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No, that isn’t a slushie spread out across the mountain. It’s ‘watermelon snow’ and contrary to its nickname it’s not as delicious as a slushie either. Instead, It’s snow that has been tinted red or pink by algae growing on its melting surface (don’t eat it–its likely bad for your digestion).

In a study published today in Nature Communications researchers found that these algae might be giving glaciers in the Arctic a hard time, as if their existence wasn’t hard enough already.

After observing melting on a glacier over the course of the ‘melting season’, researchers found that the presence of the algae reduced the albedo or reflectivity of the snow by as much as 13 percent. That’s important, because sunlight that doesn’t bounce off the reflective white surface of the snow is instead absorbed, heating up the snow and ice and causing it to melt even faster.

“Our results point out that the “bio-albedo” effect is important and has to be considered in future climate models”, lead author Stefanie Lutz said in a statement.

Glaciers, snow, and sea ice in the Arctic are all dwindling thanks to climate change. This past May just broke a record for sea ice loss in the Arctic. And while the algae growth on snow and glaciers might not be as big of a problem as other factors like climate change, it certainly isn’t helping.

Lutz and her fellow researchers plan to return to the Greenland Ice Sheet this summer to study the relationship between the algae and glaciers more closely.

Taking A Sample

Researchers collected samples of red snow across the Arctic.

Under The Microscope

Snow algae as seen under a microscope.

Red Snow

The red blooms of algae aren’t limited to the Arctic. They can also be seen in the American West, like this patch in California.

Elk On Red Snow

This herd of Elk are standing atop algae colored snow in Rocky Mountains National Park.

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On The Farm, Algae May Be The New Corn

Nothing quite beats the taste of corn of the cob in summer or the delightful yellow offering of a true succotash. For centuries, corn has been a staple in North American diets and continues to be a primary choice for meals whether in its native form or processed, such as corn flakes.

Apart from human uses, corn makes up the majority of feed for livestock. At one point, over 95% of the feed grains grown in the United States were based on corn. It’s no surprise then that in 2023 alone, some 89.2 million acres will be grown in the United States. This represents around 40% of all the corn grown worldwide.

But corn has seen a decline due to a number of factors. Crops have been hard hit by climate change. Higher temperatures have led to decreased yields and less overall abundance. As a result, the value of corn has dropped since 2012. This has put additional pressure on farmers, suggesting they may have to forego corn and look to other crops to maintain viability. This could harm corn stocks and hinder food security.

There may be an answer to the corn dilemma, but to find it, one has to look not in the prairies but the sea. Within the salty brine are algae. These microorganisms, once believed to be primordial plant species, are nutrient-making machines. They are known to produce high levels of antioxidants and also a variety of essential fatty acids. Some companies have even seen their algal-derived products make it to market.

But extraction may not be the only benefit behind these waterborne creatures. The use of the entire organism as a food source has been suggested for decades. Back in the 1960s, trials of algae-based diets revealed the idea wasn’t all that bad. They were nutritious, provided all the right dietary ingredients. Their bitterness shocked at first, but was eventually tolerated.

Little has been done in the last five decades as there have been few reasons to explore this option. But the decline in corn has once again raised the algae idea. This time, however, the target isn’t humans but livestock.

The use of algae in feed has been tested sporadically with fairly good results. In cattle, algae helped to increase the level of essential fatty acids in milk. In sheep, overall health improved. Even chickens seem to gain some benefit from algae in their feed. The idea has become so popular there is a push to develop policies for their inclusion in all forms of agriculture.

Despite the overall improvement of animal health, algae have traditionally been seen as a supplement rather than a major constituent. But that may change thanks to an American team of researchers. Earlier this year, they published a study in which they used algae as a replacement for corn. The results showed these microorganisms may one day help to improve food security by keeping corn out of animal feed and keeping it solely for humans.

