Corsair MP600 Mini Vs. Sabrent Rocket 2230

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steam deck ssd swap

NVMe SSDs in the M.2 2230 form factor were few and far between right up until Valve launched the Steam Deck. And even if their numbers have increased somewhat, they are still uncommon compared to mainstream 2280-sized SSDs. A while back we tested the 1TB Kioxia BG5 2230, an OEM drive that used to be rare on the consumer market but is now frequently used by Steam Deck owners to expand the handheld’s limited storage capacity.

There are at least some alternatives in today’s market, which is clearly better than almost none, as when the Deck was initially launched. Demand for M.2 2230 SSDs is certainly there now to spur SSD manufacturers, and it should increase further considering that the Asus ROG Ally handheld uses the same standard.

Corsair MP600 Mini Vs. Sabrent Rocket 2230: Specifications

One of the latest manufacturers to get on the 2230 bandwagon is Corsair with the MP600 Mini – a 1TB PCIe Gen4 drive designed specifically with handheld gaming PCs in mind. Among the 2230 drives that are widely available to consumers, its main competitor at launch is probably Sabrent’s 2230 Rocket. As it turns out, these SSDs are similar in more ways than one. Here’s how they compare:

2230 SSD
Corsair MP600
Mini 1TB
Sabrent Rocket
2230 1TB
Kioxia BG5
2230 1TB
Form FactorM.2 2230M.2 2230M.2 2230
PCIe 4.0 x4/
NVMe 2.0
PCIe 4.0 x4/
NVMe 1.4
PCIe 4.0 x4/
NVMe 1.4
ControllerPhison E21TPhison E21TProprietary
Sequential Read4800 MB/s4750 MB/s3500 MB/s
Sequential Write4800 MB/s4300 MB/s2900 MB/s
Random Read850K IOPS450K IOPS500K IOPS
Random Write1.1M IOPS545K IOPS450K IOPS
Active Power4.3 W3.7 W4.3 W
Endurance600 TBW600 TBWN/A
Warranty5 Years5 YearsN/A
Shopping LinksAmazon
Amazon UK
Amazon UK

phison E21TThe Corsair MP 600 Mini and Sabrent Rocket 2230 both use the same Phison E21 SSD controller, a quad-channel chip for DRAM-less operation that is also used in mainstream 2280 SSDs such as the Addlink S90 Lite (review and Windows benchmarks here). They also appear to use the same 176-layer TLC NAND memory chips.

Given that these drives use the same controller/NAND combo, it is surprising that the performance specifications (for random data in particular) differ quite a bit between the Rocket 2230 and MP600 Mini at the same 1TB capacity.

These specs for the MP600 Mini are at least what was posted by Anandtech and other trusted sources at launch, but seem likely to be in error – especially with regards to the claimed 1.1 million IOPS random write performance.

Power consumption and efficiency are important for the battery life of handheld devices, although the maximum (active) power draw only applies to short bursts, i.e. when booting up and loading games/levels. The Sabrent Rocket 2230 is nevertheless rated lower at 3.7 W versus 4.3 W for the Corsair MP600 Mini and Kioxia BG5.

MP600 Mini Vs. Rocket 2230 (Vs. BG5): Performance

Regardless of any potential mix-ups with the spec sheets, actual performance in the device is what matters in the end. Since the Steam Deck runs Linux first and foremost, the most used app for measuring SSD performance is KDiskMark – an open-source counterpart of CrystalDiskMark for Windows.

Note that we are in the process of testing the 1TB Corsair MP600 Mini and will shortly be able to provide more detailed data.

kdiskmark data (Sabrent, Corsair, Kioxia, Steam Deck)

KDiskMark is just one test, but it is quite apparent here that the Sabrent Rocket 2230 (blue bar) and Corsair’s MP600 Mini (orange bar) use the same controller and NAND. The two are evenly matched in general compared to the Kioxia BG5, which uses entirely different parts.

kdiskmark sequential data (Sabrent, Corsair, Kioxia, Steam Deck)

Zooming in on Q8T1 sequential data, write performance is within the margin of error for all 1TB SSDs, and ditto for the Corsair and Sabrent drives when it comes to read performance.

kdiskmark random data (Sabrent, Corsair, Kioxia, Steam Deck)

For the average user, reading and writing small chunks of data happens a lot more often than large, sequential transfers. In other words, unthreaded 4K random performance is one of the more important data points. That being said, there really isn’t much to talk about when comparing the MP600 Mini and Rocket 2230.

MP600 Mini Vs. Rocket 2230: Conclusion

A tentative conclusion is that pricing will be the deciding factor when choosing between the Corsair MP600 Mini and Sabrent Rocket 2230 – not just because they use practically identical hardware, but because the warranty terms and endurance ratings are also the same. Corsair released the MP600 Mini at a competitive price point and it looks like the Rocket 2230 is catching up quickly. Either of the two is a more attractive choice than any no-name 2230 drive and will make a perfectly good alternative to the lower-capacity stock SSDs in the Steam Deck or ROG Ally.

Jesper Berg
Jesper Berg

I got started with PC building in the 3dfx Voodoo era, right after PC gaming was pronounced dead the first time. It's still an interesting journey.

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