Computex is about to get underway in Taipei, and first out of the gate are some new PCIe Gen 5 SSDs that finally live up to the spec’s promise of offering 14GB/s of bandwidth. Both MSI and TeamGroup have unveiled new M.2 SSDs capable of record-breaking SSD performance, and—surprise, surprise—both seem to require beefy air coolers. TeamGroup has also revealed an SSD water block to keep your storage chilly.
First up is the MSI Spatium M570 Pro SSD, which uses the Phison E26 controller. Yes, that controller did have a somewhat disastrous rollout recently, but Phison has remedied the situation, according to HotHardware. MSI says its new drive delivers 14GB/s sequential read speeds and 12GB/s sequential write speeds, at least in benchmarks. There’s not a ton of info about this SSD, but MSI does show it using a gigantic air cooler, which seems to be the new norm for Gen 5 SSDs—more on that below. The company didn’t offer any information on pricing, capacities, and availability. So it seems like it’s a paper launch, but more info might become available once the show starts on the 30th.
MSI’s new Gen 5 SSD is pretty fast, at least in benchmarks.
TeamGroup also unveiled its own PCIe 5.0 SSD, albeit with an InnoGrit IG5666 controller, which is a first. It is called the T-FORCE Z54A, and like MSI, it also posted a screenshot of CrystalDiskMark showing its sequential read/write performance. It’s capable of eclipsing 14GB/s in reads and about 11.5GB/s in writes, which is slightly faster than the MSI SSD in reads, and a tick slower in writes. It’s unclear if these speeds will be capable in actual retail drives or if this is just a technology demo. The new SSD also has a built-in low-power mode, which can preserve the SSD’s lifespan. Like MSI, it didn’t offer pricing, capacities, or availability information.
The days of your SSD riding naked in the PCIe slot seem to be over with the arrival of Gen 5 drives.
TeamGroup also unveiled three new air-cooling options for its Gen 5 SSDs, all of which are comically large. They’re called the DARK AirFlow Cooler Series, and they are all vertical heatsinks with small fans attached. As if that wasn’t enough, it also revealed an SSD water block that’s part of a new AIO cooler, so it cools both the CPU and SSD.
Now that we’re getting more info on these next-generation SSDs, we can see that their previous coverage was spot on. First, it was predicted over a year ago that they would require active cooling. It also seemed like they weren’t exactly “ready for prime time” back in January, and sadly that’s still the case now. There is no compelling reason to upgrade from a PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 drive, as the performance benefits won’t be useful in the real world for most people. Plus, add in the required cooling and associated noise from these small fans, and well, they just don’t seem worth it. Perhaps that’ll change in 2024, but for now, they remain more of a tech curiosity than a must-have upgrade.