The algal mass was mixed with soy hulls and hay to make an appetizing mix for the steers. The group tested varying concentrations of the algal supplement in combination with lower levels of corn or wet gluten from corn (a byproduct of distillation). In the most extreme condition, the algal mass was 45% of the feed with corn being only 16%. In the gluten experiment, the ratio of algae to the wet mass was 45% to 35%.

At first, the team conducted experiments in the lab to determine whether the new diet would be actually digestible. It was. This allowed them to continue the experiments with the steers. They tested a variety of factors including actual dry mass consumed including crude protein and fiber levels as well as daily weight gain.

The experiments revealed the animals didn’t mind algae but they have their limits. When the algal concentration was 30%, they ate it up readily. When the concentration was 45%, however, they were less likely to choose the meal. This wasn’t a hit on the algae but rather how it was made. In this study, the algal mass was dried and de-oiled, making it very dry. For the steers, this might have been a little too dry for their tastes. By adding water to the mix, the amount of food consumed increased. In the gluten experiments, because moisture was already present, this dietary preference wasn’t observed.

As for the nutritional value, weight gain was comparable to corn save for the 45% algae option. In this case, the animals did better than those fed solely corn. The most benefit from the algae came when it was mixed with the wet gluten. This suggests the two could work together to improve nutrition for the animals.

The authors suggested the results of this study offer a viable option for reducing if not eliminating raw corn usage in feeds. The results show steers can do quite well with algae and the waste from corn distillation. This could help to reduce the strain on corn supplies and leave the raw food for more human purposes.

On Macbooks, Nvidia, Opencl And Snow Leopard

There appears some fuss and bother over the inability of the MacBook Pro (not pictured, incidentally) to harness the power of both its installed graphics processors simultaneously, but these complaints are missing a crucial point.

Inclusion of the Nvidia’s powerful GeForce 9400M isn’t just a performance enhancing move, but a critical future-proofing step. It is manufactured using the 65-nanometre process – comparison – a human hair is about 100 micrometres thick, over a thousand times thicker than the structure used in the GPU.

(There’s a nice – but old – description of silicon manufacture right here).

As it is, this chip promises performance many times better than the graphics chip used in even the most recent MacBook Pros, and it’s vastly better than the Intel GMA 950 Apple used in last-gen MacBooks. 

The relatively small GPU has sixteen graphics pipes and can generate 54 Gigaflops of processing power. To put this in perspective, in 2002 Apple introduced its 1GHz Power Mac, which it declared could achieve an “amazing” 15 billion floating-point operations per second. Which put the computer in supercomputer territory, apparently. Is the Nvidia GPU like having a second supercomputer in your Mac, destined to spend its whole life rendering iMovie sequences and playing fast-paced RPGs?

Short answer: no. The Nvidia GeForce 9400M is compatible with Nvidia’s Hybrid SLI system. Apple’s implementation of this is what allows you to switch between the two GPU’s installed in the MacBook Pros, though this does require you log-out, for some reason. 

Nvidia says: “Apple’s Macbook Pro (Late 2008) does feature both the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M motherboard GPU for everyday computing and the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete GPU for high graphics performance. You can switch between the Geforce 9400M motherboard GPU (called energy saver mode) and the Geforce 9600M GT discrete GPU (called performance mode), but you cannot use both GPU’s at once in this implementation.”

(Pure speculation based on guessing alert: This conceivably reflects the Unix roots of OS X, which means it’s unforgiving of system elements which aren’t initiated by a user when they launch the system, unless these elements are connected by an external I/O. But that’s a guess.)

The main rationale behind choice of the GeForce 9400M is that the chip is happy to be used to transact general computing tasks using its spare processing cycles. And this means Apple’s not just inventing new manufacturing processes – did we mention Brick? – but also engaged in refining its system and technology road-map for the next few years.

As Jonathan Ive says in the now-famous video in which he describes the manufacturing process for the new Macs, “we take our innovation and apply it to the most popular Macs.” Thinking back this innovation was seen in successive generations of iMac, and now, with laptops becoming ever more popular, it’s also clear to see in the new MacBook range. So it’s no surprise Apple’s preparing its most popular systems for Snow Leopard now.

