Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD review

Corsair Neutron GTX

The first SSD to appear in this group is in many ways the most intriguing. Designing a good SSD is a tricky task, with plenty of the clever work going into the controller chip and its firmware. Many brands take the quicker and easier route by buying in that controller knowledge, which explains the recent prevalence of SandForce controllers, sold as a turnkey solution, firmware and all, to SSD makers unable or unwilling to do the work themselves. For the Neutron GTX though, Corsair turned to new brand Link_A_Media (yes, that is the company’s name) and its LAMD LM87800 controller. See all Storage reviews.

Two models of Neutron are available, standard and GTX, the difference lying in the choice of NAND flash. The GTX uses the latest toggle NAND flash, combined with 256 MB DDR2 memory cache. Firmware can only be upgraded in Windows, and Corsair provides a reassuring 5-year warranty. See Group test: what's the best SSD (solid-state drive)?

Corsair lists 85k write IOPS for the Neutron GTX, a good figure when you realise that many SSDs struggle to hit that with their read operations, which are typically faster in solid-stateland. In our tests we got close to that figure with 77k IOPS recorded by AS SSD using 64 threads. The CrystalDiskMark (CDM) test gave 87.8k in 4kB random write IOPS and 92.8k for reads with its 32 queue depth.

Sequential read/write performance as measured by CDM was a little lower than is now typical for SATA 6 Gb/s solid-state tech, at 431 and 467 MB/s. These write-centric figures were effectively mirrored when using random rather than compressible (0x00) data, showing that the LAMD controller does not rely on compression tricks to enhance measured performance.

Best drag-race results, as ever, were found in the ATTO benchmark, which reported peak read and write speeds of 557 and 511 MB/s.

Review from Jon L Jacobi, PC World, on next page >>.

By Jon L Jacobi, PC World - 03/01/13

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD review

Corsair's move to the Link A Media LM87800 controller has paid dividends. Though not quite as fast as the Samsung 840 Pro or the OCZ Vector, the Neutron GTX beat out the OCZ Vertex 4 to take third place overall in our December 2012 SSD roundup. The Neutron GTX uses Toshiba's toggle-mode MLC NAND and is rated at 511/555 MBps for sequential writes/reads, as well at at 85,000/85,000 4KB IOPs (read/write operations per second). Buying Advice: Corsair Neutron SSDs review: first SSDs with LAMD controller. Also, check out our Corsair Neutron SSD 240GB review.

Corsair Neutron GTX: performance results

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Corsair's Neutron GTX is one of the best deals you'll find in the high-performance consumer SSD market.

In our tests, the Neutron GTX read our 10GB mix of smaller files and folders at a rate of 414 MBps, and it wrote them at 371.4 MBps. That second number was the drive's low point, good for only a tenth-place finish. The drive wrote our single 10GB file at a blazing 610.6 MBps, on the other hand, and read it at 440.2 MBps; those are very good numbers. The average write speed was 512.3 MBps, and the average read speed was 405.8 MBps.

The 240GB Neutron GTX sells online for around £200, a cost of 83p per gigabyte. That makes it easily the best deal in a top-performing SSD at the time of this writing. It's only 7mm thick, which renders it suitable for use with thin-and-light laptops.

Corsair Neutron GTX review: SSDs explained

Installing an SSD in your PC, be it a laptop or a desktop, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost the machine's overall performance. The change won't be merely noticeable—it will startle you. Your system will boot more quickly, windows and menus will jump open, and programs and data will load much, much faster.

In case you don't know what an SSD is, the acronym stands for solid-state drive—that is, solid-state as in no moving parts, and drive as in the fact that an SSD appears as a hard drive to your computer. But instead of storing data on one or more spinning platters, an SSD writes and reads data to and from nonvolatile flash memory. In addition, an SSD contains a controller that's analogous to the memory controller in your PC's CPU or core-logic chipset.

Many vendors sell SSDs, but the devices are far from equal. Flash memory and controller technology have both advanced so quickly that what was fast last year is now second-class. The drives you might find in the bargain bin will be faster than a consumer-grade mechanical hard drive, but they won't deliver the astounding performance boost you'll be looking for.

The memory/interface controller is a major factor in determining each SSD's performance. Corsair is blazing a path with its Neutron series drives (the GTX and Neutron) by using Link A Media's LM87800 controller. In our tests drives with Link A Media controllers boasted significantly faster write speeds than the SandForce-based competition.

Verdict:

If you are looking for top-flight performance but have to stay on a budget, the Corsair Neutron GTX is currently the pick of the litter. And like the other top performers we saw, it carries a five-year warranty.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD: Specs

  • Solid state drive - internal
  • 240GB
  • 2.5in
  • Serial ATA-600
  • TRIM support , S.M.A.R.T.
  • 69.85x100.1x7mm
  • 100g
  • Drive Transfer Rate: 600MBps (external)
  • Internal Data Rate: 555MBps (read)/511MBps (write)
  • Maximum 4KB Random Write: 85000 IOPS
  • MTBF: 2,000,000 hours
  • 1 x Serial ATA-600 - 7 pin Serial ATA
  • 1 x internal - 2.5"
  • Power Consumption (Active/Idle): 4.6 Watt/0.6 Watt
  • 3.5-inch bay adapter
  • 5 years warranty
  • Price per Gigabyte: 79p
  • Solid state drive - internal
  • 240GB
  • 2.5in
  • Serial ATA-600
  • TRIM support , S.M.A.R.T.
  • 69.85x100.1x7mm
  • 100g
  • Drive Transfer Rate: 600MBps (external)
  • Internal Data Rate: 555MBps (read)/511MBps (write)
  • Maximum 4KB Random Write: 85000 IOPS
  • MTBF: 2,000,000 hours
  • 1 x Serial ATA-600 - 7 pin Serial ATA
  • 1 x internal - 2.5"
  • Power Consumption (Active/Idle): 4.6 Watt/0.6 Watt
  • 3.5-inch bay adapter
  • 5 years warranty
  • Price per Gigabyte: 79p

OUR VERDICT

The Corsair Neutron GX is a very strong candidate in this group, all the more surprising given the original and novel choice of controller technology. If low weight, long warranty and stellar write performance appeal, take a very close look at this recommended product.

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