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Corsair NX500 400GB NVMe HHHL SSD Review - One Flashy SSD

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction

Today Corsair launched their first ever HHHL form factor SSD, the NX500:

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Just from the looks of this part, it is clear they were pulling out all the stops with respect to product design. This is certainly one of the most impressive looking SSDs we have seen come through our lab, and it will certainly be the type of thing enthusiasts would show off in their system builds. The NX500 is also likely to be the best showcase of Phison's new E7 controller. I'm just as eager to see if this SSD performs as well as it looks, so let's get to the review!

Specifications

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The specifications here are in line what we would expect for a modern day NVMe SSD. Note that ratings are identical for the 400GB and 800GB models, aside from a doubling of endurance due to the corresponding doubling of flash. There were some additional details in our press kit:

Extreme Performance
The Phison PS5007-E7
Description: PS5007-E7 is Phison’s first NVMe controller designed for high performance application. Supporting up to 8-channels in its NAND Flash interface.
Extreme Reliability
Multiple features are built into the PS5007-E7 to ensure stability and reliability.
SmartECC™ – Reconstructs defective/faulty pages when regular ECC fails
SmartRefresh™ – Monitors block ECC health status and refreshes blocks periodically to improve data retention
SmartFlush™ – Minimizes time data spends in cache to ensure data retention in the event of power loss
Extreme Control
The Neutron NX500 SSD with Phison PS5007-E7 controller works with CORSAIR SSD Toolbox.
Drive monitoring – Monitor the health of your Force Series
Secure wipe – For security purposes, completely clear the drive of any recoverable data
Firmware update – Install updated firmware as needed

As the Phison E7 is a new controller, it's worth taking a look at the internals:

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Highlights from above are 8 channels to the flash, ONFI 3.2 and Toggle 2.0 support (covering most flash memory types), along with support for all modes (SLC/MLC/TLC).

Packaging

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I haven't seen SSD packaging this nice since the FusionIO ioDrive, and those parts were far more expensive. Great touch here by Corsair.

Continue reading our full review of the Corsair NX500!


August 10, 2017 | 10:05 PM - Posted by Hood

This kills my Intel 750 400 GB in sequential, which matters not at all for my typical workloads. About the same or worse in random IOPS. Probably feels exactly the same in daily use. $320 price is not bad - Intel launched theirs at $400 and it's still the same price today (luckily I got mine for $300 during a rare sale at Newegg).
I'd love to see a direct comparison review, but I'm sure these will sell better - cheaper and better looking. I'll keep my Intel drive, because their reliability is legendary, and it just feels like it will last forever.

August 10, 2017 | 11:20 PM - Posted by CNote

You can get 3 sm951 for a little more...

August 11, 2017 | 09:58 AM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

as nice as those are, if I had that money to spend on storage then i'd rather just get more cheap sata ssd(s), like a 1TB samsung 850evo for about ~ $340.

August 11, 2017 | 11:25 AM - Posted by Adam S. (not verified)

Funny, at the conclusion page I remembered you were reviewing the Corsair NX500, I was much more interested in the details of the new testing method. Excellent work Allyn!

August 11, 2017 | 01:53 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

Request: Can we get more reviews of gaming headsets?

August 12, 2017 | 07:57 AM - Posted by edward ahkee (not verified)

gaming headsets are almost never good though. Just buy a hyperx cloud or sennheiser game zero/one

August 11, 2017 | 11:44 PM - Posted by Evan (not verified)

I had an old OCZ Z-Drive R4 SSD with a bunch of unpopulated capacitor pads on the PCB too. Do you think they designed in some kind of power smoothing / filter stage or something and then figured the cost of adding tantalum caps to the BOM outweighed any noticeable benefit to the user?

August 11, 2017 | 11:49 PM - Posted by Evan (not verified)

Of course, that would be for power loss protection on the enterprise version of the card, now that I read what Al wrote instead of just looking at the pretty pictures. That brings up another topic I find crazy, the UPS. Convert AC to DC to store it in a battery, then back to AC to feed it into the computer's PSU, where it is converted again to DC to run all the circuits. Can't make it any more better. Computers are solved, guys.

August 14, 2017 | 10:58 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Yeah, it makes more sense to just have a single version of the PCB, and add components as applicable for the enterprise version, etc.

August 13, 2017 | 07:02 AM - Posted by djotter

Wow Allyn, that performance comparison history is legendary! Pulled out every SSD you could dig up in the office? You need to make that model list searchable so people can find this. A recent SSD review comparing sooooo many models is a rare find!

August 14, 2017 | 08:11 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I kinda treat SSDs like Pokemon :). We definitely want to do better things with the data, but with this site design, we're limited to pics of charts.

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