Snow Leopard will support an Apple-proposed standard called Open CL (Open Computing Language). Operating systems and devices that support OpenCL can perform data and task parallel computing across both graphics and system processors. Which means your Mac will use not just the  dual cores inside the Intel Core 2 Duo processor it has inside, but will, in a deft maneuver of mind expansion, also harness the Nvidia processor to broaden its mind.

Better still, another Snow Leopard technology called ‘Grand Central’ makes the OS incredibly capable of supporting multi-core processors. And also makes it far easier for developers to add multi-core support to their applications. As the Blu-ray story sometimes proves though the notion that “build it and they will come” doesn’t always work itself out – there’s still too many apps that aren’t fully capable for multi-core. That’s the problem Apple’s set out to solve.

One Snow Leopard improvement that doesn’t seem to be in the frame for this generation of laptops is support for 64-bit computing. Both the GPU and system are 32-bit (we think), which is why the new laptops carry a memory maximum of 4GB. We reckon this means you can expect a fully 64-bit Mac Pro, likely boasting two or more user-replaceable GPU’s and support for up to 16TB of RAM to appear at some auspicious point – though we must once again warn that’s speculation based on guessing. Hey – we can make wild guesses all by ourselves, we don’t even need an analyst!

Finishing up (for now – we’re optimistic readers here will add to this debate), you can’t underestimate the importance to Open CL to Apple – and beyond Apple, project partners including 3Dlabs, ATI Technologies, Discreet, Evans & Sutherland, Intel Corporation, NVIDIA, Silicon Graphics (SGI), and Sun Microsystems – on the future of computing.

That’s why the Khronos Group is working to create a broad industry standard for OpenCL, this will create a rich environment for these devices, and usher in an interesting moment for PC performance.

Incidentally, the Khronos Group is holding an OpenCL-focused event at its November 17 meeting  where OpenCL’s evolution will be discussed, along with, “heterogeneous CPU-GPU computing and its anticipated adoption. This is an informal gathering designed to educate as well as introduce developers to OpenCL architects and other community members.”

Interestingly, this event was announced on October 14, MacBook family day.

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An Arctic Blast Is Headed Our Way This Week, And It’s Earlier Than Usual

It’s officially puffy parka time for much of the US.

A “blast” of chilly Arctic air is expected to pass over the eastern part of the country this week, bringing piles of snow from the Great Lakes to New England. The mercury will drop 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit below average, breaking a few records in the process. Areas of Minnesota could see sub-zero temperatures, while reports out of Texas show weather in the low teens. European countries are also bracing themselves for the blast.

Victor Gensini, an assistant professor of geographic and atmospheric sciences at Northern Illinois University, says this wintry burst is thanks to an air mass that usually hovers over the Arctic, but occasionally will make its way to the mid-latitudes because of jet streams.

“It’ll be the first blast of extremely cold air of the season,” he says.

This weather phenomenon isn’t exactly rare—the US actually experiences a few Arctic blasts each year. What’s different about this one, Gensini says, is that it’s a bit earlier than usual, making the eastern two-thirds of the country feel like they’ve hit January or February. He adds that the freeze may feel colder than it actually is, given that there won’t be much snow on the ground to remind people of the seasonal shift.

But the question is are these Arctic blasts the new pre-Thanksgiving norm? Drew Ellis, a professor of climatology and meteorology at Virginia Tech, says that climate change might play a role in making these cold masses more common. As the planet has gotten progressively toastier over the past few decades, the Arctic regions are heating up faster than mid-latitude countries and states. This weakens the north-south temperature gradient and polar jet, meaning cold air blasts are more pronounced and frequent. Without a strong pressure barrier, jet streams move and meander more slowly, disrupting the stratospheric polar vortex and pulling icy air south from a warmer-than-usual Arctic.

“These instances of cold air migrating southward are counter-intuitive to the idea of ‘global warming,’ ” Ellis says, but they show that the accelerated rate of high-latitude heating could lead to earlier winter weather in other parts of the world.

