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Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB & 960GB SATA III SSD Review (Page 1)

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB & 960GB SATA III SSD Review

Corsair's newly launched Neutron XTi SSD series features double the DRAM cache, which should deliver outstanding heavy workload performance.

Jon Coulter | Jun 17, 2016 at 11:10 am CDT - 3 mins, 32 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Corsair


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB & 960GB SATA III SSD Review 01 |

Corsair is a dedicated enthusiast company with a vast portfolio of enthusiast grade products. At this year's Computex, Corsair announced a new flagship SSD; the Corsair Neutron XTi. Corsair has never been shy about going the extra mile to deliver innovative products that push the envelope. Corsair's Neutron XTi is just such a product. As many companies look to increase profit margins by utilizing the bare minimum, Corsair is doing just the opposite with their Neutron XTi series SSDs by doubling the typical DRAM to NAND ratio.

Typically, SSDs that have onboard DRAM caching employ a 1MB DRAM to 1GB NAND ratio. A DRAM cache is used to provide faster access to block addressing; wear leveling data is also kept in the cache while the SSD is operating. The larger the DRAM cache, the better the SSD will perform. The problem is, DRAM is one of the most expensive components on an SSD, which is why most SSDs employ the minimum required to deliver decent performance. Some SSDs do not even utilize a DRAM cache as a cost-saving measure, which in turn significantly reduces overall performance.

Corsair was first to utilize Phision's PS3110-S10-X quad-core 8-channel controller, doing so on their Neutron XT series. Phison's PS3110-S10-X quad-core 8-channel controller, or S10, as we will refer to it going forward, has emerged as the leading third-party SATA III controller on the market. Phison's S10 controller is capable of being paired with TLC or MLC flash arrays in capacities of up to 2TB, making it the most versatile SATA controller on the market today. Phison controllers are among the industry's most reliable with integrated features like End-to-End Data Path Protection, SmartECC, SmartRefresh, SmartFlush, GuaranteedFlush, Advanced wear-leveling and garbage collection.

Corsair's Neutron XT series paired Phison's S10 controller with Toshiba A19nm MLC flash and featured a 1MB to 1GB DRAM to NAND ratio. The Neutron XTi pairs Phison's S10 controller with Toshiba 15nm MLC flash and features double the DRAM cache to NAND ratio at 240-960GB capacity points, which should notably improve heavy workload performance. In addition to doubling the DRAM cache, the Neutron XTi's TBW rating has been greatly increased over the Neutron XT. The Neutron XT carries a TBW rating of 124TB at all capacity points. The Neutron XTi carries a TBW rating of 320TB for the 480GB model and 640TB for the 960GB model; both figures are the highest claimed for any client drive currently on the market.

Corsair is marketing their flagship XTi as an ultra-high performance SSD engineered to meet the most demanding workloads, with several enterprise-like features that meet the needs of hardcore gamers, design professionals, and 4K video content creators. Despite the additional cost incurred by doubling the amount of onboard DRAM cache, the Neutron XTi is priced affordably at launch, especially when you consider the drive is an 8-channel MLC SSD with the highest endurance rating of any client drive on the market.

It's been quite some time since we've seen an SSD that can handle demanding workloads as well as Samsung's 850 Pro. Is Corsair's Neutron XTi up to the task despite its significantly lower price point? Let's find out.


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB & 960GB SATA III SSD Review 02 |

Corsair's Neutron XTi 2.5"x7mm SATA III SSD is available in four capacities: 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, and 1920GB. The 1920GB model will come to market at the end of July and will feature a 1 to 1 DRAM cache to NAND ratio. The 480GB and 960GB models we have on the bench share the following factory specifications: Sequential Read: up to 560 MB/s. Sequential Write: up to 540 MB/s. Max 4K Random Read Speed: up to 100,000 IOPS. Max 4K Random Write Speed: up to 90,000 IOPS.

The Neutron XTi is compatible with Corsair's SSD Toolbox. Corsair's SSD Toolbox provides advanced drive management tools including Monitor S.M.A.R.T attributes and SSD health status. Support for Over-provisioning, Secure Wipe, Disk Cloning, FW update, and more. The most notable feature of Corsair's SSD Toolbox is disk cloning which makes migration to Corsair's Neutron XTi a breeze for the end-user. Corsair backs the Neutron XTi with a five-year limited warranty. The 480GB model carries an MSRP of $179.99, the 960GB model $329.99.

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

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Jon Coulter


Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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