Corsair Force GS 240GB: SandForce with Toggle-Mode NAND

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Corsair Force GS 240GB: SandForce with Toggle-Mode NAND

August 15, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

Corsair Force GS
240GB 2.5" SSD

Like most of the consumer solid-state drives on the market, Corsair's "Force" series are all driven by the ubiquitous, LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller. Its main performance feature is on-the-fly data compression which reduces the amount of read/writes performed on the drive, boosting speed and increasing the lifespan of the memory chips. This coupled with its affordability has led to a saturation of the budget SSD market with SandForce drives. This means lots of competition and lower prices but also an annoying abundance of choice.

There are other factors that affect performance like number of channels (larger drives tend to have more since they require more chips) and the speed of the NAND Flash used. Without getting into technical details there are three main kinds of NAND used in consumer MLC drives. Generally speaking, in increasing order of speed, they are known as Asynchronous, Synchronous, and Toggle-mode. The performance difference between the three types are great enough that it's the main differentiator between the Corsair's three Force series of SSDs. Asynchronous NAND is found on the budget Force Series 3 line, Synchronous on the Force GT, and Toggle-mode on the high-end Force GS.

Corsair Force GS 240GB: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Warranty Three years
SSD Unformatted Capacity 240GB
Max Sequential R/W (ATTO) 555 MB/s sequential read — 525 MB/s sequential write
Max Random 4k Write (IOMeter 08) 90k IOPS (4k aligned)
Interface SATA 6Gb/s
Technology Toggle NAND
Form Factor 2.5 inch
DRAM Cache Memory No
Weight 80g
Voltage 5V ±5%
Power Consumption (active) 4.6W Max
Power Consumption (idle/standby/sleep) 0.6W Max
S.M.A.R.T Support Yes
Shock 1500 G
MTBF 2,000,000 hours

The bright red color of the Corsair Force GS 240GB attracts the interest of wild PC enthusiasts and gamers with case windows.

Today we're looking at the 240GB version of the Force GS which sports some impressive specifications. Its sequential read and write speeds well over 500 MB/s, though this is a common claim amongst SandForce drives, even budget models. Corsair also states that it's capable of a maximum of 90,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second) in random 4K writes which exceeds that of our current SSD champ, the ADATA XPG SX910 128GB. The SX910 uses slower Synchronous NAND chips (albeit binned to be faster than normal) but the Force GS is the first SSD with Toggle-mode NAND to hit our test bench. It'll be interesting to see if the ADATA drive can stay on top.

The Corsair Force GS 240GB box and contents.

The Force GS comes in a standard package composed of a plastic clamshell holding the drive and a metallic 3.5 inch to 2.5 inch drive adapter. A small setup guide is also included (not pictured) but doesn't ship with any backup/imaging software.

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