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Corsair Force GS 240GB SSD Review

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,270
Partial and Full Drive Performance

Partial and Full Drive Performance


While it is important to know how a drive will perform under optimal conditions, more realistic scenarios are just as important. Knowing if a solid state drive will behave differently when partially or even nearly full is highly important since no one will leave their SSD without information on it. To quickly and accurately show this crucial information we have first filled the drive to 50% capacity and re-tested using both synthetic and real world tests. After the completion of this we then re-test at 75% and 90% of full capacity.

Synthetic Test Results


For our synthetic testing we have opted for our standard PCMark 7 test.

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Real World Results


For a real world application we have opted for our standard Vista load time test.

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While the Corsair GS 240GB’s performance does take a noticeable dip when there's a lot of data on it, this is to be expected since most modern controllers react in this manner. In the case of the LSI SF2281, the amount of performance lost is neither the worse nor the best example of this generation.

The type of NAND however does play a critical role in exactly how much of a hit it takes. For these situations, Toggle Mode NAND is superior to other types of NAND as it does help minimize the impact which remaining capacity has upon benchmark numbers. Much like other tests which really stress the controller, this new and improved 24nm Toggle Mode NAND is better than previous examples at helping the controller cope with the higher demands placed upon it. This in turn translates into better than expected performance when the drive is crammed full of data.
 
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AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,270
SATA 2 Performance

SATA 2 Performance


In a perfect world everyone investing in a new solid state drive would have access to a SATA 6GB/s controller which could pass on the TRIM command. In reality not everyone has this and for many the decision comes down either giving up TRIM – never a good idea with most controllers – and running it off a secondary controller; or taking a performance hit and running in SATA 2.0 mode.

These tests will consist of some of our real world and synthetic benchmarks run on our standard 1155 test-bed; but the drive will be attached to an SATA 2 port.

For synthetic we have opted for the newcomer to our charts: Anvil Storage Utilities Pro. For real world we have opted for our Adobe test. These two tests should give you a very good idea of the level of performance impact you can expect from running a modern SATA 6 drive in compatibility mode.



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At this point there is not much new these tests can tell us. The SF2281 is a rock solid controller and when paired with high performance NAND it is –pardon the pun - a force to be reckoned with even when in SATA 3GB/s scenarios.
 
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AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,270
Conclusion

Conclusion



Unlike most SSDs which have been released extremely late in the lifestyle of certain product generations and make no mistake, the SF2281 is edging towards its sunset period– the Corsair Force GS 240GB is a drive which simply could not have been released all that much sooner than it has been. To be precise, while it technically could have been released long ago it would not be the drive it is today. Unlike the Kingston HyperX 3K, a drive which was also late to the market, if the Force GS had been released 6-12 months previously, it would have simply been yet another clone of the OCZ Vertex 3 MaxIOPS and other SF2281 drives equipped with Toggle Mode NAND. These are associations Corsair blatantly avoided. Their GS 240GB is markedly superior to older Toggle Mode NAND equipped drives and even gives the latest cream of the crop a run for their money.

With the release of the Corsair GS 240GB, we are not only realizing exactly how much life is left in the LSI SF2281 controller (which is actually a lot more than expected) but consumers are also able to see how impressive the newer SanDisk 24nm Toggle Mode NAND is. Make no mistake, it may not have a label like Samsung, Intel or Micron on it, but the NAND ICs housed within the Force GS 240GB perform well and largely contribute to its stellar pricing. This was a bit of a risk for Corsair as this new SanDisk NAND is not widely used, but we can see that changing in the near future.

The other advantage to waiting so long to release this drive is firmware maturity. While LSI may have had a few minor stumbles with their 5 series firmware like some issues with TRIM + RAID implementation but it still runs like tight ship, with absolute stability. Hopefully, Corsair will be quick to move past the 5.02 version (5.03 is now available, but hasn’t been released to the public), but once they do that it will be the only firmware update the typical GS customer will ever have to do. Simply put, what you have now is pretty much what you can expect to get from this drive in 3 years: excellent performance.

Honestly, if the GS 240GB came in with an additional 50% premium tacked onto its low cost, it would still have an impressive price to performance ratio. Its benchmarks scores were that good. The very fact it comes in with such a lost cost per GB– or similar to what some ONFI 2 equipped LSI SF2281 drives are commanding – relative to outstanding performance is just icing on the cake.

With performance, price and capacity firmly in its favor, the Force GS 240GB is currently one of the most appealing SSDs on the market. Unlike some vendors, Corsair has passed along their cost savings to the end user instead basing this drive's price upon its performance against the competition. For essentially bucking several trends within the storage market and blazing a new path, the Force GS deserves major credit on every front. As such, it receives our Dam Good and Dam Good Value awards.


Pros:

- Cutting edge NAND
- Excellent price to performance ratio
- Great performance
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Price

Cons:

- 5.02 firmware
- 19nm Toggle Mode NAND has already been released



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