Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined

The Crucial/Phison partnership is again bearing fruit that redefines performance. Crucial's T700 4TB is the highest-performing retail SSD we've tested.

Published
Manufacturer: Crucial (CT4000T700SSD5)
7 minutes & 43 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 99%
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The Bottom Line

It's the highest performing retail SSD we've ever tested, and our SSD of the Year for 2023!

Pros

  • + Gaming
  • + User experience
  • + PS5 compatible

Cons

  • - None

Should you buy it?

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Introduction & Drive Details

A little over six months ago, Crucial was first on the scene with a retail SSD capable of delivering more than 12,000 MB/s throughput. Its T700 SSD was and continues to be Crucial's first and only PCIe Gen5 SSD. Others jumped in at 10,000 MB/s throughput, but Crucial held back until they were ready to deliver something better than the rest.

Now, as you may or may not know, currently the only consumer PCIe Gen5 SSD controller is Phison's PS5026-E26. This means that the T700, like all retail consumer PCIe Gen5 SSDs currently in existence, are E26 controlled, and as such, all perform identically for the most part, with the lone exception of the T700. Due to its close partnership with Phison Electronics, fab-level NAND access, and firmware engineers, Crucial's Gen5 SSD is a cut above the rest.

What we have on the test benches for you today is a more refined T700 at twice the capacity of any Phison E26-controlled SSD we've tested before. This drive is significantly more powerful than those that came before it, due in large part to Crucial's new firmware revision PACR5103:

Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 44

This new firmware is a culmination of Crucial/Micron's laser-like focus on "User Experience" or, as we also refer to it, performance that matters.

Not only does the new firmware deliver the most performance where it matters most, it does something we've been asking for since the inception of E26-controlled SSDs - it is now PlayStation 5 compatible! The only caveat to employing the T700 for PS5 storage expansion is the heatsink model is a bit too tall to fit under the expansion bay lid. Simple solution, get the T700 without heatsink and use an aftermarket heatsink made for PS5.

Okay, now let's get into some of these benchmarks that clearly show our test subject redefining consumer storage performance as we know it.

Drive Details

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Crucial Storage Executive is among the best storage management software we've ever used. Most importantly, if you already own a T700, you can easily update your drive to the latest performance-enhancing PS5-enabling firmware. Get it HERE.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Intel Test System

AMD Test System

Because we at TweakTown like to be first at everything whenever we can, we will present our storage performance results for the test subject on both 13th Gen Intel and 7000 Series AMD platforms going forward for the foreseeable future. Because Intel still delivers the best real-world storage performance, (Look Here), our running chart will continue to be Intel-based until AMD can deliver better real-world storage performance than its rival.

Buy at Amazon

Crucial T700 4TB NVMe PCIe Gen5 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$421.99$421.99$499.99
Buy at Newegg
$446.99$474.23$380.32
* Prices last scanned on 4/21/2024 at 2:17 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Sony PlayStation 5 - M.2 Storage Expansion

PS5 Read Performance

With Sony's wildly popular PlayStation 5 console now enabled for M.2 NVMe SSDs to be used as fast storage expansion, we include results for PS5 compatible SSDs we test as a part of our reviews going forward.

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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 08

For SSDs that don't have an adequately sized PS5 compatible heatsink or other SSDs where the heatsink provided doesn't fit right and can be removed, we both use and recommend Sabrent's unparalleled PS5 heatsink available HERE.

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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 10

We only chart SSDs that can deliver a minimum of 5,500 MB/s read, which is Sony's original recommendation.

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6,548 MB/s is among the best we've recorded. Outstanding.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO

CrystalDiskMark

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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 13
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We employ CDM as our standard measurement for both sequential throughput and Q1T1 random read. In terms of sequential throughput, we find our test subject fully capable of meeting and exceeding quoted up to specifications. Both sequential read and write are the best we've ever recorded for any retail consumer SSD. Especially impressive is sequential write, where the new firmware is delivering an additional 300 MB/s over previous versions.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 18
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Again, our 4TB speed demon rewards us with another best-ever score for any retail SSD. Because this is read performance, even though it is still synthetic, it gives us a clear and powerful indication that real-world performance has been greatly increased. Impressive.

