Corsair MP600 Pro LPX full review
Anyone reading this review might be wondering if Corsair launched the MP600 Pro over a year ago? Yes, they did, and for various reasons, we didn’t review it then.
That product got a reasonable response elsewhere, with the one caveat that the size of the heat spreader Corsair glued to it meant that it wouldn’t fit in the NVMe bay of the Sony PS5. Since almost every PS5 owner is eager to enhance the internal storage, the original MP600 Pro design represented a missed opportunity for Corsair.
Now, a year on, it has come up with the LPX model to fix that issue, and according to Corsair, it has bundled some changes to improve performance.
Do these changes make the new LPX a more desirable SSD than the vanilla MP600 Pro, or is this design only of interest to console owners?
Design & Build
The original MP600 Pro had a distinctive black design with a 15mm high profile created by a chunky aluminium heatsink. That made it too large to fit into the Sony PS5 NVMe slot, although it was acceptable for use on most PCs.
Realising this limitation, the new MP600 Pro LPX has a redesigned heatsink that reduces that height by 4mm, almost a third, though it also reduces the surface area available for cooling.
What I like about this design is that it incorporates screws enabling the heatsink to be detached, ideal for those that might have cooling as part of their motherboard. In physical respects, the LPX is the same length and width as the original model.
One change I noticed was that the branding on the original was in the middle of the heatsink. The placement of the branding placement presumed, as is generally the case on a PC motherboard, that the edge connector is to the right.
On the LPX, if used on a PC, the lettering will be upside down. On a PS5, it will be correctly orientated. Not sure why Corsair bothered to do this, as it is more likely to be seen through a transparent side panel of a PC than buried inside a PS5 chassis.
If those were the only changes in this product, we probably wouldn’t have reviewed it but under the surface, Corsair has made other adjustments that might make the LPX the MP600 Pro desirable.
The quoted TBW (total bytes written) for the LPX doesn’t fit the usual model we’ve come to expect. Conventionally, as the drive increases capacity, the TBW increases proportionally.
But Corsair quotes 350-, 700-, 1400- and 3000TBW for the 500-, 1000-, 2000- and 4000GB drives. Why the biggest drive gets 3000- and not 2800TBW is a little confusing, but those are the quoted numbers nevertheless.
These aren’t numbers that would concern most users, but they are less than those being offered by others. The Kingston KC3000 has 400TBW, 800TBW, 1.6PBW and 3.2PBW for the same capacities, using the same Phison controller and underlying NAND.
And for those that intend to push their drives to the endurance limits, the Seagate FireCuda 530 is rated for 5,100TBW on its 4TB capacity drives.
I should say, however, that these are all theoretical limits, and it's not possible to thrash multiple LPXs to the point of expiry to find out how realistic these numbers truly are.
The bottom line is that Corsair offers a five-year warranty on all LPX models, strongly suggesting that it doesn’t expect a significant number of failures with this series.
The Phison PS5018-E18 controller has quickly emerged as the path of least resistance for any company wanting to make a Gen4 NVMe SSD that doesn’t use DRAM to enhance its cache performance.
The Kingston KC3000 and Seagate FireCuda 530 use this controller, and they’re right at the top of our performance charts.
My results were coloured somewhat by the review sample size, as according to Corsair, the 2TB and 4TB models are faster at writing than the 1TB sample I received.
Cutting to the chase, the performance of the LPX is decent, with headline read speeds above 7,350MB/s and write speeds around 5,900MB/s when using the default profile in CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 and 1GB file size.
Increasing the file size to 32GB had almost no impact, and write performance in the real-world profile was still around 5,700MB/s. The CrystalDiskMark real-world profile results are as good as those from the KC3000 I tested, and that was a 2TB model.
These are backed up by equally impressive ATTO speeds, with 6.94GB/s reads and 5.5GB/s writes achieved.
This drive uses the same SLC mode cache technique as the KC3000, dynamically converting free space into cache and recovering that space when possible. This technique defers exhausting the cache where a dramatic decline in write speed would occur.
How this has been implemented on the LPX has enhanced its consistency considerably, and I noticed this on PCMark 10 tests.
Based on other scores I’ve seen, the 2TB and 4TB options would be even better than the admirable results I got with the 1TB model. Conversely, I’d avoid the 500GB option due to the significantly slower quoted write performance.
I also noted that even with a smaller heatsink on this design, this still delivers sufficient cooling to stop the drive throttling even with minimum airflow.
Overall, the LPX is a much better drive than I anticipated, and Corsair pushing it almost exclusively for console use might be underselling its numerous strong points.
As I alluded to in my recent KC3000 review, the price hikes by TSMC are now impacting retail products, even if the devices don’t specifically use its silicon.
The Corsair MSRP for the MP600 Pro LPX in US dollars is $109.99, $189.99, $369.99, and $784.99 for the 500-, 1000-, 2000- and 4000GB models respectively.
In the UK, the MSRP is £104.99, £179.99, £354.99, and £744.99 respectively.
At the time of writing, most online retailers are very close to these prices. Once past the launch phase, I’d expect these prices to adjust in line with demand. For comparison, the original MP600 Pro 1TB costs £149.99 on the UK Amazon.
Some signs of this downward pressure are already apparent, as I found the 2TB capacity LPX for less than £300 and the 500GB model for £79.99 at one UK online retailer.
The LPX is generally cheaper than the Seagate FireCuda 530, Samsung 980 Pro, Sabrent Rocket Plus and WD Black SN850, especially at the larger capacities. It’s often undercut by its older MP600 Pro brother, though incredibly at some retailers, it is cheaper.
Check out our chart of the best SSDs to see all your options.
Corsair is making much of the LPX as a drive explicitly made for the Sony PS5, and for that job, it is probably over specified. But, what’s concerning about this is that this drive is better than the PS5 can fully exploit, and a better home for it is a PC, where some of the tweaks that Corsair made can truly shine.
If the PCIe Gen 4 drive has performance levels better than those specified by Sony for the PS5, the difference between this and other Gen 4 drives in terms of speed isn’t a significant factor in the user experience.
However, on the PC, the firmware enhancements on the LPX has delivered a drive with good all-around performance and excellent consistency.
That performance profile coupled with support for hardware encryption and realistic pricing makes the LPX desirable for a much wider range of potential customers.
For PS5 owners, the LPX now fits in your console and has more than enough performance to launch games rapidly. For those buyers, it will more than likely come down to the price, as for a 2TB or 4TB capacity drive the LPX is easily more affordable than the Seagate FireCuda 530 with a heatsink.
PC users looking for optimal write performance should stump for the 2TB or 4TB models, rather than the smaller models.
Corsair MP600 Pro LPX: Specs
- Capacities: 500GB, 1000GB, 2000GB and 4000GB
- Colour: Black
- Controller: Phison E18-PS5018
- Flash Memory: 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L NAND
- Dimensions: (L x W x H): 80 x 23 x 11 mm
- Weight: 38 g
- Interface: M.2 NVMe PCI slot (PCIe Gen4, downgradable to Gen3, Gen2 and Gen1)
- Quoted Sequential Read (for all capacities): 7,100MB/s Quoted Sequential Write (500GB, 1TB, 2TB,4TB): 3,700MB/s, 5,800MB/s, 6,800MB/s and 6,800MB/s MB/s
- Quoted Random Read/Write IOPS (500GB, 1TB, 2TB,4TB): 435K/615K, 900K/1,200K, 1000K/1200K and 1000K/1200K
- Total Bytes Written (500GB, 1TB, 2TB,4TB): 350TB, 700TB, 1,400TB and 3,000TB. Warranty: 5 years
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