Today we review the Corsair Force LX 256GB SSD. Corsair recently released this new addition to their SSD lineup. The series is to compete with Samsung and Micron mostly, in both price and performance. The end result is a very capable and fast SSD that can keep up with the big guns in the market, yet remains priced in a sweet spot.
The LX line of solid-state storage units is actually a bit faster than most high-end drives made of NAND chips (20nm ONFI NAND) yet, is intended as the more affordable SSD series within the Corsair lineup. The SSDs are rated with a whopping 560 MB/s sequential read, running over the all too familiar SATA 6.0 Gbps connection interface. Interestingly however, a relatively unknown controller from Silicon Motion is being used. And as our results will show you, this controller can compete just fine. There is a 'but' though, and that will be write performance. See Corsair wanted to offer a REALLY competitive product price wise on the market, and as such, less components means less costs. Only 4 NAND ICs are needed for this product for the 128GB model (eight on the 256 GB model), so while the read performance is exceptionally good, less memory NAND channels means compromise in write performance.
Now then, the LX makes use of the normal 2.5-inch form factor and has a thickness of 7mm. TRIM is supported, of course. I've stated it a couple of times already, it really is surprising to see where we have gotten. The SSD market is fierce and crowded though. While stability and safety of your data have become a number one priority for the manufacturers, the technology keeps advancing in a fast pace as it does, the performance numbers a good SSD offers these days are simply breathtaking. A 450 to 550 MB/sec on SATA3 is the norm for a single controller based SSD. Next to that, the past year NAND flash memory (the storage memory used inside an SSD) has become much cheaper as well. Prices now roughly settle just under 75 cents USD per GB. That was two to threefold two years ago. As such SSD technology and NAND storage has gone mainstream. The market is huge, fierce and competitive, but it brought us where we are today... nice volume SSDs at acceptable prices with very fast performance. Not one test system in my lab has an HDD; everything runs on SSD while I receive and retrieve my bigger chunks of data from a NAS server here in the office. The benefits are performance, speed, low power consumption and no noise. You can say that I evangelize SSDs, yes Sir .. I am a fan, an SSD addict if you will.
So with this new SSD series the SSD drive controller is a new one too, coming from Silicon Motion and paired with 20nm ONFI NAND. Pricing will be its real strength, with 128GB for $79.99 and 256GB for $129.99.
Corsair LX 256GB SSD with 256 GB 20nm ONFI NAND and a Silicon Motion controller
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