The Corsair Performance 3 256GB SSD
Here we get our first look at the drive. Just like the previous Performance Series the drive is encased in a silver aluminum housing. The label on the front shows the model number and capacity size.
The back of the drive is fairly basic other than a serial number sticker. The standard undermount screw points are included. These are mainly used to secure the drive to a caddy or adapter bracket.
The side mounting points are also where they should be. The Performance 3 is a 9.5mm, standard 2.5" form factor height drive.
The SATA power and data connections are where they should be both inside and outside of the included desktop adapter bracket.
You might notice a few things that are very different with the new Corsair Performance 3 compared to most of the SSDs we've looked at. On the first side of the drive we see the Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 controller. There are four Toshiba 32nm flash modules on this side. The flash uses Toggle Mode; think DDR for flash. There is also a Nanya 70nm DDR3-1333 module that works as a cache buffer and temporary storage when all of that garbage collection is taking place.
The other side of the drive is pretty uneventful other than the four flash modules. This is also where we really start to see how next generation SSDs are going to change things as well. The total flash module count is only four with this drive. We've seen sixteen with Indilinx and SandForce, eight in a few other drives, and now that count has been reduced to just four with the Corsair Performance 3 256GB.
Have you figured out why the Corsair Performance 3 PCB looks so different yet? - This picture will help. The actual PCB for our retail drive is a 1.8" form factor. Corsair chose to use a 2.5" case, but then theinternals are based on an ultra compact 1.8" design.
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