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Micron Crucial T700 Review: A Hot PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD that Screams Speed

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The Crucial T700, officially available today, is Micron's first PCIe 5.0 NVMe solid-state drive and one of the firsts on the market, and it more than meets the great expectations in performance -- easily the fastest SSD to date.

But that comes with a few catches.

The new drive is expensive, slated to retail in the US at $179.99, $339.99, and $599.99 for 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, respectively. That's when you get it "naked" -- add $30 more for the heatsink version. And it would be best if you got the heatsink -- the T700 runs extremely hot otherwise.

Here's the bottom line: The T700 is wickedly fast. But it might not be worth the current cost, especially considering the matching hardware requirements, namely a motherboard supporting an Intel 13th Gen or AMD Ryzen 7000 CPU and DDR5 RAM.

If you're building a new latest-generation desktop, this is the NVMe SSD to include. For existing systems with PCIe 4.0 (or even PCIe 3.0), it'll work, albeit without the intended performance impact.

Micron Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD with boxes
The new Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD is available in heatsink and no-heatsink versions.

Crucial T700: An incredible performance upgrade to the P1

I pick the P1 deliberately. It's Micron's PCIe 3.0 SSD that preceded the company's Crucial P5 Plus, which is a PCIe 4.0 drive.

In real-world experience, the jump from PCIe 3.0 to PCIe 5.0 is much more acute. It's a leap instead of an increment.

So, considering the cost, the T700 makes a worthy purchase for those with a computer that runs on a PCIe 3.0 NVMe drive. Chances are the machine has depreciated enough to justify a complete upgrade to PCIe 5.0 hardware.

On the other hand, if you have PCIe 4.0 machine and get this SSD as a storage upgrade, you'll notice a less satisfying improvement, mostly because PCIe 4.0 SSDs are already remarkably fast. I'm talking about how to feel that bang for your buck -- it doesn't hurt to use the T700, regardless.

The table below shows the differences between the Crucial T700 and the previous PCIe 4.0 Crucial P5 Plus.

Crucial T700 vs Crucial P5 Plus: Hardware specifications

Micron Crucial T700 Micron Crucial P5 Plus
Capacities1TB, 2TB, 4TB 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Interface PCIe 5.0 x4
 NVMe 2.0
(compatible with PCIe 4.0/3.0)
PCIe 4.0 x4
NVMe 1.3c
(compatible with PCIe 3.0)
Design M.2 (2280)  M.2 (2280) 
ControllerPhison PS5026-E26Crucial home-grown
NAND Flash MemoryMicron 232-layer TLC NANDMicron Advanced 3D NAND 
Security AES-256 encryption, TCG Opal 2.01AES 256-bit encryption, 
TCG OPAL 2.0
Sequential Read
(up to)
2TB, 4TB: 12,400MB/s
1TB: 11,700MBps
6600MB/s
Sequential Write
(up to)
2TB, 4TB: 11,800MB/s
1TB:
9,500 MBps
2TB, 1TB: 5000MB/s
500GB: 4000MB/s
Random Read
(IOPS)
2TB, 4TB: 1,500K
1TB:
1,350K
2TB: 720K
1TB: 630K IOPS
500GB: 360K
Random Write
(IOPS)
2TB, 4TB: 1,500K
1TB: 1,400K
700K
Endurance 
(Terabyte Written)
600TBW (1TB)
1200TBW (2TB)
2400TBW (4TB)
1200TBW (2TB)
600TBW (1TB)
300TBW (500GB)
SoftwareCrucial Storage ExecutiveCrucial Storage Executive
Release DateMay 30, 2023August 3, 2021
Cost
(at launch)
$179.99 (1TB)
$339.99 (2TB)
$599.99 (4TB)
(add $30 for the heatsink versions)
$80 (500GB)
$140 (1TB)
$310 (2TB)
Warranty 5 years 5 years
Hardware specifications: Crucial T700 vs Crucial P5 Plus

A familiar drive that’s more

As you might have noted from the table above, the Crucial T700 is similar to its older PCIe 4.0 brother, plus double the performance.

At the core, this is a standard M.2 NVMe SSD that will work in the place where any NVMe SSD is used, but you need PCIe 5.0 support to get the best out of it.

Micron Crucial T700 SSD Storage Executive Micron Crucial T700 SSD Over Provisioning
The Crucial T700's Storage Executive dashboard software has lots to offer.

Like previous Crucial drives, the T700 includes helpful Storage Executive dashboard software (available for Windows and Linux). The application allows users to access the SSD's features, such as managing its security, Over-provisioning, firmware, and more.

Additionally, there's also a rebrand version of Acronis True Image for drive cloning and backup purposes.

So if you have used a Crucial SSD before, or any SSD for that matter, you'll feel right at home with the new T700.

Crucial T700: Detail photos

Micron Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD retail boxes
Here are Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD's retail boxes.

