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Apacer Z280 M.2 PCIe SSD review: Apacer's answer to the M.2 market
By Chester Labaco - 7 Feb 2017

Apacer Z280 M.2 PCIe SSD review: Apacer's answer to the M.2 market

Courtesy of Apacer

M.2 drives are gaining traction for the past few years. This is not a surprise as they are smaller and faster than traditional SSDs and hard drives. In this particular review, we’ll be taking a look at the Apacer Z280 M.2 PCIe SSD to see how they are responding to the fast growing market of M.2 SSDs.

The packaging of the Apacer Z280 M.2 PCIe SSD is barebones. It’s not surprising as they are targeting the more budget-oriented enthusiasts that require fast performance from an M.2 drive. The packaging is clean and minimalistic and shows off what the drive looks like and what it can offer.

The Z280’s M.2 form factor means that you can plug the drive to your system without requiring any cables attached to it. So long as you have an M.2 slot or an M.2 PCIe adapter, you’re good to go.

Unlike the M.2 drives we’ve reviewed in the past, the Apacer Z280 M.2 PCIe SSD, like the name suggests, uses the PCIe 3.0 bus instead of the SATA bus to achieve faster performance. With the drive using a maximum bandwidth of PCIe 3.0 x4 connection, it can achieve advertised speeds of 2500MB/s in Sequential Writes and 1350MB/s in Sequential Reads (for the 480GB version). The drive has been paired with a Phison PS5007-11 controller with a mean time before failure rating of up to 2 million hours.]

Other features of the Z280 include Built-in Global Wear Levelling and End-to-end Data Protection, ECC Engine Correcting up to 120bit/2KB, and Smart ECC & SmartRefresh for maintaining accuracy and safety of data access. Of course, like most drive nowadays, it supports S.M.A.R.T. Command.

To see how the Apacer Z280 M.2 PCIe SSD performs, we plugged it to our test system and ran AS SSD and Anvil’s Storage Utilities.

As you can see in both results, the Apacer Z280 M.2 PCIe SSD blows out all of our SATA-based SSDs and even the Transcend MTS800 M.2 512GB (which uses an M.2 form factor but connects to the system using the SATA bus). Performance was consistent between the tests, with the drive achieving more than 2000MB/s in Sequential Read speeds and more than a 1000MB/s in Sequential Write speeds. Random Read and Write speeds were impressive as well in both tests. Blowing all the drives we’ve reviewed out of the water.

We’ve yet to determine the price of the Apacer Z280 M.2 PCIe SSD locally. In the U.S., however, the 240GB version retails at US$ 129.99 while the 480GB is priced at US$ 229.99. It might be a bit pricey to some but this is one of the cheaper M.2 PCIe SSD drives in the market. If you’re looking for a good M.2 PCIe SSD drive that won’t break the bank, take a look at the Apacer Z280 M.2 PCIe SSD. It might just be the drive for you.

 

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