Corsair Force MP500 NVMe SSD review

Posted 03 February 2017 20:31 CET by Antonis Sapanidis

It has become clear that simply conducting endless benchmarks on SSD drives is pointless. Real users may run a few benchmarks when they first fit their SSD drive, but most users just want a drive that performs well in the real world. They want their drive to work "out of the box" and work fast and smoothly.

Most of the latest SSD drives can deliver very fast sustained reading and writing speeds, but these alone tell you very little about how the drive will perform in the real world.

If you intend to use your SSD as your primary system drive, with an operating system and applications installed and running from the drive, real world performance becomes much more important than just fast sequential read and write speeds, in this case I felt that it was time to move into a different method of testing.

From now on I will only use the log files from the Event Viewer to measure the start-up and shutdown of the system, and also use filecopy to measure all my copy tests from a RAM disk to the selected storage drive that I will be testing. For these tests I will also enable all power savings features that are available, since I believe that this is the way that the majority of the users will have them set on their PC.

Real world copy tests


I will now conduct some real world copy tests so that you can have a much better view of how the drive will perform. In these simple tests I try to simulate what a real user does with their drives. I will be copying some mp3 files, various picture and MKV files, and finishing by installing MS Office 2007.

As I said earlier from now on all my test files will be stored in a RAM disk and copied/pasted to the destination drive using filecopy. The filecopy utility will be used from now on for all my tests, and I’ll be using it this way to measure the time that it takes to copy the files.

Before I move on to the test, I want to give you an idea on how fast your RAM is. Below you can find the results.

ram disk --- as-ssd-bench  20

As we can clearly see speed isn’t going to be an issue in these tests.

Read write tests – 259 MP3 song files (1.36GB total)

I will start this set of tests by copying 259 MP3 files from the RAM disk to the destination SSD and also from the SSD to the RAM disk.

mp3

The result is outstanding.

Read write tests – 3,377 JPEG picture files (2.56GB total)

Continuing my set of tests, but this time I will be copying 2.54GB of pictures that are stored in the RAM disk to the currently testing SSD and vice versa.

pics

Again the Force MP500 was the fastest drive that I have tested so far in this test.

Read write tests – 1 MKV and 1 SRT file (3.46GB)

Copying a movie is very common task for all of us, and in this test there are two files that will be copied from the RAM disk to the SSD and again from the SSD to the RAM disk.

mkv

3.06 seconds to write 3.46GB is impressive, and the read performance of the Corsair Force MP500 is even more impressive.

Read write tests – ISO (7927MB)

For this test, I copied ISO of the 'Iron Man' movie from the RAMDisk to the SSD and vice versa.

iso

At this point the Force MP500 gave a result that was outstanding.

Read write tests – Small files (533MB)

I have decided to adapt the very small files test that I am using as part of my USB3 flash tests, so this time I will be also copying all the files from the RAM disk to the SSD, and again from the SSD to the RAM disk.

logs

Okay, when it comes to smaller files the Corsair Force MP500 again gives an impressive result, but overall you can find SATA drives that can come close to this level of performance.


Windows start-up based on the Boot Racer 5.00

Start-up time

On the next screen shot you can compare the current tested SSD and compare it to other drives that I have tested. Below I present the results.

windows boot

The boot time is impressive.

Installing applications


Installing applications is possibly something you don't do that often. But should you replace your system disk, then you will most likely have to re-install your applications. Most of the SSD drives I have tested up until now are quite slow at installing applications, most likely because their I/O performance was quite limited.

For these tests, we picked some popular applications and copied the entire contents of the CD or DVD media to the RAM disk. We did this to make sure that the reading speed of our CD/DVD reader would not hamper the performance of the target drive.

We then installed these applications onto our comparison HDD drives, which were all running mirror image installations of our Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit installation, and timed the amount of time taken to install the application with a stopwatch on each of the drives.

MS Office 2007 Enterprise (full install)

Now let’s see how the Corsair Force MP500 SSD performs with the installation of MS Office 2007 Enterprise Edition.

The procedure followed was very simple. I copied all the files from the CD to the RAM disk and used the virtual drive as a source for the installation files.

 

office install

Installing Office 2007 took only 81 seconds, an outstanding result.


Speed degradation after heavy testing

On this page I will measure how the SSD performs after heavy testing and usage.

I will run an AS SSD benchmark test when the OS is freshly installed so that we can get a good view of how the drive performs with the OS. After that I will fill the drive up to 50% of its capacity, use the drive for a few days, and then re-run the AS SSD benchmark. The same procedure will be followed once again, but this time the drive will be filled close to 90% or higher of its capacity. To finish this test, I will simply delete all the extra data and leave the PC idle for a few hours so that the controller has the time to perform any necessary cleaning, then see how the drive performs.

windirstat 01

In this picture you can see the test files that I will be copying to fill the drive with data, as you can see files vary from 8GB ISOs to very small text files.

In the picture below you will find all the applications that were installed for this test using Ninite, and I have also installed Microsoft Office 2007.

ninite

Now let’s start our tests.

 

Okay, so you got our Corsair Force MP500 NVMe SSD and you are excited, so you decide to run AS SSD to see how fast your new NVMe SSD is.

as ssd first run surprise

You look at this result and probably this wasn’t what you expected. Before you start thinking strange things you might want to enable the Turn off Windows write-cache buffer on this device and then re-run AS SSD.

windows settings

as ssd first boot

As we can see magic happens and performance is exactly where we expected it to be. Also this is the base result for this test, with the drive having a fresh install of Windows 10 so that we can have a reference point for our other tests.

less than 4GB free space

Having less than 4GB of free space is something that I don’t recommend doing, and here we can see that there is a huge drop in the write performance, so either leave more free space on your drive, or do a manual over-provisioning.

as ssd 50% free 2

Having the drive filled with data, but with almost 220GB of free space and a few minutes so that TRIM can work, and the results are once again great.

as ssd all extra files deleted 2

With all the extra files deleted the result is almost where I expected it to be, and probably it would have been slightly better if the drive had more idle time. Overall the Corsair Force MP500 NVMe SSD gave an outstanding performance.

This concludes our review. To read the final thoughts and conclusion, click the link below....

 

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