Any Sandforce 2200 series based product to date manages to shock and awe. This conclusion however will be a tad more complex as the Force 3 compared to the Force GT in terms of overall performance is much closer than you think, sometimes a little slower even. But overall if you seek a little more bite then the GT is definitely a notch faster, especially with lots of file transfers like MP3s etc; the GT hauls ass.
Whether or not you'd ever really notice the difference ... well that remains to be the big question. SSDs have become so fast that the differences need to be found in a split second. Once you queue up lots of files and start copying them that's where you can shave off valuable seconds. But even then, the source needs to be able to cope with the fast Force GT.
So yeah, the reality is that whatever SATA 3 based product is being thrown at us, we seem to be impressed with.
Should you decide to pick one up then we can't stress enough that 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. The same goes for say an Intel X58 platform with 3rd part SATA3 controller. The differences are colossal, read a little about that here.
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.
Both the Force 3 and Force GT SSDs offer tremendous performance for hopefully an acceptable amount of money. As stated the GT will be a notch faster sure, whether or not that's worth the extra money remains a question only you can answer. Here's the reality pricing wise (pricing in the Netherlands at the time of writing in EUR and with VAT included):
Corsair Force 3 120GB costs 232,-
Corsair Force GT 120GB costs 237,-
Yep -- that's a 5 EUR difference. So to us it makes the most sense to go for the GT model. It's not cheap though, roughly 2 EUR per GB. The US price for this model is roughly 280 USD by the way.
To those of you that complain continuously about prices well my advice is simple really; stop looking at the Solid State Disk technology as if it where a HDD. It will never reach the same prices or top the multiple TB volume storage the HDD offers for less money. Comparing an SSD with an HDD is making a comparison in-between an 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.
The 25nm NAND Flash memory versus SSD lifespan discussion. We'll keep mentioning this in each and every review, if you do the math based on very heavy consumer usage, a 25nm FLASH NAND drive can last you many many years. 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. There's nothing guys like Corsair and OCZ can do about it, it's the NAND flash manufacturers who have the decisive factor here. But you as an end-user will determine whether or not this is an acceptable compromise.
So yeah, let's round things up. The sheer peak performance, and then the sustained performance throughput of the GT is outrageously 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.
The Force GT overall (except for a few anomalies) is the faster SSD compared to the Force 3. Now typically due to price difference I would not recommend spending more money as that Force 3 is already bitching fast. But the Force GT is merely a few bucks more expensive and that makes is a way more interesting purchase.
Hopefully the price is acceptable for you as anno 2011, that is still the biggest culprit of high-perf SSD drives, if you can find it for a price that is acceptable for you then we can recommend it Force GT very much.
We foresee that ASUS users with a black / red themed PC will absolutely adore the red color scheme of the drive as that would match really well. It's a great SSD which we loved testing, the performance will blow you away no matter what application you'll launch from it. Highly recommended and the GT comes with a 3 years warranty (carry in).
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