Corsair’s latest SSD is one of a swarm of new PCIe 4.0 models designed for AMD's Ryzen X570 platform or the brand-new Threadripper TRX40 boards. With the enhanced bandwidth that the latest bus revision offers, the Corsair Force MP600 can hit performance figures that other NVMe SSDs envy, up to 5 / 4.25 GBps read / write. But will that extra bandwidth really help your day-to-day workflow?
AMD’s latest X570 / Ryzen 3000 platform incorporates PCIe 4.0 into its design. Besting out Intel on this front, with very competitive pricing (especially on the CPU side) has led to impressive uptake for AMD's latest mainstream platform. With so much bandwidth at your disposal, 2GBps per lane, this opens the door for many high-bandwidth devices, including SSDs.
To match up with AMDs momentum, Phison undertook the task to develop a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD controller to launch some enthusiast-class storage to go alongside AMD’s new hardware, the E16. But, in order to keep pace with the launch of Ryzen 3000, Phison first opted to adapt their E12 controller to utilizes the 4.0 interface. Corsair and other drive makers in the initial launch of PCIe 4.0 SSDs add in Kioxia’s (formerly Toshiba Memory) latest BiCS4 96L TLC flash and a newer, fourth-generation Low-Density Parity Check (LDPC) error correction algorithm among other minor firmware tweaks. So in some ways, these new SSDs are like their E12 counterparts, just with much higher sequential bandwidth.
On the spec sheet, the Corsair Force MP600 is rated for up to 4,950 / 4,250 MBps, and capable of dishing out 680,000 / 600,000 random read/write IOPS. Write performance is also sped up by a dynamic write cache that spans one third the free space, so up to 333GB on an empty 1TB drive. The drive's endurance is also high. The 500GB model can handle up to 850TB of writes, the 1TB model up to 1,800TB, and the 2TB model is rated for up to 3,600TB written.
Unlike most SSDs, Corsair’s Force MP600 also features hardware-accelerated AES 256-bit encryption support to keep your data safe from prying eyes. As well, it comes with the standard support for TRIM, S.M.A.R.T. data reporting, and secure erase via the Format NVM command.
Software and Accessories
Corsair supports SSDs by providing an SSD Toolbox for download. With it, you can monitor your drive’s health, overprovisioning, and even clone your data over to the new drive.
There is a secure wipe feature, but instead of sending the Format NVM command for a secure erase, the tool writes to the whole capacity of the drive, wearing it out and not guaranteeing data is fully wiped. We suggest if you are going to try to secure erase it, that you do so by sending the proper commands instead by either using your motherboard’s built-in tool or supporting software like Parted Magic.
A Closer Look
The Corsair Force MP600 1TB is an M.2 2280 form factor SSD with a massive heatsink. The hunk of black metal isn't the biggest we’ve seen, but at 15mm thick, you'll want to install it in an open space on your motherboard rather than under the GPU. The heatsink is at least removable, so you can use the SSD with your motherboards built-in heatsink instead.
Powering the MP600 is Phison’s E16 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe controller, paired with Kioxia’s BiCS4 96L TLC flash. Together this combo provides sequential performance that can’t be topped -- at least for now. In total, there are four NAND emplacements on our 1TB sample, two on each side of the PCB. There are also two DDR4 DRAM ICs, one on each side as well, that aid the controller as a cache for the file mapping table.