Storage

ACER FA100 1TB PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 SSD Review

How Much Does it Cost?

The ACER FA100 1TB PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 SSD is available now from most major retailers. I found it on Amazon for just £117.42, while the 512GB is just £90.

The ACER SA100 2.5″ 2TB SSD is available now for just £308.55 on Amazon. OK, that’s a lot of money, but keep in mind, 2TB is a lot of storage for an SSD! For perspective, the 120GB model is just £29, and ACER really runs the gamut on capacities for this drive.

Overview

The ACER FA100 1TB PCIe Gen 3 x4 M.2 SSD may not be bleeding-edge tech, but it’s certainly hitting all the right marks for those looking to balance price and performance. At this price range, it’s really about the same price as many of their rivals. Give or take £10, it costs the same as similar drives from Crucial, Lexar, and ADATA. Of course, it promises broadly similar performance too, as all these drives make easy work of the Gen 3 x4 interface.

Performance

One strange aspect of this drive is that it has no DRAM. This is a common feature on M.2 SSDs, especially at this capacity, I’d expect to see 1GB of DRAM. It would provide a high-speed cache that could greatly improve the drive’s performance. However, the controller they’ve used was designed to be DRAM-less, and as you saw in my performance tests, it seems to do a fine job too. The drive may not be the bleeding edge of performance, but it’s certainly competitive and performs around what ACER claimed it would, so really, I’ve nothing to complain about there.

Build Quality

Manufactured by BIWIN, the ACER FA100 seems pretty robust. It uses (I suspect) MICRON 3D NAND, albeit it’s been rebranded by BIWIN for ACER. The controller is a new one to me, but honestly, it’s a pretty common chip used by ACER, LEXAR, and a few others. The single-sided design and the usual suite of technologies to prevent drive failure or wear are certainly welcome, resulting in a very stable drive that should easily outlive its warranty.

Should I Buy One?

At this price range, you actually do have a little bit of choice. However, it’s clear that ACER is more than competitive, and when it comes down to it, their performance, features and everything else are easily on par with their rivals, making this a great choice for anyone wanting affordable and fast storage that’s available in a wide range of capacities.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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