Corsair Neutron NX500 PCIe SSD: fast and durable PCIe SSD

PCIe SSD with NVMe support and MLC memory.

After the release of the Corsair MP500, the memory specialist with the Neutron NX500 presents the next SSD series with the latest NVE standard. While the MP500 is mounted on the M.2 slot to connect to the system, the Neutron NX500 series SSDs work directly above the PCI Express slot and can be used as an expansion card in any standard PC since 2003 become. The series includes two models with 400 and 800 GB capacity.

The design of the HHHL-SSDs as an expansion card is simply black. The PCIe drive has a heat sink that extends over the entire PCB of the card. In addition, a backplate should ensure that the SSD remains cool during operation. Thanks to the enclosed low-porfile cover, the SSD can also be used with small HTPC housings.

For the Neutron NX500 SSD to achieve full performance, the use of a current PCI Express 3.0 slot with the connection of four lanes is required. The similarities of the new Netron-NX500 series with the MP500 series are not to be dismissed. Both SSD series rely on MLC NAND memory chips from Toshiba, which are manufactured in the 15-nm process. In addition, a PS5007-E7 controller from Phison is also used in the Neutron NX500 series. With a 1,024 megabyte DDR3 cache, however, the Neutron NX500 is superior to the SSDs of the MP500 series, which have a maximum of 512 megabytes of LPDDR3 cache. The 800-GB version of the Neutron NX500 we tested has an even larger DDR3 cache of 2 gigabytes.

The two Neutron NX500 Series PCIe SSDs have TRIM, SMART support, and garbage collection support. The maximum read rate is up to 3,000 MB / s, while when writing the SSDs reach up to 2,800 MB / s. The Radom-read IOPS are specified with up to 300,000 with 4K files. When writing random 4K files, the SSDs still reach up to 270,000 IOPS.

As the Neutron NX500 with PCI Express x4 slot in our Testparcour beats, whether it can reach the specified data and how it stands compared to other NVMe SSDs, we will tell you on the next pages of our review.

test platform

Test candidate: Corsair Neutron NX500 800 GB
Intel Core i7 4770K
SATA III Controller of the Z97 Chipset (ASRock Z97 Extreme6)
PCI Express 4x connection
OCZ Revodrive 350 (System Plate)
Operating System & Benchmarks

Windows 10
HDTune Pro
PCMark 7 and PCMark 8
Passmark Advanced Disk Test
ATTO
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark
Intel IO meter

With the Neutron NX500 Corsair introduces a new SSD series in the high-end category. The SSDs with PCI Express x4 slot not only achieve theoretically high data transfer speeds, but the 800 GB model can also currently secure the performance ratio.

In the overall performance, the Corsair’s Neutron NX500 is positioned in the top group, along with the OCZ RD400 and Corsair’s MP500 with M.2 port. All SSDs are very close together and differ from each benchmark in only a few percent, although individual benchmark values ​​can clearly differ. The outstanding performance in the pattern tests and the workstation with several threads, database and webserver, where the SSD is clearly placed at the top of the tested models, is clearly visible.

Thus, the NX500 can also secure the first place in the application performance. In the case of read performance, however, the Neutron NX500 must be defeated by Corsair’s MP500.

The Corsair Neutron NX500 can exploit its full potential in the synthetic benchmarks while reading and set new benchmarks in the AS SSD, HD Tune and CrystalDiskMark. For sequential writes, the performance of the SSD drops only marginally and has to rank just behind the other NVMe SSDs. In the case of the practical benchmarks PCMark 7 and PCMark 8, as well as copying tests, the Corsair Neutron NX500 also runs a short race with the other fast SSDs, which are connected directly to the system via PCI Express lanes.

In the tests of the most recently tested SSDs, it is becoming increasingly clear that the newer models with NVMe support play in another league, and are moving further and further from the normal SSDs, which are limited by the SATA standard. The new standard not only provides a much higher data transfer speed but can also improve the speed of the drives through lower latencies and improved overhead of the commands. These effects are then clearly seen in the application performance in the long time in the SSD barely differentiate between different models.

Just like the MP500 from Corsair with the Phison PS5007-E7 controller and MLC-NAND flash memory, our 240-minute IOPS-Stresestest of the Neutron NX500 shows an untypical picture with many power peaks. Overall, the latest SSD from Corsair is enormously performant and achieves an unprecedented value at the start with 190,000 IOPS.

The Neutron-NX500 series is aimed at the consumer market only to more demanding and professional users who have the best performance, reliable operation and long durability in focus. With a price tag of about 650 euros for the 800GB variant and 320 euros for the 400 gigabyte version, customers have to dig deep into their pockets for fast and persistent storage. The price is generally higher for PCIe SSDs than for the M.2 variants, so the SSD is not too expensive. Anyone who can access an M.2 slot will get the Corsair MP500a similar performance with a lower warranty is somewhat cheaper, but only up to 480 GB. There you also have to deal with the cooling of the SSD, which is no problem with the PCIe version thanks to the large cooler.

For the NX500 Corsair gives a durability of 1.396 TBW (Tera-Byte Written) for the 800 GB model. In conjunction with the five-year warranty, professional users with workstations or absolute enthusiasts should be attracted to the highest reliability. For these purposes, the NX500 among the PCIe SSDs is currently one of the most interesting models.

Advantages:

Very fast SSD
MLC memory
Very good application / read speeds
High compatibility thanks to PCI Express x4 connector
Stylish design with good cooling
5 year warranty

Disadvantage:

Price a bit high

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