Changing a products reference design can be a double edge sword. While looking to improve one area of a product, you may inadvertently bring on other issues. I don't think that is the case with the Corsair Force GT, but some of the synthetic performance numbers we achieved may lead to that line of thinking. After looking around the web, we observed that others achieved much better performance in HD Tune Pro than we did with our sample. With that out there, I'm content to just leave HD Tune Pro out of our analysis since the results were in line with a drive that had been stressed prior to arrival at our test facility.
Due to time constraints, we are not able to test long term use or test with several different motherboards. You may have read that a small number of end users have experienced problems using SSDs with SandForce SF-2281 controllers. This issue was turned over to SandForce for a fix, but it appears that Corsair is taking action to improve their Force Series of products on their own. We can't say one way or the other if Corsair has the fix with the new PCB design; we've never had the issue with SF-2281 controlled drives outside of a single sample. Time and of course forum users will tell that story when it's ready to be written.
In the time between finishing this article and it going live on the site, more data arrived about the new redesigned Force GT. We've learned that the improvement to the signal was larger than we once thought. In the chart above we see a typical design on the left and the new Corsair design on the right. The "data eye" in the middle is more pronounced with the new design.
The real question left is how the changes affect your system. The most obvious is going to be systems with longer cables or cables that may be producing a poor signal path to begin with. We've read a handful of reports of MACs having issues with signal quality. In some cases users needed to wrap their notebook SATA cable in aluminum foil to achieve a better signal with SATA 6Gb/s drives. Systems with backplanes are another area where issues can arise from poor signal quality. The biggest benefit may simply be peace of mind knowing that your Corsair Force GT was designed to produce the best possible signal from the start.
Corsair has a nice warranty and accessory package for the Force GT. Goodies include a desktop adapter bracket, active support forum and a three year warranty. All of these are starting to become the norm for SSD products, but it didn't get that way without Corsair's influence.
Our Force GT 240GB sample is now available at Newegg for 459.99. At the time of writing this was the lowest priced SF-2281 / 240GB Synchronous Flash drive available at Newegg. With real SATA III performance (with both compressed and uncompressed data) and this price point, it's impossible to not include the 240GB Force GT as one of the top SSDs on the market today.