Corsair MP500 Force 240GB & 480GB M.2 SSD Review


Conclusion; Corsair Delivers Again

After ending last year with what seemed like every manufacturer filling out their mid-range lineups, there’s now finally something new for those who crave a bit more. Corsair’s MP500 is not only an impressive foray into the bleeding edge storage market but it accomplishes its goals without costing an absolute fortune like some of its predecessors.

Unlike some other companies who have released Hail-Mary models in a last ditch attempt to regain past glory and market share, Corsair is wielding the M500 Force with as much deftness and finesse as they are brute force. Much like a real-world version of Lucille this model is not being swung about by a maniacal Negan, hell bent on just watching the industry burn, and rather is being wielded by surgeon cutting out the rot that has set in to the enthusiast market. The end result is sure to be as much carnage and chaos to wow even a Walking Dead fan but the MP500 will do so in a way that is beneficial to the industry and consumers alike.

Above all else Corsair’s newest drive proves that not only can third party controllers actually create high end NVMe models but buyers don’t really require so-called ‘3D’ NAND in order to get the job done. This last bit is critical as Intel, Micron and SAMSUNG have put most of the NAND manufacturing industry on life-support with their 3D blitzkrieg. Now however more of the ‘little guys’ of the industry can see that performance, value, and yes even overall asking price does not require expensive and debatably beneficial next generation NAND.

This really is all because of that little PHISON controller which, as we saw throughout testing, lives and dies by NAND-interleaving… and the more layers of NAND per channel you can feed this beast the happier it is. With 384-bit 3D TLC NAND (and even 256-bit 3D MLC) consumers will only ever see excellent performance with the higher priced, higher capacity models. Whereas by using ‘old school’ planar (‘2D’) Toshiba Toggle Mode NAND even the ‘small’ 240GB model is as fast as greased lightning. However, there is indeed a tangible benefit in some synthetic tests from moving up to the MP500’s 480GB version.

This series really is a breath of fresh air for the enthusiast market. The 1st Century AD Roman Philosopher Seneca said it best when he said “It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.” This unfortunately is too true of the high end storage market of late with seemingly no one besides the ‘big three’ showing any willingness to cater to the enthusiasts needs. Instead most have overlooked this segment in their haste to chase the mainstream user. Thankfully Corsair has shown the folly of such ‘bottom up’ adventures and maybe now we will see what NVMe really can do. Then we can see the trickle-down effect once again boost the mainstream market as it has done countless times in the past.

In conclusion, not since the days of OCZ and their first generation Indilinx based Vertex series have we seen such a risky move pay off with such high dividends. Corsair may not be the first to use this new PHISION controller, but they are the first to do right. If you are interested in an amazingly powerful drive in an itty-bitty package the name Corsair needs to be on your lips. This is the series the average buyer should be looking at. Its performance, its value, and even its asking price leave little room for doubt.

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