 4K video editing it kept up without issue.

Performance wise there may have been a slight difference between the values started and those recorded by my software, but that is no doubt due to the differences in file size and set-up. In this real world test the drive has faired exceptionally well.

 

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