Ultra affordable (AKA Ultra Small Capacity) drives have been the odd bird in the SSD world. Intel and Kingston have both been somewhat successful developing drives in this category, but I have done my best to steer clear from this market altogether. That changed when Corsair sent over their new 40GB Force Series drive and with one knock on the door I was tossed into a market that I have no business pretending to know about.
Even though prices are falling and the lines are blurring there are two distinct classes of SSDs on the market. I normally test and discuss products geared for enthusiasts, power users and mainstream users looking to get the most performance possible out of their machine, be it a custom build or an OEM clone of a clone's clone. All of these users are looking for high performance at the best price and up until now the reduced channel, smaller capacity SSDs have not been considered high performance by my personal measuring devices.
So what has changed and why the hell am I looking at a 40GB SSD? Well, the first thing is that Corsair is quite proud of their new 40GB, near 100 USD SandForce powered SSD and knew that the best way to introduce it was to send it to someone who was going to hate it before he even opened the box. I wasn't really given the chance to volunteer and with that the chance to opt out, one knock, one box, one 40GB drive that I never wanted to see.
Being known for sending products back with a note explaining why a product is junk, I will never recommend it to anyone. But obviously something has changed in my line of thinking or else you wouldn't even be reading this review to begin with. To start things off, Corsair's new F40 is not a reduced channel POS that should have never seen the light of day. This is a real SSD with all of the channels sending and receiving data just like the big boys that I normally cover. That means that most of the performance is there…not all of the performance since smaller flash is a bit slower, but enough is retained to make the F40 worthy of your time.
Even if you are someone who has written off small capacity SSDs no matter what the cost, I think this is one product you should spend a little time looking at today. Let's walk through the specs and then get to some testing and see why.