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Corsair Force 3, the best 120gb SSD right now?

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May 31, 2011 8:55:06 PM

Hi,

About a week ago. I decided it would be useful to upgrade my PC with a SSD (preferably 120GB/128GB, Crucial m4 price ceiling). Although my system is rather old, I figured it wouldn't be a be a bad thing to invest in a 'future-proof' component. It's for the same reason, that I'll probably opt for a SATA 3 SSD (instead of SATA 2, which I have).

I'd been struggling to choose between the Vertex 3 and the Crucial c300/m4, until I found out today about the Force 3. From what I've read in the Kitguru review, the Force 3 looks really promising. Above all, the price is very competive. Just around 200 euros, or more generally, at the same price level as the Crucial m4!

So what do you think? Is it the best 120gb SSD buy right now or too early to call?
a c 283 G Storage
May 31, 2011 10:57:33 PM

I read the review twice. KitGuru could not attain the advertised IOPS during benchmarking. KitGuru thought Corsair might have used different benchmark settings to reach the high number. Otherwise seems to be okay.

I suggest waiting for a few more reviews. AnandTech will probably do a good in depth review.

a c 143 G Storage
June 1, 2011 12:11:48 AM

5 ^+1...

I still believe the OCZ Vertex 3 is the best SATA III drive & best SSD outside of the OCZ RevoDrive X2
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June 1, 2011 7:55:53 AM

Yes, the Vertex 3 seems to be one of the best right now. Unfortunately it's just too expensive for me. If it turns out the Force 3 is better, I'll almost certainly go for that one.
a b G Storage
June 1, 2011 6:47:33 PM

KeyMs92 said:
Yes, the Vertex 3 seems to be one of the best right now. Unfortunately it's just too expensive for me. If it turns out the Force 3 is better, I'll almost certainly go for that one.


Better? I doubt it. Better price/performance ratio? could be. I also look to Anand as he seems to be one of the leading authorities on SSDs. Although one thing I have noticed is he doesn't review every single drive that comes along. It looks as though the Force 3 is very competitive with similar 120GB drives. Considering the controller, I'd say its a safe bet.

I am personally waiting for the top performance. Currently that is the Vertex 3, but we'll see when fall rolls around.
a c 283 G Storage
June 2, 2011 2:48:00 PM

OOOOOOHHHHHH! :cry: 

Bad news! :cry: 
a c 143 G Storage
June 2, 2011 4:10:45 PM

Yeah... I read through some of the threads and it looks like a possible recall is underway to address the issue.
June 2, 2011 4:16:13 PM

Haha, that's why I tend to wait a little longer before throwing all the money. BTW, this morning I did some 'research' and found that both the Force 3 and the Agility 3 perform quite badly compared to the M4 and Vertex 3. I compiled an image using several AS SSD results and this is what I got:

http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc490/KeyMs92/overv...

Maybe these results say very little, but at least it shows that the M4 and Vertex 3 are probably the better drives. Please correct me if I'm wrong, just getting into this... :) 
a c 143 G Storage
June 2, 2011 4:23:41 PM

KeyMs92 said:
Maybe these results say very little, but at least it shows that the M4 and Vertex 3 are probably the better drives. Please correct me if I'm wrong, just getting into this... :) 

Your image has a few flaws (though the outcome is correct on the m4 and Vertex 3 being the better drives...

1) The Agility 3 is set in IDE mode, which will effect performance.
2) The C300 is running the Marvell controller, which is known it doesn't have the same throughput as the Intel RST SATA III ports, so it's performance is limited (though not by much for the C300).

As for the Corsair Force 3... I can't speak on, as I haven't seen any real benchmarks to compare against. :D 
a c 283 G Storage
June 2, 2011 4:27:35 PM

That's why I always recommend waiting for the technical reviews before making a purchase.
June 2, 2011 11:36:44 PM

Quote:
Your image has a few flaws (though the outcome is correct on the m4 and Vertex 3 being the better drives...

Alright, thanks the info! I'd imagine the controller would make quite a difference, I also noticed that the used diskspace makes an enormous difference. It's a shame though that there's not an integral and reliable comparison available like there is for CPU's and GPU's. I spent quite some time looking for a new GPU but at least all the numbers could be easily compared. In the case of SSD's, it seems all a bit 'foggy'. This is worsened by the fact, that some SSD models are reviewed almost exclusively for one capacity (most notably the Vertex 3 IOPS 240gb). It doesn't take much 'conspiracy thinking' to imagine why... :pfff: 

Anyway, I'm glad that most of you lean towards the M4, in terms of price and performance. I'm considering to buy it in the coming days, at least before I change my mind again hehe.
June 5, 2011 6:44:42 PM

Great, didn't know about that! Leaves me thinking though, to what extend are benchmarks still useful? Does it mean capacity, controller, mode and asynchronous/synchronous in order to make a fair comparison. Or how many variables are there??
a c 283 G Storage
June 5, 2011 6:52:49 PM

There are too many variables. The synthetic benchmarks at best are only a rough approximation of real world use.

