Few phrases work better than a Star Wars reference if you want to get in with the geeks, and Corsair appears to be putting this to the test with its new range of Force SSDs that the company launched today.
The moniker isn’t all about pseudo sci-fi religion, though; it specifically refers to the use of a SandForce SF-1200 controller in the new Force drives. The type of processor used in an SSD is increasingly becoming an important factor, particularly after some benchmarks showed that drives using JMicron’s 602 chip frequently stutter on random write-tests.
By combining the SF-1200 with high-speed MLC (multi level cell) NAND flash memory, Corsair claims that the Force drives are capable of ripping through data at super-fast speeds. The company quotes a maximum read speed of 285MB/sec but, perhaps more importantly, it quotes a write speed of 275MB/sec.
It’s the write speed that’s often the Achilles' heel of SSDs. Even Intel’s 64GB X25-E, which uses theoretically faster SLC (single level cell) flash memory, can only write at up to 170MB/sec, while it reads at 250MB/sec. As with all manufacturers’ claims with regards to speed, however, these figures should be taken with a handful of salt until we see actual benchmark results.
The Force drives will be available in capacities of 100GB and 200GB, and although they come in the standard 2.5in laptop form factor, they will also come with a bracket to expand them into a desktop case’s 3.5in drive bay. Positioned at the top end of Corsair’s SSD line-up, the company claims that the drives will be equally at home in either.
The drives will also feature internal SATA II connections, as well as Trim support, providing you’re using a compatible operating system.
Corsair isn’t the only SSD maker to turn to SandForce in recent times. The memory maker’s arch competitor OCZ has already announced several drives using a SandForce controller, as have OWC and A-Data.
There’s no word on pricing yet, but we can’t imagine these drives will be particularly cheap. Corsair is confident that the drives will be available worldwide within a fortnight.