As mentioned previously, the Corsair Force 100GB SSD actually has 128GB of NAND on board but roughly 35GB of that is provisioned for drive performance and wear leveling via Sandforce’s DuraClass technology. Windows drive properties only shows 93GB available which makes the drive provisioning at almost 28%! Even so, 93GB is plenty and I’d honestly give up this storage availability for the performance. Even with a 64-bit install of Windows 7, Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom, MS Office, MS Visual Studio and a long list of other apps, I am running just under 50GB of used space.
There was a lot of chatter, much of it positive, about the Sandforce controllers when word first hit about upcoming drives. The Indilinx drives were proving themselves to be very good performers and frankly, people were expecting equal or better performance from the SF-1200 controller. Were they right?
I’m happy to report that this is indeed the case and I can’t say I’m too surprised. The benchmark scores
show the 100GB Corsair Force drive to be one of the top performing drives I have tested. It blows away the mainstream SSDs that I tested and it shows that the Sandforce controllers are enthusiast class for those demanding the highest performing SSDs. In addition, with TRIM and garbage collection supported, drive maintenance is taken care of for you.
On the topic of cost, we have only seen the Force 100GB drives available on Dell’s website for $469.99. The 200GB version is also listed on Dell’s site but cheaper on CompUSA’s site for $749.99 and the part number for your reference is CSSD-F200GB2-BRKT. At those prices, it still may be a little steep for some at $4 – $5 per usable GB.
With prices like these on the Corsair Force SSD they face tough competition with competing SandForce based drives like the OCZ Vertex Limited Edition that we recently reviewed here. You can find the OCZ Vertex LE 100GB for $339 shipped after rebate, which is $140 less than the Corsair Force SSD. The Corsair Force series of SSDs are the flagship SSD for Corsair and their performance is impressive as you saw in the benchmark results. Once availability picks up the we expect the price to come down. We asked Corsair what the MSRP of the Force SSDs are and were told that Corsair does not talk about MSRPs as a matter of company policy. Usually Dell prices are higher than some of the other online retailers, so it is likely that the $470 price tag will drop and the Corsair will be price competitive with other SSDs that use Sandforce SF-1200 and SF-1500 controllers.
*EDITORS NOTE: As of mid May 2010 Corsair has upped the warranty to 3 years.
Legit Bottom Line: Although drive capacity is below some of its peers, the Corsair Force 100GB SSD is certainly one of the fastest SATA II drives available today and shows just how good the Sandforce SF-1200 controller really is. If you are looking for one of the fastest MLC SSD’s available without upgrading to SATA 6Gbps hardware, your quest has ended here.