Corsair’s Force Series MP500 240GB NVMe SSD reviewed

Howdy, gerbils. It’s been awhile since our last full-fledged SSD review. With the notable exception of Intel’s long-prophesied Optane products, there hasn’t been much new or exciting happening in the storage scene of late. But the market marches on regardless, and many new drives have launched without novel technological underpinnings. The NVMe competition has continued to heat up, as more of the smaller manufacturers get their hands on capable commodity controllers and NAND from the actual OEMs.

Last time around we examined Patriot’s Hellfire SSD, which blended Toshiba’s 15-nm MLC with Phison’s PS5007-E7 NVMe-enabled controller. Today, we’ve got a drive built on the same basic chassis: Corsair’s Force Series MP500 240GB.

We haven’t gotten a fresh Corsair SSD in our storage labs in some time, but the company’s drives are veterans in these parts. The Neutron GTX suffered horrible indignities under our infamous endurance experiment, and Force LS drives serve as the primary boot drives of our current storage rigs. The new MP500 is Corsair’s debut NVMe drive, as its official specs give away.

Patriot Hellfire
Capacity Max sequential (MB/s) Max random (IOps)
Read Write Read Write
120GB 2300 1400 150K 90K
240GB 2800 1500 250K 210K
480GB 2800 1500 250K 210K

Much like the Hellfire, the MP500 is an NVMe-equipped M.2 gumstick that’ll occupy four lanes of your PCIe Gen3 bandwidth. We’ve seen this NAND so many times now that I just keep the phrase “Toshiba 15-nm MLC” permanently copied to my clipboard. That’s OK, though, since we’ve generally had good experiences with those chips. Phison’s E7 controller impressed us in the Hellfire with good all-round performance and especially good scaling, so we hope to see more of the same this time, too.

One thing that stands out about the MP500 is its sticker. As I peeled it back, the label had a curious heft to it that the Hellfire’s lacked. The secret hidden therein turns out to be a layer of heat-dissipating copper, akin to the sticker tech Samsung employs in its 960 Series drives. We’ll see whether that thin metal layer translates to any tangible advantages over drives without such novelties (like the Hellfire).

Corsair backs the MP500 240GB with a three-year warranty and an endurance rating of 349 terabytes written—higher than might be expected for a 240GB drive, since the RD400 480GB and Hellfire 480GB are only rated for 296 TBW and 230 TBW respectively.

The MP500 250GB currently sells for $135 at Newegg. Now let’s see what the thing can do.


IOMeter — Sequential and random performance

IOMeter fuels much of our latest storage test suite, including our sequential and random I/O tests. These tests are run across the full capacity of the drive at two queue depths. The QD1 tests simulate a single thread, while the QD4 results emulate a more demanding desktop workload. For perspective, 87% of the requests in our old DriveBench 2.0 trace of real-world desktop activity have a queue depth of four or less. Clicking the buttons below the graphs switches between results charted at the different queue depths.

Our sequential tests use a relatively large 128KB block size.

The MP500’s sequential speeds live up to our expectations for an NVMe drive, falling about in line with its Patriot cousin’s. Toshiba’s own OCZ RD400 coaxes quite a bit more performance out of that 15-nm MLC than other drives seem to. Nonetheless, at QD4 the MP500 rises to the roughly-1000MB/s mark that we like to see from PCIe NVMe drives.

The MP500’s random response times also mimic the Hellfire’s results. Read times are on the slow side, but writes are very quick.

Preliminary testing casts the MP500 in a positive light. It’s almost exactly on par with Patriot’s Hellfire, and we found little fault with that drive. It’s great news when a 240GB drive is able to keep up with more capacious competition, too.


Sustained and scaling I/O rates

Our sustained IOMeter test hammers drives with 4KB random writes for 30 minutes straight. It uses a queue depth of 32, a setting that should result in higher speeds that saturate each drive’s overprovisioned area more quickly. This lengthy—and heavy—workload isn’t indicative of typical PC use, but it provides a sense of how the drives react when they’re pushed to the brink.

We’re reporting IOps rather than response times for these tests. Click the buttons below the graph to switch between SSDs.

