Corsair has traditionally been a very conservative player in the SSD space. It started by selling Samsung based drives and eventually moved to Indilinx (although far later than its chief competitors). With SandForce Corsair narrowed the time to market gap, but it was still late. Not this time however.

As Dustin mentioned in his CES coverage, Corsair has a new drive that it announced at the show: the Performance Series 3 SSD. Based on the same Marvell controller as Micron’s C300/C400 but with what Corsair tells us is a different firmware, the P3 is supposed to be very quick.

Corsair had a pair of the 6Gbps drives on display at CES running on a Sandy Bridge platform. In RAID-0, the two 128GB P3 drives posted some impressive scores:

Peaking at 878MB/s reads and 430MB/s writes, assuming linear scaling that would put the speed of a single P3-128 drive at 439MB/s and 215MB/s for sequential reads and writes, respectively. Real world performance obviously depends on much more than just raw sequential read/write speed, but this is a good start.

The next wave of high end consumer SSDs will begin shipping this month, and I believe Corsair may be the first out the gate. Micron will follow shortly with its C400 and then we’ll likely see a third generation offering from Intel before eventually getting final hardware based on SandForce’s SF-2000 controllers in May.

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  • Tom80112 - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    I would like to know which of the Near-Term drives: Corsair P3, Micro C400, or Intel G3
    is the fastest as a boot drive in the 60GB to 80GB range..
  • Frallan - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    AFAIK the size wont matter with SSDs - it might even be faster with a bigger drive so you get a bigger so you have a wider bus to work with.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    Size does matter to speed, for the reason that often the larger drives can use more channels of the controller to write to more NAND devices. Companies often send out the largest (and therefore highest-performance) drives for review, leaving performance of the smaller (and more affordable) drives unknown.
  • Lifted - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    RAID is nice with the SSD's, but any word on Trim support for SSD's in RAID? Are we still waiting on RAID controllers for support? Is there a standard out there for them to follow?
  • probedb - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    Is TRIM actually necessary if the controllers have good garbage collection?
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't want to run them without TRIM. TRIM allows the OS to communicate to the SSD if a block of data is valid and should be kept, or of is invalid and can be deleted. If I'm remembering correctly, a drive that is only doing garbage collection has no idea what is valid data and will reorganizing blocks whether the blocks are valid data or not. Both improve performance, but a GC drive could be moving around invalid blocks without knowing it, wasting write cycles for no good reason.
  • Wiggy McShades - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    garbage collection does exactly what trim does, but it only does it while the drive is idle. trim is just an on demand way of clearing data that has been deleted.
  • alovell83 - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    I remember reading an article that said the Q1Y11 was the quarter to wait for if you are looking for SSDs, while if you needed something immediately the SSD being reviewed was worth a close look.

    So, am I to take it that Q1 has turned into May? Please forgive my ignorance.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    Yup. With the Intel drives delayed and some of the other players also slow to release I think the time to buy would be Q2.
  • MeanBruce - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    The drive does have nice numbers, but Corsair SSDs don't seem to have ever been hugely popular. If this was a review for the newest Corsair Platinum Grade 92percent efficient Power Supply that plugs into the mainboard for temp and fan control via the new Corsair Link software there would be about 190 comments. I hope to see those Corsair Platinums out this Summer! It will fit so nice in the new Obsidian 650D.

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