I went back and forth with this preview article, trying to determine if I had enough here to do a full review or to just publish this article in a preview format. At this time not all of the features work (DEVSLP), we don't have a price and hell we don't even have a drive with the right color case. The notebook battery life performance and price weigh heavily in our final scoring breakdown, so we're just going to go the preview route. We'll follow up later with the 240GB and 480GB in review form after we get final notebook battery life performance data as well as confirmation on the MSRP.
Today we glossed over the advanced features, but have a lot more detail to dive into. Next week we'll have a complete deep dive article that breaks down the new Phison S10 controller features. The S10 is a versatile controller that was designed to perform really well with MLC flash, and deliver the endurance required for TLC flash.
We've yet to hear anyone state a price, but the companies we've spoken with who are looking at using the S10 controller all use the same word to describe it: expensive. The controller only makes up a small percentage of the overall product price, a majority of the money is spent on the flash, so if the controller costs a few dollars more than a Marvell, LAMD, SandForce, whatever, it's only a few dollars to the end-user, no big deal.
Our application workload performance measurements show the Neutron XT performing very well under heavy use. At this time, the drive is still a stone's throw away from the Extreme PRO and 850 Pro, but leaps and bounds ahead of drives like the M550, 840 EVO and the small number of legacy drives that can operate with 1TB of flash.
I think the final version of Neutron XT will deliver a bit more performance; there is still some fine tuning left to do. The notebook battery life performance will increase as low power features are ramped up. The Neutron XT drives we tested already do remarkably well in a notebook and we're excited to see the final outcome.
For now, we're going to leave it at that and touch base in the future once we have enough details to roll out a full review.
UPDATE - Corsair has determined that the initial documents for the Neutron XT incorrectly stated a three-year product warranty. The document has been updated to show a five-year warranty. Since this is a preview of the new Neutron XT series, we didn't score the product, but will take another look once the firmware receives an update and we receive MSRP information.
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