The Force Series GT 120GB SSD is Corsairs premium SATA 3 SSD Series offering and our review today falls directly on the heels of its younger brother, the Force Series 3 SSD a few days back.
As similar as these SSDs are, there is a key physical difference that affects performance and cost of each Corsair Force SSD significantly. Conceivably, reading this article could justify that $100 premium or perhaps equal savings realized in your Corsair SSD purchase.
Corsair’s choice of such, however, is fully intended as they cater the performance of the GT to the enthusiast and the price of the Force Series 3 to the value conscious or entry level SSD consumer. Lets venture out of the norm just a bit and, in evaluating the Force Series GT, pit it directly against the Force Series 3s benchmarks to ensure the consumer can decide which SSD is best for their needs.
The Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD is available in capacities of 120 and 240GB and specifications list it as being capable of 555MB/s read and 515 write with 85000 IOPS at 4k aligned random write disk access. Coincidentally, these specifications are exactly the same for the Force Series 3 GT. With respect to purchase and ordering, make sure you dont get these mixed up by product number, the GT version being CSSD-F120GBGT-BK with the Series 3 version having product number CSSD-F120GB3-BK. The other key visible difference is that the GT version is red vice the black case of the Force Series 3.
A quick check of Newegg shows advance pricing of the Force Series GT at $289.99 for the 120GB version while the Force Series 3 is close to a hundred bucks cheaper at $194.99. Similarly, the GT 240GB is expected to list at $550-580 while the Series 3 240GB lists at $489.99. I will get to GT performance soon enough but lets suffice to say price equates to performance with these drives. Although I awarded our Editors Choice award to the Force Series 3 in its review, the truth is that it does not handle incompressible data as well as todays premium (and more expensive) SSDs.
Its award was the result of the drive being the lowest price available for a new generation SSD of this capacity, the fact that it utilizes the top quality SF-2281 processor, its great PCMark Vantage results and for the typical user, its an ideal choice for a SATA 3 SSD.
EXTERIOR PACKAGING AND SSD CASING
Corsair deserves kudos for the design of the exterior case as well as its their choice of color for the GT. The package front lists its speed, capacity and the fact that it is a SATA 3 SSD while the back has a promotional para in 6 languages and lets the user know that this SSD includes a 3.5 desktop PC adapter.
Something not seen often on the front of SSD packaging is a line with words to the effect of Fully SATA 2.0 Compatible. Lets face it. We are still in the infancy period of SSD technology and the lion share of consumers purchasing (or considering purchase) are still using SATA 2 systems. This statement may result in purchases by those who simply dont know that the SATA 3 SSD is downward compatible and may be upgrading in the near future. More importantly, it will reign in those who just want the newest and best in SSD technology. Guilty!
If you are one to believe that that color alone could not sell a product, guess again. It hasnt been two weeks since we completed our Patriot Wildfire SSD Review and I sat there wondering how the color red would have been a great advertising idea for that drive and here we have it in the Corsair GT. The combination of GT and the color red brings in thoughts of racing and that means speed, the key ingredient necessary to grab the enthusiast or, as we are now describing, the prosumer purchase.
The exterior casing is of two piece metal and held in place by 4 screws. Easily identifiable on the back of the drive are two seals that will immediately void your warranty if damaged in any way. I had always wondered if these security seals could be removed and replaced safely when heated up and ventured to answer that question with the Force GT SSD. Lets just say that I would not advise anybody to follow my lead; thats why we show you the printed circuit board (PCB) and components in the review.
Page 1 – Introduction and Exterior Packaging
Page 2 – Interior Components & Test Protocol
Page 5 – HDTune Pro Testing