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 >>.