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Corsair Neutron Series Solid State Drives Review - LAMD or Wolf in a 7mm Package?

By: Chris Ramseyer | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Aug 20, 2012 10:00 am
Manufacturer: Corsair

Specifications, Pricing and Availability




Corsair has two products coming today, Neutron and Neutron GTX. Both were on display at Computex 2012, but Corsair chose to show performance numbers for the GTX. That doesn't mean the base Neutron is a stripped down version or an asynchronous flash drive that looks good on paper, but fails to deliver in the real-world.


Let's start out with Neutron, the base SSD in this series. Neutron uses the same LAMD Amber controller as the GTX, an 8-channel design built to push the boundaries of the SATA 6Gbps limits. Paired with Amber, Corsair chose to use Micron 25nm synchronous flash. This is a move we applaud Corsair for and are glad to see asynchronous flash depart from the enthusiast SSD products. Our sample has a 240GB user capacity and uses 16 NAND flash chips for a total of 256GB of overall capacity.


As you can see, Neutron is a bad boy on its own, but it's only heir to the throne. The Corsair Neutron GTX is the new king of the castle, or in this case the new flagship product sitting atop Corsair's ever increasing SSD product line up. Neutron GTX is also an 8-channel design, but with this model Corsair choose to use Toshiba 24nm Toggle Mode flash. The 240GB model we're looking at today uses eight Toshiba NAND flash chips so in theory should pull less power than the Neutron non-GTX.


We've seen IMFT 25nm synchronous flash get into a fight with Toshiba 24nm Toggle Mode flash before, Force GT vs. Force GS, but those were LSI SandForce Driven products. It'll be interesting to see how these two technologies fair under a new architecture.


At the time of writing we still have a lot of things left to be discovered. Pricing is one of them. At Computex Corsair stated that Neutron products should cost a little more than Force Series products, but the Force 3 and Force GT have been on the market quite a while so there is a lot of variation online right now in their pricing. A better evaluation on pricing through comes from the Force GT and Force GS and in this scenario the Force GS is a new product on the market.


We look forward to seeing Newegg's listings and hope they come sooner rather than later. Let me show you why.


UPDATE - Newegg hasn't listed the drives yet, but we have the MSRP direct from Corsair. The Neutron sells at $119.99 (120GB) and $209.99 (240GB). The Neutron GTX with Toshiba 24nm Toggle Mode flash sells for $139.99 (120GB) and $249.99 (240GB).

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