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Corsair Announces Force Series GS SSDs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

Corsair has announced a new line of LSI SandForce SSDs, which offer the fastest overall performance in its SandForce-based lineup.

The Force Series GS SSDs are powered by a LSI SandForce SF-2200 controller and Toggle NAND memory. The series is available in capacities of 180 GB, 240 GB, 340 GB and 480 GB. It is based on a 2.5-inch form factor SATA 6.0 GB/s interface, with a 3.5-inch adapter for easy installation into a PC. 


Performance:

Capacity180 GB240 GB340 GB480 GB
Max Sequential Read
(ATTO)
555 MB/s555 MB/s555 MB/s540 MB/s
Max Sequential Write
(ATTO)
525 MB/s525 MB/s530 MB/s455 MB/s
Max Random 4k Write
(IOMeter 08)
 
90,000 IOPS90,000 IOPS 
50,000 IOPS50,000 IOPS



The Force Series GS SSDs are immediately available with prices starting at $189.99 for 180 GB, $239.99 for 240 GB, $349.99 for 340 GB and $489.99 for 480 GB capacities. You can learn more about the new Force Series GS at Corsair's website or blog

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  • -5 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , July 5, 2012 11:06 PM
    But you can get better transfer rates (900MB/s) if you use PCIe, why not focus on those instead.
  • 3 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 5, 2012 11:09 PM
    The 240GB model seems to be the most cost efficient, and the and 340GB 480GB for some reason has lower performance.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , July 5, 2012 11:12 PM
    $1/GB Nice. ...and its by Corsair, so you know its nice kit. 2 x 240GB for RAID 0 seems kinda tasty here.
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 5, 2012 11:17 PM
    Funny, but don't SSDs usually improve in performance as capacity improves, not the other way around like these drives seem to behave? The prices are good and the performance is good, but I'd never buy the 340GB or the 480GB even if I had the money for it... The trade-off is not worth it IMO, especially when you can just get two 240GB drives or four 120GB drives and do some RAID with or without parity. If they're reliable drives, then RAID 0 should be fine and RAID 0 can be done while keeping TRIM if you have proper drivers, so the effectiveness of it would mainly depend on the reliability of the drives.

    Regardless, I think that it would be nice to see more than the mere three performance metrics that this article supplies us with. I can't take anything out of this other than to wait and see because of the lack of data and the peculiarities surrounding the higher capacity model's lower performance. I'd rather get a Vertex 4 if I had to buy a drive based off of current information rather than these.

    In my opinion, an SSD manufacturer should not make their drives so questionable like this and not give any information to put any worries to rest unless these drives have problems that would have been revealed had Corsair done so. Considering Corsairs fairly good track record, I'd expect there to not be many severe problems, so this definitely sparks my curiosity, but that's all that it managed to do. Any other thoughts?
  • 1 Hide
    mesab66 , July 5, 2012 11:37 PM
    +1 on improved PCIe based SSD coverage (many advantages over SATA) - they're not even mentioned in any of tom's 'best SSD's' benchmark comparison tables.....yet $500-1000 gfx cards are constantly discussed.

    Any chance you can address this?
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , July 5, 2012 11:38 PM
    kronos_corneliusBut you can get better transfer rates (900MB/s) if you use PCIe, why not focus on those instead.


    Utilizing even a "old" Pcie V2.0 with 4 lanes would give 2GB/sec raw transfers (or make it look large like the console company's marketed at 16 Gbit/s =). Practically i would guess around a 1.7 GB/Sec ceiling due to the overhead from encoding (8b/10b) and command overhead.

    I would like to see a ssd card fully utilizing a 3.0 16x buss (Would be raw at about 16GB / sec or 128Gbit/s in console terms and the Pcie 3.0 standard also has a better encoding (128b/130b) with only about 1.5% overhead compared to 20% in the pcie 2.0).
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , July 5, 2012 11:51 PM
    rantocUtilizing even a "old" Pcie V2.0 with 4 lanes would give 2GB/sec raw transfers (or make it look large like the console company's marketed at 16 Gbit/s =). Practically i would guess around a 1.7 GB/Sec ceiling due to the overhead from encoding (8b/10b) and command overhead.I would like to see a ssd card fully utilizing a 3.0 16x buss (Would be raw at about 16GB / sec or 128Gbit/s in console terms and the Pcie 3.0 standard also has a better encoding (128b/130b) with only about 1.5% overhead compared to 20% in the pcie 2.0).


