Corsair Force 3 120GB SSD review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 06/27/2011 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
Whatever SATA 3 based product is being thrown at us, we seem to be impressed with. And you know, it's just that we are not used to seeing such incredible speeds as we've been in that SATA 2 HDD domain for way too long.
The Force 3 series SSD is again a product that will offer tremendous performance for hopefully an acceptable amount of money. Comparing apples to apples, the Agility 3 and Force 3 are neck on neck with each other. Overall IOPS performance is where they rock alright. Whether or not you'd ever physically notice or need so much IOPS performance is what we slowly start to doubt though.
The sheer peak performance, and then the sustained performance throughout of the SSD is ridiculously fast. If you put a drive like this into your SATA 3 compatible laptop or SATA 3 compatible PC, you'll have no idea what is about to hit you.
Should you follow the path of righteousness we have a couple of hints though, we absolutely prefer the performance of the Intel Series 6 (H67/P67/Z68) integrated SATA 6G controller over anything else available in the market. If you run an AMD chipset with the added Marvell 6G controller for example, you will see lower performance, make no mistake about that. Also make sure you run your drive in AHCI mode, it does make a difference. Read our recommendation on that to be able to solve and bypass the BSOD when going from SATA to AHCI.
Now to all of you that complain continuously about prices .. well my advice is simple; stop looking at the Solid State Disk technology as if it where a HDD. It will probably never reach the same prices or top the multiple TB volume storage the HDD offers for less money. Allow me to throw an example at you, comparing an SSD with a HDD is making a comparison in-between a integrated IGP or a dedicated graphics card, that last one will cost you a heck of a lot more yet you gain incredible performance to get your gaming freak on.
It is the very same with an SSD, use it as boot drive on Windows and Applications and you instantly have removed a huge bottleneck, that mechanical HDD. It is a difference in-between night and day (in a proper system). For massive storage like, movies, MP3 files and bulky data you do not access on a regular basis, sure that's where the HDD comes in. The magic simply is finding a good combination in-between the two. And that's where the magic happens. I kid you not, all my test systems and work systems run on SSDs, not once did an SSD fail on me, not once have I considered going back to HDDs. The benefits of a good SSD are simply grand. But that doesn't mean i do not understand the budget and cost dilemma that many of you are facing though.
Okay, onwards .. hmmm the firmware can still use a little tweaking, but Corsair might have a nice offering in their hands with the Force 3, if priced right of course. The 25nm NAND Flash memory versus SSD lifespan, well the verdict isn't in just yet, but if you do the math based on very heavy consumer usage, it should not be worrying. That hypothesis flips around if you'd be planning to use it in a high traffic server or something. But even then it would probably last years. Admittedly, I still like the previous generation NAND FLASH ICs better though as the life-cycle of the NAND flash simply was double of what it is now, and what people seek it reliability, not cost effective methods that can shorten lifespan.
As you guys perhaps know, the entire Force 3 series was called back due to both a Firmware and PCB issue. Let me assure you, that all SSDs available now in the stores are 100%. So please do not be afraid of that, the FW issue actually effected pretty much all SandForce 2281 based products on the market. If you like to verify this after purchase, this is SSD model 1.2 and the old revision is tagged 1.0
Anyhow. If you are seeking massive performance in the storage segment then the Force 3 series offers just that, really good performance. Hopefully you can find it for a price that is acceptable for you. We end this article with the words we always say, an SSD is the best upgrade a modern PC can use, your operating system flies, there are no waits which you normally have with a HDD, there's no noise and hardly any power consumption, it is the best upgrade any modern age PC can use. And if you have a SATA3 controller, the Force 3 definitely comes very much recommended.
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