ROG Strix Arion S500 Review: Now with SSD inside
Are you looking for a budget-friendly gaming PC? Here is the ROG Strix Arion S500. This Intel quad-core processor, Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card and SSD help provide strong performance at an affordable price point.
The “asus rog strix g15” is a new gaming laptop that has an SSD inside. The laptop is available on Amazon for $399.
When we talk about the ROG Strix Arion on its own, it’s no surprise that it’s been around for a long and is one of the prettiest and feisty tiny SSD enclosures ever created. Most users, however, do not need an enclosure and instead require an external drive. As a result, ROG returned to the drawing board and installed the quickest SSD they could find. In this ROG Strix Arion S500 Review, we’ll learn more about it.
Appearance and Feeling
The ROG Strix Arion S500 features the most sturdy construction of all the prior portable SSDs we’ve evaluated, as well as their unique gaming design to go with it. It’s obviously a Republic of Gamers product, and it does have that flare, as the name says. By the way, the rustic appearance isn’t the end of it. You’ll see a white logo on top, as well as a little piece of plastic in between the spaces where you might theoretically tie it to a loop keychain. That’s RGB, and it, too, supports ASUS AURA Sync – a little excessive, but what the hell. Personally, I find it appealing.
When you finally get your hands on it, you’ll notice that the SSD is rather heavy due to the aluminum alloy chassis. It features a thermal pad on the inside to aid with heat dissipation – more on that later. Aside from that, the ROG Strix Arion S500 has a nice appearance and feel to it.
The Inside of the Box
A user manual, a redeemable code for the associated NTI Backup Now EZ Software, and a USB-C to C connector are included in the package. There is no USB-A to C adapter, which you can always buy, and there is no need for it since most devices are already moving to USB-C.
As an external SSD, there isn’t much to say about what it keeps beneath the hood, but it does have several notable advantages:
- DRAM and SLC Cache on a 500GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Thermal Pad and Aluminum Alloy Chassis
- Connectivity through USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port
It also includes the ROG Toolkit software, which lets you to control the drives’ SMART features, formatting, and other functions.
The 500GB SSD that comes with the ROG Strix Arion S500 is a proper SLC SSD with DRAM cache, which means that SLC SSDs are literally the highest tier in the entire NAND industry, as they have the highest endurance at around 100,000 P/E cycles – which is significantly longer than other MLC and TLC drives. If you’re curious why it’s only available in 500GB, it’s because SLC drives have a poor data density. As a result, the configuration is restricted to 500GB. If the capacity is increased, the expense of doing so increases dramatically. ROG’s decision to go with SLC with a sufficient storage capacity is quite praiseworthy.
Now it’s time for the show. We conduct two tests as usual: a synthetic benchmark and a real-world test.
We utilized two programs to begin the Synthetic Benchmark: ATTO Benchmark and CrystalDiskMark. The ROG Strix Arion S500 impressed in CrystalDiskMark, with sequential read speeds of 1011MB/s and write rates of 980MB/s in SEQ1M 8-Queues and 1-Thread. In 1-Queue and 1-Thread, performance normally suffers, but in this instance, this is an acceptable speed since it still reads and writes at 12 times the speed of the 8Q1T, demonstrating the SLC’s potential. Moving on to ATTO Benchmark, the performance disparity is visible, and the difference in read and write rates is almost indistinguishable from 512KB to 64MB.
S500 to laptop
Laptop to S500
Moving on to the real-world test, there are a few things to keep in mind that will prevent you from getting the results you see here: for one thing, the USB-C to C cable it comes with is capable of handling the stated speed, and using a different one with lower rated speeds will function as such. Second, owing to bandwidth constraints on USB-A, if you do acquire a full-size USB-A to C for convenience, the speed will not match the C-to-C performance. Finally, the USB C port on your computer or laptop should be of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 kind.
With everything out of the way, we tested the ASUS ExpertBook B9’s real-world transfer capabilities, since it features a legitimate thunderbolt interface with 10Gbps speeds. We transferred a folder containing shows with a total capacity of 20GB from the laptop storage to the ROG Strix Arion S500 in around 45 seconds, and the speeds were decent the other way around as well.
Upgradability and dismantling
If you recall, the Strix Arion was first and foremost an enclosure, and the S500 followed suit later, the enclosure is basically the same. You’d notice there aren’t any screws and question whether it’s non-user upgradeable. Worry not, as the ROG Strix Arion S500 has a toolless method that requires the use of a SIM pin tool to open the rear and reveal the SSD in all its splendor.
The Strix Arion S500’s drive is a Kingston drive with 4x NAND chips, a PHISON Controller, and a Kingston chip with small controllers on the side, unlike a DRAM-less drive like the Kingston A2000 or NV1, which lacks such.
Because it supports both B+M Key SSDs, you can unscrew them and remove the 500GB drive and replace it with a much quicker drive in the future if that’s what you want. It’s very great, and don’t worry, it won’t violate your warranty. Just make sure you use the drive that came with the Arion.
So, after an interesting day (for me) and a positive experience with the ROG Strix Arion S500, it’s reasonable to state that this is a high-quality external SSD that will not let you down. The fact that it has DRAM buffering and utilizes SLC instead of anything like a TLC to save money surprised me. However, for RM 559 (vs. Transcend’s RM559 ESD350C 480GB), I’m choosing with the ROG Strix Arion S500 since it has the durability I need. The Vesper Choice Award is given in recognition of this.
Thank you to ASUS Malaysia for providing us with the ROG Strix Arion S500 in exchange for this evaluation.
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