2. Retail Package
The addlink S91 1ΤΒ Μ2230 PCIe Gen4x4 SSD can be found online for ~$123, depending on your region and VAT. The retail package is well-designed and includes all the needed information about the product.
Opening the retail package is easy and includes a printed manual as well.
The product is placed inside a plastic wrap that fully protects the product from transportation hazards.
According to addlink, the S91 series is designed for small mobile devices, like Steam Deck, Microsoft Surface, and other laptop/tablet brands with 2230 or 2242 PCIe NVMe slots. It is based on at PCIe Gen4x4 interface and can reach up to 5000MB/s reading performance (with PCIe Gen4x4 interface).
addlink states that the S91 series include 3D NAND, an SLC caching feature, and supports a host memory buffer (HMB) that will help the product to achieve high performance by utilizing the memory resources of the host.
In other words, the drive uses the system RAM to help it produce high-performance numbers. Usually, NVME drives with onboard DRAM have the advantage of keeping constant write levels high, where DRAM-less designs will drop writing speeds after a point.
There is no indication about the used memory controller or memory chipsets on the product website...so we had to remove the front sticker (doing so probably voids the warranty). Under the sticker, at least for the 1TB version, we found a big chipset with the ICBIG96AZA mark (Micron 3D NAND?) which doesn't give us any information when googled it. On the other hand, the Phison PS5021-E21-48 controller is a Gen4 controller and consumes 4.6W average and only <2mW power consumption at PS4/L1.2 Lower Power mode. There is also another chipset from PS6121-45 that handles power management. There is no indication about the Amps that the device needs to operate.
addlink offers to download their own Toolbox software, we got the latest version and used it to quickly check the drive's main features.
Passing to the well-known CrystalDiskInfo, we can view also similar information. The drive was connected to a PCIe Gen 4.0 slot and was running at x4.0 speed.
Users can check with the CrystalDiskInfo if the drive has more warranty (5 years) or if they exceeded the TBW limits (which aren't however displayed in the drive's features).
After formatting the drive with NTFS, we got around 953GB of free space.