Albeit in the midst of troubling SSD news, Corsair fans may rejoice. After a seeming lack of focus in the SSD market, Corsair has announced the immediate availability of the new Force Series MP500 M.2 solid-state drives. Although laggardly, Corsair now joins other companies like Samsung, Plextor, Toshiba, and Intel in leaving behind the limited SATA III 6Gb/s connection in favor of NVMe via PCIe x4.
Corsair avers the new MP500 Force Series to be the fastest drive they have yet produced, with sequential read/write speeds rated at 3000/2400 MB/s and random 4K read/write speeds at 250,000/210,000 IOPS, nominally. Theoretically speaking, system boot times, large file transfers, and game load times will see improvement over using a single SATA 6Gb/s connection. This also puts the drive in somewhat parallel performance with the Samsung 960 EVO.
The MP500 series will utilize a Phison PS5007-E7 NVMe memory controller in conjunction with the high bandwidth afforded by PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 lanes. The MP500 conforms to the M.2 2280 form factor and sports a black PCB with a black cover hiding the NAND (and so we haven’t yet identified the modules used). Although not particularly relevant, it does coincide with the recent motherboard color trend and should please users aimed at achieving a uniform aesthetic, in comparison to the overdone green PCBs. The Phison PS5007-E7 controller supports SLC/MLC/TLC and 3D NAND (V-NAND), although we are currently unable to ascertain the specific NAND type used in the Corsair Force MP500. The Force Series MP500 range will offer 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities priced at $110, $170, and $325, respectively.
The new Force Series MP500 drives come with a slew of proprietary technologies, including SmartEEC, SmartRefresh, and SmartFlush. Such technologies are intended, and alleged to, protect the drive from data corruption and increase longevity by way of dynamic and static wear-leveling. This is in addition to already-known Phison GC, wear-leveling, and WAF reduction features.
Also included is a three-year warranty from Corsair.
Noteworthy too is the price disparity between Corsair’s Force Series MP500 line-up and Samsung’s 960 EVO; especially at the 480GB and 500GB level, where the gap is significant. Undoubtedly, it is hard to match the manufacturing capabilities of Samsung, as they produce all their own SSD components in-house in addition to serving as an OEM for other SSD vendors, but Corsair’s putting out options into the NVMe market. Corsair enthusiasts might be forgiving of the price difference, if only for more sails.
As always, the true performance of any SSD lies within the NAND and memory controller, and time will soon tell where in the stack the Corsair Force Series MP500 drives will fall.
Editorial: Eric Hamilton