Corsair F100 Force SSD review -
Final Words and Verdict
Corsair's Force series SSD leaves a decent impression. The overall baseline performance is certainly fast, and when you look at very specific segments like Random I/O, especially in writes it's where the drive shines over controller solutions like Indilinx and the latest (with proper cache) JMicron products.
Admittedly, while the performance is good, it certainly was not grand when compared to the OCZ Vertex 2 and the ADATA S599. These drives both are based on the very same SF1200 controller as well. The Corsair Force was a good chunk behind in performance in some of our tests. In the non-ending paradox; benchmarks like ATTO and IOMeter performed extraordinary well. Puzzled as we have been we literally went through three Corsair Force 100 units in an endeavor to find out where the performance loss is originating from, and to date we can not explain that. With that said, it could be our test setup .. but we tried this drive on several test platforms, on a Sata 2 3G, SATA 3 6G based controllers in both IDE and AHCI mode. We've also tested multiple other SSDs based on SF1200 on this very same test setup, without issues. As such we feel it a firmware/compatibility issue somehow that hopefully will be solved in the future alright.
It however is what it is and we write what we see, we test and measure. This my friends is what we see every now and then with SandForce based products, sometimes it just works out tremendously well, and in other cases you start seeking for some performance you are missing. And that was the case with the F100. However, make no mistake, the Corsair Force series does make a strong impression.
Some more comments then, what the SSD industry really needs is a downfall in prices and a concern with SandForce products is that they make SSDs more expensive compared to the Indilinx products and for a technical reason SandForce reserves nearly 20 to 28 GB in storage volume size depending on the model of course for performance enhancements. New Firmware revisions are already freeing up some of that excessive amount of unused yet costly NAND memory. So while you gain more (extensively more) random IO write performance, you loose a fifth to a sixth of your volume size and the product is more expensive. In the end that's a call you have to make, as whether or not in real-life situation you'd even notice the faster random write IO is something I doubt very much.
Now I keep saying this, while the SandForce products might be significantly faster in random writes of small files ... I'd still recommend you to look into Indilinx products as well and value for money wise make a solid decision on what solution is the better alternative for you.
Well, as expensive as a SSD still really is, it will get rid of one of the greatest bottlenecks in your system, your mechanical HDD. In return you'll receive extremely fast seek times, no more high latencies, fast file loading and writing and sure, after using several SSDs for the past year now can say that they are very reliable as well. Personally I love to have my Windows boot up in 30 seconds opposed to 55. The same with Photoshop which takes what 3 seconds to load up? The list goes on and on, linear to SSD development.
While the F100 should be a truly excellent SSD it remained to be just 'good', the Force 100 for whatever reason decided to give us a bit of a rough time, sometimes that happens with hardware. We all know it, we all hate it, but heck .. sometimes a product just does not want to do what you need it to do. Have you bought one of the F100 SSDs ? Please let us know you experiences, as we would really like to find out how common our findings are.
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