Last week we took an in-depth look at the Corsair Force Series GT 180GB SSD and found a nice surprise under the top, a SandForce SF-2282 controller. The SF-2282 is a fairly rare piece of silicon to find in consumer SSDs. It allows SSD manufactures to connect up to 32 NAND flash chips to the controller. The more common SF-2281 controller found on most Team SandForce drives can only communicate with up to 16.
Today we are looking at the Corsair Force Series 3 SSD with 180GB of user capacity. The Force 3 uses the 25nm NAND flash chips just like the Force GT 180GB, but this time less expensive 25nm MLC asynchronous flash is used. Asynchronous flash has been the topic of many debates online and especially in SSD reviewer circles. On the surface, SSDs using asynchronous flash perform almost identically to drives with Toggle Mode or synchronous flash until incompressible or compressed data is used.
The standard tagline was that these drives were the ultimate bang for the buck SSD offering nearly the same performance, but at a reduced cost. Over time the high cost of 25nm MLC synchronous flash SSDs priced dropped and in many cases are within just a few dollars of budget asynchronous models. It was around that time I wrote an article explaining that on the surface benchmarks were no longer relevant and that SSDs needed to be tested with data present to find their true real-world performance.
Before I start to bore you with methodology I'd much rather just show the benchmarks and we can see for ourselves. Since the Force Series 3 uses a different configuration than most SandForce based SSD all bets are off.