Corsair on Tuesday introduced its flagship Force MP500 lineup of SSDs targeting high-performance gaming PCs. The new drives come in an M.2-2280 form-factor with a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface and can offer maximum sequential read speeds of up to 3 GB/s. It is important to note that the Force MP500 SSDs use planar MLC NAND memory, which is becoming increasingly rare these days.

Following its SSD strategy, Corsair uses Phison’s platforms featuring Toshiba’s NAND to build its drives, which is why the Force MP500 family is powered by the PS5007-E7 controller as well as MLC NAND memory made using a 15 nm fabrication process. The Corsair Force MP500-series SSDs are the company’s first high-performance drives that come in M.2-2280 form-factor with PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. Besides, the new SSDs are also among the first commercial products to use the PS5007-E7 chip (after Patriot’s Hellfire and ZOTAC’s Sonix), which supports error correction with 120-bit/2KB BCH code, NVMe L1.2 power saving mode, end-to-end data path protection, advanced global wear-leveling, an AES-256 engine and so on. Phison usually allows its customers to adjust firmware of actual products, but we do not know whether Corsair implemented any enhancements to differentiate its drives from competing offerings that are already available or set to emerge from other suppliers. What we do know is that the company is working on a new firmware which will enable AES-256 encryption on the Force MP500 SSDs. Corsair hopes to release the new firmware in Q1 2017.

The Corsair Force MP500 family of SSDs consists of models with 120 GB, 240 GB and 480 GB capacity. From a performance point of view, Corsair’s Force MP500-series SSDs belong to the higher end segment of the market with rated sequential read speed of up to 3000 MB/s and sequential write performance of up to 2400 MB/s. The 240 and 480 GB versions of the Force MP500 can perform up to 250K random read IOPS (input/output operations per second) as well as 210K random write IOPS. Meanwhile the entry-level 120 GB model is placed for slightly lower random read/write performance of 150K/210K. Of course, only real-world testing will reveal the true potential of the Force MP500, but on paper the performance of Corsair’s first M.2 SSDs looks very promising: it is higher when compared to that Samsung’s 960 EVO, but it is not as fast as that of Samsung’s flagship 960 PRO.

Corsair Force MP500 Series Specifications
Capacities 120 GB 240 GB 480 GB
Form Factor M.2-2280
Interface PCIe 3.0 x4 (NVMe 1.2)
Controller Phison PS5007-E7
NAND Toshiba's 128 Gb MLC
15 nm process technology
DRAM 128 MB 256 MB 512 MB
Sequential Read 3000 MB/s
Sequential Write 2400 MB/s
Random Read (4 KB) IOPS 150K 250K
Random Write (4 KB) IOPS 90K 210K
Power DEVSLP 4 mW
Operating 5 ~ 7 W (?)
Endurance 175 TBW 349 TBW 698 TBW
Encryption AES-256 firmware due in Q1.
Warranty Three years
Price $124.99 $189.99 $364.99

The Corsair Force MP500-series SSDs are available now from the company’s own online store as well as from its retail partners. Being high-end SSDs, the new drives are priced accordingly. The entry-level 120 GB model costs $124.99, the 240 GB version is priced at $189.99 and the top-of-the-range 480 GB model has a $364.99 price tag. All the drives come with Corsair’s three-year warranty.

It is noteworthy that so far only Corsair, Patriot and ZOTAC have started selling SSDs based on the Phison PS5007-E7 platform. By contrast, other traditional partners of the company, such as Kingston, Mushkin, PNY, etc. are yet have to initiate sales of their PCIe 3.0 x4 Phison E7-based products.

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Source: Corsair

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  • Billy Tallis - Friday, December 16, 2016 - link

    The primary reason for the odd sizes is that Micron's 3D TLC is a 384Gb die, compared to 128Gb or 256Gb for most other MLC and TLC parts. The 525GB MX300 has 576GiB of NAND, which gives it a slight increase in usable capacity over 512GB drives while still having more than twice the spare area for overprovisioning and SLC cache.
  • Lolimaster - Saturday, December 17, 2016 - link

    And even with that it fails in performance.
  • MrSpadge - Monday, December 19, 2016 - link

    This fail is called "good enoguh".
  • Samus - Saturday, December 17, 2016 - link

    Not to mention the even larger capacity difference it has over 480GB and 500GB drives. The MX300 575GB has very good value per GiB usable space. Performance isn't as great as Samsung (the 840 Pro from years ago is consistently faster) but we're comparing Porsches to Ferrari's here.
  • Bruce427 - Friday, December 16, 2016 - link

    ** Article: It is noteworthy that so far only Corsair, Patriot and ZOTAC have started selling SSDs based on the Phison PS5007-E7 platform. **

    Please add the MyDigital BPX series to that list. I purchase one (with the Phison PS5007-E7 controller) before Thanksgiving.
  • MrSpadge - Monday, December 19, 2016 - link

    Could be a nice performance drive, although we'd need to review to judge whether it's worth the significant price premium (I suppose not for regular desktop work).
  • Hxx - Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - link

    Man I love Corsair but I hope this drive can do RGB or something because at that price premium its going be very hard to compete with the EVO lineup which is pretty much on par with but significantly cheaper. Not sure what Corsair was thinking but I think this drive is going to be dropping in price quite fast (same as with all the other PCIE drives as soon as Samsung brings their 960 lineup in stock)
  • Bruce427 - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    ** at that price premium its going be very hard to compete with the EVO lineup which is pretty much on par with but significantly cheaper **

    But the Samsung EVO Series uses TLC flash while the Corsair MP 500s use MLC. Moreover, the endurance on the Corsair is considerably higher than that of the EVOs. Furthermore, the 250GB EVO 960 got a fairly poor review. So far, only the 1TB and larger capacities have gotten good reviews (and we haven't seen a review on the 500GB EVO 960 yet).

    So all in all, at least on the lower capacities (250-500GB) it may well turn out that the Corsair MP 500 series proves to be better value for the money.

    We'll just have to wait for reviews to see.

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