Final Words

Overall I have to say I'm fairly impressed with Corsair's Neutron GTX, at least from a performance standpoint. The LM87800 controller proved to be very potent in my testing, ending up near or at the very top of most of our benchmarks. Even though we're still ultimately bound by the limits of 6Gbps SATA, the Neutron GTX manages to pull ahead of the competition in a few areas. Idle power consumption, low queue depth sequential reads and small transfer size performance are the only performance related complaints I have about the drive. Other than idle power consumption, I'm not too concerned about the issues although I would like to see them addressed with a future firmware update.

The regular Neutron is pretty good in most cases, but its power consumption under load and lower high qd sequential write performance keep it from being a knockout like the GTX. I don't have final pricing from Corsair yet, but depending on how wide the Neutron/Neutron GTX gap is I might be inclined to just recommend the GTX across the board.

Update: 

Corsair Neutron/Neutron GTX Pricing
  120GB 240GB
Corsair Neutron $119.99 $209.99
Corsair Neutron GTX $139.99 $249.99

The Neutron GTX is appreciably more expensive than the standard Neutron, and unfortunately more expensive than Samsung's SSD 830. Street pricing tends to be more aggressive than MSRPs, but I'd really like to see the Neutron GTX closer to the standard Neutron's pricing in e-tail. We'll have to see how this plays out in the coming weeks.

I was pleased with the firmware update process on the Neutron drives and I'd love to see the addition of other toolbox features into the software (e.g. spare area customization, secure erase, SMART data analysis).

As is always the case with a new controller, the big unknowns are reliability and compatibility. I've been playing with the Neutron GTX for a good while now without any issues, however my SSD testbed never seems to be where I find problems with drives. Keep your eye on user reviews at Newegg and discussion forums to see how the Neutron GTX fares in a broad set of systems. Having been burnt by SSD firmware issues in the past, I have a feeling that Corsair will be fairly cautious in its release of the Neutron. Whether or not that caution manifested itself in an extremely well tested firmware remains to be seen. Firmware updates for the Neutron GTX have been coming through fairly regularly in the development of the drive, which is hopefully an indication that LAMD is committed to fixing bugs and improving performance.

At the end of the day this is a huge step forward for Corsair. The Neutron GTX is a great performer. If Corsair can deliver on the reliability and compatibility fronts, the Neutron GTX will be a huge win for Corsair. This is also a good day for Link A Media. If SK Hynix wants to follow in the footsteps of Samsung, combining its own controller with its own NAND, the LM87800 could be its ticket to get there.

Power Consumption
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  • qwertymac93 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Has more to do with SATA than NAND. Reply
  • SlyNine - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Thats Sata 3 limits. Not NAND flash. Reply
  • surt - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    NAND can go faster. That's why products like the fusionio go to 2Gbps or higher. 500 is just the most you can get across a single sata3 connector. Reply
  • B3an - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    When will the Plextor M5 Pro review be up?

    I've seen some other reviews popping up and it's looking very good, maybe the best SSD around, but these other reviews are not as detailed as Anandtech reviews.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Some odd behavior with the M5 Pro came up which has delayed the review a bit. I'll try to have it ready in the next few days, then posting it is up to Anand. Reply
  • B3an - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Thanks Kristian... and i hope you mention what this odd behaviour was in the review. Reply
  • Movieman420 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Too soon for a review...a pre-view maybe Anand?

    M5P will do for now tho..;)
    Reply
  • jwcalla - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    At this point it seems that there is little, if any, real-world difference in the latest gen drives of similar NAND. Reply
  • seapeople - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Agreed. Crazy how everyone and his brother now has a blazing fast SSD out there that puts the x25-g2 to shame. Just three years ago we were happy when an SSD controller came out that didn't have stuttering issues. Reply
  • maximumGPU - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Agree with some of the previous comments, we need a comparison with the latest Plextor M5 pro.
    Btw Is the M5 pro the first to use Marvell's new controller, or is it the vertex 4?
    Reply

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