Corsair Neutron RAID SSD Review
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This will be our first complete RAID 0 review with functioning TRIM. You read that correctly RAID 0 TRIM. RWL was the first review site to explore the viability of RAID 0 TRIM (click here). RWL is dedicated to bringing you RAID 0 reviews because they are rarely ever done competently or elsewhere. RAID 0 now that there is functioning TRIM is a performance enthusiasts dream come true. The day has arrived when there is nothing a single drive can do that RAID 0 cannot do twice as good because with functioning TRIM we now have sustained performance over time. Our philosophy when it comes to testing solid state drives is simple really; we want to showcase what a drive is capable of, in capable hands, using solid testing methodology. We want to present you with benchmarks and real-world results that are accurate and in a common form that you can use yourself, not some special home brew that’s hard for readers to repeat themselves and doesn’t have enough commonality amongst readers and other reviewers to be relevant when comparing reviews.
We will now be doing our RAID 0 reviews with data on array or fill testing to show how a 2 drive array will perform with various amounts of data on the array and more importantly how well TRIM functions within the array or if its functioning at all. Simply stated with TRIM our 2 drive arrays now function exactly the same as a single drive does except at least twice as fast and double the capacity. We can now test an array in the exact same manner as a single drive.
There are a couple prerequisites for functioning RAID 0 TRIM. 1) You must be running an Intel Z77 board, processor doesn’t matter you can use any 1155 socket CPU. 2) You must have an 11 series OROM as part of your BIOS which should come on any Z77 board. 3) You must be running an 11 series Intel RST storage driver. The last prerequisite is your drives must have functioning TRIM which is a prerequisite of course for a single drive as well. The reason I am bringing up that the drive must have functioning TRIM is because right now some SandForce based drives do not have it. All SandForce drives that have 5 series firmware below 5.03 DO NOT have functioning TRIM. Some SandForce drive manufacturers have changed SandForce’s firmware numbering system on their drives but they are still the same firmware and even though they list TRIM functioning it DOES NOT. If there is not a 3 somewhere in the firmware numbering system there is almost certainly NO TRIM. Here is a more in-depth analysis of functioning TRIM verses non-functioning TRIM (click here).
Corsair is the first manufacturer to bring to an SSD to the consumer market featuring a new Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD) SATA III 6 GB/s SSD controller. Corsair’s new line of drives featuring the LAMD Amber LM87800 FPU is called Neutron. Corsair has paired the dual ARM cored Amber FPU with 25nm synchronous flash memory. The Amber Flash Processing Unit (FPU) features a technology called eBoost that claims to bring enterprise type endurance and reliability to the consumer level. The Amber FPU can be variably overprovisioned and Corsair has chosen to use 13% OP space on the Neutrons. The Amber FPU uses 8 NAND channels capable of supporting both ONFi flash as well as Toggle flash.
A single Neutron (click here) was very impressive on its own so 2 of them in RAID 0 should be doubly impressive. Let’s get this array fired up and the show on the road shall we?