We've tested Silicon Motion's new EN2246EN controller now with Toshiba Toggle flash while still in beta and in the PNY Optima, with sixteen Micron 20nm NAND flash packages.
Corsair went a different route with the new low cost, low power controller and used Micron's 16kB page size MLC flash with 20nm lithography. There are only eight NAND flash packages in the Corsair LX. We'll see today what the performance differences are.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
As mentioned, the new Series LX uses the latest controller from Silicon Motion, the SM2246EN. Corsair paired the controller with Micron's L85 20nm 128Gbit NAND flash. This gives the Series LX a maximum sequential read speed of 560 MB/s. The sequential write speed on the 128GB model is 150 MB/s, and the 256GB model we're testing today is 300 MB/s. The random read performance at QD32 is 68k for the 128GB model and 76k on the 256GB model. Random writes are 36k for the 128GB model and 70k on the 256GB model.
Corsair chose to use a 7mm z-height for the case for maximum compatibility, but the Series LX doesn't ship with a desktop adapter bracket like Corsair's high-end drives. The lack of accessories does allow Corsair to keep the price low. The MSRP for the 128GB model is $74.99, and the 256GB model we're testing today comes in at $129.99. Real-world pricing isn't known at this time because the Series LX should hit the market just after this review hits the web. We suspect the 256GB drive could break into the sub-$100 range in a few weeks.
Looking at Corsair's current lineup, we think Corsair will use this model to replace an existing model. The Force Series LS is the model we suspect will go away. The Force Series LX carries the same 3-year warranty as the LS but is slower when it comes to write speeds compared to the LX. The real-world performance should be on par with the LS in many of our tests.
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