Peak SSD throughput exceeded the capacity of the aging 6 Gbps SATA bus a long while ago. Additionally, the NVMe interface has plenty of advantages over SATA than just straight-line performance. However, the first wave of mainstream NVMe SSDs cost considerably more coin than their SATA brethren. Corsair's first-generation Force Series MP500 NVMe drives were pretty pricey, but the manufacturer's new Force Series MP300 storage sticks are considerably more affordable.
There's no such thing as a free lunch, though, and the MP300 drives aren't quite as fast as the MP500 units. That said, the peak read performance of up to 1600 MB/s and peak write speeds up to 1080 MB/s are way faster than what one will ever get from a SATA device. The random performance of the MP300 drives is nipping at the heels of equivalent-capacity MP500 models, too. For the record, Corsair rates the MP300s at up to 210 K random read IOPS and up to 240 K write IOPS. Those performance figures refer to the largest 960 GB model.
Corsair says the MP300 drives use 3D TLC NAND flash chips, but didn't name the chips' manufacturer or the partner behind the drive controller that links the NAND's contents to the host over two PCIe 3.0 lanes. The presence of a chip bearing RAM-maker Nanya's logo leads us to suspect the MP300 drives have an onboard DRAM cache, a fact that would be a surprise given the drives' very competitive pricing.
Corsair didn't have a street date for its Force Series MP300 SSDs, but it did have pricing info locked and loaded. The 120 GB version enters the fight at a very-trim $50, the 240 GB mainstream model lands at just $85, the 480 GB unit costs $155, and the range-topping 960 GB model comes in at $320. Corsair backs the MP300 drives with the same five-year warranty it applies to the Force Series MP500 SSDs.