Storage

MSI SPATIUM M480 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD Review

How Much Does it Cost?

I don’t have confirmed retail prices at the time of writing. However, this is a very high-end drive with a premium design, components, and performance. I would expect this to be somewhat competitive with similar drives from competing brands, but I suspect it may actually be a bit more expensive. You can check for up to date stock/prices on Amazon UK here.

Update: MSI has provided us with an MSRP of £329.99, which is broadly in line with what we expected.

Overview

If you care about having the absolute best performance for your latest PC build, then you’ll certainly find it here. Sure, there are more extreme drives out there, RAID configurations, PCIe drives, etc., but they’re typically far beyond the reach of consumers, and often a bit more impractical for a lot of uses too. However, for a simple plug and play drive, the MSI Spatium M480 is pretty exceptional. Of course, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got PCIe 4.0 on your motherboard to ensure you can maximise what this drive has to offer.

Performance

It absolutely shredded it in synthetic benchmarks, delivering very high and consistent scores throughout. Of course, it didn’t reach the theoretical 7000 Read and 6900 Write, but actually, it did get surprisingly close, peaking at 6938 MB/s Read and 6730 MB/s Write in CrystalDiskMark. Furthermore, with the heatsink, it stood up to repeated testing with no noticeable drop off in performance. ATTO showed incredibly consistent performance from 128KB right up to the 64MB test too. Plus, with a score of 21,873 in Anvil, which is by far one of the highest we’ve ever had, even beating the Corsair MP600 by over 400 points.

Build Quality

Actually, MSI really has done a great job here. For starters, the drive is built from some of the best components on the market. You don’t get a performance like this without using a great controller, and MSI opted for the Phison PS5018-E18, and the addition of a 2GB DDR4 DRAM cache, and Micron 3d TLC Flash. All of this performs reasonably well on its own, but the addition of that gorgeous heatsink and backplate, which screws down to ensure a snug fit, will help maximise the drive’s performance; just make sure you’ve got room for it, as it’s pretty tall!

Should I Buy One?

Honestly, this drive isn’t for everyone. For starters, it’s going to be very expensive, and while the performance is exceptional, a more affordable model with lesser performance may be more than enough for your typical high-end PC build. However, if you’ve got the budget for a large capacity M.2 SSD, and you want class-leading performance, and you can fit that chunky cooler in your system, this drive will is pretty exceptional.

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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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