A year ago, if you wanted a fast SSD you had the choice between a SandForce- and a Marvell-based product. It's never great having only two options, but fortunately the market has evolved. At the end of last year Samsung launched the 830 series of SSDs, using its own controller that held its own against the established competition. OCZ rejuvenated controller manufacturer Indilinx by releasing SSDs based on the Everest and Everest 2 controllers. Even if the latter proved to be a re-branded new Marvell controller with different firmware, the fact remains that the consumer has far more options now. Not only that, the performance of SSDs has steadily increased too.
And now there's a new kid on the block. Corsair recently introduced the Neutron series of SSDs, based on the LM87800 controller from the little-known Link A Media Devices, or LAMD for short. This company has been making controllers for high-end PCI-Express-based SSDs for servers, so the manufacturer does have the right lineage.
We will review the Corsair Neutron 240GB and the Neutron GTX 240GB, and compare them to other fast SSDs such as the OCZ Vertex 4 256GB and the Plextor M5 Pro 256GB.
What's unique about Corsair's SSD is that new LAMD controller. The 87800 controller is state-of-the-art, with SATA600 interface, support for TRIM and impressive speeds of 555MB/s for reading and 500MB/s for writing. Little is known about the controller, other than that it doesn't employ SandForce-like compression tricks.
Corsair has introduced two series of SSDs built around the new 87800 controller - the Neutron and the Neutron GTX. In the Neutron, the LAMD chip is combined with 25nm flash chips from Micron. The more expensive GTX version has the faster ToggleFlash memory from Toshiba. Both SSD series have 256MB flash memory. You can read the rest of Corsair Neutron SSDs preview on Hardware.info.