Corsair Force 120 (F120) SSD review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 07/01/2010 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Where the F100 left us with some mixed feelings we can certainly acknowledge that Corsair has a blazingly fast SSD in their hands with the F120 series, ready for a sturdy position in the niche SSD market. The performance numbers are on par with what can be expected for a SandForce based product. The generic consensus is that the 120GB models should be a tad slower then the 100GB models as SandForce products actually use a segment of the NAND flash memory partition for real-time data compression. Logic then assumes that if you cut away some of that available NAND memory that the SSD would become a tad slower. We can acknowledge that we notice only a fraction lower performance compared to 100 GB models SSD drives -- it's really hard to measure and never something you'd notice in a real-world scenario. So yeah, I'd opt the 120GB model in a flash over the 100GB models. Your overall cost per GB will go down at very little performance expense.
The SandForce 1200 based products are good, and they actually kick major ass with write performance of very small files, especially random IO write performance is nearly ridiculously fast thanks to the aforementioned data-compression. Especially for productivity and work PCs that might come in handy. For generic gaming and PC usage -- aaah I'd say doubtful that you'd evah notice it. But faster = always better of course.
See, the reality remains that say an SSD with an Indilinx controller is already massively fast and sufficient in that random IO write performance, and it's only one chunk of the SSD experience where SF1200 really hauls ass. So whether or not you'd notice that performance difference remains to be seen, but sure .. we can definitely measure it with the help of synthetic benchmarks.
The Corsair F120 is fast, very fast and as such the drive comes very much recommended. In the coming months it will be very interesting to see how pricing will develop as that is obviously the biggest 'bottlenecks' right now.
Prices did already fall, where the first SF1200's cost 375 EUR for the 100 and 120GB models, the F120 will cost you 320 EUR in the stores at this very moment. The 128GB Indilinx Corsair V series will cost you roughly 300 EUR. Pricing wise the two are getting close to each other, but as stated .. we really doubt if you'd ever notice the faster random IO write performance of the Force 120. And with that indilinx product you can save a little money and gain another 8GB ... especially in the SSD market every and any single Gigabyte counts.
That said, we can not stress enough how lovely it is to have your OS run from an SSD, please trusts us when we say that the traditional HDD really is one of the biggest bottlenecks of any modern PC. We also admit that SSDs really could use another price-cut to get more gain in the mainstream market. Pricing still makes these puppies a somewhat niche product, but if you are willing to spend money on it ... there's no doubt in my mind that you'd never regret it. Loading up photoshop in 3-4 seconds .. Semper Fi ma man, Semper frickin Fi.! We like to grant the Corsair Force 120 SSD or recommended award, use it as boot/root/OS/application drive and pop in a nice 2 TB HDD for mass storage of movies/MP3/documents and you'll have one extraordinary balanced PC.
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