Manufacturers have a tendency to select and "adjust" benchmark settings so that the results present a component as favorably as possible.
June 8, 2011 10:06:19 AM

Just to let you know, I went ahead and bought the Crucial M4. Main factors for me were good reviews, good read speeds, extra 8gb as opposed to some others and affordable price (I found a deal of 182 euro, incl. delivery). I'll let know when I have it and have some applications running :D 

BTW, do you have any advice on which data to put/install on the SSD? I'll have a 300gb internal HDD to put my media files on. I think I will also use it to install programs like sabnzb (that require quite some cache) and write downloads it. Bottom line for me is to have all the media and write traffic on the HDD and the applications and read traffic on the SSD. Are there any things I should take in consideration, e.g. the page file or the temp files?
a c 353 G Storage
June 8, 2011 4:26:46 PM

^ Gene O. - Thank's for the link
"For any owners of this drive, Corsair is doing a recall on their Force 3 120GB CSSD-F120GB3-BK drive. They have asked owners to stop using them even if they are not showing any symptoms: "

I had heard rumors of this, but not seen it in print.
The link points to firmware and Hardware. The firmware issue is not limited to Corsair, but plagues most of the SF2xxx controller series. Predominantly on the new SB platforms. This is supposedly being worked - The real question is (1) WHEN and (2) what other problems that are NOT readily apparent exist.

At Least Corsair has followed Intel's lead and Recalled/stop shipping. OCZ needs to follow that lead instead of burying their head in the sand.

Look at the HIGH percentage of low egg scores on the SSD's using the SF2xxx controller. I know some are User caused. These drives should place a comment (IN BOLD - And in plain sight) that these drives do NOT work in all new systems - ie Buyer beware.

Bottom line, until this controller issue is put to bed, sacrifices some performance for reliability!!! Not a Intel Lover, But.....
a c 283 G Storage
June 8, 2011 6:04:04 PM

Interesting turn of events. With a history of very good reliability Intel definitely looks like an option to consider.
June 8, 2011 7:51:30 PM

Haha, very interesting indeed. And how foreseeing was my thread title :lol: 
Anyway, I understand that this mainly affects Corsair and OCZ?
a c 353 G Storage
June 9, 2011 1:17:49 AM

Good read:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4421/the-2011-midrange-ss...

Link points to PCVantage test - Quote " PCMark Vantage, it ends up being the most real-world-like hard drive test I can come up with. " End Quote. Includes both Sata II vs Sata III test for Sata III SSDs and some SATA II SSDs.

Since the OCZ agility III is basically a paper weight as far as My SB laptop is concerned, based on this I'm just going with a midrange SSD. There is not that big of a diff in performance, about 10 % for center of the pack to top rated. Leaning toward Intel, reliability and peace of mind are worth more than a 10->15% overall performance boost.

PS - I just stuck it in my I5-2500k as a scratch disk, at least until OCZ/Sandforce get's off their *&%^^
a c 353 G Storage
June 9, 2011 2:03:46 AM

^ Could be outdated. The date of the review was yesterday vs Mar 2011 for your link.
June 12, 2011 11:29:36 PM

Good to hear! Expecting mine in 1 or 2 days. I didn't know TRIM support depended on the controller, besides the SSD. I'm wondering how I can find out which controller my PC (ancient XPS 410) uses? It's still SATA 2, and probably won't support TRIM either, but I'd still expect quite a leap compared to HDD's and at least it's a 'future-proof' investment :) 

If there's anything else I need to know with respect to drivers and controllers please let me know because I'm rather unknowing on the subject.
June 13, 2011 9:15:16 AM

Thanks, well I think I'll be using the page file on the HDD, mainly because ~4GB (which I'm using now) can be quite substantial on 100GB (minus Windows) of space. I also think I'll be keeping the download temp/cache files on the HDD.

As for the speeds, yes I realize I'll be far below the maximum possible read/write speeds. However, take a look at the image and you can see what I'm used to now... :pfff: 

http://bit.ly/jvvpDV
June 15, 2011 9:51:33 PM

Got mine today, but forgot I needed an extra SATA cable (yes...yes...). In any case, I'm considering buying a 6Gb/s one, since they're not too expensive anyway. Would that work fine with my motherboard? If there are any things I need to think of please let me know.
I'll probably try to buy one locally, tomorrow afternoon (GTM+1 so u know :sol:  ).
a c 283 G Storage
June 15, 2011 10:00:12 PM

KeyMs92 - There is no such thing as SATA III (6Gb/s) and SATA II (3Gb/s) cables. The International official specifications are identical. No difference between them. Zip! Zero! Zilch! It was done that way on purpose. manufacturers were complaining about always having to change things. If a company is claiming their cable is a SATA III (6Gb/s) cable, then it is an advertising gimmick.

