Reviewing the SanDisk Extreme SSD, the first of the new breed of SandForce-based solutions featuring 24 nm Toggle NAND flash memory, we didn’t expect to return to this topic so soon. However, the original design suggested by SanDisk has been found viable by other manufacturers. So, today we are going to benchmark yet another SSD with an SF-2281 controller and 24 nm Toggle Mode flash. The product is called Force GS and it makes an addition to Corsair’s existing SandForce-based solutions from the Force 3 and Force GT series.
There are two reasons for us to be interested in this SSD. First of all, we have some questions left about the new SSD design after our SanDisk Extreme tests. The SanDisk didn’t use the newest firmware, so its performance wasn’t always as good as expected. The Force GS is free from this downside as its manufacturer is always careful about firmware updates. Moreover, Corsair is known to be fastidious about its product nomenclature, so if there’s a new SSD series in Corsair’s product line-up, we can expect it to be really different. Considering that the previous design with 32 nm Toggle Mode NAND flash was not adopted by Corsair for some reason, we hope that the Force GS may prove to be one of the best implementations of the SandForce platform in hardware.
As a matter of fact, Corsair positions its Force GS series as a flagship SandForce-based solution. Force GS models are only available in capacities above 180 GB and are somewhat more expensive than their Force GT counterparts, which employ conventional ONFI flash. So, on one hand, the Force GS can help us while away the time waiting for the highly promising Corsair Neutron series with controllers from Link A Media Devices debuting on the mass market, and on the other hand, it can be a good replacement for SandForce-based SSDs with 32 nm Toshiba flash that are leaving the market right now. Well, we’re running too far ahead now. Let’s first take a look at the packaging and design of the 240 GB Corsair Force GS drive we’ve received for our tests.