Specifications, Pricing and Availability
I can tell you that Corsair has been really busy lately. With a new gaming accessory product line, additions to existing product lines and a few surprises set for CES, everyone at the company has been working crazy hours. That doesn't really excuse why the specification sheet for the 256GB Performance Series 3 has errors on it, but we at least know why they haven't been corrected just yet.
On the sheet it lists NO for DRAM cache, that isn't the case as the Performance Pro actually has a massive 512MB of cache divided between two DRAM chips. The only other drive we've seen with this configuration came from OCZ, their new Octane SATA III drive which we heavily suspect uses a modified Marvell SATA III controller instead of a true Indilinx design as advertised. We'll save that for another day, though.
Tracking down the flash type was a particular pain in the butt this time since Toshiba doesn't make it easy to find data sheets on NAND flash. We did finally determine that the Performance Pro uses 3Xnm Toggle Mode NAND flash that is synchronous. 24nm Toshiba Toggle flash is starting to appear in the wild, mainly on a new Plextor part, but it isn't on the Performance Pro. This is actually a good thing though since the 3Xnm flash has a proven track record of delivering reliable and high-speed performance.
The spec sheet lists a maximum read speed of 515MB/s and a maximum write speed of 440MB/s. We don't really use these numbers for anything other than marketing these days and you'll see why in the review. These are impressive numbers though, but shy of the numbers we see on SandForce SF-2281 based SSDs.
Corsair lists two capacity sizes for the Performance Pro, 128GB and the larger 256GB that we are looking at today. Newegg lists both models as available at the time of writing, 219.99 USD for the 128GB and 399.99 for the 256GB. We suspect these prices will slowly decline after CES and become more like SF-2281 controlled drives.
The big draw on this product though is advanced garbage collection. It isn't as advanced as the Performance 3 that we looked at early in 2011, some of that processing power has been redirected to give the drive faster peak performance, but there is still quite a bit of background garbage collection going on, something you won't find in SandForce controlled drives, so the Performance Pro is better suited for RAID arrays and instances where TRIM is not available.
When it comes to the accessory package Corsair didn't veer off course from their norm. A desktop adapter bracket is included as are the screws for securing the drive in your system. A three year warranty is also included, so you have peace of mind in your purchase.