Still, Ellis says it’s questionable as to whether the Arctic blasts might get more intense. Gensini says that it’s hard to pin one freezing event on climate change, and that the research looking into the correlation between climate change and increasing cold blasts is still pretty new. The upshot goes both ways, however.

“A lot of people like to use these extreme cold events to combat the narrative that the planet is warming,” Gensini says. “The reality is, just because it’s cold in one location, like Chicago, New York City, or Washington, DC, doesn’t mean anything about what the long-term climate is doing.”

All the way up in the Gulf of Alaska and the northern Pacific, sea-surface temperatures are actually warmer than usual, Gensini says. When that water heats up, it creates a “rollercoaster” of weather, resulting in an odd mismatch of forecasts. It’s why parts of the Eastern US might see lower temperatures than Alaska this week, he says.

If you’re on the map for the latest bout of unseasonably frosty winds, Ellis suggests preparing like it’s early December: shield sensitive plants, dress kids warmly as they head off to school, shelter pets and sensitive animals, and shut off external plumbing to prevent frozen pipes. In other words: “Think ‘winter’ rather than ‘fall’ for a few days.”

For Treating Blindness, Scientists Look To Algae

What if the key to curing blindness was found in unicellular algae?

In a recent study published in the journal Nature, a group of scientists were able to restore light sensitivity to formerly blind mice using a protein extracted from algaes of the genus Chlamydomonas. The Chlamydomonas are of particular interest because they exhibit phototaxis—an ability to orient themselves toward light sources to aid in photosynthesis. Eager to understand what caused this phenomenon on a genetic level, scientists at the Max Planck institute in 2003 isolated a sequence of genes that stored the blueprints for generating light-sensitive proteins. And now, a joint team of researchers from the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Switzerland and the Harvard Medical School have recently developed a therapy that introduces these genes into the eyes of blind mice. What they observed was a dramatic behavioral change that proved the mice had regained their sensitivity to light.

Dr. Botond Roska, leader of the Friedrich Miescher Institute team, has a clever analogy for putting his research into perspective: “Imagine giving a speech to a large room of people, but only the first row can hear you,” he says. The first row he’s referring to is the eye’s outer layer of rods and cones, the light-sensing cells that line the back of the retina and are the first step in a complex cascade of cells that pass information from the eye to the brain. It’s the job of this first row to pass back what they “hear” to the row behind them. When this first layer of cell is damaged beyond repair from such diseases as macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa, the eye becomes blind, even though most of the complex cascading mechanism is still functional. As Dr. Roska describes it, a blind eye is “like a camera with the cap on.”

Dr. Roska and his team decided to target the layer of cells below this first layer, injecting the cloned algae genes in an attempt to “turn up the volume of the speech” so that the second row could take up the slack left by a “deaf” first row and pass on the message to the rest of the audience.

To see if the treatment actually worked, two groups of mice, one with sight and one blind, were placed in dark cages for half an hour before the lights were turned on. Once the lights were back, the sighted mice became active and ran around their cage, while the blind mice stayed sedentary. When the mice treated with the Chlamydomonas genes were put through the same test, they exhibited levels of activity almost as high as the sighted mice, suggesting that they could tell the different between light and dark.

Then it was necessary to test the sensitivity of the mice’s newly restored vision—whether they could only detect changes in light intensity or actually discern shapes. To do this, the mice were placed in front of what must have been an adorable, mouse-sized movie screen and made to watch a series of lines of various widths move across the screen. The treated mice were observed to follow the lines, showing that they could indeed make out shapes. Most surprisingly, these mice would follow a line that was as fine as twice the width of the lines that a normal mouse would follow.

The next step for Dr. Roska and his team is to attempt to restore functionality to a wider range of light receptors. In a healthy eye, full vision is an average of the data recorded by cells that measure increasing intensity as well as a second type that measure decreasing intensity, named “ON” and “OFF” respectively. The Chlamydomonas gene works on the “ON” cells only, but it is thought that a protein from a separate microorganism might eventually restore “OFF” cells.

