Force GS 5.03 sandforce lsi boxshot 1

Corsair Force GS 240GB SSD Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Packaging and Specification
  3. Closer look
  4. Test Bench and Methodology
  5. AS SSD Benchmark (Pass 3)
  6. ATTO (Pass 3) Benchmark
  7. AIDA 64 Access Test
  8. Boot Load Test
  9. TRIM Test
  10. CrystalDiskMark Benchmark
  11. HD Tune Pro Benchmark
  12. PC Mark Vantage x64 HDD Benchmark
  13. PC Mark 7 HDD Benchmark
  14. Anvil SSD Benchmark
  15. Conclusion

This is the first time I am seeing Corsair grabbing the SanDisk’s Toggle flash NAND but seeing reviews of other SSDs from few review sources with same flash NAND- and SanDisk Extreme, I think this is going to be a trend from now onwards. In any case, the drive does extremely well with compressed and uncompressed data irrespective of the data fill.

One thing that manufacturers have to look out is the firmware. TRIM effectively works with 5.03 firmware and I hope that Corsair uses this firmware by default with newer makes. But in another corner, if you look at the way Indilinx powered OCZ Vertex 4 performed, there was an SSD lifespan degrade that was clearly seen even with shorter runs, during benchmark let alone stress testing.

To sum it all up, this is what I’ve said in OCZ Vertex 4 128GB’s conclusion:

The main concern is the flash NAND degrade that you get to see. Now, I do a lot of runs on Anvil Endurance test alone and on top of it I do each test 3 times- and with few of them with different data fill on the drive. But, seeing that the drive was used for 17 hours before and “SSD Life Left” did show a decrease in lifespan already with 1.5 firmware, you have to be concerned. HyperX 3K and SSDNow V+ 200, the consumer type SSDs don’t even have that degrade. I mentioning these 2 drives because they come with flash NANDs rated for 3k Program Erase cycle, and since all drives I evaluate go ahead with the same treatment, the “SSD Life Left” count still stays 100.

I would have like to see Force GS to make an appearance when Force GT arrived, but it came much later. Some, who have bought even the 120gig+ versions of Force GT might be bit disappointed to see Force GS coming late. Then again, if you look at now there’s Neutron Series and Neutron Series GTX uses the LAMD controllers with Toggle FLASH NAND. Seeing that 240GB drives cost pretty much what 120gig used to cost 6-8 months ago, the question that everyone will be asking is when the hell should I buy a great SSD with good performance and price?

Who wouldn’t ask? Wouldn’t you ask if newer and better controllers and/or flash NAND come between 2-4 months irrespective of the brand? Now that RAID 0 TRIM issue is solved, one will have to ask which drive is a good SSD drive- and on top of it, the newer firmware has a deep impact in performance and stability in a very long run. Whoop-dee-doo!! *sarcasm*

Which is not the question- what you should be asking is- when?

That’s very difficult to answer. Flash NAND based storage is buzzing with action: Hardware and firmware-wise. But, on a bright side (and expected) there’s a lot of progress and the cost per GB in a flash NAND is decreasing significantly. TRIM support for RAID 0? Nice!

The drive comes with 3 years warranty period. I know and also you know that warranty period doesn’t necessarily spell out the lifespan of the product, but its something that people appreciate. Then again, you jump up the warranty period- price increases. It is more on you rather than manufacturers. But, even OCZ Vertex 4 has 5 years warranty period. Not that I am comparing them overall, but here we are. 5 Years should be a standard.

I cannot say when is the right time to buy, unfortunately- I am not The Soothsayer. But, as far as this drive goes- with the 5.03 firmware from LSI this TOGGLE NAND does exceptionally well in both compressed and uncompressed runs and in a non 4K Aligned drive. It has taken a while for LSI/Corsair to bring up the newer firmware, but hey! It did arrive and it solved the issue. SandForce is maturing into a very good controller/firmware choice. Another question is, now that LAMD controllers based SSD mostly likely may come in hordes like SF-2281 did and since SanDisk toggle NAND made a good Impression it could do the same like how Intel’s asynchronous NAND is doing till now, for how long will we being SF- 2281 drives around- and/or if we’ll see a newer Sandforce controller?

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