Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD
by Robert Tanner on February 20, 2013 in Storage

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!

Final Thoughts

LAMD’s LM87800 controller is a very well-rounded chip. It offers balanced random read and writes while delivering some of the best sequential read and write performance we have seen to date. The LAMD controller performs at its best at lower queue depths, which are the kind typically seen on consumer systems. When the queue depth is raised to 32, the LM87800 controller isn’t able to capitalize as well as some other SSDs on the additional parallelism available, but at the current performance level it offers, it would just be icing on the cake.

There simply isn’t any glaring issue or comprise made in the performance of LAMD’s controller. Our only criticism would be the reported power consumption under load. While it isn’t the highest we’ve ever seen for an SSD, it is still higher than we would like. It doesn’t make it a problem for laptop use, but it may shave a few minutes off several hours of battery life.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Box Art

It is worth reiterating again that the Neutron’s controller does not rely on any sort of compression to achieve its performance. So unlike SandForce drives, performance will be more consistent regardless of the data being worked on. We also observed during our benchmarking that the Neutron employs a very aggressive garbage collection algorithm. As is typical of any SSD, after imaging the drive performance dipped for the first quarter of the drive, but on subsequent runs of HD Tune we observed the performance line rising back to its original 400MB/s level. All good SSDs have their own versions of automatic garbage collection and NAND management software, but the Neutron’s is certainly one of the more aggressively tuned varieties we have seen. Neutron users can expect performance to stay fairly stable over the lifespan of the SSD.

All-in-all, Corsair’s Neutron family has proven itself to be a worthy performance successor to the SandForce platform. Pricing is surprisingly competitive as well, equal to the slower SandForce offerings which makes it significantly cheaper than its Vector competition. Oddly although the Neutron is supposed to slot in under the Neutron GTX, in both cases the GTX is either the same price or even cheaper! As always, prices change constantly, so we advise consumers to double-check – although we honestly wouldn’t complain too much about getting a Neutron GTX for the price of the Neutron!

Corsair has differentiated itself in the SSD market. No longer is it going to compete amongst a litany of similar rebadged SSD clones, but instead, the company decided to rise above the crowd by creating an SSD featuring an unheard-of controller that can offer performance equal to the best SSDs out there. Even better, with Corsair reportedly signing an exclusive deal, it has ensured the Neutron series will be the only SSDs of its type on the market for some time. We have to give Corsair mad props for such a bold move, but it clearly has worked. And in a just-as-gutsy a move, Corsair decided to stand by this new SSD by including a full five-year warranty on all Neutron and Neutron GTX models. With that in mind, and with the surprisingly competitive pricing, we have to give Corsair an Editor’s Choice award for its Neutron GTX. Sometimes being bold can be a good thing.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.