Corsair’s Neutron GTX is the first solid-state drive to arrive in the Lab sporting a brand-new eight-channel controller from a company named Link A Media Devices (LAMD for short). The controller promises top-notch I/O performance, especially in a multitasking environment, making this a drive specifically targeted at hardcore enthusiasts—which is you, since you’re reading this.
The Neutron GTX uses Toshiba 24nm MLC toggle-mode NAND flash memory and includes some enterprise-level technology designed to enhance reliability. It also supports the Windows Trim command and employs a routine of wear-leveling and garbage collection to help maintain performance over time. The LAMD controller uses a multicore ARM microcontroller, and hooks up via a SATA 6Gb/s interface.
Corsair's Neutron GTX packs a punch via a new controller from Link A Media.
The enclosure itself is a slim 7mm unit, so it will fit in any notebook or Ultrabook, and if you want to stick it in your PC, Corsair provides a 3.5-inch bay adapter. It also features a metal chassis, giving it a rigid feel while keeping it amazingly light at the same time.
During testing, the GTX posted impressive benchmark numbers across the board, making a remarkable debut appearance on our benchmark chart. In sequential read tests it averaged 435MB/s, which is decent but not earth-shattering. Its sequential write speeds, however, make it the second-fastest drive we’ve ever tested, losing only to the Samsung drive, and just by a hair.
When the workload increased to 32 commands in a queue, the GTX kept up relatively well but couldn’t keep pace with the SandForce-equipped Patriot and Intel drives. In our simulated real-world test, PCMark Vantage, the GTX achieved the second-fastest score ever, behind the new Samsung. Overall the only area where it lagged in any significant way was in heavily queued 32-command workloads.
The GTX is an impressive drive, and we can’t wait to see if other manufacturers jump on the LAMD train. Even though the Samsung 840 Pro steals its thunder a bit, Corsair’s new solid state drive is still one of the fastest we have ever tested.