Corsair's new 1.6 TB Neutron NX500 PCIe SSD is fast, sexy, and durable
Corsair’s NX500 line of high-performance PCIe based solid-state drives has been expanded with the launch of a new 1600 GB (1.6 TB) model to accompany the current 400 GB and 800 GB offerings. The sleek enclosure looks more akin to the design of a graphics card than a typical PCIe SSD. It is a single-slot card with a low-profile design at 21 mm (0.83 inches) thick and 165 mm (6.50 inches) long. A large part of that thickness is due to the heatsink on the front of the card.
The NX500 achieves blazing speeds with sequential read up to 3000 MB/s, and sequential write up to 2300 MB/s, although this write speed is slightly slower than the smaller versions. 4K IOPS are reasonably healthy with 300k/270k read/write, but these are lacking when compared to something like the Samsung 960 Pro (m.2) which gets IOPS up to 440k/360k read/write when tested with a queue depth of 32. To drive all this Corsair uses a Phison E7 controller rather than alternatives like SandForce or Marvell.
The flash storage used is 15 nm MLC NAND from Toshiba. MLC has a higher endurance than TLC, and we assume the Phison E7 controller might have had an update in the way it handles wear leveling, because Corsair is proudly stating a rated write-endurance of 2793 TB. That is four times higher than both smaller models, and 2.3 to 3.5 times higher (2 TB model and 1 TB model respectively) than the TLC based Samsung 960 Pro. A five-year warranty is in place to back up these endurance claims.
The only thing putting a damper on this SSD is the price of roughly US$1 per GB. Corsair is listing the 1.6 TB NX500 at US$1575 (EU€1770 in Europe), limiting these to a very niche audience.