In the world of SSDs, "fast" never seems to be fast enough. Whenever a new technology is introduced ... something new will come up. Though plagued by a rocky release, the hottest SSDs at the time of writing this article are SandForce series 2000 based, connected to the SATA3 bus, preferably of a Sandy bridge based PC (as that SATA3 controller is the fastest).
The SATA3 controller is finally getting native on motherboards and we can already see an adoption rate that is really high. And that makes sense as the latest SATA 3 based storage units, in specifically SSDs, show breathtaking numbers.
The past few weeks we had a peek at OCZ's Vertex 3 series and the Agility 3 series as they where first to the market. And at this very moment during summertime, where pretty much any memory manufacturer sells SSDs as well, we spotted lots and lots of SATA3/6G SSDs, predominantly with a SandForce 2200 series controller and asynchronous NAND flash memory, as that offers the best value versus performance.
Within the SandForce 2200 controller range you'll see consumer and corporate products, however in that consumer segment, there's also an SSD series for what we call prosumers ... the ones that purchase the fastest graphics cards, processors and memory. Today's tested product is aimed at that guy (probably you). See, as right now there are two different Flash NAND memory types, one with synchronous- and one with the more common asynchronous flash memory. Short version: asynchronous memory slightly slower than synchronous NAND memory.
Today we look at such a product; Corsair added two new SATA 3 (SATA 3 6Gs) SSDs to their Force lineup, the Force 3 and Force 3 GT, with the 3 as an indicator for SATA 3. The difference in-between the two products is to be found in its NAND flash memory, the GT will be a notch faster in throughput as it makes use of synchronous NAND flash memory. The recently tested "regular" 3 model will run one gear slower, yet still be incredibly fast thanks to slightly cheaper asynchronous NAND flash memory.
Both drives come with that SandForce SF-2281 controller to deliver at up to 555 MBps read and 515 MBps write speeds (when peaking). Corsair claims a Max Random 4k Write using IOMeter of 85k IOPS which is a daring number. But anyhow, we'll have a look alright.
We'll test the Force GT synchronous NAND flash model. Let's move onwards and head into the actual review. Next page please.
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