Corsair Force LS (240GB) Reviewby Kristian Vättö on September 25, 2013 12:00 AM EST
Like most budget products, the conclusion depends on pricing. The Force LS is a low-end drive by today's standards but with the right price, it can be a competitive offering. Since Corsair does not offer the Force LS in the states, I can't rely on my regular NewEgg price comparison, so I decided to use Scan.co.uk, a large British component etailer. The prices in the table don't include UK's 20% VAT as I tried to make the prices as comparable to the US market as possible (£1 = $1.6019).
|Scan.co.uk Price Comparison (9/21/2013)|
|Corsair Force LS||£45.60 ($73)||£73.12 ($117)||£128.24 ($205)|
|Corsair Neutron||N/A||£79.12 ($127)||£131.25 ($210)|
|Corsair Force GS||N/A||£75.12 ($120)||£139.24 ($223)|
|Crucial M500||N/A||£71.56 ($115)||£119.24 ($191)|
|Intel SSD 520||N/A||£88.12 ($141)||£134.24 ($215)|
|OCZ Vertex 450||N/A||£70.12 ($112)||£155.25 ($249)|
|Samsung SSD 840 EVO||N/A||£72.12 ($116)||£119.25 ($191)|
The problem with most budget SSDs is that they aren't cheap enough, and that's Corsair's Force LS problem as well. For about the same or less, you can get a Samsung SSD 840 EVO or Crucial M500, both of which are great SSDs. Even out of Corsair's own lineup, the Force GS is priced similarly at 120GB and the Neutron is only slightly more expensive at 240GB. I can't see where Force LS falls in Corsair's lineup—the Neutron (GTX) is without a doubt Corsair's high-end offering and at least the idea behind the Force LS is for it to be a low cost model but unfortunately its pricing does not reflect that. Of course, prices fluctuate and it's possible that retailers are pricing the Force LS a bit higher as it's new (prices tend to drop when the product gets older).
All in all, I have hard time recommending anything for budget SSD use other than the Samsung SSD 840 EVO at the moment. Usage of TLC NAND gives Samsung a price advantage and with the upgrades Samsung made in the EVO compared to the regular 840, the performance is on-par with most MLC based SSDs. With the right price, I can see myself recommending the Force LS to an average user but it must be noticeably cheaper than the 840 EVO and others to be worth the saving. A couple dollars (or Euros) simply isn't enough to warrant the "budget" label, and considering you can find sales on some of the better drives on occasion that are well below the above prices, patient users are advised to wait for a good sale rather than settle for a slightly cheaper but slower SSD.
Ironically (given our introduction), if you're looking for an inexpensive SSD these days, your best bet is likely going to be one of the many SandForce SF-2281 drives. The 240GB SF-2281 drives are routinely available for around $170/£105, sometimes less. Performance may not be better than the other SSDs, but the competition among SandForce licensees has pushed prices down about as low as they'll go. That at least makes them worthy of the "budget" label, whereas the Force LS in practice only ends up costing slightly less than the Neutron.