We will be talking about solid state drives from Corsair today. The company’s SSD line-up has expanded considerably since we tested them last.
After our recent tests of SSDs from OCZ we are especially interested in comparing same-series products of different storage capacities. The capacity has but a small effect on a hard disk drive whose performance depends mostly on the recording density, heads actuator and firmware algorithms. But when it comes to SSDs, we have such performance-determining factors as the controller, firmware and capacity. We might have inferred that from the top speeds the manufacturers write into their product specs, yet we were indeed surprised to find different-capacity SSDs to differ that distinctly both at sequential operations and at server loads which included even a small share of write requests.
Every fact needs rechecking, of course. Therefore we are going to add the results of Corsair products to our database now.
Corsair Extreme Series
X32 CMFSSD-32D1, 32 GB
X64 CMFSSD-64D1, 64 GB
X128 CMFSSD-128D1, 128 GB
X256 CMFSSD-256D1, 256 GB
Here is a whole bunch of products from the Extreme series. We’ve been lucky to get nearly each existing model, from the humble 32GB to the serious 256GB one. Some time ago we tested the 128GB model, but now we’ll check out the whole series using our updated testing method.
Each Extreme series model is based on a slightly modified Indilinx Barefoot controller (IDX110M00-LC) and, like Barefoot-based products from other brands, is equipped with 64 megabytes of cache. The following speeds are specified for the two top-capacity models: up to 240 MBps at reading and up to 170 MBps at writing. The 64GB model is promised to deliver 230 and 135 MBps, respectively. The 32GB model is expected to be as fast as 210 and 100 MBps.
Sad but true, Corsair does not offer firmware updates for these SSDs and says explicitly that they do not support TRIM.
Interestingly, the firmware versions are different: the 32 and 64GB models have firmware version 2.1. The 128GB model has firmware version 1.0 and the 256GB one, version 1.1.
However, it is still possible to update the firmware with the new one with TRIM support. Although, there are so many notes to take into account that you will definitely think twice before you decide to actually do it. Take for instance the fact that Corsair supports firmware updates and considers them perfectly “legal” from the warranty standpoint, but doesn’t recommend doing them. You can read more about it in the company forums.