The MP500’s doesn’t present the huge early burst speed that’s typical of many SSDs. It does start off writing noticeably faster than its eventual steady state, but the gap is narrower than we usually see. The next graphs will plot its sustained performance more plainly against the competition.

It is a relatively low peak, but not all that much lower than the RD400’s. The Hellfire’s was much higher, but perhaps we can chalk that up to how PS5007-E7 handles at different capacities. In better news, the MP500’s steady-state write rate is up there with the best and brightest, eclipsing both the Hellfire and the RD400.

Our final IOMeter test examines performance scaling across a broad range of queue depths. We ramp all the way up to a queue depth of 128. Don’t expect AHCI-based drives to scale past 32, though—that’s the maximum depth of their native command queues.

For this test, we use a database access pattern comprising 66% reads and 33% writes, all of which are random. The test runs after 30 minutes of continuous random writes that put the drives in a simulated used state. Click the buttons below the graph to switch between the different drives. And note that the P3700 plot uses a much larger scale.

Again, we see echoes of the Hellfire. The MP500 scales smoothly all the way to QD128, with no stalling or stuttering along the way. Hats off to Phison—the E7 is two for two in this test. And it has a leg up on the competition, as the next graphs will demonstrate.

Despite its lower capacity, the MP500 240GB every so slightly edges out the Hellfire 480GB. OCZ’s RD400 and Samsung’s 960 EVO 250GB both fizzle out around QD16. Phison’s figured out how to squeeze more scaling oomph out of Toshiba’s 15-nm MLC than Toshiba itself.

The MP500 suffered from a low peak in our sustained write benchmark, but performed flawlessly in our scaling testing. It’s time to put aside IOMeter and see how the drive does in the real world.


TR RoboBench — Real-world transfers

RoboBench trades synthetic tests with random data for real-world transfers with a range of file types. Developed by our in-house coder, Bruno “morphine” Ferreira, this benchmark relies on the multi-threaded robocopy command build into Windows. We copy files to and from a wicked-fast RAM disk to measure read and write performance. We also cut the RAM disk out of the loop for a copy test that transfers the files to a different location on the SSD.

Robocopy uses eight threads by default, and we’ve also run it with a single thread. Our results are split between two file sets, whose vital statistics are detailed below. The compressibility percentage is based on the size of the file set after it’s been crunched by 7-Zip.

  Number of files Average file size Total size Compressibility
Media 459 21.4MB 9.58GB 0.8%
Work 84,652 48.0KB 3.87GB 59%

The media set is made up of large movie files, high-bitrate MP3s, and 18-megapixel RAW and JPG images. There are only a few hundred files in total, and the data set isn’t amenable to compression. The work set comprises loads of TR files, including documents, spreadsheets, and web-optimized images. It also includes a stack of programming-related files associated with our old Mozilla compiling test and the Visual Studio test on the next page. The average file size is measured in kilobytes rather than megabytes, and the files are mostly compressible.

RoboBench’s write and copy tests run after the drives have been put into a simulated used state with 30 minutes of 4KB random writes. The pre-conditioning process is scripted, as is the rest of the test, ensuring that drives have the same amount of time to recover.

Let’s take a look at the media set first. The buttons switch between read, write, and copy results.

Yet again, the MP500’s results look just like the Hellfire’s. Read speeds are in 1000MB/s territory, but writes can’t keep up with the big guns from Samsung and Intel. Nonetheless, the MP500 is far ahead of all the SATA drives across all tests.

Next up, the work set.

The MP500 tells pretty much the same story here, just on a smaller scale. Reads again keep up with the most expensive drives around, while writes fall just a bit behind the NVMe competition, especially during the eight-threaded test.

The MP500 isn’t the fastest NVMe drive in Robobench, but it’s still much faster than any SATA drive around. Our next and last page of tests is designed to expose how the drive handles booting responsibilities.


Boot times

Until now, all of our tests have been conducted with the SSDs connected as secondary storage. This next batch uses them as system drives.

