Corsair Neutron GTX 19nm 240GB SSD Review

Corsair moves to a smaller 19nm Toshiba Toggle MLC NAND with its LAMD-controlled Neutron GTX Series of SSDs. This shrink comes amongst stiff competition from other manufacturers, and a new SSD that is very similar to the Neutron GTX. Today we see how the new GTX stacks up against its increased competition.

continued...

Conclusion

The balancing act of replacing older NAND in existing SSD product lines is a tricky one. Many manufacturers have been stung with the bad public relations of releasing 'new' SSDs under the same SKU and not being entirely clear about the performance ramifications. Corsair has avoided those pitfalls with the re-release of their Neutron Series of SSDs, and has adjusted specifications accordingly.

The new 19nm Corsair Neutron GTX improves slightly in some of our trace-based testing, with a jump in the PCMark Vantage scoring in steady state. The new 19nm Neutron GTX is also faster in our HDTune read testing. HDTune performs full-span read operations that typically result in lower performance measurements than more 'bursty' performance measurements from other benchmarks. An increase in the read speed with HDTune highlights some of the positive aspects in performance for the Corsair Neutron GTX.

The sequential write speed is significantly lower with the new 19nm Corsair Neutron GTX, we measured a decrease of 43 MB/s with HDTune. This is a slight drop that will manifest itself in large file transfers, but in normal operation shouldn't be a concern. Most operating system access is very low queue depth on SSDs, and these sustained write situations are rare.

The previous generation Corsair Neutron GTX topped our charts with class-leading latency. The average latency of the new Neutron held the line in comparison to the 24nm version, but we did notice slightly higher maximum read and write latency measurements. While the results did get slightly worse, it merely brought the 19nm Neutron GTX into the same range as the competing SSDs.

Many of the performance increases observed during our testing is the direct result of the new firmware. Typically we would expect a loss of performance across the board when switching to a smaller NAND, but firmware tweaking from Corsair seems to have mitigated much of these negative performance impacts.

Article Image

The entrance of Seagate with its 600 Series of SSDs brings a fierce competitor to the arena for Corsair. With the same NAND and controller, customers will be looking for differentiation between the two SSDs. From a performance standpoint the Seagate 600 is faster overall, but not by enough of a margin to easily proclaim the Seagate 600 the victor.

The real differences lie in support. The Corsair Neutron GTX offers a five-year warranty, and Seagate’s three-year warranty pales in comparison. Another key differentiator is Corsair's new toolbox, which provides users with a benefit that the Seagate 600 does not. The inclusion of the new Corsair SSD Toolbox is a big win for Corsair. The well designed utility covers all the bases, significantly easing the task of SSD management for users. Until Seagate provides a utility for drive management, Seagate cannot compete in this category.

The Seagate 600 features lower power consumption under load than the 19nm Corsair Neutron GTX, but suffers from a significantly higher idle power draw. This provides the Corsair Neutron GTX a clear win for mobile applications.

Another great aspect of the new Corsair Neutron GTX is its stability. We touched on the fact that Corsair hasn't issued a new firmware during the lifecycle of the original Neutron GTX. This is impressive and speaks to a well thought out design and implementation. Another area that gives Corsair a slight advantage over the Seagate 600 Series is its time in the market. Corsair has proven to have a solid and reliable performer.

Overall, it comes down to pricing and the customers preference. We cannot say that the Seagate 600 is fast enough to warrant an outright shift to that model. One area that the Seagate 600 Series does excel is in Iometer testing, highlighting an advantage in heavy write workloads environments. For the majority of customers, there will be little difference in everyday usage between the two SSDs.

Prices on SSDs are volatile, and change depending upon market conditions. We advise readers to double check pricing, and also monitoring the prices for a few days can help to secure good pricing.

The 120GB Corsair Neutron Series GTX retails for $124.99, the 120GB Seagate 600 retails for $124.41, the 120GB TLC Samsung 840 is $89.99, the 128GB Samsung 840 Pro is $134.57.

The 240GB Neutron Series GTX retails for $219.99, the 240GB Seagate 600 retails for $209.99, the 250GB TLC Samsung 840 is $168.68, and the 256GB Samsung 840 Pro is $233.77

The 480GB Corsair Neutron Series GTX is $484.93, the 480GB Seagate 600 retails for $409.99, the 500GB TLC Samsung 840 is $349.99, the 512GB Samsung 840 Pro is $468.00,

The Bottom Line

There are a number of differentiators between the 19nm Corsair Neutron GTX and its competitors. The 19nm Corsair Neutron GTX does well in performance tests and also features a five year-warranty. If priced competitively, as it is currently, the longer warranty of the Corsair SSD stands out. TLC competitors have significant impact, but for those looking for more robust MLC NAND the new Corsair Neutron GTX is a good fit.

The Corsair Neutron GTX also features a new Corsair SSD Toolbox (which you can download and use with previously purchased Corsair SSDs) that provides a significant advantage over some competitors. A significant improvement in idle power consumption also makes the 19nm Corsair Neutron GTX an SSD well suited for mobile applications.

Utilizing the latest NAND and the LAMD controller Corsair has managed to deliver a competitively priced SSD with a great warranty period. We give the 19nm Neutron GTX 240GB the Silver [H]ardOCP Editor's Choice Award.

Article Image

19nm Corsair Neutron GTX SSD

Discussion