Quality is a different issue. There may be low quality cables of questionable performance and value. In other cases quality assurance may not be up to par. Sometimes a physical dimension might be off.
June 15, 2011 10:45:15 PM

Alright, that explains it. I can indeed confirm that numerous sellers mention those speeds alongside the product...

You mention quality and value. I'm a bit confused because the cheap cables listed on amazon have been very well received. It suggests to me that this kind of product either works or doesn't work. Even so, hearing this from you makes me reluctant to just go out and buy one. What would you suggest me to do?
a c 283 G Storage
June 15, 2011 11:58:12 PM

OK - What I meant was if the quality is not good and the result is poor performance, then the cable or any other product for that matter is not a good value for the money spent.

You are correct. It is not necessary to purchase high priced cables. There are less expensive cables whose quality and performance is just as good. Those are the ones that usually provide the best bang for the buck.

A few years ago the research laboratory at CNet.com tested HDMI cables and wound up recommending monoprice.com. The laboratory and the technicians now use monoprice exclusively. So do I. Highly recommended.

Here is a link to the original article that put me on to monoprice:

http://reviews.cnet.com/hdmi-guide/?tag=mncol;txt

Monoprice offers a lot more than HDMI cables. Here is a link to their SATA cables:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/search.asp?keyword=SA...



June 16, 2011 2:07:31 PM

Thanks for your advice! Unfortunately I live in Holland, and shipping from the US to Europa means a huge amount of taxes and related costs.

So I decided to buy a sata cable in a local shop. As a matter of fact I've installed the SSD and I'm installing Windows as we speak :) . I'll give an update if I'm able to do some benchmarks.
a c 283 G Storage
June 16, 2011 3:14:46 PM

Great!
June 16, 2011 3:42:03 PM

Alright, I just had my first SSD experience ever.. and it's fast!! :pt1cable: 
Startup is blazingly fast and installations are done in a wink. What can I say, It's just great. However, crazy as the human psyche sometimes works, I found it suprisingly easy to get used to this performance. As a result my other PC feels twice as slow right now :lol: 

I've also performed a benchmark. Below is a picture comparing my own benchmarks from the old HDD and the M4, and the M4 benchmarks from 'thessdreview' (='optimal'). It's rather interesting to look at, and I'm really curious what you make of it. I'm particularly impressed by the improvement of 4K read/write. It's a different world basically.

http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc490/KeyMs92/compa...
a c 143 G Storage
June 16, 2011 4:53:20 PM

Can you show a screenshot of AS SSD Benchmark (no need to run test... just screen). I would like to see what controller you are running on. Your #'s should be closer (I would think). I'm not saying you have an issue... just looking to improve :) 
a c 143 G Storage
June 16, 2011 5:58:33 PM

He is running off SATA II?? I thought the Op was running a SATA III since the OP asked about getting SATA III cables.

I agree 100% on the output on SATA II, as you stated :) 
June 16, 2011 6:48:59 PM

Yes, I'm indeed running sata 2 :)  But I'm happy the hear that my speeds are good for sata 2.

On a more serious note, just a few hours back I experienced a BSOD whilst installing a driver. I'd the feeling this might be quite a serious issue so I looked into the disk management. As it turned out, my old drive had the system partition (so containing the boot files). Now, those two issues might not be in any way related but especially the latter issue is not something I like.

I looked around and some people noted that only the drive designated for the OS should be plugged in whilst installing Windows. Others commented that conflicts can still occur when other drives are added later on because they can still contain boot files. I also looked the bios and found some settings related to RAID, different drives and the boot settings. But I don't know if any of those settings is relevant.

I'm very confused about this. In the past I've had dual boot setups very often but multiple drives is clearly something different. I hope you can help me out.

EDIT: Ok, I'm, still not sure about the specifics but I just turned all the switches in appropriate direction. I disabled my old HD, made in inactive and 'removed' it from the boot sequence. I'm now installing Windows again and it looks like it's creating the boot files on the SSD this time. I hope that I can safely format it afterwards.

EDIT2: Alright it worked! It wasn't difficult at all, it's just that you get confused when reading too many forums. It also turns out that the BSOD was related to this (for some complicated reason). Anyway, off to do the fun part: installing stuff and enjoying the speeds! I'll probably post a few benchmarks here in the coming days.
June 17, 2011 4:05:41 PM

I see. BTW, have you updated your firmware to 002 yet? In the guide it says your SSD should be plugged in port 0-3. Mine is in port 4 fortunately. But I'm wondering... would that really matter?
!