Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Corsair Neutron Series GTX 240GB SSD Review

Corsair and LAMD aim to bring the heat with the enthusiast class Neutron GTX SSD. The new LAMD controller paired with Toshiba Toggle NAND looks to dominate the upper echelon of the performance SSD market. Today we take a look to see how it fares in our steady state testing.

Corsair Neutron GTX Basics

The Nuetron Series of SSDs are the first LAMD powered consumer SSDs released into the wild. LAMD (Link_A_Media) is a newcomer to the consumer space with a long history in enterprise storage controllers. Corsair has secured a period of exclusivity with its new LAMD "Amber" LM87800 controllers. This gives Corsair what is purportedly one of the highest performing SSDs on the market without other manufacturers being able to sell other versions of the same product.

Today we are going to take a look at the Corsair Neutron Series GTX, the performance variant of this series. Paired with Toggle (Toshiba/Samsung) NAND this SSD is designed with the top speed attainable in mind.

We started out by evaluating the standard Neutron Series version with synchronous IMFT (Intel/Micron) NAND, and to be honest this value-oriented SSD managed quite the impressive showing. Reasonably priced and one of the fastest SSDs that we have tested in steady state conditions, the "budget" version is surprisingly strong with the synchronous IMFT NAND.

The Toggle NAND on the Neutron Series GTX is the only difference between the two versions of the LAMD powered SSD line. Both SSDs utilize the 8-channel LAMD LM87800 controller with the 2.06 firmware, yet the GTX pulls out much higher write speeds. The increase is in the random and sequential write speed, but the random and sequential read remain identical to the standard version.

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The GTX offers 511MB/s in sequential write speed compared to the 370MB/s with the standard edition. There are gains in the random write speed from the GTX to the standard Neutron and we will see for ourselves how large the difference is in our steady state Iometer testing.

The sequential write speed gains will be nice for some users whose usage patterns revolve around large file copying, production, or manipulation. The difference in performance, while only in write speed, should translate to other areas as well.

In particular, we would expect the faster write speed to give us some gains in the mixed read and write workloads that are inherent in all operating system usage patterns. This type of performance improvement will affect the broader base of users, and we will be focusing on this type of testing to flesh out the difference in performance.

The LAMD team brings enterprise storage experience to the consumer arena with a new feature termed "eBoost." We will delve further into a few of the techniques on the following page, as protecting the users valuable data should be first and foremost on manufacturers’ minds.

The standard version Neutron Series SSD has set the bar high for the GTX version so we set out to see if the premium pricing for the GTX is justified by the steady state performance gains.