- Short (30 mm long), form factor 2230
- Excellent daily performance
- Attractive packaging and labels
- The capacity is expensive
- The TBW rating for this product is quite low.
Sabrent’s Rocket2230 is great for upgrading hardware or laptops where a taller 2280 like Valve’s Steam Deck won’t work. The DRAM-less design is almost as efficient as the daily performance, and we love its colors.
Today’s Best Price: Sabrent Rocket 2300 (SB-2130-1TB). NVMe SSD
The shared NVMe SSD 2280 (22mm wide x 80mm long) can be used for most things. However, there are others that are just as hot. steam surfaceThese items do not fit within this form factor. Hence, you need an option like Sabrent’s Rocket 2230—a short-throw SSD that’s just 30mm long. The Rocket 2230 is a solid performer for the HMB design (Host Memory Buffer/DRAMless) and is a great choice for such hardware.
Note that for some reason all of the Rocket 2230’s SKUs are confusingly numbered 2130, not 2230—for example, the 1TB drive we tested is the SB-2130-1TB. (Maybe the 2230 SKU was already taken?)
Note: This review is part our ongoing report The best solid state drives. Visit this site to learn more about other products, what you should look for in an SSD and to get recommendations on where to buy.
Sabrent Rocket 2230: Design & Features
The Sabrent Rocket2230’s size was already discussed. Let’s now talk about the internals. There is a Phison E21 controller and 176-layer, B47R Micron TLC NOR. Rocket 2230, an HMB design, uses some of your system’s DRAM to perform basic caching tasks.
Although HMB cannot match the performance of a design with integrated DRAM, it is much faster and cheaper. It’s also easier to implement an SSD with a smaller form factor because DRAM is eliminated. You can use the 2230 SSD in any slot M.2, which could allow for more cooling and space. Just saying.
Sabrent, or Phison’s controller, uses bits of NAND to serve as secondary cache. This is done by writing one bit (writing SLC to it) and then transferring it later as TLC if time permits. This is the norm for modern SSDs and one of the reasons to buy more capacity. The less NAND is available, means less cache can be used.
The Sabrent Rocket 2230 can be purchased in three sizes: 50/256GB or $90/512GB. It also comes in $150/1TB. Although the latter capacity is a bit more expensive, you are paying a little more for the smaller size. The same applies to kitchen appliances: less expensive means more. Let’s see what you can deduce.
I would be remiss if Sabrent didn’t give me props for his favorite packaging touch: the brass-colored box. This is actually wrapped in a retail container, but it makes my heart smile when I see it. Once the drive is removed, it can be used as a tablet or parts tray. It makes you feel good that you paid a little more.
The Rocket 2230 offers a five year warranty and 600 TB (terabytes which can be written), for every 1TB of capacity. This is about average for the genre.
Sabrent Rocket 2230 Performance
I tested the 2230 in both 1TB and 512GB formats. The performance was almost identical except for the 512GB version which ran out of cache, wrote at 450GB, and slowed down to about 100MBps. This was not an issue when using the 1TB drive, as you’ll see in the third chart.
First, CrystalDiskMark’s 8 results. It’s quite fair for a second-tier NVMe drive equipped with Host Memory Buffer. It actually outperformed two HMB competitors in some tests.
Keep in mind, however, that the other drives (Crucial P3 PlusAnd Team Group MP44L) in these 2TB schemes, which allowed them to allocate more cache for larger transfers without unnecessary computational overhead – i.e. determining if they would run.
Rocket 2230’s 1TB model had no issues writing with the 450GB. The 512GB version, however, slowed down to 100MBps at about half way due to its lack of secondary cache. This is normal, and it is not a reason to over-buy capacity with any SSD.
The Rocket 2230 I tested had 1TB less NAND than the comparison drives so the numbers are quite good. It’s not the highest tier, but it’s still NVMe and quite fast.
Internal drive tests are currently using Windows 11 64 bit on MSI X570/AMD Ryzen3700X combo with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz CPU DDR4 modules, Zotac Nvidia GT 710 1GBx2 PCIe graphic card, ASMedia ASM3242 UBS 3.2 x 2, and ASMedia ASM3242 UBS 3.2 x 2. Card. An ImDisk RAM disk was used to burn the tests. It uses 58GB of 64GB total memory.
Each test is done on a fresh formatted and TRIM-drivable drive to ensure perfect results. As the drive fills up, performance decreases due to NAND caching loss and other factors.
These performance figures are only for our shipped drive. SSD performance can vary depending on the capacity of the gun, the number of chips used to read/write it, and the amount NAND available for secondary caching. Vendors sometimes swap components, but Sabrent is not one of the ones we know.
Should you buy Sabrent Rocket 2230 SSD
The Rocket 2230 has a high performance, if not exceptional, HMB engine. They are also attractive and come backed by a long-term warranty. It is a great upgrade for machines that don’t support 80mm-M.2 drives. This SSD would look great in the Steam Deck. If your computer supports standard SSDs longer than 2.5 inches, you can get the same speed and performance for a fraction of the cost.
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