We’ll start with boot times measured two ways. The bare test depicts the time between hitting the power button and reaching the Windows desktop, while the loaded test adds the time needed to load four applications—Avidemux, LibreOffice, GIMP, and Visual Studio Express—automatically from the startup folder. Our old boot tests focused on the time required to load the OS, but these new ones cover the entire process, including drive initialization.

We expected the MP500 to be similar to the Hellfire, but it’s nevertheless uncanny how closely they sit in our results. Even the inevitable noise introduced by my thumb’s stopwatch reflexes can’t prevent these two from sticking together. The MP500 boots like lightning, as most SSDs do.

Load times

Next, we’ll tackle load times with two sets of tests. The first group focuses on the time required to load larger files in a collection of desktop applications. We open a 790MB 4K video in Avidemux, a 30MB spreadsheet in LibreOffice, and a 523MB image file in the GIMP. In the Visual Studio Express test, we open a 159MB project containing source code for the LLVM toolchain. Thanks to Rui Figueira for providing the project code.

Everything looks in order, other than a very strange GIMP data point. Fortunately it’s strange in the right direction. I can’t explain why the MP500 loads our test image 25% faster than the next fastest contender, but I can tell you that it happens very reliably. An unexpected but welcome win for the Corsair drive. Now what about games?

In line with expectations. The Hellfire is a competent place to put your games, so long as they can slip into 240GB of NAND.

With that, our test suite is complete. Click next to peruse our testing methods and setup, or skip ahead to digest the conclusion.


Test notes and methods

Here are the essential details for all the drives we tested:

  Interface Flash controller NAND
Adata Premier SP550 480GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2256 16-nm SK Hynix TLC
Adata Ultimate SU800 512GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2258 32-layer Micron 3D TLC
Adata XPG SX930 240GB SATA 6Gbps JMicron JMF670H 16-nm Micron MLC
Corsair MP500 240GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Phison 5007-E7 15-nm Toshiba MLC
Crucial BX100 500GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2246EN 16-nm Micron MLC
Crucial BX200 480GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2256 16-nm Micron TLC
Crucial MX200 500GB SATA 6Gbps Marvell 88SS9189 16-nm Micron MLC
Crucial MX300 750GB SATA 6Gbps Marvell 88SS1074 32-layer Micron 3D TLC
Intel X25-M G2 160GB SATA 3Gbps Intel PC29AS21BA0 34-nm Intel MLC
Intel 335 Series 240GB SATA 6Gbps SandForce SF-2281 20-nm Intel MLC
Intel 730 Series 480GB SATA 6Gbps Intel PC29AS21CA0 20-nm Intel MLC
Intel 750 Series 1.2TB PCIe Gen3 x4 Intel CH29AE41AB0 20-nm Intel MLC
Intel DC P3700 800GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Intel CH29AE41AB0 20-nm Intel MLC
Mushkin Reactor 1TB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2246EN 16-nm Micron MLC
OCZ Arc 100 240GB SATA 6Gbps Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19-nm Toshiba MLC
OCZ Trion 100 480GB SATA 6Gbps Toshiba TC58 A19-nm Toshiba TLC
OCZ Trion 150 480GB SATA 6Gbps Toshiba TC58 15-nm Toshiba TLC
OCZ Vector 180 240GB SATA 6Gbps Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19-nm Toshiba MLC
OCZ Vector 180 960GB SATA 6Gbps Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19-nm Toshiba MLC
Patriot Hellfire 480GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Phison 5007-E7 15-nm Toshiba MLC
Plextor M6e 256GB PCIe Gen2 x2 Marvell 88SS9183 19-nm Toshiba MLC
Samsung 850 EV0 250GB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MGX 32-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 850 EV0 1TB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MEX 32-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 850 Pro 500GB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MEX 32-layer Samsung MLC
Samsung 950 Pro 512GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung UBX 32-layer Samsung MLC
Samsung 960 EVO 250GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung Polaris 32-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 960 EVO 1TB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung Polaris 48-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 960 Pro 2TB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung Polaris 48-layer Samsung MLC
Samsung SM951 512GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung S4LN058A01X01 16-nm Samsung MLC
Samsung XP941 256GB PCIe Gen2 x4 Samsung S4LN053X01 19-nm Samsung MLC
Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Toshiba TC58 15-nm Toshiba MLC
Toshiba OCZ VX500 512GB SATA 6Gbps Toshiba TC358790XBG 15-nm Toshiba MLC
Transcend SSD370 256GB SATA 6Gbps Transcend TS6500 Micron or SanDisk MLC
Transcend SSD370 1TB SATA 6Gbps Transcend TS6500 Micron or SanDisk MLC

