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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  • PommieB - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    The Vertex 4 uses the 9145 controller, which as enterprise origins and was used by OCZ in there latest PCIe ssd drives, OCZ was obviously impressed with the controller to use it as there re-branded Everest controllers in the Vertex 4 and other ssd drives, so yes the Plextor M5 Pro is first ssd drive to have the 9187 Marvell controller. Reply
  • maximumGPU - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    thanks :) Reply
  • DukeN - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    For those of us hoping to put 3 or 4 of these in our systems..

    Please and thanks.
    Reply
  • Zap - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Why does Corsair (and also Newegg) call it SATA 3?

    http://www.sata-io.org/developers/naming_guideline...

    Proper terminology is to call it "SATA Revision 3.0" or "SATA 6Gb/s" and to NOT use "SATA III" or "SATA 3.0." This is because SATA II was often marketed as SATA 3Gb/s or SATA 300, so "3" is associated with the slower speed.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Most consumers are interested in reliable, compatible, hassle-free PC hardware not the half-baked trick-of-the-week rushed out the door for huge profits. PC hardware review sites lose credibility when they hype half-baked products and gloss over obvious defects or down-play their significance.

    Many companies are quite successful selling quality, reliable products and providing excellent customer service - all at affordable prices. In fact that use to be the norm in the U.S. until some unscrupulous CEOs decided that they could reap more money in annual bonuses by shipping crap products and pretending there were no issues or defects.

    Unfortunately for Corsair in recent years they have jumped on the growth-at-all-cost bandwagon by using contract suppliers. Corsair's numerous product lines are filled with documented defects be it SSDs, PSUs, H2O CPU coolers, etc. At one time I recommended Corsair RAM but even that seems to have dropped in reliability and compatibility recently so I no longer recommend any of their current products.
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Idle power consumption is stupidly bad. Samsung SSD830 is the reigning champion by far. It may not be the fastest, but it is competitive speed wise, and its low idle power just continues to own the competition. I wouldnt even consider any other drive for a notebook. Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I have no clue why you keep on presenting the same data in two different charts: average data rate and disk busy time. Only one is enough. Showing the other serves no purpose at all so please pick one of them and start using it. Thanks! Reply
  • Mastadon - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    What kind of TRIM does the Corsair controller use? Is it garbage collection after the fact, or on-the-fly? Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    I've always been under the impression that Garbage Collection, as defined by the drive makers, is not TRIM. Garbage Collection is done solely inside the drive by the controller with no regard for what the data in the flash is or what the OS is doing. TRIM is done through commands sent from the OS to the drive to tell it what flash is holding valid data, and what flash is no longer needed and can be erased. I think some drives even do both GC and TRIM. If he's saying TRIM, I'd take it to be the later case. Reply
  • phimac10 - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Thanks for a good insight in the SSD world. Reply

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