The Force Series MP510 takes Corsair back to the early days of SSDs when the company was truly a competitive player in this market. I've stated in several articles and editorials that the current market conditions mimic that of 2012 when flash was abundant, several controller companies had strong components, and prices hit never before seen levels. It was one of the greatest times to buy an SSD, and we have the exact same formula playing out in front of us right now.
The Corsair Force Series MP510 reminds us of the Force GT, it's a very fast, but relatively low-cost SSD that rises above many of the "big name" manufacturer's products. The two parts, high-performance and low-cost, both combine to attract shoppers to the Corsair brand. Even though the MP510 is a speedy drive right out of the box, a few companies also shipping Phison E12-based SSDs have already announced upcoming firmware that will push these drives even more. Behind closed doors, the companies say the firmware currently in validation testing will make drives like the MP510 faster than anything else on the market. We don't have that firmware in hand today, but we should in the next two to three weeks.
What we do have in hand is the 1TB MP510 that currently sells for just $235.99, a price that makes it one of the lowest priced premium class NVMe SSDs shipping today. Corsair was very aggressive with pricing for this series and even managed to undercut rival MyDigitalSSD.
For the first time in quite a few years, Corsair has decided to take step back in the SSD leadership role, rather than be a passive player following Samsung, Intel, Adata and many others.
Corsair will release a massive 2TB MP510 drive in the coming weeks. Until then, the series ships in three capacities ranging from 240GB to 960GB.
At the heart of the MP510 series is the impressive Phison PS5012-E12 controller with a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface and an 8-channel design. Corsair paired the controller with Toshiba's 64-layer TLC memory that operates at Toggle 2.0 speeds.
The claimed 3,480 MB/s sequential read performance is the fastest Corsair has offered. The 1TB drive we're testing today reaches up to 3,000 MB/s sequential write performance, but all three drives carry slightly different ratings.
The series features impressive random performance that also peaks on the 1TB at 610,000 IOPS read and 570,000 IOPS write. As we mentioned in the introduction, Corsair plans to release a firmware update in the coming weeks that will increase performance. The specification performance may or may not see an increase since what companies put on paper is peak performance under specialized synthetic workloads.
Pricing, Warranty, And Endurance
We also mentioned in the introduction that the MP510 is Corsair's most affordable NVMe SSD to date. The 240GB drive starts at just $65.99 and then scales to $124.99 for the 480BG model. The MP510 960GB currently sells for only $235.99. We don't know what the large 2TB class model will sell for, but hopefully we don't have to wait very long to find out.
The unsung aspect of Corsair's pricing is where these land in relation to the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro. For several years Corsair, Kingston, and other well-known companies would release products that MyDigitalSSD would also release in very similar trim. The main difference was that MyDigitalSSD would undercut the better-known products by as much as fifty percent. That didn't happen this time, at least with Corsair's MP510. Corsair managed to use its brawn to undercut MyDigitalSSD by a few dollars, at least for now. It will be interesting to see if Kingston, Patriot, and others in the Phison camp will follow suit.
Corsair didn't just drop prices slightly under the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro line. The company also increased some of the warrantied endurance ratings where possible with the MP510. Phison and partners have worked hard to implement a strong LDPC error correction engine that delivers ample write endurance. The E12 drives even deliver more warrantied writes than Samsung's 970 Pro that uses MLC flash.
A Closer Look
Corsair's use of an all-black circuit board gives the MP510 an edgy look that looks nice in every PC color scheme. The drive itself doesn't have any other outstanding features as far as the look of the drive. By now we've all seen M.2 form factor SSDs, so there isn't much excitement on that front either.
We will point out that Corsair didn't use a metal layer in the sticker this time like the company did on the MP500. The new MP510 doesn't need additional cooling. The new E12 controller uses a 28nm manufacturing node and runs much cooler than the previous generation 8-channel E7.
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