It’s tricky to find a new desktop or motherboard that’s compatible with insanely fast PCIe 5.0 SSDs. But it’s even harder to find the drives themselves — a few months after the first examples became available to consumers, they’re still frequently sold out at pretty much all online listings. Hopefully the first Gen 5 drives from Corsair, one of the most prolific memory purveyors and a popular choice among gamers in particular, will help ease the crunch on these speedy new storage drives.
The MP700 is Corsair’s very first PCIe 5.0 SSD, available in the ubiquitous full-sized M.2 2280 format. Corsair claims 10GB/s read and write on the 2TB drive, typical of Gen 5 drives with their next-gen interface and NAND memory. The smaller drive is rated for 9.5GB/s and 8.5GB/s read and write, respectively. If your system isn’t quite ready for that, both drives are backwards compatible with Gen 4 and Gen 3 M.2 slots.
Despite the gaming focus, Corsair omits any bombastic coolers on its drives. Maybe that’s why the prices are surprisingly affordable: $170 for the 1TB drive and $290 for 2TB, shipping within one business day on Corsair’s online store (at least at the time I’m writing this). That may not sound like a bargain compared to, say, a $135 2TB Gen 4 drive, but that has approximately half the speed. Sadly, you might have to wait a year or two if you want a Gen 5 SSD that’s officially Jedi-approved.