Even before the November update, the Corsair Force MP510 is a strong NVMe SSD. For the first time in years, Corsair has a fast drive that is cost competitive with the big fab players. With this new stance, we have to wonder what Corsair will bring to market next.
Let's tackle the current level of performance first. The MP510 isn't the fastest flash-based consumer NVMe SSD across the board. Corsair and partner Phison choose to program the SLC buffer to deliver strong performance across a wide gamut of applications and not focus on winning benchmarks. It's a double edge sword, on one side the MP510 loses some synthetic but often irrelevant tests that sell SSDs, and on the other side, the end-user gets a powerful weapon.
One side cuts the wielder, and the other side cuts the intended target. If you run the firmware available today, your drive will perform well in typical applications that we all use every day and still perform well when you push the drive with heavy write tasks, like converting Blu-Ray files into ISOs or installing a software after you finish a build.
We know a performance-enhancing firmware is on the way and you will have the opportunity to flash your drive. Corsair's SSD Toolbox software makes the process very easy, and it will likely not be a destructive update. We don't know what the new firmware will enhance but chances are Corsair, and Phison look to increase random read performance and possibly fix the really weird QD2 performance results we run into on sequential reads. The latter is an odd one to address because it only happens in a very specialized pattern that no one will see but me in a scripted synthetic test. We would rather see higher random read performance because it will benefit everyone.
For a number of years, Corsair released competitive SSDs but could never get over the performance of powerful Samsung SSDs. Prices were often similar, but then Samsung would lower them to keep an edge and Corsair would instantly have SSDs priced higher than superior products. With the MP510, the tables have turned, and the new series using Phison's competitive E12 controller makes quick work of Samsung's 970 EVO and puts a target on the back of the premium 970 Pro.
The real difference this round is that Corsair has a decent price advantage over both Samsung NVMe SSDs shipping today and likely has some room to stay competitive to combat any market reactions to the new MP510. The new 1TB MP510 is a really nice drive that we can recommend. Dollar for dollar, you won't find a better value at this time. We're excited to see what will happen with the upcoming firmware and to test the other capacities to see if this momentum carries over to the other sizes.
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