Corsair unveils £100 Sandforce SSD

Memory specialist Corsair has just unveiled a tempting prospect for anyone looking for a high-speed solid state boot drive, but doesn't use money for bog roll. The company's new Force F40 drive not only features a high-speed Sandforce controller, but it's also set to come in at less than £100.

Unlike many affordable SSDs, such as Crucial's 64GB RealSSD C300, the new F40's use of a Sandforce SF-1200 controller means it can write at comparable speeds to its larger and more expensive siblings.

The often-quoted sequential read and write speeds for a Sandforce-based drive are 285MB/sec and 275MB/sec respectively, although Corsair's tests have shown that the 40GB drive is ever so slightly behind the larger drives.

Testing with ATTO Bench32, the company says the drive hit a sequential read speed of 282.6MB/sec, and a sequential write speed of 270.1MB/sec. Nevertheless, this is still blindingly fast for a budget-friendly, low-capacity SSD.

Along with the 40GB F40, Corsair is also adding two more drives to the Force range. The 80GB F40 and 160GB F160 will now join the 40GB drive, along with the existing F60, F120 and F250 models the company launched in May.

"In our testing in the Corsair Lab, we found that the new Force Series 40GB SSD outperforms competitive SSDs from Intel and Kingston by a wide margin," boasted Corsair's vice president of technical marketing, John Beekley. This isn't particularly surprising when you consider that Intel's X25-V only has a quoted read and write speeds of 170MB/sec and just 35MB/sec respectively, but it shows Intel has its work cut out if it wants to keep up at the cheaper end of the wedge.

Explaining the need for a 40GB Sandforce drive, Corsair's vice president of marketing Jim Carlton said the "aggressively priced" drive is "quite simply the ideal boot drive for any Windows 7 desktop PC."

All of the new SSDs support TRIM in Windows 7, ensuring fast performance even after heavy use, and they also come with a three-year warranty. UK pricing hasn't been announced yet, but the retail prices in the US are $129.99 (£85) for the F40, $229.99 (£151) for the F80 and $449.99 (£296) for the F160.

Of course, you always have to factor in the usual UK rip-off mark-up, but a Corsair spokesperson told THINQ that the company will aim to get the drive priced at around £100 in the UK. All of the new drives are scheduled to start shipping worldwide in August this year.