Corsair Force Series: F120 CSSD-F120GB2, 120 GB
The model name makes it clear that this SSD is based on a SandForce controller. Indeed, it is a SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH chip, the same as in the OCZ Vertex 2. This controller ensures increased data reliability and does not need external cache memory. It is fast at both sequential and random-address operations. Like its competitors, Corsair offers two subseries within its SandForce-based series. The earlier one had round storage capacities, namely 100 and 200 gigabytes, whereas the more recent series comes in capacities of 60, 120 and 240 gigabytes. As far as we know, this was achieved by reducing the number of memory cells accessible by the controller but not accessible by the user. In other words, it is the redundant capacity which is present in every modern SSD so that the controller could have some free memory cells to process write operations more efficiently. Thus, the transition of a model from a formatted capacity of 100 to 120 gigabytes leads to a certain reduction in performance. Corsair doesn’t mention this, however, and specifies top speeds of 285 and 275 MBps for every model in the series. Perhaps such speeds are indeed possible in the ATTO Disk Benchmark, which is mentioned as the source of the specified numbers, but we can hardly have more than 250-270 MBps using the SATA300 interface these SSDs are equipped with. We’ll check this out shortly, though.
This series supports TRIM. Our model has firmware version 30CA13F0.
Corsair Nova Series: V128 CSSD-V128GB2, 128 GB
The Nova series is the Extreme series reinvented to lower the price. It includes four models of the same capacities and based on the same Indilinx Barefoot controller. The flash memory itself is different: the Nova series uses Intel modules whereas the Extreme series has flash memory from Samsung. The specified speeds are somewhat different, too. Our 128GB model can deliver up to 270 MBps at reading and up to 195 MBps at writing. The senior model has a top read speed of 250 MBps. The 64GB model has lower specified speeds: 215 MBps at reading and 130 MBps at writing. The 32GB model is declared to deliver 195 and 70 MBps, respectively.
As opposed to their predecessors, these SSDs support TRIM.
Our sample has firmware version 1.0.
Corsair Performance Series
P128 CMFSSD-128GBG2D, 128 GB
P256 CMFSSD-256GBG2D, 256 GB
We tested a 128GB representative of this series about a year ago. Perhaps not a long period of time, but the SSD market has seen a lot of changes. SSDs with Samsung S3C29RBB01-YK40 controllers (also known as PB22-J) have steadily sunk from the category of very good products into the bottom market segment. Our two samples have specified read and write speeds of 220 and 180 MBps and differ from the 64GB model which has a top write speed of 120 MBps only. The series has expanded upwards, too. It now includes a 512GB model, designed in the 3.5-inch form-factor, with read and write speeds of 240 and 200 MBps. It is for this series that the company offers firmware to update old models and add TRIM support. Our two samples have it: it is firmware version VBM19C1Q.