Corsair Force Series 100GB SSD Reviewgotdamojo06 - July 4, 2010
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Are you trying to get the most overall performance out of your computer that you possibly can have? Perhaps you have spent much time and money making sure that you can get the best overclock on your processor and memory kit that you can and those speeds give you quite a performance boost, but you are not very happy with your operating system's load time or the load times of your programs. Well, this is where getting a Solid State Drive (SSD) for your system will give you that performance boost you have been looking for. With every new technology that comes out, it will start out at a large premium and work its way down to a more mainstream price range while loosing a little bit of performance. This has been one of the main issues with SSDs, the large price premium: the price per GB ratio. Well let's see if the high price tag of the drives are actually worth all the money, while we take a look at Corsair's Force Series 100GB SSD.
The packaging for the Corsair Force Series 100GB SSD is completely white with a large image of the drive itself on the front of the box; you will also find the Corsair logo printed in the top left hand corner of the package. Solid-State Drive is printed in large font at the top of the package to grab your attention and let you know exactly what is inside of the box. The bottom right hand corner of the front is where you will find the series and capacity, in this case it is the Force Series with a 100GB total capacity. The back of the packaging is where you are going to find a quick little blurb about Corsair's SSDs and letting you know that they are perfect for faster system start-up, quieter operations, quicker game and application load times all done at a lower power consumption. It does also let you know that you can use this drive in either a notebook or a desktop (with the included 3.5" desktop SSD Kit).
Once you open up the package and grab everything from inside, you will notice that you get the Corsair CSSD-F100GB2-BRKT drive, a 3.5" drive adapter to allow you to use the drive inside of your desktop chassis, and two bags of screws. The adapter is very easy to use. All you will need to do is place the SSD down on the drive and screw four of the included screws through the adapter into the pre-drilled holes on the back of the drive to hold it in place, then place the whole assembly inside your chassis in an empty 3.5" drive slot.
The Force Series F100 drive looks similar to a standard mechanical HDD, however that is where the similarities end. The Corsair SSD is not only smaller in size to a typical 3.5" HDD, it is also feather like in comparison when it comes to overall weight of the drive. The front of the Force Series 100GB drive, you will find a sticker that is going to give you all of the information about the drive that you need to know, the Corsair logo is printed in the top left hand corner with the tag Storage Solutions printed along the top next to the logo. The model is printed in large text in the center "F100" with the Force Series printed above. Under that, you will see the capacity of the drive which happens to be 100GB. The part number is printed on the front of the drive on the sticker as well CSSD-F100GB2. The back of the drive is not very exciting as it is just completely black. There is a screw in each of the four corners to allow you access to the innards of the drive, which we will get into shortly. At the back end of the drive, you will find another similarity to any other SATAII drive - the SATA power adapter as well as the SATA Data cable adapter. Both must be plugged in to make the drive functional.
The first side of the PCB that you will see when you open up the casing is the back side, you will find eight memory modules on this side as well as eight on the opposite front side of the PCB. Each of the modules are Micron 29F64G08CFABA MLC flash memory with a total density of 6.25GB a piece giving you a total of 100GB (6.25GB x 16 = 100GB). In the center of the PCB on the front side, you will find a ninth module. This lonely module is the heart of the Corsair Force Series SSD, it is the SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH memory controller, which is part of the SF-1200 SSD controller chip series. The SF-1200 controller chip is new to the industry and many manufactures are hailing it as a the new replacement for the Barefoot processor. The SF-1200 does claim to be the best when it comes to endurance, performance, and power consumption. The SF-1200 chip does come with native TRIM support, SMART technology, and keeps all information on the NAND grid. You will not find any cache buffer modules on the PCB due to the SF-1200 processor, which is going to allow the drive to transfer information faster, but this does come with a bit of a capacity reduction.
Now that we know what the Corsair Force Series 100GB SSD looks like and what it comes packaged with, it's time to take a look at the specifications and features of the drive.