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Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review
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Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD
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by Robert Tanner on February 20, 2013 in Solid-State Drives

It’s the attack of the SandForce clones! Can any heroic atomic-powered SSD come to save us? Does Corsair’s Neutron have what it takes to rescue our PC in distress? Will the hordes of the positively-charged solid-state armies be neutralized in time? Tune in this week (or now) to find out!

Introduction

It isn’t every day tech writers get surprised, but heads were certainly turned (including mine) when Corsair announced its 4th generation SSDs based upon the controller from some unknown controller company. Yet, apparently this “unknown” company has been producing and selling both disk and flash-based drives in the enterprise market for years, ever since its inception in 2004. The Neutron just happens to be the first consumer-focused SSD to feature a Link_A_Media Devices’ chip housed inside. Reportedly, Corsair has signed an exclusive distribution agreement and will be the only company for the time-being to offer SSDs powered by a LAMD controller.

The launch of the Neutron family utilizing an unheard-of controller was an especially bold move from Corsair, yet it is also welcome to see. Currently, SandForce SSDs are still by far the most prevalent type on the market and there simply are not many publicly-available controller alternatives that exist beyond Marvell and Samsung for performance SSDs. Even Intel has migrated to using SandForce in its main consumer SSDs. Despite this, Corsair has somehow managed to pull the metaphorical rabbit out of a hat, launching not just a completely new choice in SSDs, but a new premium offering that is capable of hanging with the best-performing SSDs currently on the market. This is no small feat.

Corsair’s Neutron SSD family is comprised of the Neutron and Neutron GTX varieties. Both models feature the same LM87800 controller at the core, with the only difference being price and the choice of NAND flash housed inside. In addition to types like MLC and TLC, NAND typically is offered in asynchronous, synchronous, and toggle-based varieties with performance (and cost) increasing as one moves up the chain, with toggle-based NAND currently at the top. The Neutron makes use of Micron’s 25nm synchronous flash, while the GTX goes full bore with Toshiba’s 24nm toggle flash.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD

  Corsair Neutron GTX Series
  120 GB 240 GB 480 GB
Sequential Read 550 MB/s 555MB/s
Sequential Write 330 MB/s 470 MB/s 511 MB/s
Maximum Random Reads 80,000 IOPS 85,000 IOPS 90,000 IOPS
Maximum Random Writes 90,000 IOPS 85,000 IOPS
NAND 24nm Toshiba Toggle NAND
Interface SATA 3.0 6Gbit/s
Power Consumption 0.6W Idle / 4.6W Writes
Price $119 $209 $454
Warranty 5 Years

The model we are testing here is the 240GB Neutron GTX, although it’s worth highlighting that all models of the Neutron family feature a full five-year warranty. Both offer capacities of 120GB and 240GB, although only the GTX family includes a model up to 480GB. In line with recent trends, Corsair’s SSDs feature the thinner 7mm height that has become more popular over the traditional 9mm height for 2.5” form-factor drives. All models ship with a single-piece metal tray adapter for easy mounting in a standard 3.5” drive bay.

Overall specifications look excellent for a high-performance SATA 3.0 solid-state drive, especially with that already mentioned essential five-year warranty. One cautionary note though would be the power numbers. We do not have the equipment to check for power consumption, but the reported 4.6W load number is on the high side. After some checking around, the actual idle power consumption is also on the higher range of the spectrum. That isn’t to say these drives are unusually power-hungry as there certainly are worse offenders out there, but it is worth pointing out that these drives will consume a little more power than a typical laptop hard drive.


  • http://techgage.com/ Marfig

    I must agree that 240GB at 200 USD and 5 year warranty, makes this the very first SSD I would consider buying.

    240GB would allow me to fit the OS, plus development environment and quite a few related essentials, that would allow me to keep a full programming environment under SSD speeds.

    • http://www.facebook.com/deathspawner Rob Williams

      I also have to agree. The 5-year warranty on such an affordable drive is -extremely- impressive, and an -extremely- bold move by Corsair given that LAMD controllers are not exactly “proven” in the enthusiast market yet. This would definitely be on the top of my list if I needed a new SSD.

    • Kougar

      For LAMD’s first entry into the enthusiast market, their roots in the enterprise space are clearly showing with how well its first consumer-oriented controller performs.

      The pricing, warranty, and performance is just the perfect combination with this drive. It easily outperforms all the SandForce clones in its price point yet the five year warranty proves Corsair is confident about, and committed to big things with this SSD and controller over the long run.

  • http://techgage.com/ Marfig

    BTW, I must say this:

    Techgage comes with some of the most comprehensive and well done tests I’ve come across on the web, beating in my opinion most of the established tech websites out there, both in scope and presentation. The amount of information is also phenomenal, providing the tests with the necessary backup info to put the data in context.

    This article, the NVIDIA’s Titan, the Seagate Constellation, to speak only of the most recent, are a sheer pleasure to read and should constitute a reference card to any geek or tech guru out there!

    And let’s not even speak of feature articles like Brett’s recent SSD’s at the office, or the absolute pearl that was his in depth introduction to pentesting, or Ryan Perry and Greg King’s case reviews!

    Frankly I’ll make sure TG is more often linked out there on the tubes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/deathspawner Rob Williams

      If only we could possess all of the others as successfully as we have you! Buahahaha. No, I kid. That’s what we’ve always strived for. We’re far from perfect but can at least do our best.