Crucial is unveiling its latest addition to its Gen4 consumer NVMe SSD lineup today – the T500 PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD. It takes over flagship duties from the Crucial P5 Plus in this category. The company had started to put focus on the high-end consumer SSD segment earlier this year with the launch of the T700 Gen5 NVMe SSD – it was one of the first to offer more than 12 GBps read speeds. The company is now introducing a T-series drive in the Gen4 segment with similar flagship credentials – sequential read and write speeds of 7400 / 7000 MBps.
The Crucial T500 is one of the first consumer SSDs to utilize the Phison E25 controller launched last year. The Micron 232L 3D TLC NAND in the SSD has been in mass production for a few quarters now, allowing the company to price the product competitively. Similar to the T700, this drive is targeted towards gamers, content creators, and professional users. While PCIe 5.0 SSDs are slowly getting introduced into the market, Gen4 units are still a sweet spot in terms of system compatibility, price, and performance for many use-cases.
The T500 is launching in three capacities and two variants – a heatsink and non-heatsink one. The 500GB version comes in a non-heatsink SKU only, while the 1TB and 2TB ones come in both variants. Crucial is promising a 4TB version next year. The company indicated that the heatsink SKUs is low-profile enough to be be used in the PlayStation 5.
Phison has been pushing DirectStorage optimizations in its high-end controllers, and it is no surprise that the T500 advertises the use of Phison’s ‘I/O+ Technology’ to appeal to gamers. Given its high-performance nature, it is no surprise that the E25 controller needs to be equipped with DRAM for managing the flash translation layer (FTL). Crucial is using Micron LPDDR4 DRAM (1GB / TB of flash) in the T500 for this purpose.
|Crucial T500 Gen4 NVMe SSD Specifications
|Micron 232L 3D TLC NAND
|Single-Sided M.2-2280, PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 2.0
|Random Read IOPS
|Random Write IOPS
|Static / Dynamic (up to 20% of user capacity)
|TCG Opal Encryption
Flash pricing is quite low, with the memory industry being caught up in one of its downturns currently. While this has not been kind to the revenue numbers for the NAND flash / DRAM vendors, it has translated to excellent launch pricing for even flagship SSDs such as the Crucial T500 – starting from as low as 8.5¢/GB for the 2TB non-heatsink SKU.