It's starting to feel like the Silicon Motion revolution in my lab. The SMI drives are piling up so high that if they fell over, it would register as a seismic event. This isn't the first time a controller maker took over a market. SandForce and before that JMicron gobbled up a significant number of design wins in the past.
The reason why Silicon Motion went from an unknown to full on assault of my desk space is pretty easy. Like SandForce, SMI creates a controller, reference design and firmware. If you follow the SSD groups on LinkedIn, then you already know that an SSD firmware engineer can write his own ticket right now (China, India, Taiwan and Silicon Valley are looking for you with open checkbooks!). By taking on a large portion of the responsibility and the initial cost, smaller companies can quickly become SSD manufacturers.
This is the second drive from the Force Series LX product family we've tested. The Force Series LX 256GB review can be seen here.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Corsair released the Force Series LX in three capacity sizes, 128GB, 256GB, and the large 512GB model we're testing today. All three capacity sizes use the latest Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller and pair it with Micron 20nm NAND flash. The 512BG model uses 256MB of DRAM cache for page table data. Claimed performance is 560 MB/s sequential read, 450 MB/s sequential write speeds. The random performance at QD32 is 73K read and 72K write.
The Force LX supports DEVSLP for long battery life in notebooks and low power consumption in desktops. The drives also use a 7mm z-height for use in newer Ultrabook designs that require very thin housings.
Newegg currently shows all three capacity sizes in story and ready to ship. The 128GB model is currently at $92. The Force LX 256GB is a tremendous value at just $125, but the large 512GB model at $280 gives you enough room to hold several games, applications and media files.
All three models have a three-year warranty from Corsair. Corsair doesn't ship an accessory package with the Force Series LX, but owners do have access to Corsair's SSD Toolbox software free of charge.
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