Lexar NM790: a high-performance, affordable SSD?


Lexar is a brand we’re starting to see more and more in the world of PC compo, while those who know the name a little expected to see SD cards and the like for cameras. But Lexar, a Micron subsidiary specializing in digital media, has in fact been bought out by a very, very large Chinese manufacturer called Longsys, which specializes in Flash memory and DRAM design. The NM790 is available in three sizes: 512 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB. For maximum performance, you’ll need a PCIe Gen4x4 M.2 NVMe 2.0 slot.

Where this NM790 surprises is that it’s faster than many Gen 4 SSDs and surprisingly inexpensive. This is achieved thanks to a basic design where the NAND modules and controller are on the top surface of the SSD, covered only by a sticker. Clearly, the NM790 has been designed to be as simple as possible to manufacture and to offer an interesting compromise: it’s very competitive for sequential reads and writes, very decent for random reads but lagging behind for random writes. In figures, it offers sequential read speeds of up to 7400MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 6500MB/s. According to its official figures, the 2TB version should last five years or more before its NAND modules start to tire.