Micron Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD Includes two versionsMicron Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD
The two are the same, but the heatsink version is much bulkier. It's so thick it won't fit inside a laptop.

Micron Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD is thickMicron Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD Heatsink
The heatsink helps keep the T700 cool and is generally required. It would be best to have a separate heatsink with the "naked" version.

Micron Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD in action
Here are the Crucial T700 naked and heatsink versions on my testbed. The former (bottom) would crash now and then due to overheating unless I covered it with a piece of metal to cool it down. That happened even when I used it with a PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot.

Crucial T700: Fastest NVMe SSD to date

The Crucial T700 is easily the fastest SSD I've tested to date. But since it's the first PCIe 5.0 drive I've used, that didn't mean it was the fastest among its peers. That remains to be seen.

Micron Crucial T700 Sequential Copy Performance
The Micron Crucial T700's sequential (copy) performance

What's important is that I was consistently impressed during the month-long trial. The drive made my newly-built PCIe 5.0 rig -- a Ryzen 7000 machine based on an ASUS Prime B650M-A-CSM board -- a pleasure to work with.

The system booted almost instantly each time, and everything felt faster. And I moved to it from many other top-tier PCIe 4.0 SSDs.

In terms of throughput performance, the T700 consistently topped the charts. I didn't test it with PCIe 3.0 since I no longer had a computer with that standard, but it's safe to say it'll be at least slightly faster than any legacy SSD on an old motherboard.

Micron Crucial T700 Random Access Performance
The Micron Crucial T700's random access performance

The Crucial T700 was fast even during long operations, such as when I copied over 100GB of data back and forth. It didn't throttle down.

And that brings us to how this new SSD is still far from perfect.

The extreme heat

I tested the T700's 2TB capacity using a naked and a heatsink version. While the latter worked with no issues, the non-heatsink drive would crash -- a thermal shutdown -- every five or 10 minutes when used as-is due to the extreme heat it produced.

Starting with PCIe 4.0, NVMe SSDs can get quite hot. But the naked T700 would get so hot in heavy operation that I could not rest my finger on it for over a second. And it got to that point quickly, within a minute or so while under high load.

In short, you can't use the naked T700 reliably without a heat-reducing solution. The good news is that many computers include heat-dissipating metal covers or thermal pads for their M.2 slots.

In my case, a simple metal cover was enough for the naked T700 to work without crashing on my open testbed. Your luck will vary if you have a computer with tight internal parts, such as a laptop.

It's worth noting that I tested the Crucial T700 using pre-release firmware. Future versions will generally improve the drive's functions. Still, if you use PCIe 4.0 or later SSDs, keep the heat issue in mind.

Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 SSD's Rating

8.2 out of 10
Micron Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSDs
Performance
9.5 out of 10
Features
8 out of 10
Value
7 out of 10

Pros

Screaming performance with PCIe 5.0 or 4.0

Helpful Storage Executive software with useful settings and features

5-year warranty

Cons

Expensive

Runs hot

Conclusion

Micron's Crucial T700 is an exciting NVMe SSD. At the very least, it shows how PCIe 5.0 is a game-changer in performance.

But the new standard doesn't come without a price. And by that, I mean more than the drive's current hefty cost. The heat issue can be prohibitive in certain applications, and you'll likely need a new computer to experience the drive's true performance.

Still, for desktops and game consoles, as long as your rig has a good heat-reduction solution or if you get the heatsink version of the drive, this new little SSD is a performance delight.

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10 thoughts on “Micron Crucial T700 Review: A Hot PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD that Screams Speed”

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  1. When you said, “boot almost instantly”, how many seconds does it take to boot to Windows desktop compare to PCIe 4.0 SSD?

    Reply
    • It was literally instantly after the bios process. I’d say maybe a second or two faster. It’s impossible to measure, since the process depends on the configuration of Windows.

      Reply
    • I litterally use the M.2 cover plate of a PCIe 4.0 motherboard, Alex. I put it loosely on top since my testbed is an open system as pictured. And that was enough. So if you get a motherboard of which the M.2 slot has a metal cover — most do — you’re all set. Else, get the heatsink version.

      Reply
    • You can be a little more sure by sending me a gift card for the drive so I can purchase it, Jeff, better yet including something extra for my time. Wondering is generaly for those who want something for nothing. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Hey Dong, some text got chopped off by β€œd several” at start of paragraph –
    Wow. That is a beast of NVMe. The world has come a long way from 5.2k RPM πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Fixed. Thanks, David. You can use the typo report next time — highlight the text and hit the red box that jumps out. 😳

      Reply
  3. I just bought a 2TB Samsung 990 Pro for $150. Almost as fast for half the price.

    Hopefully in a year or two the new x5 drives will be more affordable- doesn’t seem worth the price difference at the moment.

    Reply

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