MP500 arrives in a small packet which shows a depiction of the drive with accompanying information surrounding the capacity, form factor and expected transfer rates. Aside from a warranty leaflet, the SSD is scarce of bundled accessories. However, our small M.2 drive does sit within a plastic case to ensure no damage occurs during the delivery process.
MP500 conforms to the M.2 form factor and more specifically the 2280 size. Aesthetics are still an important factor on such a dainty product as an M.2 SSD and since this drive may well be on full display for users with a side panel on their chassis, it’s great to see an attractive design which is likely to coordinate well with the rest of the system.
Corsair’s MP500 is based on the Phison PS5007-E7 controller which offers eight-channels and is a quad-core variant. This drive also uses twin 15nm Toshiba MLC NAND, our 480GB model actually uses 128GB NAND while the 120GB model uses just 32GB.
Since MP500 utilises PCI Express Gen 3 x4, we expect strong sequential read/write performance from our drive – Corsair actually claim up to 3000MB/s read and 2400MB/s write and 250K IOPS.
One important factor which customers should be aware of (which isn’t mentioned) is that MP500 pairs up with Windows without needing a drive – in Windows 10 the drive is automatically detected and uses the default Windows NVMe driver. This is convenient, however due to this driver’s avoidance of the FUA (Force Unit Access) command being written to the DRAM, the commands arrive at the cache instead and the end result is a cap of 400MB/s for write transfer rates.
So, to sidestep this poor performance, it is necessary to bring up the drive inside Device Manager > Policies and disable the write-cache setting in Windows 10.