Corsair Accelerator 30GB SSD Cache Drive Review

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Inside the Accelerator

Opening the Corsair Accelerator SSD Cache drive is as super duper simple as it has no screws to remove. You just need to pop off the top cover by inserting a small slender device between the two case halves and gently twisting.

Corsair Accelerator Inside

Once the matte black enclosure is parted you can see that a small PCB is inside that is held down by three #000 Philips screws.

Crucial Adrenaline 50GB PCB

The backside of the PCB is pretty much bare besides two NAND Flash memory chips that are partly covered up by a bar code sticker of some sorts.

Crucial Adrenaline 50GB PCB

Turing the PCB over we finally see all the good stuff – the SandForce SF-2141 processor (controller) and two more MLC NAND Flash memory chips.

Corsair Accelerator NAND

The drive uses four Micron 25nm 8GB asynchronous MLC (multi-level cell) NAND Flash memory modules with part number 29F64G08CBAAA. There are four total, so the total capacity of the the Corsair Accelerator 30GB is actually 32GB. The Corsair Accelerator has 6.25% of it’s memory reserved for the firmware so it can be used for wear-leveling.

Sandforce 2141 Controller

The Corsair Accelerator 30GB uses the SandForce SF-2141 processor, which is a SATA II 3Gb/s (4 channel) processor that can be used with 12GB to 64GB of memory. SandForce says this controller should be able to have 10,000 IOPS sustained when it comes to 4KB random write performance.  As with most all controllers on the market today it does support TRIM and idle garbage collection. 

It should be noted that the Corsair Accelerator 45GB and 60GB versions use the SandForce SF-2181 processor.  The SandForce SF-2181 is still 3Gb SATA, but it has 8 channels and the 4KB random write performance is up to 20,000 IOPS as the number of channels available between the NAND Flash and the processor have doubled. This is a heads up to those enthusiasts that are wanting to get the most performance from a system as there is a hardware difference between the 30GB and 45/60GB models. You might want to spend a little extra money and get the faster processor. The 30GB model is $54.99 and the 45GB model is $65.97, so you are talking about a ~$10 difference for a faster controller and 15GB of additional caching space.

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