Corsair MP400 4TB Review
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Published: 8th October 2020 | Source: Corsair | Price: |
Normally when looking at new products the name is something that constantly climbs higher. Whilst the realities of things might be different, there is no denying that we have an inbuilt reaction to bigger numbers that make us assume more must be better. Perhaps money is so ingrained in us we can't escape that reaction.
Anyway, the Corsair MP510 has been a part of our test suite for a long time, so when Corsair announced they were releasing a new NVMe drive that is equipped with the Phison E12S controller that was so dominating in our review of the Samsung 980 Pro, to find it's called the MP400 was a little bit of surprise. Then again as the MP400 is a PCI Express 3.0 drive, and thus of more interest to people on the Intel platform than the AMD AMD4, perhaps that makes sense. The MP400 works on both platforms absolutely fine - just to be completely clear for anyone wondering, we even tested ours on a PCIE4 board.
It's available in four capacities and we have the 4TB version in for review today. As well as the Phison PS5012-E12S controller the MP400 has 3D QLC NAND. We've looked at a few drives utilising the QLC NAND recently and the primary benefit, beyond the cost savings and capacity boost available from such high density NAND, is that as long as the cache isn't rammed to the gunwales then you lose nothing by having more affordable chips on the drive. Cheaper and not slower is something we can all get on board with. Naturally there is only one way to find out.
It's been a long time since a drive didn't manage to maximise the bandwidth available to it from the PCI Express 3.0 bus, but nonetheless we're always interested in discovering the transfer speeds of any new release. With the 4TB model we should also find there is plenty of data written before the cache gets saturated. Intitially the drive writes in the faster SLC mode and then the drive converts it to QLC normally a quarter of the QLC NAND is dedicated as SLC for cache purposes, so hopefully we'll reach around 1TB written before the drive starts to slow, although there are always IOPS overheads to take into account so anything 800GB+ is good. We did ask Corsair how they implemented their SLC/QLC plans because it wasnt in the reviewers guide but we didnt get a direct answer. We know QLC is a new product for them but this sort of information is actually really important and effects how the drive performs so today we will just have to give it our best guess based on performance.