First PCI Express 5.0 SSDs experience overheating problems

Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1685116857*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
This article is an automatic translation

Fortunately, Phison - designer of the controller - has already prepared a patch.

PCI Express Gen 5 once again doubles bandwidth compared to PCI Express Gen 4. For the time being, however, this new technology is limited to the latest machines based on Intel's Alder Lake / Raptor Lake or AMD's AM5 architectures. These very modern architectures require the latest generation of motherboards and processors... not to mention SSDs and graphics cards, the first peripherals concerned. As far as graphics cards are concerned, we'll have to be patient, since not even the GeForce RTX 4000 and Radeon RX 7000 are able to exploit this technology. That said, now that the first PCIe Gen 5 SSDs are on the market, it's probably wiser to wait a little longer. Firstly, because the performance of the best Gen 4 devices is already excellent. Secondly, because these first PCIe Gen 5 SSDs seem to be encountering a few problems.

© TechPowerUp

Tom's Hardware relays TechPowerUp's test of the Corsair MP700. As a hardware specialist, the site highlighted a rather annoying overheating problem. In principle, when an SSD overheats, it must implement what is known as throttling: the controller lowers its performance in order to bring its temperature down and avoid exceeding dangerous limits. In the case of the Corsair MP700, it seems that this safety device is not properly implemented. TechPowerUp reports that, after an 86-second read and 55-second write test, the MP700 - close to 90°C - simply disappeared from the Windows disk manager. The SSD was no longer visible and, of course, no longer usable. Worse still, TechPowerUp's technician had to restart Windows to find the SSD. Fortunately, the mishap did not result in any loss of data.

In fact, Corsair does not seem to be responsible, and it's rather the manufacturer of the controller, the PS5026-26, that we should be looking for the culprit. Phison has indeed acknowledged a problem: " After carefully reviewing recent reports from TechPowerUp and Phoronix, Phison would like to highlight the problem encountered in reviews of products using the new Phison PS5026-E26 controller. We take this issue seriously and are committed to resolving it quickly. Our firmware engineering teams have already isolated the problem and made the necessary adjustments to the thermal acceleration curve within hours of the report. However, the new firmware must undergo Phison's strict validation process before our partners can release it to customers. Restassured that our partners will inform end-users as soon as the validated update is available."

© TechPowerUp

The problem is therefore not only isolated, but already solved internally at Phison. All that remains is to validate the patch before deploying it. That said, Phison also takes this opportunity to remind you that these latest-generation SSDs should not be used without a heatsink: " It is important to note that all E26 SSDs delivered without a heatsink are intended for use with a heatsink. Most motherboards supplied with PCIe Gen5 enabled also include cooling specifically designed for Gen5 SSDs. We offer a "bare drive" option to allow customers to use their existing cooling products.