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


You may not see this for long (and its definitely not common) but you get a freebee simply for reading!  Over the last little while, we have been assisting with beta testing new benchmark software called Anvil Storage Utilities which is an absolutely amazing SSD benchmarking utility.  Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and utilize in our benchmark testing.  Lets see how the Corsair Performance Pro SATA 3 256GB SSD fares on Anvil Pro:

As much as we like Anvil, its basic skill set is that of highly compressible data which is not the bread and butter of the Performance Pro.  Granted…these are excellent test scores but the Performance Pro has shown itself superior in its incompressible data performance.  Lets see how this plays out with PCMark Vantage:


The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

If you are new to testing and considering benchmark software, this is the best you can get because the program goes well beyond the results of simulated testing as we have already done. In comparing SATA 2.0 SSDs, we have reached the bandwidth limit and the performance of most new SATA 2 SSDs is as high as it can get with typical high sequential access speeds in the area of 280MB/s read and 270MB/s write. This observation can again be seen with drives of different manufacturers that utilize similar components within and have very similar specifications.

We needed a way to differentiate these drives and to find a method that can actually put one drive above another and this is exactly what Vantage testing does. Its tests combined can provide an accurate comparison between drives and its tests individually can assist a smart shopper in finding the best SSD for their needs. Next to actual true to life testing which can take an insurmountable length of time, PCMark Vantage is the only program that can compare any SSD, side by side, regardless of SATA interface or controller in use.


The Performance Pro Total Point score was 70285 points with a high transfer speed of 407MB/s while testing in Windows Media Center.  In checking our performance chart, we see that the Performance Pro is one of only four SSDs to reach the 70,000 point mark and the only non-SandForce SSD of the bunch.  A closer look shows that the Performance Pro is easily the top drive when testing incompressible data.

blankLets take a look at how the Corsair Performance Pro fits into the overall picture:



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    So is this recommend over the Crucial m4?

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    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!!!

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    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

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