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Josh Norem

Apr 05, 2013

Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

At A Glance

Fast

5-year warranty, huge capacity, super-fast

Slow

Expensive, not the fastest in every test

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

When we last paid a visit to the Corsair Neutron GTX late last year , we declared it one wicked-fast SSD, but it was unfortunately nicked at the finish line by the Samsung 840 Pro . Corsair isn't too worried about that, though, and seems to have adopted an "upwards and onwards" mentality we see manifested in the capacious 480GB variant of the GTX that landed on our test bed this time around. Like its smaller-capacity brethren, it's sporting a brand-spankin'-new Link A Media controller (LAMD) that is exclusive to Corsair at this time, and it's wedded to Toshiba 24nm toggle-NAND. Running the show is an ARM microcontroller that pumps data through a SATA 6Gb/s connection. The Neutron GTX is also a slim 7mm jobbie, so it'll fit in even the most anorexic Ultrabooks . Desktop jockeys are also given consideration via the included 3.5-inch bay adapter.

Corsair’s Neutron GTX is serious business with 2 million hours MTBF and a five-year warranty.

Though it’s natural to focus on the specs of a drive like this, it's worth pointing out that this thing is built to last with a mean time between failure rating of 2 million hours, the longest rating you'll ever see for an SSD. Corsair also backs it up with a five-year warranty, which is also an industry-topper.

In testing, the GTX tore up our benchmark charts in heavily queued workloads, dominating even its old foe the Samsung 840 Pro. This dominance was seen in both the Iometer test, where we queue up 32 4KB write requests and hammer the drive mercilessly, as well as in the AS SSD 4KB incompressible data test where the GTX even outpaced the Samsung 840 Pro by a hair in write speeds.

In compressible 64KB sequential read and write tests the Neutron GTX also performed extremely well, throwing down a sequential read speed of 491MB/s and write speed of 391MB/s, placing it just slightly behind the Samsung drive in read speeds but a bit further behind in write speeds. In CrystalDiskMark the Neutron GTX also fell slightly below its 500MB+ claimed speeds, at 436MB/s and 473MB/s, making this the drive’s worst showing in our benchmark suite. Admittedly, nobody would argue that 400MB/s speeds are slow, but when compared to its competition the drive is slightly off the mark here.

Finally we come to our PC Mark Vantage "real world" test, where the Neutron took our number one spot by a decisive margin, its score almost double that of some older drives like the Crucial M4 and OCZ Vertex 4 .

When we previously reviewed the 240GB version of this drive we awarded it a 9 verdict, and that ruling stands. The drive is amazingly fast in a lot of tests, but not all. It’s certainly the fastest drive we’ve ever tested at this capacity, though, so as we begin to transition to 512GB the Neutron GTX will no doubt be a serious contender.

$560, www.corsair.com

Specifications
 Corsair Neutron GTXIntel 335 SeriesSamsung 840 ProCrucial M4Intel Series 520OCZ Vertex 4
Controller LAMDSF-2281Samsung Marvel 9174SF-2281Indilinx Everest
Capacity 480GB240GB256GB256GB240GB256GB
CrystalDiskMark

    
Avg. Sustained Read (MB/s) 436.3462515.7499478.2425
Avg. Sustained Write (MB/s)473.5324499.1277245383
AS SSD
     
4KB Read (IOPS)6,9425,7596,9175,7025,7936,475
4KB Write (IOPS)16,72216,71916,58216,85817,21315,997
ATTO      
64KB File Read (MB/s)491507514275510.2425
64KB File Write (MB/s)349413512436318.1383
Iometer      
4KB Random Write (32QD)83,59357,41270,64143,41181,62428,206
PCMark Vantage x6472,05843,32456,60840,50366,69138,251

Best scores are bolded. Our current test bed is a 3.4GHz Core i5-3570K processor on an Asus P8Z77-V Premium motherboard running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. All tests used onboard 6Gb/s SATA ports with the latest Intel drivers.

THE VERDICT

Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

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