The SSD market has been around for decades and any company that releases a product is going against giant billion dollar corporations. We have to applaud those that try though as sometimes you can catch the giants sleeping. DREVO knocked it out of the ball park for appearance. The DREVO ARES looks great and if they did user controllable RGB lighting on this drive it would be a massive hit for any lighting fan that has a windowed computer case. DREVO should come out with a standalone M.2 to PCIe 3.0 x4 adapter card based on this lighted design. We think it would be a big hitting in the modding and enthusiast community if they could offer it for under $40.
Where the DREVO ARES comes up short is in the performance and capacity categories. The speed switch is an epic fail in our books. It’s useless for a high-performance PCIe NVMe drive that can only be used in desktop PCs. The SMI SM2260 dual-core, eight-channel controller with Micron’s first-generation 3D MLC NAND Flash has respectable performance numbers, but the firmware is far from being what we would call fully optimized. Only being available in a 256GB capacity also really narrows the market down for who would be interested in purchasing this drive.
When it comes to pricing we’ve seen this drive on Amazon in the $99 to $119 price range over the past 30 days. Right now it is priced at $119.99 shipped. It’s main competitor will be the Intel 600p Series 256GB drive ($99.66 shipped) that has the same controller with Intel 384Gb 32-layer 3D TLC NAND. You also have the Samsung SSD 960 EVO 250GB PCIe NVMe SSD ($119.99 shipped) that is widely considered the best value M.2 PCIe NVMe drive for the same price. We benchmarked and compared these two drives against the DREVO ARES and it would be tough to recommend the DREVO ARES over the Samsung SSD 960 EVO 250GB at the same price.
That said, we hope that DREVO sticks with it and introduces another model with updated components. Drop the speed switch, add on some RGB lighting and introduce an SSD toolbox for drive management. If they do that with solid performing parts we could see them becoming a market disruptor down the road.
Legit Bottom Line: The DREVO ARES looks great, but at the end of the day you can find better-performing drives at the same exact price.