Corsair Force Series MP300 480GB M.2 Review

Published by Luca Rocchi on 21.11.18

With the Force MP300, Corsair launches a NVMe-SSD with an affordable price tag. This drive is advertised to perform at 1580 MB/s sequentially reading and 960 MB/s sequentially writing. With this drive Corsair is trying to fill in the niche between entry level and high-end M.2 drives and whether this is going to work out or not is what we're going to check in this review.






Specifications / Delivery


Model Force MP300 120GB Force MP300 240GB Force MP300 480GB Force MP300 960GB
Capacity 120GB 240GB 480GB 960GB
Form Factor M.2 2280 M.2 2280 M.2 2280 M.2 2280
Memory Toshiba 15nm MLC Toshiba 15nm MLC Toshiba 15nm MLC Toshiba 15nm MLC
Endurance 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years
Controller Phison Series 5008-E8, 4 channel Phison Series 5008-E8, 4 channel Phison Series 5008-E8, 4 channel Phison Series 5008-E8, 4 channel
Cache 512 MB DDR3 512 MB DDR3 512 DDR3 512 DDR3
Throughput
  • 1'520 MB/s sequential read
  • 460 MB/s sequential write
  • 80'000 random read
  • 110'000 random write
  • 1'580 MB/s sequential read
  • 920 MB/s sequential write
  • 110'000 random read
  • 180'000 random write
  • 1'600 MB/s sequential read
  • 1'040 MB/s sequential write
  • 220'000 random read
  • 200'000 random write
  • 1'600 MB/s sequential read
  • 1'080 MB/s sequential write
  • 240'000 random read
  • 210'000 random write
Accesstime (read) < 0.1 ms < 0.1 ms < 0.1 ms < 0.1 ms
Acoustics no noise no noise no noise no noise
Warranty 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years
Price


With the Force MP300, Corsair shows their first entry-level NVMe SSD based on M.2 2280 formfactor with PCIe Gen 3.0 x2 interface. The unit is available with 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB of capacity.

The delivery includes the dirve itself but no PCIe adapter. Under the hood there is a Phison Series 5008-E8 controller paired with 15nm TLC NAND flash memory from Toshiba. Next to the controller there are four NAND chips and one DRAM chip, whereas the latter works as a cache. With the E8 series, Phison adds an entry-level version of the current high-performance E7 series controller, which supports all different types of NAND flash memory such as SLC, MLC, TLC and even QLC NAND.

Impressions



  • Corsair Force MP300
  • Corsair Force MP300
  • Corsair Force MP300
  • Corsair Force MP300
  • Corsair Force MP300
  • Corsair Force MP300


Test Setup



Motherboard
  • ASUS Maximus VIII Hero
  • ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme
CPU
  • Intel Core i7-6700K @ Default (Turbo On / HT On)
  • AMD Threadripper 1950X
Memory
  • Klevv CRAS 2 x 8GB DDR4-3000
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX 4 x 8GB DDR4-2133
M.2 SSDs
  • ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 PCIe add-in-card + 4x Samsung 960PRO - 1TB RAID0
  • Corsair MP300 NVME - 480GB
  • Corsair MP510 NVME - 960GB
  • Corsair Neutron NX500 - 400GB
  • Intel SSD 600p NVMe - 256GB
  • Intel SSD 750 - 1.2TB
  • Kingston HyperX Predator - 480GB
  • Patriot Hellfire - 480GB
  • Plextor M6e - 256GB
  • Samsung 950PRO - 512GB
  • Samsung 960EVO - 500GB
  • Samsung 970EVO - 250GB
  • Samsung 960PRO - 1TB
  • Toshiba OCZ RD400 - 512GB
  • Western Digital WD Blue - 250GB
OS
  • Windows 10 x64
Benchmarks

Benchmarks

  • iometer - QD1 (1 worker)
    • Seq. Write
    • Seq. Read
    • Rand. Write
    • Rand. Read
  • iometer - QD4 (4 workers)
    • Seq. Write
    • Seq. Read
    • Rand. Write
    • Rand. Read
  • iometer - QD8 (4 workers)
    • Seq. Write
    • Seq. Read
    • Rand. Write
    • Rand. Read
  • iometer - QD16 (4 workers)
    • Seq. Write
    • Seq. Read
    • Rand. Write
    • Rand. Read
  • iometer - QD32 (4 workers)
    • Seq. Write
    • Seq. Read
    • Rand. Write
    • Rand. Read
  • iometer - QD64 (4 workers)
    • Seq. Write
    • Seq. Read
    • Rand. Write
    • Rand. Read
System Drive
PSU
  • Seasonic Platinum SS-1000XP / 1000 Watts


Iometer


Queue Depth 1

Hover over the chart to see detailed values.


Queue Depth 4

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Queue Depth 8

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Queue Depth 16




Queue Depth 32

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Queue Depth 64

Hover over the chart to see detailed values.


Conclusion




Announcement: Despite the circumstance that the rating of a product is based on as many objective facts as possible there are factors which can have an influence on a rating after publication. Every autor may perceive data differently over time with one possible reason being a deeper background knowledge or understanding of certain processes. Certain unforeseen market conditions as well as changes have the potential to render a decision made at a certain point in time obsolete.

With the Force MP300, Corsair launched its first NVMe SSD, which is based on a PCIe Gen 3.0 x2 interface addressing the entry-level enthusiast market. All the new NVMe drives these days simply raise the bar in terms of performance and they bring the entire consumer market a big step forward. While the Corsair Force Series MP300 drive offers great speeds when compared to a SATA drive, it’s left in the dust when compared to PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 drives. On the other side this drive is also significantly cheaper than the ultra-high-performance PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 M.2 SSDs.

Having a look at the performance numbers shows that sequentially writing and reading the Corsair Force MP300 is capable of pushing 900/1'600 MB/s over the bus. In terms of random 4k performance we see 92'000 IOPS in the case of 4k random writes and 115'000 IOPS when randomly reading the same block size. Overall the drive pretty much clears the specs when looking at the sequential throughput rates although we've not been able to reproduce the 1'040MB/s regarding sequential writes. In the case of the random performance we've definitely not measured what Corsair claims the drive should be able to achieve. In fact our number is about half of what the vendor claims.

The 480 Gigabyte version we've tested here currently costs 99 Euro on Geizhals, which is not even 20 Euro than what Samsung is asking for their SSD 860 EVO 500GB but in the case of the Corsair drive you get more than double the sequential transfer speeds. After what we've learnt from out test data we think Corsair is quite optimistic with the advertised performance of this drive, yet the price of the MP300 is definitely on a very competitive level, which is why we award it with 4 stars out of 5.


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