The Corsair Force LS 240GB (1GB byte = 1,000,000,000 bytes) drive yields 223Gib (1Gib = 1,073,741,824 bytes) to the user after over provisioning and Windows formatting have their share. This is the typical available amount for most 240GB drives and suitably large enough for most users, especially if they have a dedicated media drive.
Being that this was our first go at the Phison PS3108 controller, we weren’t sure what kind of performance we would see overall. Sure the specifications say reads up to 560MB/s and writes up to 535MB/s, but how would it perform against the suite of tests? The answer is, it was a little mixed. We did see the aforementioned performance numbers manifest on the ATTO benchmark which is usually where you see the best possible performance outcome for any drive. Moving to some of the other benchmarks, we saw a hit in write performance as is the case with many drives – especially by the more budget oriented offerings. So in hindsight, knowing that this was a value drive going in, I guess we did have an inkling of performance expectations. Still, as far as the wallet friendly drive crowd goes, it compared very favorably with no real weak spots that aren’t found with its peers. The Phison controller seemed to handle everything we threw at it without having a meltdown and paired well with the 19nm Toshiba Toggle NAND. How it fares in the long term will be something that we’ll have to wait and see but for now we have no real complaints.
For those here in the U.S. that may be considering one, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Currently, this is only available abroad and as far as we know, Corsair has no plans to offer it domestically. The closest Corsair part would probably be the Force GS series which has similar specifications. Corsair lists the 60GB, 120GB and 240GB drives on their site as $94.99, $149.99 and $259.99 in terms of MSRP. We were able to spot them online for £54.72, £87.74, and £153.89 (all including VAT) which is a bit less expensive than the MSRP but not much. Takeaway the 20% VAT and the difference is more substantial but you can’t really skirt it so I chose to include it. For the 240GB drive we tested, that comes out to about £0.69 ($1.10) per usable GB which is pushing the boundaries of value pricing. To be fair, pricing usually drops a bit once the drives have been given ample time to saturate the market.
Overall, we can say that the Force LS series is a solid contender for your dollars for those wanting the speed of an SSD but not needing top performance or simply not willing to shell out the funds such a drive demands. Used to be that there was a sizeable rift in performance between budget drive and enthusiast drives. Not so much anymore and as such we’ve said many times that if you take the best SSD and use it for a week and then switch to a lesser drive, you’d be hard pressed to tell a difference unless you are moving gobs of data. The real world differences are a matter of few seconds here and there. Even then, we showed that the value oriented LS drive had some of the fastest boot times of all the drives we’ve tested. Given Corsair’s 3-year warranty and reputation for good customer support, we wouldn’t worry too much about the lack of history with the Phison controller and see no reason to shy away from recommending the Force LS series of drives, especially if we can see the price come down a bit.
Legit Bottom Line: The Corsair Force LS series drive makes a good argument for itself to be purchased and loved but only for those outside of the USA.