Crucial T700 Review: The Fastest PCIe 5 SSD For Enthusiasts

Crucial T700 Review: More Benchmarks, Gaming Tests And The Verdict

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EFD Software's HD Tune is described on the company's website as such: "HD Tune is a hard disk utility with many functions. It can be used to measure the drive's performance, scan for errors, check the health status (S.M.A.R.T.), securely erase all data and much more." The latest version of the benchmark added temperature statistics and improved support for SSDs, among a few other updates and fixes.

HDTune v5.75 Benchmarks

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Note that these charts are sorted by write performance. That said, the Crucial T700 offered the highest throughput overall and among the best latency characteristics as well.

CrystalDiskMark x64 Benchmarks

CrystalDiskMark is a synthetic benchmark that tests both sequential and random small and mid-sized file transfers using incompressible data. It provides a quick look at best and worst case scenarios with regard to SSD performance, best case being larger sequential transfers and worse case being small, random transfers.

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Yet again the Crucial T700 leads the pack in terms of sequential transfers, at least at in the Q8T1 test. At Q1T1, the T700 leads in the read test, but just ever so slightly misses the marks set by the other E26-based drives. 

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In CrystalDiskMark's random transfer tests, the Crucial T700 lands about in the middle of the pack overall, but the deltas separating these high-end drives is relatively small.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Game Level Load Times

We also tested game level load times using the Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker benchmark. This tool loads an array of different game levels during its graphics benchmark and outputs the average result when complete.

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Although the margin of victory is slim, the Crucial T700 takes the top spot yet again, edging out the Samsung SSD 990 Pro and other Phison E26-based drives by a fraction of second in the Final Fantasy load-time tests.

UL's 3DMark Gaming Storage Benchmark

UL recently added a gaming-centric storage benchmark to 3DMark, that leverages trace-based tests of actual PC games and gaming-related activities (like streaming with OBS) to measure real-world gaming performance in a variety of scenarios. The tests include things like loading Battlefield V, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and Overwatch from the initial launch to the main menu, recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS while playing Overwatch, installing The Outer Worlds and saving game progress. And finally, copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive from one drive to another.

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All of the results in the 3DMark Storage test are sorted based on the drives' overall scores. Here, the Crucial T700 leads all of the retail drives and trails only Phison's E26 reference platform.

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Save for the "Move Game" test, the Crucial T700's latency results in the 3DMark Storage Benchmarks are among the best overall as well.

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The overall score shows the Crucial T700 outgunning Corsair's MP700 and clearly leading the PCIe Gen 4 drives from Samsung and ADATA (Innogit).

UL's PCMark 10 System Drive Storage Test

We like PCMark 10's new quick storage benchmark module for its real-world application measurement approach to testing. PCMark offers a trace-based measurement of system response times and bandwidth under various scripted workloads of traditional client / desktop system use cases.

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PCMark 10's storage benchmark also had the Crucial T700 leading the pack. In PCMark's trace-based tests, which are a good indicator of typical consumer-class workloads, the Crucial T700 takes the pole position, outrunning all of the other drives we tested.

Crucial T700 PCIe Gen 5 SSD: The Verdict

The Crucial T700 is the best all-around performing SSD we have tested to date. Micron brings its own bleeding-edge NAND flash to Phison’s current-flagship E26 PCIe Gen 5 controller with fantastic results. The Crucial T700 clearly led the pack in terms of sequential transfers, and offered highly competitive random 4K transfers and latency, and class-leading game and productivity performance.

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The only real drawbacks to the Crucial T700 are the need for adequate cooling, which shouldn’t be an issue in any properly-configured, enthusiast-class system. As long as there’s some sort of heatsink or heat-plate attached and some air-flow in the rig, the Crucial T700 should perform optimally. The Crucial T700 also commands somewhat of a price premium. The 2TB model with heatsink has an MSRP of $369, but hit Amazon today for about $400-$405; the non-heatsink model is about $20-$25 less at $380. At MSRP that works out to about $0.18 per gigabyte, which is markedly higher than a competing drive like the Corsair MP700 (2TB, $289 MSRP). We expect street prices to ultimately settle a little lower once availability ramps, but the Crucial T700 will require spending a few additional bucks.

All that said, if you’re building a top-end system and want the fastest, single M.2 SSD money can buy, the Crucial T700 is it. This drive is a speed demon.

Tags:  SSD, Micron, Crucial, nvme, t700

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