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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 21
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We employ Anvil's random read test as our standard for measuring max random read IOPS. This test is very accurate as it at its core is Iometer skinned over. We test at QD128. Our results, while quite good, are lower than with previous firmware. This could be capacity-related or even firmware-related. Even so, at QD128, a queue depth that no consumer will ever attain in the real world, results here are not important and are only done for verification purposes.

ATTO

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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 24
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ATTO gives us a clear picture of what transfer sizes a particular SSD favors in terms of sequential throughput. We chart 128K transfers. At a queue depth of four, the 4TB T700 favors sequential transfers of 2MB or larger when serving data to the host (reading) and 128K or larger when programming (writing) data. Read throughput here is especially impressive as it is even better than what we got from the Max14um engineering sample SSD.

Real-World Testing: Transfers, 3DMark SSD Gaming Test, PCM10 Storage

Transfer Rates

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Our 100GB data transfer test is not your ordinary 100GB of data. Ours is a crushing mix composed of more than 62K files. Write performance random or sequential, is an infrequent operation, and as such, we do not consider it to be an important performance metric in the consumer space. An example being how many times is a game installed vs. how many times it's played. As fully expected, our test subject again delivers a new lab record for a retail consumer SSD. Excellent.

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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 31
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Unlike programming (writing) data, serving data to the host (reading) is always an important performance metric as it relates to the consumer space. The most performance where it matters the most is what the T700 is all about.

3DMark SSD Gaming Test

UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing. In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to test an SSD's gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:

  • Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
  • Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
  • Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
  • Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
  • Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 34
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Gaming is a performance metric that matters to most DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. Now, we've reached the point where results start to matter as they are a direct reflection of user experience. Look at that chart. Do you want the highest-performing gaming SSD? This is it. And this one, at a whopping 4TB, can hold plenty of games. With its new magic firmware, the T700, even when running on AMD, can beat all previous E26-controlled contenders running on Intel. Epic.

PCM10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them. The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with mainstream user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

This test writes 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data, which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of user experience.

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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 37
Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 38

In addition to setting another lab record as the first retail SSD able to score 6,500 here, our contender becomes the first of its kind to eclipse 1,000 MB/s overall bandwidth. This is real-world performance at a higher level.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test.

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Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined 40
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Results here indicate a massive 8% performance increase for the T700 via its new firmware. It's user experience on another level.

Final Thoughts

When Crucial first told us about its new firmware, the focus was on making its Gen5 SSD PS5 compatible. They said there were some minor performance enhancements made alongside it now working as PS5 storage expansion. As we see it, the performance enhancements are not minor, but rather major. We are of this opinion because while we do see some improvement on the synthetic side, we are now getting up to 8% better real-world performance.

Performance improvements of this magnitude for SSDs typically are related to hardware changes, but not this time. This time it's magical firmware from the storage wizards at Crucial. This is especially meaningful for those who already own a T700 because you can just update to the latest firmware simply and easily with Crucial's Storage Executive and not only get PS5 compatibility, but also a free 8% performance boost. This is Crucial's commitment to improving user experience. It's real, not just empty words.

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We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage and 3DMark gaming storage tests. We consider a user experience score of 14K or more to verify an SSD as a TweakTown Elite performer. The 4TB Crucial T700 is simply the highest-performing retail SSD we've ever tested.

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In our opinion, at this moment in time, there is no SSD more desirable for enthusiast satisfaction than the 4TB T700. You get unrivaled real-world performance, unmatched throughput, and plenty of capacity. What more could you want? We are so impressed with the 4TB T700 that not only has it earned our highest award, but we are also proclaiming it TweakTown's SSD of the year for 2023. Congrats Crucial, you earned it!

Photo of product for sale

Performance

100%

Quality

100%

Features

100%

Value

95%

Overall

99%

The Bottom Line

It's the highest performing retail SSD we've ever tested, and our SSD of the Year for 2023!

TweakTown award
99%

Crucial T700 4TB NVMe PCIe Gen5 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$421.99$421.99$499.99
Buy at Newegg
$446.99$474.23$380.32
* Prices last scanned on 4/21/2024 at 2:17 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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