The PCIe 4.0 interface opens up new potential for SSDs to hit record-setting speeds with twice as much available bandwidth, upwards of 7-8 GBps with an x4 link. That said, because of the haste to keep up with AMD’s launch, current models are not that fast quite yet, but you can still get a taste of some of that massive bandwidth now.
Phison is the first manufacturer on the market to offer a consumer-oriented PCIe 4.0 NVMe controller. Back in June, we were able to take an early look at an engineering sample of Phison’s new E16. But in that article, we used an Intel platform with a very expensive adapter to preview the performance of these new PCIe 4.0 SSDs offer. Now, we finally have AMD hardware and finalized samples, and we are able to see the performance more accurately.
So is the extra performance worth the price? That's up to your and your specific workflow. If sequential performance is key to what you do, then the answer is a resounding yes, though if you want even more performance, you may want to wait for a newer controller that gets you closer to PCIe 4.0's maximum bandwidth.
There are a few options out there if you want to deck out your new AMD system with some PCIe 4.0 SSD goodness. If you’re a fan of Corsair, the company’s Force MP600 is one heck of a drive. Like other current-gen PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs, it is based on the same components, a Phison E16 plus some Kioxia BiCS4 96L TLC flash.
In testing, it proved itself as a top-end contender by dominating most other NVMe SSDs with its incredible 5,000/4,250 MBps throughput. Consistently, it was at the top of the leaderboards, trading blows with Samsung’s 970 PRO and Intel’s Optane 905P. Of course, Intel’s luxury Optane storage helps it significantly at low QDs, which boosted application results. But it was bested in throughput potential, bottlenecked by its controller and interface, unlike the MP600.
But, overall, the difference between the Corsair Force MP600 and most other NVMe SSDs isn’t near as much as the difference between an HDD to an SSD, and even less than that between a SATA SSD to an NVMe one.
So, if you are looking to build a value-based gaming system, fancy, high-speed NVMe SSDs are overkill; plain old SATA is more than enough. Even if you're building a mid-range system, PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSDs typically more than enough performance.
But, if you can truly take advantage of the extra sustained speed or you just want a crazy fast drive to go with your new X570 rig, the MP600 is well worth considering. Plus, at its current pricing, which is cheaper than the Samsung 970 Series, it also could be considered a good value -- but again, only if your workflow benefits from high sequential reads and writes and the high endurance ratings of this drive.
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