The recently announced Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSD has been benchmarked and shown to deliver up to 12.4GB/s read speed, marking a new high in single drive SSD performance.
We’re still a few months away from it and most PCIe 5.0 SSDs being available to buy but several drives have now been put through their paces publicly and this new Crucial SSD model takes top spot so far. The next fastest drives just sneak over 10GB/s, so this new model marks a significant step up.
The Crucial T700 is due to arrive in a few months and will be available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities initially. It uses the latest Phison E26 controller that’s also used on several other PCIe Gen 5 SSDs but is coupled with new 2,000MTS NAND flash, rather than the 1,600MT/s flash used on other drives sporting this controller.
The NAND flash is created in a 232-layer stack and uses a triple-level cell (TLC) arrangement – which is faster than quad-level flash but not as quick as single-level flash. Like most such drives, though, the T700 allocates a portion of the drive to run in SLC mode for enhanced temporary write speeds. The drives are also equipped with a portion of LPDDR4 RAM for temporary data storage, with the 2TB model housing 4GB of RAM.
Other stats for the drive include write endurance levels of 600TBW, 1,200TB, and 2,400TBW for the 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB models, respectively. Meanwhile, all models support AES-256 encryption and TCG Opal 2.01, and come with a five-year warranty as standard.
PCIe 5.0 SSDs take advantage of the newly arrived PCIe 5.0 interface of modern motherboards, with only AMD’s AM5 motherboards and Intel’s 12th and 13th-gen Core processor-supporting motherboards offering the features. It provides double the bandwidth of PCIe 4.0, which in turn doubled the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0. That’s why we’ve seen PCIe 4.0 SSDs able to push past the ~3,500MB/s peak speed of PCIe 3.0 drives and now we’re seeing PCIe 5.0 SSDs stretch beyond the 7,000MB/s limit of PCIe 4.0 drives.
Image source: Tom’s Hardware
The folks at Tom’s Hardware tested the new Crucial drive, comparing it to a raft of other PCIe 5.0 drives and the Crucial T700 pulled out a clear lead across the board. Along with its 12.4GB/s read speed figure, it also hit 11.9GB/s initial write speed, although its peak random read speed figure of nearly 1.5M IOPs was all but equalled by the PCIe 4.0 Sabrent Rocket.
While these figures are impressive, it remains to be seen how useful this speed will be in day-to-day use. We’ve seen little advantage with these ever faster drives when it comes to Windows boot and game load times already, so will an extra few GB/s make much difference? We’ll be sure to find out when we test them in the coming months. In the mean time, find our pick of the top current SSDs in our best gaming SSD guide.
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