This Just In: Corsair Force 100GB SSD (SF-1200)by Anand Lal Shimpi on April 13, 2010 9:43 AM EST
Testing is nearly complete on the last Corsair SSD that came my way, but this morning UPS dropped off another surprise: the Corsair Force SSD. Based on a derivative of the controller in the OCZ Vertex LE I reviewed earlier this year, the Force uses the mainstream version of SandForce's technology. Here's how it breaks down. Last year's Vertex 2 Pro used a SF-1500 controller, the Vertex LE uses something in between a SF-1500 and SF-1200 (closer to the SF-1500 in performance) while the Corsair Force uses a SF-1200.
The SF-1200 has all of the goodness of the SF-1500, just without some of the more enterprise-y features. I haven't been able to get a straight answer from anyone as to exactly what you give up by going to the SF-1200 but you do gain a much more affordable price. The Vertex LE is only low in price because it is using a limited run of early controllers from SF, presumably so SandForce can raise capital. The SF-1200 based SSDs should be price competitive with current Indilinx offerings.
You'll notice that like the Vertex LE there's no supercap on the Force's PCB. There's also no external DRAM cache thanks to a large amount of on-die cache and SandForce's real time data compression/deduplication technology. As you may remember from my Vertex 2 Pro and Vertex LE reviews, SandForce achieves higher performance by simply reducing the amount of data it has to write to NAND (similar to lossless compression or data deduplication).
I've got the Force on my SSD testbench now and I should have the first results by the end of the day today. This one is exciting as it could give us a preview of what the performance mainstream SSD marketplace will look like for the rest of 2010.
More pics of the drive in the Gallery!