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FRONTPAGE Corsair MP600 Core Mini 2TB NVMe M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD Review

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Nov 1, 1998
Mobile devices like ultrabooks, tablets, and handheld gaming consoles are getting more popular each year. Even if we look only at handheld consoles, a year ago, we had one popular option: Steam Deck. Right now, there is also ASUS ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion GO, and soon MSI will join with their new product. Most of consoles and other devices are sold with lower capacity or simply slower storage, so it's not a surprise that many owners think about replacing the storage, which more often is M.2 SSD in a user-friendly and tiny 2230 form factor. For those users, Corsair designed the reviewed today MP600 Core Mini at a high 2TB capacity.
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Even though TLC NAND would be better, in reality, it affects mainly the TBW factor. For those small QLC SSDs, it's quite low. On the other hand, they're designed for mobile devices, which are not writing a lot, so they should still last a couple of years.
I had to skip tests on Steam Deck as every M.2 2230 SSD is limited and it would give misleading results. However, I can confirm that at least on Steam Deck, it doesn't really matter if SSD is TLC or QLC. In a direct comparison between MP600 Mini (TLC) and MP600 Core Mini (QLC), it's hard to say which one is faster. The Core version is surprisingly fast in some tests, as you could see in the review. QLC SSDs are also available at 2TB capacity and soon probably 4TB too, while TLC are almost only up to 1TB.
I'm assuming it has an SLC Cache to aid in performance. Most TLC NAND drives do these days.
All SSDs have an SLC cache nowadays. However, depending on the drive, the size is different, and some show performance drops earlier. On QLC, performance drops are like 2GB/s+ to 100-300MB/s. On TLC, it's not so much. MP600 Core Mini has a large cache for QLC 2230 SSD. To see the performance drop, you have to write a lot of data. It's hard to see in daily usage.
D'awww it's so cute. Whosagooddrive? WHOSAGOODDRIVE?

Honestly though this form factor is great for Ultrabooks and such. Had a little 12" X220 in college that I dropped a 64gb mSATA Mushkin SSD in. Having a second internal drive I can sync classwork to helped relieve some of the early SSD day jitters.

(Remember, the cloud is just someone else's computer :chair:)
i saw how big it was and started thinking, they should do a raid 1+0 or is it 0+1 m.2 stick.
i saw how big it was and started thinking, they should do a raid 1+0 or is it 0+1 m.2 stick.
Believe me, I was already thinking about the same thing :) However, a single 2280 SSD from the top series would be faster than 2230 in RAID. In most cases, single top 2280 series are faster in random operations than any RAID0/10 SSD. RAID helps mainly in sequential bandwidth and may boost IOPS on good hardware RAID controllers, but mainly in multitasking.
If SSDs were scaling better in RAID, then it would be a great idea to stack 8+ 2230. On desktop motherboards, DMI's max bandwidth will usually limit the max RAID bandwidth, even in sequential operations. I was already checking that on 5x 2280 SSD, and they're not scaling well. Usually, above 3 SSDs, random low queue 4K bandwidth is even getting worse.
i was thinking more the parity of it all but if they made it a 4tb with 4tb parity. longevity would be increased, we have maxed out bw every time a new PCIE revision comes out on performance m.2's. i still just use sata-III ssd's, for me i do not need the higher bw. i just can not fathom needing 1TB/ps bw needed for a gaming rig. things will always advance in pc hardware. i am not sure what kind of shift is going to have to happen to where using this extra speed is going to come into play out side of video editing or any kind of rendering. That would need not only a high end/workstation gpu but the high bw PCIE 3.0/PCIE4.0 provides to these M.2 drives. I was still using a 80gb seagate ATAIV drive when ocz released the vertex slc drives. now keep in mind i bought that 80gb drive when seagate launched that line. it went though so many upgrades i lost count, it was my OS drive. i still have it some where, i could/should do a drive health check on it. maybe i got extremely lucky with that driver that i never had any problems with it. i really can not tell you how many times i have reformatted that drive. i have always had a 2nd drive to keep my games and anything else i wanted to store. simply out of the fact that if the only drive i had, died, i lose every thing. i would have still ran that risk with the 2nd drive it still was a better chance of not losing it all. there was no way i was going to pay out the nose back then for scsi raid array or chance the cheap unstable ide raid cards.
I noticed that RAID 1 on a fast M.2 SSD is about as fast as on a single SSD. On budget or DRAM-less SSD, write bandwidth is lower in RAID 1. I see the point of RAID 1 if you have a PC that needs to work without breaks. It's still good to have backup.
In most cases, for a home/gaming PC, the best is to have a pretty average SSD or 2x in RAID 1 for OS and a separate single but fast SSD for games. Any SSD is still good for OS boot and once OS files are loaded to RAM, then other things work about as fast on lower and higher series SSDs. For gaming storage, the sequential bandwidth doesn't matter much (assuming it's still at least an average SSD), but a single SSD has faster access time and random low queue bandwidth than RAID. In short, it loads a lot of small files faster. It counts more in online games as in single player titles, it doesn't matter if you wait 1-2 seconds more or have little delay once in a while.

What I like since the last, maybe 2 years, are fast DRAM-less SSDs. It's mainly because they run at up to ~50°C, use low power, are cheaper, and are not much slower than the top SSD series. I say that based on PCIe 4.0 x4, as something like Acer Predator GM7 or Patriot VP4300 Lite has been working in my PCs for some months with pretty good results. Regular higher series M.2 SSDs are almost always overheating on ITX/sandwich-type mount motherboards. DRAM-less SSDs are not. The only new SSD with DRAM that runs at low temps is probably Crucial T500. It also performs some tasks like PCIe 5.0 SSDs (PCMark 10 storage tests were not much worse than on T700 SSD). This is also why I was thinking about 4x M.2 on the Minisforum mobo.