Sabrent Rocket 4 vs Rocket 4 Plus: What are the Differences?

If you too have been making use of Sabrent’s NVMe SSDs, then you are well aware of the fact that this company makes high-performance storage units at an affordable price, rivaling even some of the best hard drive manufacturers. 

Sabrent was one of the first companies to develop a PCIe 4.0 compatible SSD: The Sabrent Rocket 4. Because it was so early in this endeavor to create a drive that uses the next-generation interface, it wasn’t able to fully take advantage of the speeds that the new PCIe lanes are capable of. Fast forward to the end of 2020, and Sabrent has come out with a new Sabrent Rocket: The 4 Plus. This SSD uses Phison’s upgraded PS5018-E18 controller, offering a significant performance boost to its predecessor.

The question is, how much of a performance boost? Is it enough to warrant its higher price-tag? Let’s compare the two – in terms of manufacturer specifications and real-world benchmarks – and find out.

Specifications

ModelSabrent Rocket 4Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus
Design
Storage Sizes500GB, 1TB, 2TB1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Sequential Read5,000 MB/s, 5,000 MB/s, 5,000 MB/s,7,000 MB/s, 7,100 MB/s, 7,200 MB/s
Sequential Write2,500 MB/s, 4,400 MB/s, 4,400 MB/s,5,300 MB/s, 6,600 MB/s, 6,900 MB/s
4KB Random Read400,000 IOPS, 750,000 IOPS, 750,000 IOPS350,000 IOPS, 650,000 IOPS, 650,000 IOPS
4KB Random Write550,000 IOPS, 750,000 IOPS, 750,000 IOPS700,000 IOPS, 700,000 IOPS, 700,000 IOPS
Bus TypePCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.3PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.4
ControllerPhison E16Phison PS5018-E18
NAND TypeKioxia 96L TLCMicron 96L TLC
TBW850 TBW, 1,800 TBW, 3,600 TBW,700 TBW, 1,400 TBW, 2,800 TBW
Warranty5 years5 years
MSRP$120, $200, $400$300, $500, $1,000
AvailabilityAmazonAmazon

The two storage size models that are in contention are the 1 TB and 2 TB variants, as only the Sabrent Rocket 4 has a 500 GB version, and only the Plus has a 4 TB drive. 

The Rocket 4 Plus displays sequential read and write speeds that are 40% and 20% faster than the Rocket 4, but its 1 TB version lacks severely in 4KB random read speeds, falling short by 114% to the 1 TB version of the Rocket 4. It also trails in 4KB random write speeds by 7%. 

As previously mentioned, the Rocket 4 Plus has an upgraded Phison controller, and it also uses an upgraded NVMe 1.4 interface. It does, however, have a similar 96-layer TLC NAND flash memory, though this time around made by Micron, instead of Kioxia (Toshiba). 

Both the Rocket 4 and the 4 Plus have some of the highest Terabytes Written (TBW) caps found in any NVMe SSD. The values are higher for the Rocket 4, but running through 700 TBW would take decades (for the vast majority of users), so the advantage will mean little to most.

Price wise, the Rocket 4 Plus has a 17% higher price at 1 TB, and a 14% higher price for the 2 TB drive. Let’s now check their benchmarks, and see if the 4 Plus warrants its slight price increase.

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Benchmarks

2TB ModelSabrent Rocket 4Sabrent Rocket 4 PlusPeak Sequential Read15,006 MB/s7,085 MB/sPeak Sequential Write14,259 MB/s6,622 MB/sAverage Sequential Read22,755 MB/s3,402 MB/sAverage Sequential Write3862 MB/s1,085 MB/sPeak 4K Random Read4 592,720 IOPS579,118 IOPSPeak 4K Random Write4550,856 IOPS581,353 IOPSPower Consumption54.23 Watts4.48 WattsGame Scene Loading611.09 Seconds10.36 SecondsPCMark 10 Full System Score2,122 2,415SPECWorkstation 34.77.37p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 8.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times; color: #000000} span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; color: #0b4cb4} span.s2 {font: 8.0px Times}All benchmarks by Tom’s Hardware1 iometer 2 6.5 GB Zip file read3 50 GB copy transfer rate4 4KB QD 1-128.5 50 GB copy average power consumption.6 Final Fantasy XIV: ShadowBringer.7Benchmark by STH.

Unsurprisingly, the 2 TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus outperforms the Sabrent Rocket 4 in almost every aspect tested, only trailing slightly in 4K random read speed. It has a 42% faster sequential read speed, a 55% faster sequential write speed, and a 14% higher PCMark 10 Full System score (which simulates widely used PC applications). 

Where the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus outshines its competition by a significant margin, is its Peak Sequential write speeds. At 6,622 MB/s, this SSD does not only outperform its Rocket 4 predecessor, but it even surpasses the Samsung 980 Pro by 26%, and the Western Digital Black SN850 by 25%. It also has an incredibly low random write latency (0.015 ms) and high peak random write speeds. It is perhaps because of this that it scores so highly in the SPECworkstation 3 benchmark – a trace test that places high amounts of stress on the SSD, in order to simulate professional workstation applications. Here, once again, it outperforms its wider competition by 16.8% for the Samsung 980 Pro, and 43% for the WD Black SN850. 

Verdict

The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus does indeed outperform the Rocket 4 enough to warrant its price, but only for those that need the additional speed. For setups primarily used for gaming, browsing, and light work applications, both of these SSDs are overkill, and the Sabrent Rocket 4 would be the better option based solely on its lower price.

For professionals looking to add more, and better, storage to their build, the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus offers incredibly high write speeds – which shows in its SPECworkstation 3 results. Given also that it is cheaper than both the WD Black SN850 and Samsung 980 Pro, and that it is the only model that offers a 4 TB option, this SSD is the perfect fit for high-end workstation builds.

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