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Corsair Neutron GTX 19nm 2013 Edition SSD (120GB, 240GB and 480GB) Review - Benchmarks - Power and Thermal Testing

Corsair Neutron GTX 19nm 2013 Edition SSD (120GB, 240GB and 480GB) Review
Not long ago, we wrote about the Corsair Neutron base model with new 22nm SK Hynix flash. Today Chris walks us through the flagship GTX model that now features new 19nm Toggle flash from Toshiba.
| SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 3:31 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Corsair

Bapco MobileMark 2012 1.5

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2012 1.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

Test Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

 

MobileMark 2012 1.5 is an application-based benchmark that reflects usage patterns of business users in the areas of office productivity, media creation and media consumption. Unlike benchmarks that only measure battery life, MobileMark 2012 measures battery life and performance simultaneously, showing how well a system design addresses the inherent tradeoffs between performance and power management.

 

TweakTown image content/5/5/5569_67_corsair_neutron_gtx_19nm_2013_edition_ssd_120gb_240gb_and_480gb_review.png

 

All three Neutron GTX 19nm drives deliver around the same battery life in our Lenovo W530 with a six-cell battery, 263 to 265 minutes. This is on the low side since we've achieved 302 and 305 minutes on the same system with Phison and LSI SandForce B02 controller based drives.

 

 

PCMark Vantage HDD Test - Power Draw

 

TweakTown image content/5/5/5569_68_corsair_neutron_gtx_19nm_2013_edition_ssd_120gb_240gb_and_480gb_review.png

 

In the power trace we see where all that power is going. The Neutron GTX drives take a long time (relative to other SSDs) to get back to an idle power state. At the very start of the test we see ten seconds of idle and the Neutron GTX drives are actually lower than anything else on the chart. The problem is they never get back to the idle state during the test.

 

 

Thermal Testing (BETA)

 

TweakTown image content/5/5/5569_69_corsair_neutron_gtx_19nm_2013_edition_ssd_120gb_240gb_and_480gb_review.png

 

We're getting ready close to unveiling the new consumer SSD test procedures. I've slid a few of the new tests here and there over the last few months. We took the image above with a Testo 875-1 thermal imaging camera. The method of testing today doesn't reflect the final version coming next month since the ambient temperature in my office is a cool 20C. At this time, we're not willing to give too many details since we expect others to copy our testing. We will say that the test represents a load on a Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB.

 

That said, the LAMD controller reaches 87.5C under load and heats the surrounding flash. The furthest flash from the controller is 51.2C. Again, the ambient temperature is 20C.

 

At this time, temperature testing isn't as important as it will be moving forward. Flash endurance decreases with higher temperatures. The Neutron GTX uses 3K P/E Cycle NAND flash, but next-generation MLC flash and TLC flash should see a significant reduction in program erase cycles. If each data write hits your drive with 5x or 10x more wear, your SSD isn't going to survive very long. At the same time, lower endurance NAND will need more error correction from the controller. More load on the controller, more heat output. Future SSDs will need to balance more workload in the future.

 

New, smaller form factors like m.2 bring another set of issues to the table. The smaller form factors mean less surface area for cooling. At the same time, the flash will need to be even closer to the controller.

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