Corsair won the race to release the first SSD built around the Sandforce SF-1200 controller, and with that victory under their belt, they can now concentrate on releasing additional models. That's what they've done -- three of them, to be exact -- adding the F60 (60GB), F120 (120GB), and F240 (240GB) to the Force Series.
"We have had excellent feedback on our Force Series F100 and F200 from both reviewers and customers, and we are excited about expanding our Sandforce-based offerings," stated Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing at Corsair. "These solid-state drives are an excellent option for any enthusiast looking to build their system using the best storage system performance that is currently available."
Use of the Sandforce SF-1200 controller has paid big dividends in performance, with the new drives serving up to 258MB/s read and 275MB/s write speeds, while 4K random writes clock in at 180MB/s. All Force Series drives also support the TRIM command, and according to Corsair, even ECC data protection is improved.
We're seeing a lot of memory makers incorporate the mighty Sandforce SF-1200 controller into their SSD line for higher read and write speeds, with the latest to do so being Patriot. The company has just announced its new Inferno series, and like other Sandforce-based SSDs, performance should be the least of your concerns (save your worries for the price).
"The Inferno series of SSDs are the fastest and most exciting that Patriot has yet brought to market," states Les Henry, Vice President of Engineering at Patriot. "We have been pleased to work with SandForce to bring these enterprise level SSDs to the mainstream market at a fraction of the costs. We are very impressed with the performance numbers based on the SandForce SSD Processor. This solution fits well with our objective of offering the latest technology and best performance in our product lineup."
Available in 100GB and 200GB capacities, Patriot says its Inferno series will read data at up to 285MB/s and write files at up to 275MB/s, making them some of the fastest spec'd SSDs on the market. And to make installation easier, each Inferno drive ships with a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch adapter, Patriot says.
Patriot didn't say anything about price or availability, but apparently they're already shipping. We found both drives on Newegg listed at $369 (100GB) and $679 (200GB).
Power users looking to pick up a potent solid state drive (SSD) now have yet another option to choose from, this one coming from Mushkin. The new series is called Callisto and comes built around the highly touted Sandforce SF-1200 controller found on other top tier SSDs.
"The Callisto SSDs continue Mushkin Enhanced's tradition of high-performance, high-reliability flash storage products and we're very pleased with the performance and responsiveness this product provides. We're confident the Callisto will not only meet the expectations of the market, but exceed them," said Brian Flood, Mushkin Enhanced director of product development.
Available in 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB capacities, all three drives feature read and write speeds up to 285MB/s and 275MB/s, respectively. Mushkin offered up few other details about its new Callisto series, though we suspect they also come equipped with 64MB of cache.
Pricing for the drives have been set to $219 (60GB), $370 (120GB) and $667 (240GB).
OCZ's Enyo Portable SSD solution might very well be the world's sexiest external storage device, and it's certainly one of the fastest. That's because OCZ slapped a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface on the drive, which already sports an SSD inside.
"We are continually searching for new ways to make the benefits of solid state storage available to consumers, and our new Enyo SSD is designed to make those benefits portable," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. "The Enyo is a sleek external SSD that makes use of the increasingly popular SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface to make transferring anything from spreadsheets to high definition movies significantly faster than traditional media. Consumers never have to leave home without their valuable files again."
The Enyo supports up to 260MB/s read and 200MB/s write speeds for blazing fast transfers compared to USB 2.0. According to OCZ, the Enyo can transfer a 500MB YouTube clip in just 1.6 seconds, far faster than the 17 seconds it would take with a USB 2.0 port. But the real benefit is in extra large transfers, such as a moving a 1TB backup file in 47 minutes compared to 9.3 hours with USB 2.0
OCZ's sleek Enyo will be made available in 64GB, 128GB, and 128GB capacities. No word yet on price.
With all the fancy new controllers out there—the SandForces, Toshibas, Da Vincis, and what have you—we were a little concerned that vendors would forget the little controller that made it all possible: the Indilinx Barefoot controller. Yep, the one that powers our current Best of the Best Patriot Torqx, as well as every other top-performing SSD of the past year. In this land of the new, can Corsair’s Nova V128, which sports the classic Barefoot controller, still push bits with the best of ‘em?
Yep. Though the SandForce-based drives in the roundup push the best sustained write speeds yet, the Nova V128’s Indilinx controller with 64MB of cache still sustains the fastest reads of the drives in this roundup, averaging 210MB/s on our test bed (the Torqx’ read speeds are slightly higher). And the V128’s average writes of 163MB/s are right up there with the 128GB Torqx.
OCZ clearly hopes the perceived rarity of its Limited Edition Vertex drive will increase desire for the product. A limited run of 5,000 is one way to do that. But if you’ve got a drive with performance this good, wouldn’t you want everyone to buy one?
Like the OWC Mercury Extreme Enterprise, the OCZ Vertex Limited Edition is a 100GB drive built on the SandForce SF-1500 controller. It’s the same architecture as OCZ’s cancelled Vertex 2 Pro, and when the 5,000 Limited Edition drives run out, there will doubtless be a successor waiting.
The SSD market is a meritocracy. Controller companies live and die on the strength of their products. Who had heard of Barefoot before its Indilinx controller pushed SSD speeds to new heights? SandForce is another promising young company whose controllers have started appearing in drives, including this month’s OCZ Vertex LE and the OWC Mercury Extreme Enterprise.
OWC markets mainly to Mac users, but don’t hold that against its SSD. It’s a modern, SandForce SF-1500-powered drive that supports TRIM. And given that OS X doesn’t support TRIM, well, we don’t even think that platform deserves performance this good.
We’re not mad. We’re just disappointed. When Plextor announced in February that it, too, was entering the SSD market, we were cautiously optimistic. After all, more competition is always a good thing, and Plextor wouldn’t put out a subpar product just to try to capitalize on a trend—would it?
The Plextor PX-128M1S is the first drive we’ve tested that is built on the Marvell 88SS8014-BHP2 “Da Vinci” controller—and if its performance is indicative of the platform as a whole, we hope it’s the last.
Western Digital has finally dipped its toe into the SSD pond, a move we’ve been expecting since last year’s acquisition of SiliconSystems. The first consumer SSD to be born of this acquisition is the SiliconEdge Blue. Can one of the biggest names in mechanical hard drives compete in the solid state world?
Western Digital seems to be banking on two things with the SiliconEdge Blue: first, that seeing Western Digital’s name on an SSD will draw consumers, and second, that the strength of its custom firmware and rigorous performance testing will enable it to compete with drives running the high-performing SandForce and Barefoot Indilinx controllers. WD won’t say whose controller the SiliconEdge Blue uses, but it’s not developed in-house and it isn’t SandForce or Barefoot.
Covering both ends of the solid state drive (SSD) spectrum, Corsair today announced the addition of two new drives to its Nova Series SSDs in 32GB and 256GB form.
The 32GB model is now the lowest capacity Nova drive Corsair carries. Read and write speeds check in at 195MB/s and 75MB/s, respectively, and like the other Nova drives, the 32GB model supports the TRIM command used by Windows 7.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the 256GB model is Corsair's largest Nova SSD to date, but it's not just about capacity. The largest drive ups the performance ante with 250MB/s read and 195MB/s write speeds. Both drives sport the popular Indilinx Barefoot controller, 64MB of cache, and a SATA II interface.
Corsair didn't announce a price for either drive, but give the street prices of the 64GB and 128GB models, we expect the 32GB to check in at around $100 and the 256GB somewhere in the vicinity of $700.