The Gamma is a mid-priced M.2 PCI Express 4.0 SSD. It costs considerably more per gigabyte than the also-tested Mushkin Delta, or the ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite—our budget PCI Express 4.0 SSD darling of the moment—and is designed for elite performance. Although it falls short of unseating the Editors’ Choice-winning Samsung SSD 980 Pro as our favored high-end PCI Express 4.0 drive, it proves its mettle as a speedy 4.0-capable entry nonetheless.
LIFE IN THE PCI EXPRESS 4.0 FAST LANE
A four-lane PCI Express (PCIe) 4.0 drive, the Mushkin Gamma comes in the M.2 Type-2280 “gumstick” form factor common among today’s internal SSDs. It employs the NVMe 1.3 protocol over the PCIe 4.0 bus and features a Phison E18 controller. The on-module memory is based on Micron’s 96-layer 3D triple-level-cell (TLC) NAND flash.
Although the Gamma is backward-compatible with motherboards that support PCI Express 3.0, to get anything like the peak read/write speeds discussed below, you need a system with a motherboard whose chipset supports PCI Express 4.0. This includes a select group of late-model AMD desktop motherboards for Ryzen chips, as well as Intel Z590-based boards, designed for 10th Generation and 11th Generation (“Rocket Lake”) CPUs. Laptops with upgradable and reachable M.2 slots supporting PCIe 4.0 are pretty thin on the ground. On the desktop side, you’ll probably have to upgrade your motherboard if it’s a prebuilt system more than a year or two old, as few apart from the very newest currently support PCIe 4.0 on their M.2 slots (unless they are top-shelf and AMD-based).
Fast sequential read/ write speeds. High PCMark 10 Overall Score and copy-test performance. AES hardware-based encryption.
Lacks SSD management software.
With the Gamma, Mushkin steps away from its budget-drive roots to deliver a highly capable, high-performance PCI Express 4.0 M.2 SSD— albeit without frills in the blister pack.
The Gamma lacks a heat spreader, but its firmware—the Mushkin Enhanced Data-protection Suite (MEDS)—includes thermal monitoring and power management, a host of data protection features, and AES 128-bit and 256-bit hardware encryption. You don’t get any software with the drive, though. The Gamma lacks an SSD-management software suite and tools like Samsung’s Magician and Data Migration app. You’ll have to supply your own utilities for tasks such as copying drives.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
How to Share Your Location in Google Maps
Google Maps makes it easy to share your exact location for a short time or continuously.
DIGITAL HEALTH AND FITNESS SUPERGUIDE
Looking to lose weight, lower your stress level, sleep better, or boost your immunity? We’ve tested plenty of smart health and fitness products and apps to help you meet your goals.
How to Remove Annoying Ads From Windows 11
Here’s how to prevent unsolicited ads from third-party services and pop-up suggestions from Microsoftruining your Windows 11 experience.
THE BEST FITNESS APPS
Trim down or bulk up, run faster, or bike farther—however you work out, these top tested apps help you keep your commitment to physical fitness.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 2: WIth an E Ink Screen
Quirky twin-screen laptop rethinks E Ink
Canon Pixma G620 Wireless MegaTank Photo Printer: Excellent Quality
A photo-printer bargain, if you’re not in a hurry
Amazon Halo View: Low Price, Big Gains
A budget-friendly Fitbit alternative
Redmine: Free Project Management
Free, open-source project management for developers
HP Chromebase All-in-One 22: Tops for Home Use
Rotating-screen Chrome OS desktop is a value-priced winner
TCL 55-Inch 6-Series 4K Google TV 55R646: Excellent Value
TCL’s best value, now with Google TV
EAT WELL, LIVE WELL, LOVE WELL
Celebrity fitness instructor Emma Lovewell celebrates life, luck and longevity in the Lunar New Year, and shares how home cooking can help balance it all.
We're positively squealing over these 10 creative takes on the party app with a cozy wrap.
Bring out a pan of these hearty handhelds and watch your family flock. They may be smallscale, but they're a big-time hit.
XPG Xenia 15 KC
1440p high-refresh in a slim, slick, portable package
iPAD PRO 2021: SUPERCHARGED WITH XDR DISPLAY, M1 CHIP, & THUNDERBOLT
The iPad Pro has become something of a workhorse in recent years, offering professionals an alternative to a laptop with cutting-edge capabilities and software. At this year’s Spring Loaded event, Apple supercharged its flagship tablet with the M1 chip and Thunderbolt support, unlocking even greater opportunities for creatives in need of an all-in-one machine.
Get Office 365 on the cheap
With a little foresight, you can always manage to get Microsoft’s Office subscription at a deep discount.
LG Gram 17 (2021) : Lightweight and primed for productivity
Big screen, light weight.
Looking for a festive alternative to cranberries? Try adding a burst of healthful flavor to your dishes with pomegranates.
MAKE-AHEAD (holiday appetizers)
When a meal is too much, but chips and salsa aren’t enough food (or festiveness), give these delicious starters a try.
SAMSUNG EXPECTED TO BUILD $17B CHIP FACTORY IN TEXAS
Samsung is planning to build a $17 billion semiconductor factory outside of Austin, Texas, amid a global shortage of chips used in phones, cars and other electronic devices.