One of the most unique SSDs to come to market in 2011 was the Corsair Performance 3 Series. The Performance 3 used a modified version of the Marvell SATA III controller to deliver high-speed SATA III speeds, but with a twist. The drive couldn't be slowed down due to a very aggressive garbage collection algorithm. This held true throughout the drive even when the drive was nearly full of data. The down side was the drive wasn't as fast at peak performance when compared to other Marvell based SSDs like the Crucial m4 and Intel 510 Series, but for users who ran their drives with 50% or more capacity the Performance 3 proved to be faster than all competing Marvell products on the market.
Corsair now has a follow up product in the Performance family, the Performance Series Pro. We've had this drive in house for quite a while now to try and determine exactly what it is. The early marketing on this product gave us the impression that it was a faster Performance 3, but our testing proved that wasn't exactly accurate since the Performance Pro does slow down as data is added, just like the m4 and 510 Series Marvell drives.
The Performance Pro isn't exactly like those other Marvell based SSDs either even though the controller shares the same part number. It isn't like the new Plextor M3S either, that part uses new 24nm Toshiba Toggle NAND flash. So, after a considerable amount of time pushing, prodding and weighing the Corsair Performance Pro, we are finally ready to tell you exactly what it is.
On the surface the Performance Series Pro 256GB is fast. Even faster than the Corsair Force GT that is based off of the SandForce SF-2281 controller that dominated benchmarks charts all over the world in 2011. I'm not going to get ahead of myself here though, let's look at the specifications.