As amazing as these results are, it may be a while before the treatment can be applied to humans. The greatest challenge is posed by the therapy only being effective for very high intensities of light. In the complex human eye, there are as many as 40 separate genes that that account for our ability to adapt to many different light levels. The trick would be to find more sensitive gene tags for varying levels of light, or even to develop special goggles to help focus the light like an automatic camera does.

However, Dr. Roska’s work is a promising development for a condition that for many has seemed all but incurable in its finality.

Correction: a previous version of this article mistakenly attributed the initial research to isolate the Chlamydomonas_ light-sensitive gene to Dr. Boska and his team. This research was carried out by Dr. Georg Nagel and Dr. Ernst Bamberg of the Max Planck Institute in 2003._

Which Ssd Is The Best In 2023?

Which solid-state drive (SSD) is the best used to be a much simpler decision. Now you must consider things like endurance, PCIe generations, DRAM or DRAM-less, SATA or NVMe. The goal of this list is to help you decide which is the best SSD for you.

Good to know: this guide can help you choose the right NVMe or SATA SSD for your system, depending on your use case and budget.

1. Best Gaming SSD: Western Digital BLACK SN850X

Price: $84.99 for 1TB

Image source: Newegg

WD’s impressive dashboard software adds to the specs to make it a near-perfect Gen4 gaming SSD. With DirectStorage on Windows 11 soon to be implemented by more game developers, the SN850X sets you up nicely to enjoy next-gen loading times. The base variant now comes with a capacity of 1TB, which is plenty for any dedicated game drive. You can also choose an optional heatsink for a $5 premium, not that you’d really need it on this drive.


Large SLC cache for fast, more sustained write speeds

Heatsink option with subtle RGB

Capacities up to 4TB


Game Mode needs firmware upgrades

No hardware encryption

Also helpful: building a gaming PC? You want to get the most value-for-money PC parts.

2. Best Budget Gaming SSD: Western Digital BLACK SN770

Price: $50.99 for 1TB

Western Digital also wins the budget gaming SSD category with the WD_BLACK SN770, a DRAM-less drive that stands out in a crowded market due to its seriously impressive performance. The SN770 is Western Digital’s more affordable option for gamers looking for a high-speed Gen4 drive and not wanting to spend more for the SN850X. Its DRAM-less configuration and lower-rated speeds may look like significant cons, but its impact on gaming performance is relatively low.

Image source: Newegg

The SN770’s four-channel controller still achieves read speeds of up to 5150 MB/s. You also get the option for 500GB and 250GB models, although they’re not necessarily a good value compared to the 1TB and 2TB models. The 1TB SN770 offers more than impressive real-world performance, and you won’t be able to tell the difference compared to faster offerings.

The operating temperatures may be a tad too high, especially with the lack of a heatsink. You also get Western Digital’s great dashboard software.


Premium gaming performance at an affordable price

Lower-capacity options to cover all use cases


No 4TB option

No heatsink option

No hardware encryption

3. Best Workstation SSD: Seagate Firecuda 530

Price: $209.99 for 2TB

Top-notch components and custom Seagate firmware make the Firecuda 530 blazingly fast, extremely long-lasting, and surprisingly cool. For a Gen4 drive, the Firecuda 530 almost touches the interface’s limits with its 7,300 MB/s and 6,900 MB/s read and write speeds, respectively. As it comes with an included heatsink, thermals aren’t a concern.

The Firecuda 530 is not just an excellent productivity drive. It’s also perfectly equipped as a dual-use drive to enjoy superior gaming performance. Seagate offers three years of data recovery services to further sweeten the deal.

Image source: Amazon


One of the fastest Gen4 drives available

Extremely fast SLC cache

Great aesthetics

Runs cool


A bit expensive

No hardware encryption

Tip: once you determine how much hard drive space you need, you can select the best capacity SSD for your build.

