Corsair has expanded rapidly into quite a few different areas of the gaming industry. They started as a quality RAM contributor but quickly got their fingers wet in peripherals, cases and storage. The SSD’s they’ve marketed have always been nearly as strong contenders as their RAM has. A nicely built package around a solid controller with NAND that’s been stringently chosen to join their lineup. They¬†provided some good choices among the competition that still remain very good choices. Now they’re entering into the arena of the m.2 SSD, with a PCIe controller along for the ride. They’re entering at a good time, calculated to have a strong first product out of the gate. And so we test the Corsair Force MP500.

The Corsair Force MP500 is a strong contendor

The MP500 has the specifications to be a very good addition to someones system as either their OS drive or for putting all those I/O intensive applications on. Like many other SSD’s in Corsair’s stable, the MP500 makes use of Phison for their controller, with semi-custom firmware to better suite them. The PS5007-E7 is paired with 15nm Toshiba MLC and has the ability to provide error correction up to 120-bit/2KB, a very nice amount of error correction compared to the competition. The whole package does support AES-256 encryption, though it isn’t enabled as of yet. We’re expecting a firmware update to enable that in the near future.¬†It’s a well rounded package that’s marked towards gamers specifically, even if the price and error correction can be competitive in more than just that sphere.

The theoretical specifications look quite good, with a maximum throughput of 3,000MB/s sequential reads and 2,400MB/s sequential writes. We’re also supposed to be capable of 250,000 IOPS while reading random 4K data and 210,000 IOPS while writing random 4K data. That’s enough raw performance ability to give the Samsung 960 EVO a run for its money, though it’s not quite enough to compete with the 960 Pro. Thankfully the price is competitive enough to be an option for those that don’t quite want to be in Samsung’s sphere of influence, lest their SSD’s start combusting now (they won’t, but still).

Corsair Force MP500

MP500 Specifications

Corsair Force MP500 480GB

Capacity480GB
Form FactorM.2-2280
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x4 w/ NVMe 1.2
ControllerPhison PS5007-E7
NANDToshiba 128Gb MLC on 15nm
DRAM512MB
Endurance698TBW
Price~$364.99

It looks good on paper, very good in fact. Endurance is also suitable for the higher capacity drive to be used as a scratch drive for the editing of video or other media that would benefit from high-transfer speeds. With the MP500 installed as an add-in-card and acting as a the cache and scratch disk for the very video for this review, it was a nice surprise. That relies heavily on IOPS for streaming media and having a faster transfer speed helped in responsiveness while drudging through multiple 4K video streams

Corsair Force MP500

Corsair Force MP500

Corsair lets you take a look at the specifications and health of the drive using their own Corsair SSD Toolbox. Compared to other tools it’s rather plain, and outdated. Retro even. It does provide you with SMART health, lets you increase over provisioning, secure wipe any of your drives and even clone your data should you want to. Overall it’s full featured, just older looking. Let’s move on to testing.

Corsair Force MP500

Need’s a bit of sprucing up, but at least it’s usable.