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I was blown away by this blazingly fast Crucial SSD, and it's $100 off right now

Whether you're building a new PC or upgrading an existing one, if you're looking for performance, this is the drive for you -- especially while prices are slashed.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Crucial T700 Pro Series SSDs, both with heatsink (top) and without

Crucial T700 Pro Series SSDs, both with heatsink (top) and without.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Fast, reliable storage is key to a top-performing system. You can throw all your money at processors, RAM, and graphics cards, but if your storage drive is slow, that bottleneck will slow down your entire system. 

There are only a few hard drive (HDD) and solid-state drive (SSD) manufacturers that I trust, and at the top of that short list is Crucial. I've been buying Crucial RAM and storage for years, and it's never let me down (and when that day comes, I'll be glad of the company's excellent warranty).

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With this in mind, I was eager and excited to test out Crucial's new T700 Pro Series NVMe SSD, which is the "fastest Gen5 SSD on the planet". 

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Crucial T700 Series tech specs

  • Interface: PCIe Gen 5.0 x4, NVMe 2.0
  • Architecture: 232-layer TLC NAND
  • Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB
  • Speed (read/write, MB/s): 1TB - 11,700/9,500 | 2TB & 4TB - 12,400/11,800
  • SSD endurance (TBW): 1TB - 600TB | 2TB - 1200TB | 4TB - 2400TB
  • Cooling: Heatsink and non-heatsink versions available
  • Warranty: 5-year limited warranty
  • Price: Ranging from $179 for the 1TB non-heatsink version, to $581 for the 4TB heatsink version

You have two choices to make when buying a T700 Series SSD -- how much storage do you need, and do you want the version with the heatsink or not?

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If your motherboard features M.2 drive heatsinks (or you want to buy third-party ones) then the non-heatsink version will work. If not, go for the one with the heatsink. I've tested both versions, and the variant with the heatsink does an absolutely amazing job of keeping the drive cool and operating at the fastest speeds possible.

The heatsink on the T700 Series is massive

The heatsink on the T700 Series is massive.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

But what about that claim of the drive being the "fastest Gen5 SSD on the planet?" That's a bold claim.

But does the T700 Series SSD deliver?

In a word, yes. 

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I tested the 2GB versions of these drives, and in my benchmark tests using CrystalDiskMark I could get read and write speeds that fell within 10% of the rated speed. Now, 10% might seem like a lot, but it's more than acceptable when it comes to real-world testing.

This is a blazingly fast drive. Absolutely blistering in every sense (well, apart from in the heat sense!).

If you plan on using the non-heatsink version, you'll have to supply your on heatsink

If you plan on using the non-heatsink version, you'll have to supply your own heatsink.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Combine the speed with support for Microsoft's DirectStorage technology -- which allows games to load faster by streamlining the access to data on the drive, allowing the GPU to render high-resolution textures up to 60% faster with up to 99% less CPU utilization -- and this drive is the perfect choice for gamers looking to get more performance from their hardware.

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As for long-term reliability, only time will tell, but Crucial (and parent company, Micron) have a fantastic track record in my experience, and there's always that five-year limited warranty to fall back on if the worst comes to the worst. 

Right now, you can get up to up to $100 off the T700 Series SSD

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