4. Best Budget Workstation SSD: Inland Performance Plus

Price: $134.99 for 2TB

You may not have heard of Inland drives, but the Inland Performance Plus has an enticing value proposition, thanks to the same Phison E18 controller and Micron 176-layer TLC flash in more premium drives. Even with a heatsink, the 2TB option of the Inland Performance Plus costs almost 35 percent less than the 2TB Firecuda 530.

The Performance Plus Gen4 NVMe SSD makes no compromises when it comes to performance. If you’re looking for a workstation drive, you may want to buy the 4TB or 8TB model because of the higher endurance (TBW) and random read speeds of the higher-capacity variants.

The Inland Performance Plus even provides heatsink options that are in contrast to some other high-performance drives from Samsung and Western Digital. In terms of warranty, you get six years of peace of mind, again more than that of many competing brands.


Solid thermals in the heatsink options


No hardware encryption

No SSD software


Price: $85 for 1TB

The PlayStation 5 has been out for almost three years, but finding a compatible solid-state drive is nearly impossible under the $100 mark. The ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade is a godsend for buyers on a budget who want to top up their PS5 storage with an SSD worthy of the console’s performance standards. Clocking in at 7400 MB/s and 6100 MB/s of read and write speeds, respectively, the S70 Blade even outperforms PS5’s stock storage in some real-world scenarios.

Image source: Amazon

The S70 Blade easily exceeds the minimum speed Sony recommends for the PS5 and has a Sony-recommended low-profile heatsink to easily fit inside the PS5. While the S70 Blade isn’t breaking any build quality standards, it provides PS5 users with peak performance, competitive TBW limits, and a great price.


Superior Gen4 performance for the PS5

Included heatsink for efficient cooling

More affordable than other PS5-compatible SSDs

256-bit AES hardware encryption

ADATA’s SSD Toolbox software


Not the best build quality

Good to know: you can transfer game data from a PS4 to a PS5 after you upgrade the SSD.

6. Best Steam Deck SSD: Sabrent Rocket 2230

Price: $109.95 for 1TB

The Steam Deck and, more recently, the ROG Ally ushered in a golden age for gaming handhelds. Unfortunately, the Steam Deck ships with a drive that offers a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 500 MB/s. Therefore, for those who want to swap their default Steam Deck SSD for something that packs more power, the Sabrent Rocket 2230 provides a great option.

With M.2 2230 form factor SSDs being rare in the retail market, the Rocket 2230 enjoys little competition. The Gen4x4 configuration can amp up your Steam Deck storage speeds with read/write speeds of up to 5,000 MB/s and 4,300 MB/s.

Sabrent has equipped the Rocket 2230 with the Phison E21T controller and Micron’s 176-layer TLC flash under the hood, making the drive excel in performance and energy efficiency. This makes it ideal for the Steam Deck and other such battery-dependent devices. If you wish to, you can install the 2TB variant, as that’s the maximum supported by the Steam Deck.


Good performance and energy efficiency


Full warranty requires registration

Slightly pricey

7. Best SATA SSD: Samsung 870 EVO

Price: $109.99 for 2TB

Fast SATA SSDs still have a gap to fill when you need economical but fast secondary storage. The Samsung 870 EVO is the fastest SSD on the SATA 2.5-inch form factor, with 560 MB/s and 530 MB/s read and write speeds, respectively.

Image source: Newegg

Maybe you need a reliable secondary drive for your media files. Or maybe you’ve run out of M.2 slots on your motherboard and only have SATA drives. Regardless, the 870EVO provides everything you need in a SATA SSD.

Samsung’s still-solid Magician software further complements the impressive offering of the 870 EVO. You can find cheaper SATA drives, but the 870 EVO’s capacity per price is too delicious to resist.


Consistent performance even with small file operations

More reliable and power efficient than other SATA drives

Multiple capacities from 250GB to 4TB


A little pricey

Also helpful: did you know there are also hybrid solid-state drives? Learn more about SSD vs. SSHD drives to determine which will best meet your needs.