All the SATA SSDs were connected to the motherboard’s Z97 chipset. The M6e was connected to the Z97 via the motherboard’s M.2 slot, which is how we’d expect most folks to run that drive. Since the XP941, 950 Pro, RD400, and 960 Pro require more lanes, they were connected to the CPU via a PCIe adapter card. The 750 Series and DC P3700 were hooked up to the CPU via the same full-sized PCIe slot.

We used the following system for testing:

Processor Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz
Motherboard Asus Z97-Pro
Firmware 2601
Platform hub Intel Z97
Platform drivers Chipset:


Memory size 16GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Adata XPG V3 DDR3 at 1600 MT/s
Memory timings 11-11-11-28-1T
Audio Realtek ALC1150 with drivers
System drive Corsair Force LS 240GB with S8FM07.9 firmware
Storage Crucial BX100 500GB with MU01 firmware

Crucial BX200 480GB with MU01.4 firmware

Crucial MX200 500GB with MU01 firmware

Intel 335 Series 240GB with 335u firmware

Intel 730 Series 480GB with L2010400 firmware

Intel 750 Series 1.2GB with 8EV10171 firmware

Intel DC P3700 800GB with 8DV10043 firmware

Intel X25-M G2 160GB with 8820 firmware

Plextor M6e 256GB with 1.04 firmware

OCZ Trion 100 480GB with 11.2 firmware

OCZ Trion 150 480GB with 12.2 firmware

OCZ Vector 180 240GB with 1.0 firmware

OCZ Vector 180 960GB with 1.0 firmware

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB with EMT01B6Q firmware

Samsung 850 EVO 1TB with EMT01B6Q firmware

Samsung 850 Pro 500GB with EMXM01B6Q firmware

Samsung 950 Pro 512GB with 1B0QBXX7 firmware

Samsung XP941 256GB with UXM6501Q firmware

Transcend SSD370 256GB with O0918B firmware

Transcend SSD370 1TB with O0919A firmware

Power supply Corsair AX650 650W
Case Fractal Design Define R5
Operating system Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Thanks to Asus for providing the systems’ motherboards, to Intel for the CPUs, to Adata for the memory, to Fractal Design for the cases, and to Corsair for the system drives and PSUs. And thanks to the drive makers for supplying the rest of the SSDs.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

Some further notes on our test methods:

  • To ensure consistent and repeatable results, the SSDs were secure-erased before every component of our test suite. For the IOMeter database, RoboBench write, and RoboBench copy tests, the drives were put in a simulated used state that better exposes long-term performance characteristics. Those tests are all scripted, ensuring an even playing field that gives the drives the same amount of time to recover from the initial used state.

  • We run virtually all our tests three times and report the median of the results. Our sustained IOMeter test is run a second time to verify the results of the first test and additional times only if necessary. The sustained test runs for 30 minutes continuously, so it already samples performance over a long period.

  • Steps have been taken to ensure the CPU’s power-saving features don’t taint any of our results. All of the CPU’s low-power states have been disabled, effectively pegging the frequency at 3.5GHz. Transitioning between power states can affect the performance of storage benchmarks, especially when dealing with short burst transfers.

The test systems’ Windows desktop was set at 1920×1080 at 60Hz. Most of the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.



Since the MP500 240GB mirrored the Patriot Hellfire 480GB so closely throughout the test suite, we’re left with little doubt about how the drive will fare in our overall performance index. So let’s not beat around the bush.

