Corsair Force GS 240GB SSD Review
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Corsair, as usual, has been hard at work coming up with innovative designs for their Solid State Drives. Corsair decided to jump on the 24nm Toggle NAND performance train with their brand new Force GS series of SSD’s. This is not Corsairs first implementation of Toggle NAND but, it’s the first time Corsair has used Toggle NAND in conjunction with an LSI SandForce 2000 series processor and, the first time Corsair has used 24nm Toggle NAND in any drive. We’ve tested the Extreme Series SanDisk drives with this potent SSD Processor/NAND combination and were thoroughly impressed by it.
Corsair has of course taken their own unique approach to the Force GS series. Corsair has chosen to use a 3/4 length PCB in combination with 16 NAND IC’s. We’ve seen this layout before when Corsair first introduced us to it on early versions the 240GB Force GT. The thought behind the 3/4 PCB design is that a shorter distance between the SSD Processor and the NAND would bring better signal clarity resulting in a more reliable drive. Makes sense to us and exhibits Corsair’s dedication to innovation. Before we go any further let’s take a quick look at what Corsair has to say about the new Force GS series of solid state drives:
Force Series GS Solid-State Drives: Speed for the real world.
Force Series GS solid-state drives are powered by a SandForce SF-2200 SSD Processor and fast Toggle NAND memory for both fast sequential read/write speeds and strong random write speed for impressive real-world performance.
Fast in a straight line. Fast in the curves, too.
Benchmarks are great, but your PC doesn’t run on benchmarks. Force Series GS has the scores, and the real-world performance to back it up.
Some SSDs are strong performers with sequential read and write speeds, but bog down with random writes. Force Series GS is better. It’s great at both.
Works even better with the latest systems.
Force Series GS supports SATA 3 6 GB/s, so you’ll get superior performance from newer notebook and desktop PCs that use the newest standard. It’s also fully backward compatible with SATA 2.
Superior Sequential Read and Write Speeds
The first key to real performance is sequential read and write speeds. You’ll feel the speed when you’re loading and saving large files. Solid-state drives store files in contiguous blocks of memory, so you’ll get nearly instantaneous response when you click that “Load” or “Save” button.
Excellent Random Write Performance
Fast random write speeds are also critical to performance you’ll notice on a daily basis. If you’re running multiple applications at once, odds are that they’re writing small bits of data to the drive with regularity. The fast Toggle NAND memory gives Force Series GS the agility to handle them all without slowing down.
Maintains its Performance over Time
Force Series GS solid-state drives support the Windows 7 TRIM command. This allows them to store only the data they need and perform memory optimization to ensure the fastest possible write speeds.
Because SSDs have no moving parts, they can handle shock, vibration and temperature changes far in excess of traditional hard drives. That's important for desktop PCs, and essential for notebooks.
Cool and Quiet, with Low Power Consumption
Traditional mechanical hard drives spin at thousands of revolutions per minute. This takes power, and generates noise and heat. Since SSDs have no moving parts, there's no noise or vibration, and the lower power consumption helps keep things cool inside your PC. It can also save battery life on notebooks.
The Corsair Force GS was shipped to us with LSI SandForce 5.02 firmware. LSI SandForce 5 series firmware has ushered in a new level of performance for SandForce Driven drives. Previous to 5 series firmware SandForce drives were limited to about 80,000 Vantage scoring. 5 series brought with it much higher performance resulting in higher sequential read/writes, 4K performance and even Vantage scoring of over 90,000 on the fastest of drives like, the Corsair Force GS we are reviewing today. Sounds great? Well not so fast. Because of the way RWL fill tests with Vantage, as far as we know, only this lab and our affiliate lab (run by the world’s foremost storage reviewer Chris Ramseyer) have discovered that there is a major flaw in current 5 series firmware. TRIM does not function PERIOD. We have been in contact with LSI SandForce regarding this matter and they are working on a solution we expect will be released in short order, presumably with the release of 5.03 firmware. With this in mind I am going to run the benchmarks in a different order which will expose the TRIM problem. Then we will be running the rest of the benchmarks after the drive is put into a state where TRIM will not recover Vantage scoring so we can observe the effects of this state on most of our benchmarking. The revised benching/filling order will be as follows:
HD Tune Pro
AIDA access time testing
Vantage fill testing (which will bring the TRIM issue to the surface)
Then the following benchmarks will be run in order, rapid succession and only run one time each:
AS SSD and PCMark Scoring
PC Mark 7
I feel this will give the best assessment of this drives performance with current 5 series firmware having no TRIM.