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Without A Heatsink, Crucial’s T700 PCIe 5.0 SSD Reportedly Slows To HDD Speeds


PCIe 5.0 solid-state drives are the most recent component that computer do-it-yourselfers are required to attach a fan to in order to keep the stated level of speedy performance. There is already a great deal of evidence that this is the case; but, in a recent post on social media, ComputerBase has highlighted just how negatively thermals may harm even the most modern storage. If the storage device is allowed to operate in its natural state, without a cooler, the testing done by the German technology website on a brand new Crucial T700 shows that data transfer speeds can slow down to levels that are comparable to those of older HDDs. During that time, we made note of the fact that this PCIe 5.0 x4 reference design featured an innovative type of heatsink that was equipped with an active fan.

Phison assured us in January that “the cooler is absolutely not required,” but the fact that it was still there made us raise one or both of our eyebrows. M.2 NVMe SSDs from previous generations did not require such attachments in order to carry out their day-to-day responsibilities with aplomb. ComputerBase was curious about the performance of its Crucial T700 review sample, so the company decided to do the test without using a cooler. Their interest is warranted given the prevalence of computer users who do not actively participate in fanless or passive gaming. In addition, customers who want a model of the Crucial T700 that comes with the regular cooler will need to shell out an additional thirty dollars.

If you decide to forego the cooling solution offered by Crucial, it is clear that this indicates you should utilize your own cooling solution instead of simply going without one. You can see some system info tools and a CrystalDiskMark test that was done on a PC system carrying a bare Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 SSD in the screenshot that is located at the top of this page. After doing the first disk read test, it was clear that the SSD’s performance had been drastically reduced due to the activation of the thermal throttling feature. The remaining tests all resulted in transfers of 0.1GB/s or slower, which was quite a letdown after the original test, which read at an astounding 12GB/s. The performance is excruciatingly slow for something as complex and eagerly anticipated as this new piece of modern storage technology.

Remember that the removal of the OEM cooler is the sole cause of this severe performance throttling, and customers would not normally suffer such poor performance with Crucial’s cooler installed or with their own third-party solution in place. Users of the Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 SSD might take some solace in the fact that the heat throttling did not bring the drive to a complete and total standstill. This go-slow behavior is preferable to the similar performance of the Corsair MP700 SSD, which was covered in yesterday’s article. It is possible for the SSD manufactured by Corsair, which is also designed with a Phison E26 controller and utilizes Micron 232-layer 3D TLC NAND flash, to enter a thermal shutdown state under specific conditions.

Our speculation is that the proprietary firmware developed by Crucial has a more effective temperature curve management system. Phison has released updated software for the E26 controller partners it works with, which should be to everyone’s benefit. The aforementioned Corsair and Crucial are only two of the companies that have implemented this heated controller for their NVMe PCIe 5.0 SSDs. Other companies that have done so include ADATA, Gigabyte, and countless others.