As predicted, Corsair’s first NVMe drive lands very close to the Hellfire 480GB, meaning it fits right in with the NVMe pack. In fact, it’s a tad faster than the only other 250GB-class drive in our result set, Samsung’s 960 EVO 250GB. Not a bad showing at all.

The performance checks out, so now all that’s left is to see whether the MP500 commands an appropriate price within the broader SSD landscape. In the plots below, the most compelling position is toward the upper left corner, where the price per gigabyte is low and performance is high. Use the buttons to switch between views of all drives, only SATA drives, or only PCIe drives.

The global NAND shortage seems to be taking its toll on prices across the spectrum. Most drives in our data set have seen hikes of at least a few dollars. The MP500 250GB is going for $135 at Amazon and Newegg. That’s not a bad price in today’s market, but the MP500 faces big-name competition in Samsung’s 960 EVO 250GB. These two drives traded blows across our test suite, and though the MP500 ended up ahead in overall performance, the Samsung drive is a little cheaper ($130 at Newegg) and just a little bigger, working out to $0.52 per gigabyte against the MP500’s $0.56. But despite the higher price of admission, the MP500’s much better endurance rating (349 TBW vs the EVO’s 100 TBW) might sway some buyers over to its side.

Corsair has put together an extremely competent midrange NVMe drive in the MP500 240GB. While its attractiveness may vary day-to-day as e-tailers nudge their prices around, the same can be said of any of the other drives we’ve tested. Builders looking for a smaller NVMe stick will be well served by the solid performance of the MP500 240GB, and we’re happy to call it TR Recommended.

Comments closed
    • UnwillingBetaTester
    • 5 years ago

    Anyone find the Corsair MP500 runs way to hot? Without mods using that thin layer of copper under the corsair sticker, the thing idles at 60-70C. Are they serious about this? What is the long term implications of the darn thing running this hot over the long term?

    I modified the darn thing and added a heat sink and fan to it. And that brought the idle temps down to 47-53C. And then I added a fan to it and now it idles aroud 36-43C, which is vast improvements. Couple of pictures of the mod:

    [url<][/url<] [url<][/url<]

    • abele2017
    • 6 years ago
    • Waco
    • 6 years ago

    Sometimes it’s purely latency, sometimes it’s CPU-bound. I would be interested in seeing load times in CPU reviews as well since all modern platforms being tested on support the same storage types and speeds (finally).

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    Maybe level load times need to be included in CPU reviews. There’s very little difference between one SSD and another, so it seems like maybe the CPU is a more determining factor? Look at the games that have a particularly narrow range: Tomb Raider and Arkham City…it’s gotta be the CPU doing something (decompression?) with the assets, right?

    • 6 years ago

    No need-we all know where it sits-slightly above the SATA drives and below everything else.
    Poor performance is the price we have to pay if we want cheap storage.
    The real sad bit is-their MLC-3D is no better………..
    Been waiting for Tosh’s Bics to hit but seems apple’s evil paws have their hands on all of that.

    • Takeshi7
    • 6 years ago

    It was a craigslist deal.

    • davidbowser
    • 6 years ago

    Link to the deal?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    I have the M.2 525GB version as my boot drive, too. It works just fine with my Ryzen 7 system.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    To pretend it doesn’t exist is misleading. I’d like to see it put in TR’s bench, and I know that means Intel would have to send them one. It’s has a couple of months of firmware updates since Anandtech reviewed it. If it’s a reasonable option for certain loads, then great. Let’s see it.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 6 years ago

    The point is to compare NVMe drives and SATA drives, not the 600p and SATA drives. If the 600p was representative of the entire NVMe drive market, then that’d be fine. But it’s not.

    You’ve got effectively the entire market of PCIe SSDs that perform around a certain level (and cost a certain level).

    Then you’ve got this other weird drive that performs more like a SATA drive and consequently costs more like a SATA drive.

