A liquid-cooling option sets this blazingly fast NVMe SSD apart from the crowd. It’s also nicely affordable for a PCIe 4 drive. The Corsair MP600 Pro XT is a worthy competitor to the Seagate FireCuda 530.
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This is our first look at an NVMe SSD from Corsair. In fact, it’s our first look at any sort of Corsair SSD in over seven years. And apparently we’ve been missing out, because the Corsair MP600 Pro XT is an absolute barn-burner. This PCIe 4.0 SSD hangs with and sometimes bests the fastest drives we’ve ever tested, for a considerably lower price than its fellow hot-rod rivals. And if you want to get fancy, there’s even a version designed to plug into the liquid-cooling setup of exotic PCs, for a minimal markup.
We can’t find much to complain about. This is a fantastic high-performance SSD.
This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best SSDs. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.
Pricing and specs
The Corsair MP600 Pro XT is available in two flavors: one with a large (removable) heatsink, and the Hydro version with a liquid-cooling jacket. Corsair sent us the 2TB version of the former for testing. The plain MP600 Pro XT is available in 1TB/$200, 2TB/$400, and 4TB/$990 flavors. Add $25 for the water jacket in the 2TB capacity, and $10 in the 4TB capacity.
Beyond the unique cooling option, the MP600 Pro XT’s design is par for the course. It’s a PCIe 4 x4, NVMe SSD using the common 2280 (22 mm wide, 80 mm long) form factor. The controller is a Phison PS5018-E18 and NAND is Micron 176-layer 3D TLC (Triple Level Cel/3-bit). There’s 1GB of DRAM cache for every 1TB of capacity, and dynamic secondary cache is employed.
Dynamic means that the amount of NAND written as SLC (Single Level Cell/1-bit) varies with the workload. Writing a single bit, off/on voltage is far faster then writing three bits due to the error checking required with multiple voltage levels.
Note that the less free space you have, the less NAND is available for secondary caching. And shoutout to Corsair for providing the specs without making me jump through hoops or tear off the heat sink as many vendors do these days.
The MP600 Pro XT is warrantied for five years. That 1TB and 2TB capacities are rated for 700TBW (TeraBytes Written over the life of the drive) per 1TB of capacity, while the 4TB capacity is rated for 3000TBW. A nice little bonus on your thousand dollar drive!
The MP600 Pro XT’s is the first drive we’ve seen that performs on par with Seagate’s mighty FireCuda 530. It actually set a new record for our 48GB transfer tests. Given that it’s more affordable than its rival and most top-tier drives, color us impressed.
As you can see above, the MP600 Pro XT actually beat the FireCuda 530 in CrystalDiskMark 6’s sequential read test. Look below and the news is even better.
Yup, the MP600 Pro XT is faster than the FireCuda 530 by 5 seconds overall when transferring 48GB files and file sets.
The MP600 Pro XT fell a bit off the FireCuda 530’s pace on our ultra-long 450GB sustained write, but it was still the second fastest performance we’ve seen. Note that the company promise is 7100MBps read and 6800MBps write performance—less than what we saw.
The company stated that it would use the Micron B47 NAND used on our test unit or better, or roll out a new part number. Another shoutout to Corsair for that.
The PCIe 3 tests utilize Windows 10 64-bit running on a Core i7-5820K/Asus X99 Deluxe system with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (Nvidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, and an Asmedia ASM3242 USB 3.2×2 card. It also contains a Gigabyte GC-Alpine Thunderbolt 3 card, and Softperfect Ramdisk 3.4.6 for the 48GB read and write tests.
The PCIe 4 testing was done on an MSI MEG X570 motherboard socketing an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core CPU, using the same Kingston DRAM, cards, and benchmark software. ImDisk replaces Softperfect as the RAM disk. All testing is performed on an empty, or nearly empty drive that’s TRIM’d after every set of tests.
Write performance will decrease as the drive fills up. In some cases, components may change. If your drive, given similar hardware, does not perform as well as our test unit, please let us know.
The MP600 Pro XT is a very pleasant surprise from Corsair. It’s the first SSD we’ve seen that’s beaten the mighty Seagate FireCuda 530 at anything, and it holds its own in the tests it didn’t win outright. Gamers or others with intensive workloads will benefit from the heavy-duty heat sink, or the liquid-cooling option.
Considering the Corsair MP600 Pro XT’s tantalizing combination of price, performance, and features, an Editor’s Choice award was no-brainer. Highly recommended.
Jon Jacobi is a musician, former x86/6800 programmer, and long-time computer enthusiast. He writes reviews on TVs, SSDs, dash cams, remote access software, Bluetooth speakers, and sundry other consumer-tech hardware and software.