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Corsair Force Series GT 180GB Solid State Drive Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Apr 9, 2012 8:07 am
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Corsair

Final Thoughts




In 2010 Intel released a 120GB X25-M SSD on the consumer market to fill their gap between the 80GB and 160GB models. The 120GB capacity mark doesn't seem all that strange to us now because we've seen this size on SandForce based products for a long time. In order for Intel to achieve the 120GB mark they used eight flash chips, four from the 80GB capacity size and four from the 160GB capacity size. The drive was faster than the X25-M 80GB model, but not as fast as the 160GB model.


When I first heard about the Corsair Force Series GT 180GB I expected to see the same path taken, half of the chips the same density as found on the 120GB drive and half with higher density 240GB chips. It was from my past experience that I wasn't even going to take a look at the new 180GB models. Eventually a run of mediocre drives hit the lab and I wanted to see something built to a higher standard in terms of quality. That is when I started digging into the 180GB capacity size and when I first cracked the case I learned about the new configuration using the SF-2282 controller.


What Corsair has done is fill the gap without compromising on performance. The 120GB drives have that nasty brick wall that in some situations you see, mainly when copying large amounts of data to or from your boot drive. Working with incompressible data is also an area that you see a reduction in performance. If Corsair would have followed Intel's lead on the 120GB X25-M then the performance would alternate between high and low as data is moved to or from the different flash chips. By using the same flash on all 8 channels the Force GT 180GB doesn't have those massive flow issues.


The SF-2282 in and of itself is a bit of a novelty too with its ability to access twice the physical chips as the base 2281. I still want to see one of these drives with access to a full 32 chips; hopefully that is what arrives tomorrow on my first 480GB SandForce drive. As you can tell I'm quite excited!


The Corsair Force Series GT 180GB fits comfortably inside the gap left open between the 120GB and 240GB capacity sizes. This is in both performance and cost. On the performance side I would much rather have the 180GB drive over a 120GB because that wall is lifted in some of the things I do quite often.


Fitting right in the middle of the price points too is a nice feature and at just over $200 with a mail in rebate we can make a strong argument for this drive since many other 120GB models are hovering around this same price point. All things considered, if you are thinking about a 120GB, but have a little more to invest, then the 180GB Force Series GT is a smart choice. You get the extra capacity and the performance that goes with it.



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