If you’re looking for the absolute fastest SSD ever, the Crucial T700 lives up to the hype, with read speeds that pass the 12,000 MB/s mark. If you regularly have to transfer large files, you’ll see a big boost over drives capable half this speed or less. However, this Crucial drive no quicker outside of sequential tests than cheaper SSDs, it gets very hot, and you’ll need a cutting-edge motherboard with a PCIe 5 M.2 slot to get the most out of it.
At Custom PC, we’ve been reviewing the latest PC hardware since 2003, and we run a number of benchmarks in order to gauge performance. Our SSD tests include synthetic tests, such as CrystalDiskMark, as well as PCMark to gauge real world performance. For more information, see our How we test page.
Rge drive itself isn’t cheap either. The Crucial T700 is a PCIe 5 M.2 SSD that will set you back $180 for the 1TB model, $340 for the 2TB model and $600 for the 4TB model. If you spend $30 more, you also get a heatsink, but otherwise you absolutely need to use a large motherboard M.2 heatsink, as the SSD will throttle if it gets much above 80°C, which it did straight away in our benchmarks.
The temperature of the heatsink-equipped model sat just below this figure, with increased airflow in its direction lowering a few degrees more. Needless to say, we wouldn’t recommend using this SSD in a laptop, or anywhere a heatsink won’t fit, and you’ll need to make sure you have a large heatsink for your motherboard’s PCIe 5 M.2 slot.
Like many other PCIe 5 M.2 SSDs, the Crucial T700 uses the Phison E26 controller paired with Micron 232-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory. With so few PCIe 5 models available right now, the only differences are endurance ratings and speeds, with the T700 tuned to a read speed of 12,000 MB/s and write speed of 11,800 MB/s – over double the figures of some mid-range PCIe 4 SSDs available, and 2,000 MB/s ahead of the top read speed for the Corsair MP700.
Meanwhile, the terabytes-written (TBW) endurance ratings stand at 600, 1,200 and 2,400 for the 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB models respectively. These are similar to the claims for other PCIe 5 and older PCIe 4 SSDs, such as the WD Black SN850X. The Crucial T700 also uses 1GB of LPDDR4 DRAM per 1TB for cacheing.
Crucial T700 sequential performance
The Crucial T700 recorded blistering read and write speeds of 12,378 MB/s and 11,815 MB/s in CrystalDiskMark, easily eclipsing the likes of the WD Black SN850X and Samsung 990 Pro, which top out at around 7,200 MB/s. AS-SSD saw slower results of 9,129MB/sec read and 9,292 MB/s write, but if you move large files regularly, it’s clear the T700 Pro can chew through data.
Crucial T700 random performance
The Crucial T700 didn’t offer any benefits over other SSDs we’ve tested in the random 4K Q1-T1 tests in CrystalDiskMark, recording similar read and write speeds of 89 MB/s and 313MB/s, and in AS-SSD these figures were 73MB/sec and 251MB/sec.
However, it did edge out a small lead in the random 3K Q32-T16 test, recording read and write speeds of 6,405 MB/s and 6,758 MB/s, which were a few hundred megabytes a second ahead of the fastest PCIe 4 SSDs we’ve tested.
Crucial T700 real world performance
PCMark 10’s Full System Drive test runs various traces to mimic tasks, such as booting Windows, starting programs and games, and performing tasks in software such as Word and Photoshop as well as dealing with ISOs. In this test, the T700 recorded a 591MB/sec bandwidth figure and a score of 3,754. By comparison, a mid-range PCIe 4 SSD manages 414MB/sec and 2,605 in the same test, so there are definitely benefits to be had using the T700 outside of raw sequential speeds.
Crucial T700 Pros and cons
- Incredible sequential speeds
- Available in 4 TB capacity
- Excellent 4K Q32T16 speeds
- Very expensive per GB
- Requires expensive motherboard
- Throttles without large heatsink
Crucial T700 specs
The Crucial T700 specs list is:
|Cache||1 GB LPDDR4 DRAM per terabyte|
|Capacities available||1 TB, 2 TB (tested), 4 TB|
|Endurance rating||600TBW (1 TB model), 1,200TBW (2 TB model) and 2,400TBW (4 TB model)|
Crucial T700 price
The Crucial T700 price is $312 for the 2 TB model. It’s the fastest desktop M.2 SSD, but you pay a premium per gigabyte compared to PCIe 4 SSDs.
Price: $312 (£311).
Crucial T700 review conclusion
There’s no doubting the raw speed of the Crucial T700. It recorded the fastest sequential speeds we’ve seen from a consumer M.2 SSD. The results were close to double those of mid-range PCIe 4 SSDs we’ve tested, and it was either a match or faster than the best PCIe 4 SSDs in random speeds too.
The main issue is price. It costs double the amount of the best PCIe 4 SSDs per gigabyte, and you’ll also need to make sure it’s cooled properly with a large heatsink. It offers poor value as a result, and you’ll need an expensive, cutting-edge motherboard too. However, if you want the fastest SSD available, whatever the cost, the Crucial T700 packs a punch.
If the price of the Crucial T700 puts it out of your reach, don’t worry, as you can find plenty of cheaper (and still fast) options on our guide to the best SSD. Make sure you also check out our full guide on how to install an M.2 SSD, which takes you through fitting a heatsink as well.
Crucial T700 review rating
Bow down to the new SSD king. The Crucial T700 is the fastest consumer M.2 SSD out there, though it’s also expensive and runs hot.