    When Waco said, “Seems like a fairly standard NVMe stick. May the best cost/performance leader win,” he wasn’t talking about that one weird NVMe drive. He was talking about the “fairly standard” and commonly understood expectation for an NVMe drive. Yes, this is contextual. No one is precisely speaking like a robot. Most humans can handle a little bit of context in their life.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    Legitimate means valid, not representative. If you want to make up definitions, you’ll need to include them in your comments. It’s a valid NVMe SSD. Yes it’s cheap. That’s the point.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 6 years ago

    And you didn’t look at it or else you’d see that the 600p is alarmingly cheap compared to literally every other SSD using the NVMe protocol. It’s an outlier (in so many ways) and isn’t even close to being a fair representation of NVMe-using drives as a whole.

    If it helps to swap out “legitimate” for “representative”, then be my guest.

    Or you can swap out “cherrypicking” for “picking an outlier.” Whatever works for you.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 6 years ago

    And Anandtech had some frighteningly damning things to say about it. I trust Anandtech more. They were one of the first sites to test SSDs seriously and they even did some QA for Intel early on. I trust Anandtech to test SSDs like I trust TR to test gaming frame times.

    [url<][/url<] "Even with our expectations thus lowered, the Intel SSD 600p fails to measure up. But this isn't a simple case of a budget drive that turns out to be far slower than its specifications would imply. The SSD 600p does offer peak performance that is as high as promised. The trouble is that it only provides that performance in a narrow range of circumstances, and most of our usual benchmarks go far beyond that and show the 600p at its worst." The whole conclusion is pretty unfortunate, but I loved this gem: "The Intel SSD 600p would be a bad choice for a user who regularly shuffles around tens of gigabytes of data." That's literally one of the only use cases for a full blown PCIe NVMe drive. And the 600p can't do it. The 600p is an outlier. Its performance is closer to a non-NVMe drive. That's why its price also happens to be similar to that of a non-NVMe drive. It's misleading to pretend that this outlier is a fair representation of PCIe drives.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    And at its price it doesn’t need to be a miracle. It just has to be faster than SATA drives. In the workloads that matter most to people (reads, not writes, unless you’re running a system with 4GB of RAM or something) it does substantially better.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    You linked PCPart Picker once. I went back through the comments to make sure I didn’t miss something. You’re just making statements and stating opinions (the 600p isn’t a “legitimate” PCIe SSD, for example) without anything backing them up, and then accusing me of ignoring the “facts” or something. Maybe you are taking crazy pills.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 6 years ago

    I have no problem with the MX300 series. I literally used that series in my comparison.

    But the 525GB size has been murdered by price increases in ways that the 1.1GB or 2TB versions haven’t.

    I feel like you’re not reading the stuff that I’m posting/linking. I literally said it was, “the drive with the worst price/GB in its series.” I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    Uh… PC Perspective give it a silver award: [url<][/url<] Nobody is saying it's a miracle or anything, but claiming that it literally isn't an SSD is a little much.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    I just picked what’s widely regarded as the best SATA SSD available as a point of comparison. You’re reading into things that aren’t there. It’s not a cherry pick, it’s the logical step down from the cheapest NVMe drive around.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 6 years ago

    No, the takeaway is that you can’t cherrypick the drive with the worst price/GB in its series and compare that to an infamously bad PCIe drive that’s effectively on perpetual firesale.

    I already provided a fairer example of how legitimate PCIe drives worth pursuing end up approaching $0.50/GB while there are SSDs being sold today that are at or close to $0.25/GB.

    And it’s hilarious when you recognize that the difference is imperceptible to almost all users and yet they buy it.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    Well, every price is a bad price these days because prices are going up. So by that logic just don’t buy any storage.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 6 years ago

    It needs to not suck, that’s what it needs to do.

    The performance of the 600p is just inconsistent. No two ways about it. It’s a bad drive. That’s why it’s cheap. No other PCIe drive is even close (because they generally don’t suck).

    And yes, anything above $0.25/GB for an MX300 (of any size) is a bad deal. I don’t care if it’s newegg or whoever. You clearly missed the brutal price trends on that link you shared. You can claim it’s “just” $9 or “just” $15 or “just” $20, but if we go down that road of disregarding value, then what’s the point of this discussion?