    Actually, a single PCIe 2.0 lane is 5Gb/s and it's 8/10 encoding makes it an effective data transfer of 4Gb/s, so an x4 link truly is 2GB/s. PCIe 3.0's data rate is only 60% higher at 8Gb/s, but like you said, it uses a much more efficient encoding in order to get the near doubling of effective bandwidth.
  • 0 Hide
    josejones , July 5, 2012 11:54 PM
    ^ Yep, I'm looking forward to SSD's running at 12 to 16g/ps on a PCIe card with 3.0 support.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/280390-32-sata-satae
  • 4 Hide
    DRosencraft , July 6, 2012 12:14 AM
    Yes, PCIE SSDs do and would run at remarkably fast speeds. The problem is that they are not nearly as cost-effective as regular SSDs. A 120GB PCIE SSD can run near $300, that's twice what you can get a good SATA SSD of the same size for. Additionally, from what I've seen, they have sketchy reliability and performance records. Finally, I would note that here on Tom's it's more likely that a PC with any open PCIE slots have them either for cooling space between GPUs, or they're waiting for another GPU to Crossfire/SLI. I wouldn't imagine much attention paid to PCIE SSDs at this point.
  • 2 Hide
    Onus , July 6, 2012 1:40 AM
    Hmmm, another Sandfarce. I'll wait for some reliability data.
  • -2 Hide
    Onus , July 6, 2012 1:43 AM
    Deleted duplicate. It took a few minutes to show up, even after refreshes.
  • 1 Hide
    quixilver1 , July 6, 2012 2:58 AM
    How much do the 120GB cost? They are not listed in the report but there is a picture of one.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , July 6, 2012 3:39 AM
    To everyone wondering what happens after 240GB, i'd just like to say that while i don't remember why the higher capacities are slower, it's been known for a long time that speed drops after 240GB.

    I remember reading this in a Tom's article itself, so maybe you could look at the SSD reviews from last year.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , July 6, 2012 7:24 AM
    ojasTo everyone wondering what happens after 240GB, i'd just like to say that while i don't remember why the higher capacities are slower, it's been known for a long time that speed drops after 240GB.I remember reading this in a Tom's article itself, so maybe you could look at the SSD reviews from last year.


    The 512GB Vertex 4 is faster than the 256GB Vertex 4, so that's not always true. Looking at just most of the 512GB SSDs on Newegg, you can see that most of them are the same performance as their 256GB little brother and only a few are slower.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 6, 2012 7:52 AM
    "If they're reliable drives, then RAID 0 should be fine and RAID 0 can be done while keeping TRIM if you have proper drivers, so the effectiveness of it would mainly depend on the reliability of the drives."

    From what I've read these drivers dont work like that... they allow a disk that is not a member of a raid volume but attached on the same controller to work with TRIM. Essentially still meaning no RAID0 and TRIM for SSD. In fairness whether TRIM is even necessary is up for debate if the firmware of the drive has good enough garbage collection.
  • 0 Hide
    amigafan , July 6, 2012 8:04 AM
    Very nice IOPS for 180 and 240 GB models! I might do some shopping soon... :) 
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 6, 2012 4:23 PM
    IHxInfi"If they're reliable drives, then RAID 0 should be fine and RAID 0 can be done while keeping TRIM if you have proper drivers, so the effectiveness of it would mainly depend on the reliability of the drives."From what I've read these drivers dont work like that... they allow a disk that is not a member of a raid volume but attached on the same controller to work with TRIM. Essentially still meaning no RAID0 and TRIM for SSD. In fairness whether TRIM is even necessary is up for debate if the firmware of the drive has good enough garbage collection.


    There are ways to use TRIM in RAID 1 and RAID 0. It's the other levels (aka the *true* levels) of RAID that still don't seem to have TRIM support. Furthermore, any drive can be put in RAID 0. If there isn't hardware support for it, such as some PCIe SSDs, then it can be done with software RAID. Generally, only SandForce drives have good enough garbage collection without TRIM for RAID, so for RAID other than 0 and 1 (maybe derivatives of them such as 10 and 0+1 too), then SandForce is usually the only good way to go.
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , July 6, 2012 5:09 PM
    Why is it that sequential and random IO rates go down with size? Usually, they go up with size in a given line.
  • 1 Hide
    Marco925 , July 7, 2012 12:19 AM
    kronos_corneliusBut you can get better transfer rates (900MB/s) if you use PCIe, why not focus on those instead.

    I can get EVEN better transfer rates with two force 3 SSDs in Raid 0, and still cheaper, faster, AND bootable!!
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 7, 2012 12:38 AM
    Marco925I can get EVEN better transfer rates with two force 3 SSDs in Raid 0, and still cheaper, faster, AND bootable!!


    How about four Vertex 3 (or similarly performing SandForce drive with good prices, Mushkin and Intel have good competitors here that might be arguably better choices) 120GBs with four 30GB partitions each, all in a software RAID 5 array? Fairly reliable (no big deal if one or even all but one volume fails), high performance, and minimal loss of capacity since RAID5 only cuts out 1/x of the total capacity where x is the number of volumes and with four per drive and four drives meaning sixteen volumes, that's only a drop of a few percent. Some of these drives can go below $.7 per GB and that's about as cheap per GB as one can get with high performance SSDs.