Gen5 SSDs are coming. We have seen some of them already up in major retail stores. Today, let’s check out Crucial’s first and latest Gen5 SSD for the mainstream consumer – the Crucial T700 PCIe Gen5 NVMe M.2 SSD. I have the T700 with a heatsink and the T700 without a heatsink to test and review. The Crucial T700 features Micron’s 232-layer 3D TLC NAND and Phison’s E26 controller. It offers up to 12,400MB/s of sequential read speed and 11,800MB/s of sequential write speed. Are you interested in getting a Gen5 SSD, or are you still trying to decide whether you need one? Please continue reading our Crucial T700 Gen5 SSD review below and find out.
Crucial T700 PCIe Gen5 NVMe SSD 2TB Review
The Crucial T700 is the company’s first mainstream Gen5 SSD designed for enthusiasts, gamers, creators, and professionals. According to Crucial, it features Micron’s 232-layer TLC NAND flash that is nearly two times faster than the previous Gen4 performance. It also features Phison’s PS5026-E26 controller offering sequential speeds of up to 12,400MB/s reads and 11,800MB/s writes. It is also designed to support the full benefit of Microsoft DirectStorage technology and GPU decompression functionality that helps load high-resolution, detailed game textures and assets faster and maximize I/O performance.
Below are additional features and the T700’s specifications. After that, let’s look closer and see how this Gen5 SSD performs.
Crucial T700 SSD Features and Specifications
- Built with Micron 232-layer 3D TLC NAND
- PCIe® 5.0 and NVMe™ 2.0
- M.2 2280, Double-Sided
- Available in premium fan-less heatsink and non-heatsink
- Nearly 2x faster than the fastest PCIe Gen4 SSDs
- Sequential reads/writes up to 12,400/11,800MB/s
- Random read/writes up to 1.5M IOPS
- Spacious capacity options: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
- Micron LPDDR4 DRAM, 1GB per 1TB of NAND flash
- Phison® PS5026-E26 Controller
- Microsoft DirectStorage optimized with Phison® I/O+ technology
- Works with PCIe 5.0 desktops and workstations
- Backward compatible with PCIe 3.0 and 4.0
- 5-year limited warranty
- Dynamic SLC caching
- ~11% of total user capacity
- Redundant array of independent NAND (RAIN)
- Multi-layer data integrity algorithms
- Adaptive thermal protection
- Thermal throttling starts at 81˚C
- Thermal shutdown at 90˚C
- Data protection for power loss events
- Active garbage collection
- TRIM support
- Self-monitoring and reporting technology (SMART)
- Error correction code (ECC)
- Built-in security with AES256 encryption, TCG OPAL 2.01 support, and digitally signed firmware for secure field updates.
|Seq Reads (MB/s)||11,700||12,400||12,400|
|Seq Writes (MB/s)||9,500||11,800||11,800|
|Random Reads (K IOPS)||1,350||1,500||1,500|
|Random Writes (K IOPS)||1,400||1,500||1,500|
Packaging and Closer Look
Crucial’s packaging for the T700 is slightly different from its previous SSDs. You’ll notice a “Pro Series” logo at the top-right portion. This is Crucial’s latest lineup, and they also released a DDR5 and DDR4 Pro series memory kits. The box art features a grey color with a blue accent. You can see a photo of the product at the front, including the capacity and advertised speed.
The T700 with a heatsink variant has a slightly thicker box than the no-heatsink variant. If your motherboard has a heatsink for the M.2 SSD, buying the no-heatsink version is the better option. The T700 with a heatsink is slightly priced higher than the one with no heatsink.
The T700 without a heatsink has a thin copper heat spreader on its top-front portion. Meanwhile, at the bottom, there’s only a sticker label indicating its capacity and some additional information regarding the drive. Only get this one if your motherboard already has a heatsink for the M.2 SSD. Do not get this one if your motherboard doesn’t come with a heatsink for the M.2 SSD.
If your motherboard doesn’t have a heatsink for the M.2 SSD, Crucial offers a T700 with a premium heatsink. Although, as far as I know, most, if not all, motherboards that support a PCIe 5.0 NVMe M.2 SSD do come with a heatsink. If your motherboard has one, do not get the heatsink variant, as there is a chance you may damage the SSD if you try to remove the heatsink. Not to mention, you can save a few bucks by getting the no-heatsink variant.
Under the Heatsink
Crucial says the T700’s heatsink is a custom-designed premium heatsink in aluminum and nickel-plated copper for maximum airflow. It is built to maintain optimal temperature under high-performance workloads without the noise or failure risk of integrated fans.
Near the M.2 fingers is a Phison PS5026-E26 controller. It’s the hottest component in the SSD, and the T700 will not perform properly without a heatsink. The 2TB capacity has four Micron NV053 232-Layer TLC NAND flash chips and a single Micron D8CJG LPDDR4 DRAM for the cache.
