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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  • wsjudd - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Looks like there's a stray bit of punctuation in here:
    "The drive is the Neutron, and the controller maker? Link A Media Devices"
    Reply
  • AnotherGuy - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Really after so much information in the article... thats what you have to say... the Punctuation?
    I am afraid people wanna see some relevant thoughts and opinions about the info on the article not ur stupid comments on punctuation. These articles are about technology not your English 101 u take at school.
    Really tired of the same comments on almost every article.
    Reply
  • gmallen - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    They certainly don't want to see inane, off-topic troll-bait like your comment. If you're so distressed by these comments, don't read them or comment about them. Get a life instead. Reply
  • AnotherGuy - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    when he or others who post same comments see my insane comment, they might realize that they are actually annoying and stop doing it. Reply
  • Mr. Pedantic - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    We can only hope you will recognise the same thing and stop posting useless rubbish. Reply
  • seapeople - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Not to feed the trolls, but I agree with this troll somewhat. The proposed punctuation correction wasn't even necessarily correct. Reply
  • Rishi100 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Let it be so.... attractive, that I jump on my second SSD. Reply
  • Bmadd89 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    On page 1 you comment saying the DRAM in the Neutron is 256MB but in the graph its 128MB Reply
  • XZerg - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I would really suggest that you keep the contenders consistent across all the benches/tests. It just feels wrong to see Product X in few benches and then missing in other, point in case OCZ products missing in the power consumption. I am sure that you have their numbers but for some reason those are skipped. Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    with many controllers tying at ~ 500MBPS, are we reaching the theoretical speeds of NAND flash? Meaning controllers can get better, but speeds wont increase much?
    What are the theoretical speeds of NAND flash?
    Reply

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