8. Best Portable SSD: SanDisk Extreme PRO V2

Price: $119.99 for 1TB

Portable SSDs are ideal for professionals and users who frequently need to take their data with them. The SanDisk Extreme PRO V2 is an upgrade to SanDisk’s Extreme PRO. It supports read speeds of up to 2,000 MB/s on the USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) interface. While you may not be impressed by those numbers, USB SSDs are more about durability, reliability, and data security, and the Extreme PRO V2 doesn’t disappoint.

Image source: Amazon

SanDisk has updated the hardware encryption on the Extreme PRO V2 to 256-bit AES. If you’re concerned about the durability of the drive, the IP55 water and dust resistance should ease your fears. The drive is also rated for two-meter drop protection, making it ideal for regular trips. SanDisk’s excellent security management software distinguishes the Extreme PRO V2 from other portable drives.


USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) support

Lightweight and small

Robust 256-bit hardware encryption

SanDisk’s reliable warranty


Can feel costly at larger capacities

Limited speed without USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) ports

9. Best PCIe 5.0 SSD: Gigabyte AORUS Gen5 10000

Price: $289.99 for 2TB

PCIe 5.0 drives have begun surfacing in the retail space, and the Gigabyte AORUS Gen5 10000 is one of the first. The big number in the drive’s name points to its record-breaking sequential read and write speeds – around 10,000 MB/s. This is faster than any other Gen4 SSD and represents the fastest NVMe SSD a user with a compatible system can get their hands on.

Image source: Newegg

To accommodate the blistering speeds of the AORUS Gen5 10000, Gigabyte has graciously provided a beefy heatsink with the drive. This thing makes its presence felt and may interfere with your GPU and CPU cooler, so make sure to check your clearances.

Gigabyte uses the Phison E26 controller and 232-layer TLC Flash on the AORUS Gen5 10000 to power its next-gen performance. While the demanding hardware requirements and steep price may keep it out of reach of many users, the AORUS Gen5 10000 throws some light on the future of NVMe SSDs.

Image source:



One of the fastest SSDs available

Robust heatsink for extreme cooling


Heatsink may be tough to install in some systems

Tip: double-check that you know how to upgrade to a solid-state drive.

10. Best RGB SSD: Patriot Viper VPR400

Price: $74.99 for 1TB

For gamers (or non-gamers, we don’t judge) who wish to adorn their M.2 slot with a bit of tasteful RGB, the Patriot Viper VPR400 is a good-looking and high-performance drive. Patriot decided to distinguish the Viper VPR400 by giving it an RGB aesthetic.

Being a Gen4 drive, the Patriot Viper VPR400 boasts 4600 MB/s and 4400 MB/s read and write speeds, respectively. While it may perform worse than some lower-priced non-RGB drives, you may not feel the difference in real-world scenarios. Although you’re paying a slight premium for its RGB, you get a bundled heatsink and a decent warranty from Patriot.

The Patriot Viper VPR400 makes sense for those who can’t do without RGB around their M.2 slot, but there are other options with better performance at better prices.


Decent Gen4 performance for gamers

Aesthetic RGB design

Reliable warranty


Pricier than faster alternatives

Frequently Asked Questions Which brand’s SSD is the best?

There’s no single brand that can be termed the best for SSDs. Some brands – like Samsung, WD, ADATA, Sabrent, Seagate, SanDisk, and Intel – are known for producing leading SSDs. If you want the assurance of a brand that offers reliable performance at reasonable prices, these are the brands you should consider.

Does NVMe last longer than SATA SSD?

Despite the differences in form factor and connectors, NVMe and SATA SSDs do not differ significantly in their lifespans. Both have lifespans that depend on usage and maintenance.

Image credit: Unsplash

Tanveer Singh

Tanveer hunts far and wide for PC Hardware, Windows, and Gaming ideas to write about. An MBA in Marketing and the owner of a PC building business, he has written extensively on Technology, Gaming, and Marketing. When not scouring the web, he can be found binging on The Office, running for his life in GTFO, or wrecking karts in Smash Karts.

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