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Old August 5, 2011, 02:08 AM
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Default Corsair Force 3 240GB review

Corsair Force 3 240GB

Part Number: CSSD-F240GB3
Warranty: 3 years


Ok, so we have all seen the Corsair Force 3 and GT 120GB reviews here. Of course I wanted the 240GB review and since I have not seen one anywhere else I figured since I have mine I might as well do a mini review.

Pictured below you can see it in the retail box, from the end of June. This particular unit did not fare well and caused many headaches right off of the bat. It would not take an image and had atrocious access times and constant BSODs, it really was unusable. Now being Corsair I started the RMA procedure and soon got it sent away for replacement. It took about 1 1/2 weeks from the time they got the drive for me to have the replacement in my hands. This was especially good as they even informed me it could be an extra 5 business days due to heavy volume. All in all the RMA procedure was painless and went well, score a point for Corsair.



Now here it is taken out of the box. You can see the 2.5" to 3.5" adapter, screws and drive, this is all you get and is really all you need. Both this one and the replacement had a good feel to them and never once made me question their construction.




Testing Methodology

First off all tests were done 4 times and averaged, with the exception of ATTO which was only run 3 times. During all tests except ATTO, the drive was brand new with a single partition on it, running as a secondary drive. For the ATTO test it is running as the main OS drive about 55% full. I have not gotten to any "real world tests" partly due to the fact that I have nothing else that will keep up to this drive.

The following is the hardware that I used for this review. And the drive is using AHCI with the Intel RST 10 drivers.

Processor: Core i7 2600k
Motherboard: Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Memory: 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz
Graphics card: EVGA GTX580 SLI
Hard Drive: Corsair Force 3 240GB
Power Supply: Corsair AX850

Also the firmware used on the Corsair is 1.2 just like the 120GB versions.

On to the Benches


ATTO Disk Benchmark



ATTO was run using the same settings as other reviews here, (.5KB to 8192KB and total length 256MB). As you can see the Force 3 240GB, does have the same type of performance as the other sandforce drives of this generation. It does appear to be giving better read and write performance than both of the 120GB versions, GT and Force 3.


CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks



Here are the CrystalDiskMark results, they were done at default settings with 100MB for the size and 5 tests run. Again it has been hammered by the incompressible data that CrystalDiskMark uses by default. But it sure does not appear to be nearly as hammered as the 120's. That said when looking at the write speeds, and comparing them for the first time to the other drives reviewed here I have to say I am kind of shocked. At least on my drive it is handily beating the Vertex 3 Max IOPS at the 4K size (and yes I am looking for a typo but can't find one). Again this was an average on an empty fresh clean drive. I will rerun these tests again after a day or so to let trim work now that I am using this as my main OS drive.



Now CrystalDiskMark also has an option for 0fill (file - test data - 0fill) which uses compressible data, and as you can see it is a very fast drive when dealing with the right data.


AS SSD Benchmarks



Here we have the AS SSD benches and like the other Force 3 drive it definitely slows down here in the reads but again not as much as expected on the writes.



And here are the access times measured by AS SSD. Again the writes seem about right but I will say the read access time seems slow to me. It is basically double (heck even triple) what all of the other current gen sandforce drives are doing.


Anvil Storage Utilities Pro



Here is the new storage benchmark that HWC have started using as are plenty of others. Like HWC I have run the test at its defaults with the test size at 1GB. So here it appears to be pretty even with the Vertex 3 240GB, but again the one thing I have noticed is the 4K@QD1 speeds are exceptionally good. It again gave some of the best 4K read and write speeds I have seen.



I have also included the IOPS taken from Anvil. I don't really have much to compare it too but I will it is nice to see 89000 IOPS as they do say 85000 in their specs on the Corsair page.


Real World Tests

Like I had said before I never really did any true real world tests and while I do have Adobe CS5 I don't have or know exactly what brushes, etc. they use here when doing those tests so anything I do will not be comparative. That said I will say that it will open the original version of the first picture in this review, which is a 4.35MB jpg, in 3.9 seconds. That is from the moment I click open with photoshop on the picture directly till it is fully loaded in photoshop.


Conclusion

So here is another SF-2281 drive. I know I originally purchased it expecting it to be right around the performance of the Vertex 3 240GB, and it looks like I am not really disappointed. Yes the first drive I got was a dud, but in true Corsair fashion that got remedied quickly. Like the 120GB Force 3 this drive really gets hammered by the incompressible data, but unlike the 120GB this 240GB does its best to stay in the fight. As I mentioned before this drive has shown some of the best 4K@QD1 speeds I have seen when it comes to writes and the reads are not bad either.

Now considering that you can get this drive for a fairly cheap price (relatively speaking) right now, I have seen it at $450, I do think this can be a pretty good deal. If you are like me and wanted to move up to a larger SSD and wanted something to take advantage of your new sata 3 ports then this could be a good buy for you. Now does it have the performance of the Vertex 3 Max IOPS, no but it also doesn't have the price. It ultimately is up to you how much extra you are willing to pay for performance that in most day to day work will not be noticeable.

Would I recommend this drive to someone? Yes I would, when you combine the performance, price and customer service you get when/if something does go wrong, I think this is a great drive. And with that I will say that it is DAMN GOOD.
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Old August 5, 2011, 05:11 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Calgary AB
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hrrmmm

i just got the 64gb version, might do some testing after i get it set up
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