    • Takeshi7
    • 6 years ago

    Yeah that doesn’t seem like a bad price for an MX300. When I got a 525GB a few months ago it was valued around $130, but with this NAND shortage it seems like that’s an OK price.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    What does it take to be a “legitimate” PCIe drive? NVMe protocol? Four lanes of connectivity? The 600p has both of those. Its write performance isn’t the same as these, but I think it makes a reasonable compromise between price and performance. Better performance than AHCI drives and way better price than, for example, this thing.

    It got a bad rap at launch because Intel erroneously listed 72TB of writes for all capacities. They [url=,32798.html<]updated that[/url<] and the larger drives can sustain more now. Much like the 950 Pro it does have a throttling problem, but much like the 950 pro this can be mitigated by a heatsink. Also, that's a decent enough price for an MX300. It's basically the going rate. You can save a whopping $9 at SuperBiiz but that's it. [url<][/url<]

    • ImSpartacus
    • 6 years ago

    The difference is you don’t see people realistically suggesting a $1000 HEDT cpu with a >$200 mobo. Or a >$500 gpu. Or $500 worth of ddr4.

    But you honestly do see people suggesting average users to check out nvme drives. There’s this ridiculous disconnect where people think they need pro-tier storage, but consumer-tier everything else.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 6 years ago

    The 600p is an anomaly. I don’t consider it to be a legitimate PCIe drive.

    Also, that’s a bad price for an MX300.

    Generally the relationship is pretty close all the way through the capacity spectrum.

    You can get a 1.1TB MX300 for $267-275 (and that’s still a bad price). But a 1TB 960 EVO? Try $450 (and that’s the lowest it’s been in months).


    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    As you go up in capacity it gets better, though. For example a 525GB MX300 is $160 right now on Newegg. The 512GB Intel 600p is $180.

    • weaktoss
    • 6 years ago

    1. Indirectly, yes. No coffee after 3 PM, and I only ever get around to doing these tests in the evenings.
    2. Once PresentMon has the technology, I’ll submit my thumb to him for inspection.

    • Waco
    • 6 years ago

    Yes, but this is true of quite a lot of computer hardware. 🙂

    • ImSpartacus
    • 6 years ago

    Still twice as pricey as a typical cheap SATA drive.

    And unless you have done very specific use cases, the difference will be imperceptible.

    • RickyTick
    • 6 years ago

    I have the same MX300 1TB M.2-2280 and it’s the way to go. I have mine in a M.2 slot on the motherboard and it’s nice not having another cable in the way. Usually runs around $.26 per GB.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    I wish Intel would send Tony a 600p so we could be sure.

    • Takeshi7
    • 6 years ago

    I just got two Intel 750 SSDs for $0.25/GB. I feel like I hit the jackpot.

    • UberGerbil
    • 6 years ago

    How big is the test image? Because of all the hidden block size stuff that goes on inside the controller and the NAND packages itself, it’s possible (albeit unlikely) the image happens to fall into some optimum sweet spot where it maximizes the performance of this drive vs the others. Seems incredibly unlikely, though (and would be a lot more plausible for [i<]writes[/i<] not reads).

    • synthtel2
    • 6 years ago

    That is quite the interesting datapoint in GIMP image loading, and I’m drawing a blank on what could be causing it. Does anyone else have any ideas? (I just want to spitball and find something semi-plausible here – I’ll keep thinking it over.)

    • Jeff Kampman
    • 6 years ago

    My editing oversight, sorry. Fixed.

    • libradude
    • 6 years ago

    Nice review! One thing – on the Conclusions page, after the Overall Performance chart, you mention that the MP500 is a tad faster than the 960 Pro, but I think you meant the 960 Evo.

    I do wish there were more 480-500GB drives in your chart, rather than jumping from 250GB to 1TB… 500 seems like the new sweet spot and I believe was recommended in the latest System Guide.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    Hi Tony, great review.

    Just two questions relating to stopwatch technology:
    1. Do you regulate your caffeine intake prior to each review?
    2. Has Kampman ever done inside-the-second benchmarking of your stopwatch thumb?

    • Waco
    • 6 years ago

    Seems like a fairly standard NVMe stick. May the best cost/performance leader win!

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