Corsair Performance Pro SATA 3 256GB SSD Review – Marvell Controller With a Punch

Corsairs newest Performance Pro SATA 3 SSD is on our bench today and get ready for some great benchmarks!  After Crucial’s M4 punch which came as a result of their updated Marvell firmware, it was only a matter of time before another manufacturer came back swinging with the same Marvell controller in tow.

To be quite frank, SSD enthusiasts have made it clear that they want an SSD with superior incompressible data performance results and now they have it.


Corsairs newest inclusion to their already great selection of SSDs is the Performance Pro 6Gbps family with capacities of  128 and 256GB to start.   Performance is listed at 515MB/s read and 440MB/s write with 65,000 IOPS at 4k random write aligned disk access for our tested 256GB model with a slight drop to 500MB/s read and 340MB/s write with 60,000 IOPS for the 128GB version.


The Performance Pro comes with the standard three year warranty, is fully TRIM capable and has a desktop adapter included with each package.  Very surprising is the fact that we checked e-tailers at the time of this report to find, not only that the drive is available, but also that it is very competitively priced well below MSRP at $219 for the 128GB version and $419 for the 256GB version. This was unexpected.



The Corsair Performance Pro is protected by an exterior aluminum shell which is secured by four screws, two of which are covered with security tape to prevent tampering.  Once opened, we get a great view of eight Toshiba toggle mode 34nm NAND flash memory modules which are 32GB each for a total of 256GB, this being reduced to a final user capacity of 238GB after formatting. Also visible are two 256MB modules of Nanya DDR3-1333 DRAM cache which facilitates garbage collection as well as SSD caching for speed.

blankOn the bottom, we see only the Marvell 88S-9174 6Gbps controller.  This controller is not new to the SSD world as we have seen it in other solid state drives to include those available from Intel, Crucial, Corsair and several other manufacturers but something looked remarkably familiar with this SSD.

blankThe truth is, if you happen to checkout a Plextor PX-M2P 256GB SSD review, these two drives are exact twins when considering the controller, NAND memory and even the cache.  Minor differences will be seen in case color and, of course, branding while we would bet that the firmware between the two equates to a more obvious difference in end user performance.


  1. blank

    So is this recommend over the Crucial m4?

  2. blank

    I just bought this drive for my Late 2011 13″ MacBook Pro….all I can say is…WOW!!! This thing flies and we don’t have to worry about any SandForce controller issues. Go Marvel & go Corsair!!!

  3. blank

    Hey Les nice write up as always. Just wanted to correct one mistake.

    The drive uses two 128MB not two 256MB. (specs are on page 8 of the Nanya whitepaper NTC-DDR3-2Gb-B-Device-R11.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *