Man, we are all about SandForce these days. The controller company burst out of stealth mode early this year, and proceeded to rock our socks with every drive that uses its SF-1200 firmware. The Corsair Force F100, like all drives of its ilk, relies on commodity NAND and the rock-solid SandForce SF-1200 controller, which eschews DRAM cache entirely in favor of not sucking. And though it doesn’t reach the unprecedented reads and writes offered by the OCZ Vertex 2 and its custom firmware, the Force F100 performs on par with the next best drives out there, which all happen to be SandForce-powered.
The Force is with Corsair's first SandForce-powered SSD.
Like the OWC Mercury Extreme and the OCZ Vertex LE, the Corsair F100 displays average sustained read speeds of around 195MB/s, with average sustained writes topping out at more than 220MB/s. It far surpasses either of those competitors in 4KB random read/write IOPS, though; at 11,102 read IOPS and 9,778 write IOPS in HDTune, the F100 is just barely outperformed by the Vertex 2. Corsair says it will soon have access to the same firmware OCZ currently uses for the Vertex 2, which should further reduce the IOPS gap. However, the Vertex 2 does still outstrip the F100 in sequential reads as of press time.
For some reason, the F100 did not perform at its peak straight from the box. Only after we zeroed the drive with diskpart did its performance match that of other SandForce drives. This may only have been an issue with our review unit, but it’s not a bad idea to zero a drive before you use it, anyway.
With performance on par with the best SandForce drives (save in sequential reads, where it’s bested by the Vertex 2), the F100 is a force to be reckoned with. Provided you zero the drive first, we have no qualms recommending it above all SandForce drives on the market today save the Vertex 2.