Like a child in the middle of the night, Corsair went under the Christmas tree to unwrap a package before CESmas. Inside was a new, high-performance entry to the Force Series dubbed MP500.
The Force Series MP500 is Corsair's first NVMe-protocol SSD. The company partnered with Phison to bring the high-performance product to market. This is just the latest in a line of recent products from Corsair to feature the Phison controller. The partnership started with the Neutron XT that Corsair later tweaked with firmware and NAND then re-released as the Neutron XTi. The Force LE also featured a Phison S10 controller with lower-cost NAND. It was priced low enough to make our Best SSDs list for a couple of months in 2016.
|Product||MP500 120GB||MP500 240GB||MP500 480GB|
|Controller||Phison PS5007-E7||Phison PS5007-E7||Phison PS5007-E7|
|DRAM||256MB DDR3||512MB DDR3||1GB DDR3|
|NAND||128GB Toggle||256GB Toggle||512GB Toggle|
|Interface||PCIe 3.0 x4||PCIe 3.0 x4||PCIe 3.0 x4|
|Sequential Read||3,000 MB/s||3,000 MB/s||3,000 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||2,400 MB/s||2,400 MB/s||2,400 MB/s|
|Random Read||150,000 IOPS||250,000 IOPS||250,000 IOPS|
|Random Write||90,000 IOPS||225,000 IOPS||225,000 IOPS|
|Endurance||175 TBW||349 TBW||698 TBW|
|Warranty||3-Year Limited||3-Year Limited||3-Year Limited|
The Force MP500 will come to market just in time to enter the first year of entry-level and mainstream NVMe competition as the industry, and end users, look to move beyond the bottleneck of legacy AHCI. The MP500 shows excellent promise with up to 3,000 MB/s sequential read and 2,400 MB/s sequential write performance. The Corsair website lists MSRP starting at $109.99 for the 120GB model and $324.99 for 480GB, which is the largest capacity available at launch. We rarely see MSRPs hold, so expect to pay less for the MP500 SSDs at Amazon and Newegg.
In 2017, Corsair will face heavy competition from other new NVMe protocol devices coming to market. Its partner in the MP500, Phison, will have several products shipping with the PS5007-E7 controller including the MyDigitalSSD BPX and Patriot Wildfire M.2. Even though both M.2 2280 E7-based products currently shipping appear identical, the firmware, NAND and pricing separate the two. It will be interesting to see what Corsair does to make the MP500 stand out now that NVMe has weakened Samsung's EVO shield.