Solid State Drives are quickly becoming an important upgrade in most consumer PCs. They offer increased performance with decreased power consumption and heat, and are smaller and lighter than standard mechanical drives.
Corsair has been making high speed memory modules since 1994, so for them the move to NAND based storage systems seems almost expected. Corsair is not only known for their memory devices, however. Over the last couple of years they have expanded their lineup, bringing power supplies and all in one liquid cooling systems into enthusiasts lives with more than a fair amount of accolades.
The Force series Solid State Drives are the latest from Corsair. The drives use the newest Sandforce 1200 series controller, which can hit the effective limitations of the SATAII interface. The Force series as reported by Corsair can achieve speeds of “285MBps Sustained Read, and 275MBps Sustained Writes.” Most solid state memory devices from USB storage to Solid State Drives, will market an entire series under the speeds that only the largest drives in the series can reach. With drive versions ranging from 40GB to 240GB, this could mean the 40GB Force series drives reviewed here may not hit those speeds; we shall see.
The reason for the limitation on smaller sized solid state storage devices is because of the way in which they are designed internally. Much like a mechanical hard drive uses platters internally to store data, SSDs use NAND memory cells. The larger the drive, the more cells are needed in the drive. The more cells, the more possible data transactions can occur. When less cells are used the number of possible data paths internally drops and the internal RAISE performance drops. With SandForce controller SSDs however, this does not occur. For more information on it, please look for an upcoming Solid State Storage Blog explaining the differences between NAND memory types and controllers.
The specifications for the Force series drives from Corsair.