Corsair Neutron SATA III SSD Review - HotHardware

Corsair Neutron SATA III SSD Review

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Corsair tends to be somewhat measured in their approach to certain markets and only enters them with products that are clearly differentiated from the competition. That’s true for their cases, peripherals, power supplies, and many other product lines. Corsair, however, has been relatively adventurous in regard to Solid State Drives. Over the last few years, Corsair has offered SSDs built around controllers from virtually all of the major players, including Marvell, SandForce, Indilinx, and Samsung, among others.

While Corsair has been open to working with multiple controller designs, they have not typically be first to market with drives based on brand new controllers. But that all changed with the recent release of the Corsair Neutron line of Solid State Drives. Corsair’s Neutron SSDs feature a new controller from Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD) that is not yet available in any other consumer storage product. For now, Corsair’s got an exclusive on the LAMD LM87800, which is at the heart of the Neutron SSD we’ll be showing you here today and a higher-end counterpart, the Neutron GTX.


Corsair Neutron SSD
Specifications & Features
Warranty
  • Five years
SSD Unformatted Capacity
  • 240 GB
Max Sequential R/W (ATTO)
  • 555 MB/s sequential read
  • 370 MB/s sequential write
Max Random 4k Write (IOMeter 08)
  • 85k IOPS (4k aligned)
Interface
  • SATA 6Gb/s
Technology
  • Synchronous
Form Factor
  • 2.5 inch
DRAM Cache Memory
  • 128 MB
Voltage 
  • 5V ±5%
Power Consumption (active)
  • 4.6W Max
Power Consumption (idle/standby/sleep)
  • 0.6W Max
S.M.A.R.T. Support
  • Yes
Shock
  • 1500 G
MTBF
  • 2,000,000 hours

The drive you see pictured here is a 240GB Corsair Neutron. Externally, it looks just like many other consumer-class 2.5” solid state drives, save for all of the Corsair branding and decals. Internally though, you’ll notice a shorter-than-average PCB and the new LAMD LM87800 controller that’s at the heart of the drive.

 

 
The Corsair Neutron 240GB, Inside and Out

The LAMD LM87800 controller is outfitted with a pair of ARM-cores to service the host interface and NAND, has eight memory channels, and a SATA III 6Gbp/s interface. The controller is compatible with both ONFI and Toggle NAND, and although the controller features proprietary error correction technologies and tech to minimize write amplification—dubbed eBoost—it is not susceptible to performance degradation due to the compressibility/incompressibility of data.

This particular Corsair Neutron drive features 256GB of ONFI synchronous Micron NAND flash memory, of which 240GB is useable (the rest is used for wear leveling and other maintenance operations). There is also 128MB of DRAM cache on board.

We should point out that the Neutron GTX line of SSDs features Toshiba Toggle NAND, which should improve performance in some scenarios, but is also more expensive.
 

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Whoo-Ya! Great review Marco.

$189.00 isn't bad at all. I love the decline of SSD prices over the past year. I look forward to it continuing.

Corsair is hitting a lot of markets, (cases, keyboards, cpu coolers, speakers, fans, etc) and ~all~ of what they make is a cut above.

They're one of the best brands out there.

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Agreed, .79 cents/GB is pretty dang good for this sort of performance. Way to go Corsair!

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If this is a review of the Neutron why are the specs for the OCZ Vector listed instead of the specs for the Neutron?

About 80% of normal daily disk access measured in Microsoft's diskmon is small file reads and writes of 512K or smaller with most being writes.

The Neuton GTX and regular Neutron SSDs are great performers when benchmarked empty of data and are the best consumer SSDs for consistency but who buys an SSD to leave it empty.

The Neutron SSDs lose half of their performance when the drive is half filled with data.

The very high amount of power consumed at idle is also not so good.for an SSD.

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Shoot---that was a typo in the specs header that I failed to correct. The specs listed were/are correct though (http://bit.ly/Xn47Sh). Thanks for the head's up!

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Really please that SSD's have finally dropped to reasonable price levels - my first 64gb SSD cost more than this 256gb one!

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