When In Doubt, Double Up
We first had a look at the Corsair Neutron GTX drive in November of last year and found it to be a very fast drive and it even earned our Editor's Choice award. Since then, Corsair has tweaked it a bit by moving to the smaller architecture 19nm Toshiba Toggle flash NAND from 25nm but otherwise it's the same drive we reviewed. It's been a quite awhile since we've done some RAID 0 performance tests on SSDs and since we multiple drives available, we decided to give it a go. There are still a fair amount of enthusiast users out there that like to push everything to the max so this will give a good example what you might see with a RAID 0 configuration with two top SSDs.
Running the show inside the drives are Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD) LM87800 controllers and unlike SandForce drives, they leverage an on board DRAM cache. LAMD states that it uses eBoost technology to improve drive endurance through proprietary "adaptive signal estimation techniques". All in all, it makes for a speedy drive and so far we haven't heard of any widespread issues with the controller and/or firmware. You can pick up a single drive for $220 for the 240GB drive.
Legit Reviews Storage Benchmark Test System
All tests were performed on a fresh and up-to-date install of Windows 8 Pro x64 with no other applications running while using RAID mode set through the BIOS. Benchmarks were run with the OS loaded on a 120GB Corsair Force SSD. In between every test, the test drives were secure erased using an instance of Parted Magic. As such, all results should be indicative of optimal performance. All components were set to their default speeds and are listed below.
|Intel LGA 1155 Test Platform|
|Core i5 2500k|
|ASUS Maximus V Gene Z77|
|Kingston HyperX KHX16C9B1RK28 8GB|
|Corsair Force 120GB (FW 2.4)|
|Antec Basiq BP550W Plus-EC|
|Windows 8 Pro 64-Bit|
ATTO is one of the oldest drive benchmarks still being used today and is still very relevant in the SSD world. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that can be very easily interpreted. The test was run with the default runs of 0.5KB through 8192KB transfer sizes with the total length being 256MB.
Benchmark Results: The numbers indicate that twice the drives nearly reaches twice the performance, but not quite. In our original single drive review, we saw reads hit 556MB/s and writes at 512MB/s.
Let's have a look at some more benchmarks.
More Performance and Final Thoughts
HD Tune v4.01
HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as: write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark. It's a popular benchmark and perfect for testing thumb drives.
Benchmark Results: The file benchmark gives us a better idea how performance will look in the real world and it's obvious that pairing them is extremely beneficial as they scream in this benchmark.
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64 - Intel Z77 Platform
CrystalDiskMark is a small benchmark utility for drives and enables rapid measurement of sequential and random read/write speeds. Note that CDM only supports Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with a queue depth of 32 (as noted) for the last listed benchmark score. This can skew some results in favor of controllers that also do not support NCQ.
Benchmark Results: Even the incompressible data used on the CrystalDiskMark benchmark barely fazed the pairing as numbers are still more than double on reads from what we saw on a single drive (435.8MB/s reads & 470.6MB/s writes) but shy of double on writes.
AS-SSD (1.6.4237.30508) Benchmark - Intel Z77 Platform:
We have been running the AS-SSD Benchmark app for over some time now and found that it gives a broad result set. The programmer has worked very hard on this software and continues to make updates often so if you use it, show him some love and send him a donation. There are now three tests that are found within the tool and we'll show the results from two of them.
Benchmark Results: Again, the performance numbers indicate nearly double that of a single drive where we saw reads at 503.19MB/s and writes at 472.22MB/s.
As expected, pairing a couple of drives like the Neutron GTX's which already put up superb performance numbers singularly, really kicks up performance to a whole new level. In fact, in most of our tests, the throughputs nearly doubled from what we saw on a single drive. With the LAMD controller, we barely saw any difference between compressible and incompressible data which translates to a more even real world performance experience.
Those needing every bit of performance they can get should be very pleased with this setup. As with most things, the tremendous upside comes with a few drawbacks that most are already aware of. Obviously, there's the cost of two drives rather than just the one which runs $219.99 shipped by itself. Second, you double the risk of data loss should something unfortunate happen.
Legit Bottom Line: If you like the performance of one Corsair Neutron GTX, you'll be amazed how fast a pair of them are.