Overall and Final Verdict
Like I said before, Sabrent has been shaking up the SSD market by opening up drive capacities more and having better pricing on the capacities that people have been looking for. The Rocket Q4 is a great example of that. It doesn’t have the HUGE sizes, but they have it available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB options which is right where I think the sweet spot is these days (1/2TB), and then with the 4TB option for those who want a huge drive that isn’t going to cost more than an RTX 3090. I also like the styling that the Rocket Q4 has with the bronze base and white trim both on the drive and the heatsink being similar with its copper and silver. A white PCB would have matched it all better, but the full cover real metal sticker/heatspreader does the job well.
As for performance, the Rocket Q4 ends up being a bit of a mixed bag. This is at its core the same drive as the original Rocket Q which I loved. Sabrent changed up the controller to add PCIe gen 4 support which opens up additional performance on the same NAND and cache combo. But the controller, being an early PCIe Gen 4 design has its own issues that it brings along. So the sequential performance was amazing, as you would expect on Gen 4. This meant that real-world file transfers were great and some tests like the PCMark data drive benchmark did well. But the controller is easily overloaded once it has a lot of threads and a long queue depth thrown at it causing the full PCMark results to suffer and for the drive to really fall off on some of the IOPS tests and especially my queue depth test on the reads where it fell on its face. So the Rocket Q4 isn’t a cure-all, depends on how you plan on using the drive. It has great pure file transfer performance, but as an OS drive, there are options that may perform better.
The other part of our specific sample that I want to address as well is if you want to get the heatsink model or just the Rocket Q4 on its own. Frankly, the heatsink option is going to be a tough sell for a lot of people. Not because it doesn’t look good or perform. But because it's just not going to fit in a lot of situations. Motherboards that supported M.2 early on just had the slots out in the open and sometimes those drives needed heatsinks to keep things cool. I’ve even added small stick on heatsinks to them in the past to help with thermals and performance. But any motherboard that is mid-range or higher these days is most likely going to hide the M.2 drive away behind an integrated heatsink. So an add-on heatsink isn’t going to work at all there. M.2 drives are also found on the bottom of motherboards or even up under PCIe slots where a tall heatsink would never fit. So the situations that a heatsink will work at all are limited to just some motherboards or if you are running a PCIe card or a riser card like Asus’s M.2DIMM design.
As for pricing, the Rocket Q4 in the 2TB capacity that I tested here with the heatsink will currently run you $298.98. I was really curious how much the heatsink adds to that cost because I can see more of you looking for the drive alone, and surprisingly Sabrent has that drive at $279, meaning if you do want or need the heatsink it is a great value at just $20 more than the normal drive. Beyond that, at $279 the Rocket Q4 2TB isn’t priced bad against other PCIe 4.0 2TB options. There is just one available for cheaper, the rest are all more expensive going up into the 300-450 range. So if pure sequential performance is what you are looking for at a decent value, this isn’t a bad drive to pick up.
Live Pricing: HERE