I tested the Crucial T700 Gen5 SSD 2TB capacity on an X670E motherboard with an AMD Ryzen 7 7700X. I installed the drive on the first M.2 slot. The first M.2 slot, located just below the CPU socket, is connected to the CPU. Below are the rest of the system’s specifications:
|Operating System||Windows 11 Pro|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 7700X|
|Motherboard||MSI MPG X670E Carbon WiFi|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR5-6000MHz CL30 AMD EXPO|
|Graphics Card||MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio|
|OS Drive||MSI Spatium M480 Play|
|Game Drive||SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 and Extreme Portable SSD V2|
|Power Supply||MSI MPG A1000G PCIE5|
|Chassis||MSI MPG Velox 100P Airflow|
|Monitor||MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD 4K 144Hz|
Crucial T700 Gen5 SSD 2TB Benchmark Results
AJA Benchmark Results
Since this is the first Gen5 SSD I have tested, expect to see it at the top of the charts most of the time. The other SSDs in the charts are all Gen4 drives. So, when it comes to sequential speeds, these Gen4 SSDs are sure to be outperformed by the T700. As you can see from the results above, the T700 is about 50% faster in sequential read speed and almost double in sequential write speed compared to the Gen4 SSDs.
AS SSD Benchmark Results
We can see the same scenario on the AS SSD benchmark, where the T700 significantly outperforms the Gen4 SSDs during sequential read and write tests. However, during the random 4K read and write tests, the T700’s performance was a bit lackluster. It wasn’t that fast compared to the Gen4 SSDs in 4K random tests.
ATTO Disk Benchmark Results
ATTO Disk benchmark is purely a sequential test, and I was hoping it would hit the 12,400MB/s and 11,800MB/s advertised speeds with this benchmark test. However, I only got around 11,560MB/s sequential read and around 11,060MB/s sequential write. Nevertheless, the numbers that I got are close to the advertised speeds. To be fair, non of the drives reached their advertised speeds in this test.
CrystalDiskmark Benchmark Results
In the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, the Crucial T700 reached its advertised sequential speeds. However, similar to what we saw in AS SSD’s random tests, the Crucial T700’s 4K random performance is average and similar to most Gen4 SSDs. This means that these new Gen5 SSDs’ improvement is mostly in sequential speeds only. We have yet to see a significant improvement in random reads and writes.
PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark Results
Finally, I tested the Crucial T700 2TB Gen5 SSD using the PCMark 10 Full System drive benchmark suite. It is an intensive test and takes about an hour (or more) to finish. The test uses a wide-ranging set of real-world traces from popular applications (Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office) and everyday tasks to test modern drives’ performance thoroughly.
Overall, the Crucial T700 ended at the top of the charts and is the fastest-performing drive. As you can see, the T700 isn’t really that far from the fastest Gen4 SSD, like the Samsung 990 Pro. So, depending on how you use the drive, you may not see any huge difference. You may not even see any difference at all, especially if you’re using the drive for gaming or storage only. However, you may notice some improvement if you’re working with large media files, like (4K or 8K) videos or raw photos.
Don’t Use the T700 Without a Heatsink
Now, what happens if we use the T700 without a heatsink? I installed the non-heatsink variant without utilizing the motherboard’s heatsink. And here’s the result that I got:
While it was benchmarking the first sequential read test, it achieved its advertised speed. However, as it progressed, notice that the numbers went down significantly. And during the write tests, its speed was significantly throttled, much slower than a hard disk drive.
The T700’s temperature went up to around 83°C really fast, and it throttled the drive’s performance significantly. This is why you shouldn’t use a Gen5 SSD without a heatsink.
Pricing and Availability
The Crucial T700 Gen5 SSD series is now available. The T700 with no heatsink comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $179.99 (1TB), $339.99 (2TB), and $599.99 (4TB). Meanwhile, the T700 with heatsink variants comes with an MSRP of $209.99 (1TB), $369.99 (2TB), and $629.99 (4TB). SSD prices tend to change, so check out below for the up-to-date retail prices.
Crucial T700 Gen5 SSD Review Conclusion
We will see more of these Gen5 SSDs coming into the market from here. And expect to see some (crazy) heatsink designs just to keep the drive’s temperature at bay. Again, most of the motherboards that support Gen5 M.2 SSD come with a (pre-installed) heatsink. Unless the motherboard’s pre-installed heatsink is thin or non-existent, you’ll need the heatsink version. These Gen5 SSDs are fast, but they also run hot.
Crucial’s T700 sits at the top of the charts since we haven’t tested a competing Gen5 SSD yet. When it comes to sequential workloads, the T700’s performance is impressive. However, its random performance is just on par with most Gen4 SSDs.
Is it Worth it?
Unless you are working with large media files or primarily sequential workloads, its real-world use isn’t that really different compared to a Gen4 SSD. If you’re working with files that take advantage of sequential speeds, and time is money for you, then maybe yes, it is worth getting a Gen5 SSD.
However, I don’t see any real-world difference or advantage for most of us, even gamers. You do need a motherboard that can support Gen5 SSDs. So, if you don’t have one yet, an upgrade is required.
Nevertheless, it is nice to see SSD manufacturers pushing the limits with every generation. However, I hope we will see improvements in random performance as well, and not just in the sequential speeds. Random performance is important, especially when working with several file types and sizes.
Anyway, we will see more Gen5 SSDs coming in the following months, and Crucial may have the advantage of releasing their product ahead of the competition. For now, the T700 sits at the top. And if you are interested in adopting the new technology, the T700 Gen5 SSD is an excellent option.