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Corsair Neutron SSDs review: first SSDs with LAMD controller

A review of the Corsair Neutron SSDs

It's impressive that LAMD is able to join the high-end segment right-away with its first controller in the Corsair Neutron 240GB and the Neutron GTX 240GB SSDs. Looking at the benchmarks, it's clear that their new controller is faster than SandForce, and faster than the previous-generation Marvell. The outstanding performance of the Neutron SSD can be seen in a number of areas. The sequential write speed of the Neutron GTX is very high, for example.

A year ago, if you wanted a fast SSD you had the choice between a SandForce- and a Marvell-based product. It’s never good having only two options, but fortunately the market 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 controller. Even if the latter proved to be a re-branded new Marvell controller with different firmware, the fact remains that the consumer is left with far more choices now. Not only that, the performance of SSDs has steadily been increasing as well. See also: Samsung 830 Series 512GB review and Samsung 830 Series 256GB review.

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. Hardware.Info reviewed the Corsair Neutron 240GB and the Neutron GTX 240GB, and compared 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 555 MB/s for reading and 500 MB/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 256 MB flash memory.

The Neutron is available in 120 GB and 240 GB models. A 480 GB version has been announced as well, but is not yet available. LAMD and Corsair have left more space for over-provisioning than Marvell or Samsung, and corresponds to the available capacity of most SandForce SSDs.

For the Neutron models Corsair promises read speeds up to 555 MB/s and write speeds of up to 370 MB/s. The GTX version is supposed to have write speeds of 500 MB/s. Both SSDs are 7 mm thick and will fit in any laptop with a 2.5-inch slot.

It's impressive that LAMD is able to join the high-end segment right-away with its first controller in the Corsair Neutron 240GB and the Neutron GTX 240GB SSDs. To find out how these new products compare to the other popular high-end SSDs, read the full review on Hardware.Info.

Corsair Neutron

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