One aspect we didn't talk about in the review is the new firmware. When we tested the original Neutron GTX it was with firmware version M206. The new 19nm version moved to a new M3xx series. The 120GB and 240GB use M306 and the 480GB version has M310. We didn't find many of differences between M306 and M310 so we suspect the firmware difference just has to do with the higher density NAND on the 480GB drive. Corsair doesn't list M310 as an update on their website for the 120GB or 240GB models.
When first released, the Corsair Neutron and Neutron GTX brought groundbreaking performance to the Corsair stable. The high IOPS ratings put Corsair in the hyper drive performance class months before Samsung launched the 840 Pro. Even back then, speed and reliability were our greatest concerns. Now, with many SSDs butting up against the upper limits of SATA III, our focus is shifting to new features. Nearly a year ago we added battery life and power testing, an area where the Neutron GTX could use a little help.
We're now looking at other aspects of SSDs outside of performance and power. The LAMD controller used in the Neutron and Neutron GTX get very hot and that heat has to go somewhere. The controller doesn't take advantage of the new encryption technology in Windows 8 or TCG Opal software. None of those means anything to a majority of desktop users, but mobile users should take note.
In a desktop, the Corsair Neutron GTX is a very fast and very good drive. The base Neutron is as well and with the new Hynix flash, the base Neutron is right on the heels of the GTX models we looked at today. I'm not too sure I wouldn't pocket the price difference and just purchase the base Neutron now that these two models are so close in performance. Both have the same accessory package and the same five year warranty. Neutron costs roughly $20 less than Neutron GTX in the 256GB capacity class. The GTX drives will perform better when multitasking thanks to the increase in high queue depth IOPS performance.
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