Crucial T705 2TB Gen5 NVMe M.2 SSD Review: Cozying Up To The Limit

Reviews, Storage

Many paths may guide a PC builder’s storage choice but for us it comes down to two: Do we want to save money or go as fast as possible? Crucial’s T500 already had us covered on the money-saving path with a drive that’s faster than other budget-friendly options. And now that its parent company has finally brought the frequency of its B58R NAND up to full speed, Crucial has a second product to satisfy our ultimate performance whim.

Form FactorM.2 2280
InterfacePCIe 5.0 x4 (NVMe 2.0)
ControllerPhison PS5025-E26
FlashMicron 232L TLC
Endurance1,200 TBW

Builders usually pick their drives based upon overall system budget, but differences in PCIe support are more likely to drive our decision today: Intel’s Z790 features only 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes that can be shared across a maximum of two devices. Alternatively, AMD’s socket AM5 chipsets support at least 20 PCIe 5.0 lanes across at least three devices. Since we don’t want to steal lanes from our graphics card, we’re more likely to poor money into Gen5 storage when building an AM5 machine.

Packed with nothing more than the drive and manual, the heatsink-equipped model number CT2000T705SSD5 includes a five-year warranty and specifications list that initially look identical to those of its previously-tested T700. The primary difference is that the internal NAND interface is sped up by 20%. Crucial also decided to ditch the screws on the new model, and while that change probably won’t affect you, our reluctance to literally crack open the new version prevented us from determining whether the new drive’s layout is identical to its predecessor’s.

Test Hardware
CPUAMD Ryzen 9 7950X: 16C/32T 4.5-5.7 GHz, 64MB L3 Cache, Socket AM5
CPU CoolerAlphacool Core 1 Aurora, VPP655 with Eisbecher D5 150mm, NexXxoS UT60 X-Flow
MotherboardASRock X670E Taichi, Socket AM5, BIOS 1.11 (10-21-2022)
GraphicsPowercolor Red Devil Radeon 6750 XT: 2324-2623MHz GPU, 12GB GDDR6
Powerbe quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Platinum
MemoryLexar Thor OC DDR5-6000 2x16GB (32GB) CL32-38-38-96 1.30V

Crucial’s T705 is a replacement for its T700, which is the drive that eventually got matched by a certain competitor. We’ve included both of those Gen5 drives in our test, along with two of our top Gen4 samples.

Benchmark Results

Sandra’s Aggregate Bandwidth tests show a strange pattern where raw data transfers go down when file system bandwidth goes up, yet the overall trend favors the latest T705 in bandwidth and especially IOPs.

AIDA64 shows dramatic gains for the T705 in linear reads but nothing gained in either random or buffered reads, which seams odd, but then again we haven’t seen this benchmark included in the most recent versions of AIDA64.

The T705 gives big bumps in 3DMark Storage performance, except in the game moving pattern in which it beats its earlier variation (the T700) but not its closest competitor (the Legend 970).

PCMark transfers are drastically improved, to an approximate 10% gain for the T705, when compared to either of the earlier to PCIe 5.0 NVMe samples.

ATTO shows inconsistent gains for the T705 when compared to the other two Gen5 drives, with the overall trend favoring this newer model.

CrystalDiskMark likes the T705 for sequential transfers and latency, but shows no gains for the new drive elsewhere. We would have thought that less latency might have led to quicker random transfers, and though it didn’t, the T705’s 14.4GB/s Sequential Read rate is something we’ll revisit in our conclusion.

Diskbench loves the T705, but perhaps not as much as CrystalDiskMark did in Sequential Reads.

A brief performance summary shows the T705 leading its predecessor by a little more than 10%, making it the fastest drive we’ve ever tested.

And now we’ll circle back to that CrystalDiskMark sequential read as we ask, where do we go from here? Perhaps even lower latency? That might helps boost transfers in usage patterns that are a little more randomized. But, we don’t plan on going much past 14400 for peak continuous transfers, and that’s because the PCIe 5.0 interface just won’t allow it.

Crucial T705 2TB CT2000T705SSD5
The latest “fastest M.2 drive”
Five year / 1,2000TBW Warranty
Fast drives are always pricey
The Verdict
A small advancement in NAND speed has pushed the T705 to the edge of the PCIe 5.0 x4 performance envelope.

Yes, we get that PCIe 5.0 x4 has 32GB/s of bandwidth, but we also understand that this figure is a combination of up and down transfers with an actual limit of 16GB/s in each direction. While a new metric might be devised for a future benchmark that combines simultaneous reads and writes to produce a larger number from the same performance level, the graphics card slot is the only current interface from either AM5 or LGA 1700 to exceed 16GB/s transfers in each direction…despite recent developments.

Our award for excellence is reserved for the best product in its class. Our tests show that Crucial’s 2TB T705 is probably the best M.2 drive—in any class.

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