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Corsair Force III 120GB Solid State Drive

Corsair Force 3 Corsair’s latest solid state drive, called Force Series 3 (or Force 3), is based on a new SandForce controller connected and connected through the speedy SATA III port. This controller is used in many other solid state drives but Corsair is also banking on consumers buying their offering based on their reputation for top quality and superior performance products. That quality and superior performance is offered in sizes of 60GB, 120GB and 240GB for the Force 3. So join us, as we make a bad joke and see if this is a truly a Force to be reckoned with!

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Corsair Force 3

Corsair Force 3 Corsair’s latest solid state drive, called Force Series 3 (or Force 3), is based on a new SandForce controller connected and connected through the speedy SATA III port. This controller is used in many other solid state drives but Corsair is also banking on consumers buying their offering based on their reputation for top quality and superior performance products. That quality and superior performance is offered in sizes of 60GB, 120GB and 240GB for the Force 3. So join us, as we make a bad joke and see if this is a truly a Force to be reckoned with!

Introduction to the Corsair Force 3 Solid State Drive

Corsair is one of those companies that when mentioned in conversations, one could immediately recognize at least one or more products by them, if not having owned one themselves. Corsair have produced some amazing components over the years and are still going strong. Memory is not all they do anymore. Corsair is a major player in the PC cases industry, their self contained water-cooling kits are hot sellers, their power supplies up there with the best of them and their solid state drives are heavily sought after.

Corsair’s latest solid state drive, called Force Series 3 (or Force 3), is based on a new SandForce controller connected and connected through the speedy SATA III port. This controller is used in many other solid state drives but Corsair is also banking on consumers buying their offering based on their reputation for top quality and superior performance products. That quality and superior performance is offered in sizes of 60GB, 120GB and 240GB for the Force 3. So join us, as we make a bad joke and see if this is a truly a Force to be reckoned with!

Corsair’s take on the Force 3

There’s fast, and then there’s fast. Force Series 3 SSDs have even quicker read and write times when they’re installed in PCs that use the latest SATA 3 6Gb/s interface.

Specifications

Warranty-Three years
SSD Unformatted Capacity-120 GB
Max Sequential Read/Write-550 MB/s sequential read — 510 MB/s sequential write (using ATTO Disk Benchmark)
Max Random 4k Write-85k IOPS (4k aligned) (using IOMeter 08)
Interface-SATA 6Gb/s
Technology-Asynchronous NAND
Form Factor-2.5 inch
DRAM Cache Memory-No
Weight-80g
Voltage-5V ±5%
Power Consumption (active)-2.0W Max
Power Consumption (idle/standby/sleep)-0.5W Max
S.M.A.R.T. Support-Yes
Shock-1500 G
MTBF-2,000,000 hours

Closer look

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Like we stated in our OCZ Agility 3 review, the visual aspects of a SSD are nothing to jump up and down about. Most of the time it is just a simple looking component externally made of plastic and/or metal, with the goodies sandwiched in between out of sight. All three sizes of the Force 3 use asynchronous 25nm Micron NAND flash, which while it may not perform as well with a compressible file as synchronous, it still displays great speeds for the typical PC user. Synchronous NAND can be found usually in higher end models from the various manufacturers.

The Force 3 sports a top half made from plastic which has a blue and black sticker featuring the Corsair company logo, drive size and the model series.

The reverse side is fairly simple and made of black anodized brushed-aluminum. There are a total of two warranty void labels that should not be removed if you want to keep the Corsair 3-year warranty intact.

However, we are just like you and curious of the internal makings of things, so we’ve gone ahead and made void our warranty for you! The Force 3 consist of sixteen Micron NAND flash ICs that we learned from the previous OCZ SSD review has a maximum of 500MB/s read and 500MB/s write. If you want to take the time to research them just google 29F64G08CBAAA and you can retrieve the same details we did, but to save you the time they are MLC and made on the 25nm process. Powering the Force 3 is popular SandForce SF-2281 processing unit.

Testing Methodology

The testing of a SSD is not as complex as say, RAM or a motherboard, but due to this technology still being relatively new there are not many benchmark suites out there to test them in the way they are intended to be used. However, we are taking the most popular of the benchmark applications available to get you some idea of how fast the read and writes jobs are performed. Microsoft’s Windows Vista and Seven are both well suited to run on an SSD but Seven is the future and has TRIM support, making it the ideal solution. So that is what we have loaded onto our test bench.

Testing Hardware

Motherboard: ASUS P67
CPU : Intel Core i5 2500K
Ram: Patriot Sector 5 1333 4GB Dual Channel (9-9-9-24)
Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 5870
HDD: Hitachi 1TB
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 850 (Sponsored by Thermaltake)
Case: Open air
Cooling: Xigmatek Aegir SD128264
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 5

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Results

HD Tune Pro 3.50
HD Tune Pro is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as: write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.

CrystalDiskMark 3.0
CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds. (Please note that the reason behind the “low” write speed is based on two things: First is the SandForce controllers using a writing technique that compresses the data, achieving higher write performance, and the second is CystalDiskMark benchmarks with already compressed data. These are essentially write speeds that one could expect with the transfer of large compressed archives or a compressed ISO.)

AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50
FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.
The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.

AS SSD
The synthetic tests to determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are carried out without using the operating system caches. In Seq-test measures the program how long it takes to read a full 1 GB of file to write respectively. In the 4K test the read and write performance for random 4K blocks is determined. The 4K-64-THRD-test corresponds to the 4K procedure except that here distributes the read and write operations on 64 threads. This test should be SSDs with Native Command Queuing (NCQ) differences between the IDE operation mode where NCQ is not supported, and represent the AHCI mode. The additional compression test can measure the performance of the SSD as a function of compressibility of the data. This is especially the controllers that are used to increase the performance and life of the cell compression is important.

Sisoftware Sandra
We are pleased to announce the launch of SiSoftware Sandra 2011, the latest version of our award-winning utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, mobile devices and networks. A year ago, SiSoftware released Sandra 2010 with full support for Windows 7; in the 18 months since the launch of Windows 7, more than ever before we have seen the line blur between PC and entertainment hubs. Two months ago we released a Blu-Ray benchmark, now we have added a brand-new Media Transcoding benchmark using the new Media Foundation of Windows 7. We have also added yet another benchmark (GP Cryptography) which allows direct comparison of CPU performance (using crypto instruction sets) and GPGPU/GPCPU/GPAPU performance.

Conclusion

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The Corsair Force 3 is one of the fastest solid state drives we have ever tested here at Pro-Clockers. The use of the SandForce SF-2881 controller is what really helps the Corsair offering to achieve this overwhelming performance goal.

Corsair decided to use Async NAND to make up the Force 3, which has shown to have not too great numbers as indicated by software applications like AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark. But applications like Sandra and AIDA64 showed what the drive was really about. How does this stand up in real world performance? Very damn well in our book.

With the performance number we saw here today we feel that there is no better time than the present to upgrade from the typical mechanical drive to an ultra-fast SSD like the Force 3.

Corsair offers the Force 3 in three different storage sizes of 60GB, 120GB and a 240GB. The 120GB we tested here today goes for about $200 before rebates.

Corsair does offer another model in the Force line, a higher-end model that goes by Force GT. This unit uses the better Synchronous NAND for increased overall performance. We will try and get one to review but if not, rest assured there are some great reviews already posted on the unit.

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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