Corsair and Phison are teaming up to deliver one of the better TLC-based SSDs available today. The latest firmware improves upon questionable behaviors we've called out in the past. So at this point, you'll simply have to decide for yourself whether Samsung's 850 EVO 1TB (~$300) is worth a premium compared to the Force LE 960GB at $210. At the Force LE's $250 MSRP, we prefer the 850 EVO. But down at $210, it's hard not to like Corsair's entry-level offering for low-write mainstream environments.
Recent speed-ups from this platform aren't surprising. We routinely check in with Phison to get the insider information about updates in development. The direct-to-die write mechanism, for instance, is one of this year's most exciting improvements. It helps facilitate a doubling of sequential write performance once the drive overruns its emulated SLC buffer. You'll notice the gains most when you're installing a new game or transferring large files over the a fast network. That'll become even more meaningful over the next year as LANs speed up to 2.5, 5 and 10 GbE, pushing up to 1 GB/s throughput.
The new Force LE hits a sweet spot for pricing, features and overall value. MyDigitalSSD's BP5e is less expensive, true. But it doesn't match Corsair's value proposition. With the Force LE, you get more software, easily accessible support and a brand made popular by enthusiasts. The advantage is enough to earn Corsair a Reader Recommended award. Don't overlook this drive as you're shopping for parts to build a mainstream PC with lots of storage space. The 480GB Force LE qualifies for the same praise, given nearly identical performance. Meanwhile, the smaller 240GB model falls short of its larger siblings; skip that one and save up for a higher-capacity drive if possible.