Introduction & Drive Details
The rarest SSD out there today is a 4TB consumer M.2 NVMe SSD with a TLC flash array. There are only two that we know of, one is by Sabrent, and the other is now by Corsair. Everything high capacity is trending QLC, and it doesn't look like TLC will be around for long, at least not at capacity points above 2TB. With this in mind, we think now is the perfect time to jump on a drive like Corsair's MP510 4TB SSD.
It's not cheap, but nothing 4TB is cheap, not even QLC. However, when you can get a 4TB NVMe TLC SSD for at or around the same price as a 4TB QLC variant, you should do it if you can. In my rig, I run a 4TB TLC SSD, and it is glorious. You think a 2TB NVMe SSD makes life great? Wait until you try a 4TB M.2 NVMe TLC SSD. Again, this may be the last time you can get a 4TB M.2 NVMe TLC SSD.
It's not that QLC is bad. It's that TLC is inherently better, and it's going extinct soon. We just witnessed the extinction of MLC flash in the consumer space with the Samsung 980 Pro going TLC. TLC is next, and therefore we believe you can't go wrong investing in a quality piece of hardware like Corsair's 4TB MP510.
The newest iteration of Corsairs renown Force Series MP510 line of NVMe SSDs is different than the others. It has a flash array composed of 96-Layer BiCS TLC (3-bit) NAND vs. 64L BiCS TLC on the smaller capacities. More density (layers) facilitates higher capacity. Additionally, the 4TB MP510 differs from its older brethren in that it has a newer version of Phison's powerful E12 controller, the E12S. The E12S is an E12 variant with an optimized footprint and nickel coating.
An optimized footprint is a smaller footprint, and nickel coating makes it run cooler. Both nice improvements. A smaller footprint is what you need if you want to fit 8-flash chips, DRAM, and an 8-channel controller on a 22mm x 80mm PCB that is about the size of a stick of gum. Impressive.
Now, let's take a closer look at what we believe is the most desirable Corsair SSD ever made.
Incredible endurance and plenty of speed to satisfy the most demanding consumers.
Corsair's MP510 is, in our opinion, a good-looking piece of hardware.
Jon's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair Hero VIII Wi-Fi (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: ADATA XPG Z1 DDR4 3800MHz 16GB (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1000 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Corsair SSD Toolbox
Corsair offers a free SSD Toolbox to manage the SSDs they sell. With Corsair's full-featured SSD Toolbox, you can monitor SSD health, clone your system, update firmware, and secure erase.
You can download it here.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM & Anvils
Great performance across the board. Phison's E12S controller can handle massive capacities with ease.
Anvil's Storage Utilities
Corsair's 4TB MP510 delivers the best score we've seen from a high-capacity M.2 NVMe SSD with a Gen3 interface. Impressive.
Max random write IOPS results are outstanding. Well above factory specs. Max random read falls a bit short of factory specs because they are given for an empty secondary device.
Synthetic Benchmarks: AS SSD & ATTO
Our focus is read scoring, and Corsair's MP510 delivers in a big way, with the second-best performance we've seen from a high capacity M.2 NVMe SSD. Additionally, whenever an SSD delivers a total score that exceeds 7K it is something to take notice of.
The MP510 almost gives us full speed at 128K transfers but comes up a bit short when serving data to the host. Nevertheless, very impressive.
Real-World Testing: Transfer Rates & Gaming
Corsair's MP510 gives us our 600 MB/s minimum plus a little bit more.
The difference between the best Gen3 performance and the MP510 is little more than 100 MB/s and likely unnoticeable to the end-user.
Game Level Loading
We like to see sub-11 seconds here, but as is the case with all Phison powered SSDs, that remains elusive.
Real-World Testing: PCMark 10 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 204GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with user experience. Of the two tests, we feel that the Quick System Drive Test most accurately replicates a typical user experience.
PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark
As our charts demonstrate, the 4TB MP510 handles heavy workloads with ease, which is something that gives it an advantage over most QLC SSDs. Even if a QLC SSD manages to do a bit better as we see from Intel's 660P, that is offset by the fact that QLC SSDs can quickly wear out if subjected to heavy workloads for a long period of time.
PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark
Corsair's 4TB MP510 shows us what it is made of by easily digesting what we consider the most important test we run. The 4TB MP510 delivers the fourth-best performance for any high-capacity consumer NVMe SSD we've tested to date. Impressive.
Capacious, fast as hell, and unparalleled endurance is what Corsair's 4TB MP510 is all about. We feel this SSD is as good as it gets and that soon you will never again be able to buy such an SSD as a 4TB TLC M.2 NVMe SSD. QLC is taking over the high capacity NVMe SSD market and bringing with it inherently lower performance and lower quality.
There are two issues we see with QLC SSDs. When they start to get filled up, write speeds plummet to the point where even mechanical HDDs can be significantly faster. The other is the most obvious, and that is incredibly low endurance in comparison with TLC SSDs. What QLC does have going for it is capacity.
This is why we love Corsair's 4TB MP510 TLC powered M.2 NVMe SSD. It is one of only two M.2 NVMe SSDs we know of that gives you the best of both worlds. High capacity that won't slow to a crawl when it gets full or close to full, and endurance that is currently close to 10x better than 4-bit (QLC) SSDs.
As the above chart clearly shows, Corsair's magnificent 4TB MP510 M.2 NVMe SSD delivers a user experience that is far better than anything QLC, even when QLC is on a Gen4 interface.
A quick recap of our testing reveals several highlights where the 4TB Corsair MP510 really stands out in terms of performance. Anvils testing produced overall results that are the best we've seen from an ultra-high capacity Gen3 SSD. AS SSD testing treated us to the second-best performance we've seen from any Gen3 SSD. Finally, and most importantly, the 4TB MP510 showed off its prowess when performing typical consumer tasks when tested with PCMark 10.
Unrivaled M.2 TLC capacity, blazing-fast performance, and the highest endurance rating we've ever seen have earned Corsair's 4TB MP510 NVMe SSD TweakTown's highest award.
- User Experience
- 5-Year Warranty
The Bottom Line
Oozing with capacity, quality, and performance, Corsair's 4TB MP510 is about as good as it gets.