Crucial Teases T700 PCIe Gen 5 SSD Line With Up To 4TB Of Blazing-Fast Storage

Crucial T700 SSD with heatsink on a some kind of sci-fi contraption.
Crucial is not hiding the fact that it's getting ready to release its first PCIe Gen 5 solid state drive for consumers under the T700 banner. Just the opposite, there's an official product page teasing "Crucial's Gen 5 SSD is almost here!," along with an option to provide your email to be notified once Micron's consumer brand begins accepting preorders. An early look suggests it will be slightly faster than TeamGroup's Cardea Z540.

The product portal also providers some preliminary specifications, which reveal that the T700 will be offered in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities. Read and write speeds sometimes vary a bit depending on the capacity, but a broad overview sets the stage for sequential reads to top out at 12,400MB/s (12.4GB/s) and sequential writes to hit 11,800MB/s (11.8GB/s).

To put those figures into perspective, the absolute fastest PCIe Gen 4 SSDs are rated to deliver sequential data transfers at up to around 7,600MB/s (7.6GB/s). The majority of the speediest previous-generation SSDs are closer to 7,000MB/s (7GB/s), like the Solidigm P44 Pro we reviewed, whereas the theoretical maximum throughput for PCIe 4.0 x4 is 7,880MB/s (7.88GB/s).

The shift to PCIe Gen 5 doubles the available bandwidth, at least in theory. In practice, it will take some time before SSD makers approach the upper echelon of available throughput—it requires a combination of controller and firmware tweaks, the right NAND flash memory chips, and cooling.

Of course, sequential read and write speeds will only get you so far. Crucial's site doesn't reveal the rated random 4K read and write ratings, though a leaked slide spills the beans. Have a look...

Snapshot of a Crucial page detailing the T700 SSD's specs.
Source: Crucial via @harukaze5719

Random 4K read and write performance is more meaningful for most everyday tasks, and that includes gaming. To that end, Crucial is providing IOPS data that shows 4K random reads and writes hitting 1,500,000 IOPS across the board, save for random 4K reads on the 1TB model, which is rated to deliver 1,200,000 IOPS.

While a PCIe Gen 5 platform is not required to run next-gen SSDs like the T700, one is needed to take full advantage of the speed capabilities. There's good and bad news there. The bad news is that PCIe Gen 5 SSDs are on the pricey side in the early going and we'd be surprised if the T700 was an exception. We'll have to wait and see.

The good news, however, is that you're not likely to notice a difference in real-world performance (outside of benchmarking) between a PCIe Gen 5 and Gen 4 SSD. Even a SATA-based SSD will make Windows feel fast compared to a mechanical hard disk drive. This is true even for gaming, though that will eventually change as developers take better advantage of Microsoft's DirectStorage API.

Though we have to wait for pricing and a release date, the Crucial T700 SSD is confirmed to be available with and without a chunky passive heatsink (you can go the third-party route if you want a standalone heatsink with a cooling fan).