One of the oldest names in the flash business is Micron/Crucial and our own relationship with them goes way back to 2010. Back then, we were one of the first to review their Crucial C300 RealSSD in a 64GB capacity, with lightning fast speeds of 357MB/s read and 76MB/s write, and a price of $139.99… for a 64GB SSD. We have been fortunate to have reviewed just about every Crucial release throughout the years and, well, at least I have always considered Micron/Crucial to be a company that likes to ‘sit in the weeds’. By this I mean that they have never been one to get their products out first, but rather, we might see new generation Crucial product releases well after that of most other companies. Today is a different day.
On our Test Bench for this report is an engineering sample of the newest Crucial T700 Gen 5 SSD and a big kudos to Crucial as they have had these samples in the hands of reviewers for a few weeks now. I can’t tell you how many products had been been received only a day or two before embargo over the years, making for long hours and some very early morning testing. The next plus is that two SSD samples were received, one already situated in what we believe to be the best looking, and likely best designed, heatsink we have seen to date. In reading this report, the reader should be aware that these are only early engineering samples and this T700 sample is not the final retail sample that we expect sometime in mid-May.
The Crucial T700 is a PCIe 5.0 x4 (4-lane) SSD that uses the latest NVMe 2.0 protocol. It will be available in 1,2 and 4TB capacities, with or without heatsink, and its security features include digitally signed firmware, secure boot support, AES256-bit encryption, TCG Opal 2.01, and sanitize block with crypto erase. Performance is variable dependent on capacity with the 1TB model having 11.7GB/s read and 9.5GB/s writes whereas the 2/4TB models jump to 12.4GB/s read and 11.8GB/s write with a maximum 1.5 million read and write IOPS.
The T700 firmware will be Microsoft DirectStorage optimized for immediate use to those games released with this benefit, but also, the door is wide open for what DirectStorage can do for the media professional very soon. Check this Crucial provided sample out:
Looking at this example that was included in our reviewers package, we can see so much possibility in how this can benefit the media professional just from the release of so much CPU utilization alone.
The heart and soul of the of the Crucial T700 is Phison PS5026-E26 Gen 5 8-channel NVMe SSD controller. At this point, this is the only Gen 5 controller we have seen on the market and many manufacturers have latched on to this Phison partnership. The E26 is situated on a black M.2 2280 (22mm wide x 80mm long) PCB and it’s also rather interesting that the black branding sticker shown in the first photo above is actually a copper clad thermal label for motherboards with pre-installed heatsinks.
This is a two sided SSD of which there are two pieces of Microns latest 232-Layer 3D TLC NAND memory per side. Each piece has a RAW value of 512GB for the 2TB total sample, along with a NAND DRAM chip situated between the controller and NAND. This memory not only has a much smaller footprint than previous generations, but also, just may arguably be the highest caliber memory we have seen from any manufacturer in some time.
Now let’s get to some testing…
The heart and soul of the of the Crucial T700 is Phison PS5026-E26 Gen 5 8-channel NVMe SSD controller.
Can you test it with PCIE4 slot ? It is interesting how much benefits this drive will bring to slower socket. Most people instersted to buy this drive have PCIE4 M.2.
Why are you using a 1GB dataset to test a drive with 2GB of DRAM cache? Morons.