The Corsair Force GS

Now that the TRIM issue is out of the way, it's time to take a closer look at Corsair's Force GS SSD. Not much has happened in the SandForce SSD frontier for a while and the Force GS isn't exactly special either. As with most SandForce based SSDs, it's based on SandForce's SF-2281 controller, although Corsair has chosen SanDisk, a bit more uncommon choice, as the NAND supplier. SanDisk's NAND uses the same Toggle-Mode interface as Toshiba's and Samsung's NAND, which is rarer in SandForce SSDs than ONFi NAND. That's not to say that the Force GS is the first Toggle-Mode NAND based SandFroce SSD; there are quite a few that use Toggle-Mode NAND as well, such as OWC's Mercury 6G and Mushkin's Chronos Deluxe.

Comparison of NAND Interfaces
  ONFi Toggle-Mode
Manufacturers IMFT (Intel, Micron, Spectec), Hynix Toshiba/SanDisk, Samsung
Version 1.0 2.0 2.x 3.0 1.0 2.0
Max Bandwidth 50MB/s 133MB/s 200MB/s 400MB/s 166MB/s 400MB/s

By using Toggle-Mode NAND, Corsair claims to achieve slightly higher write speeds than ONFi based SandForce SSDs, although the difference is only about 5MB/s in sequential write and 5K IOPS in 4K random write. While SanDisk NAND is quite rare, it should not be of lower quality than any other NAND. Toshiba and SanDisk have a NAND joint venture similar to Intel's and Micron's IMFT: SanDisk owns 49.9% and Toshiba owns the remaining 50.1% of the joint venture. As the NAND comes from the same fabs, there is no physical difference between SanDisk and Toshiba NAND, although validation methods may of course be different.

Corsair Force Series GS Specifications
User Capacity 180GB 240GB 360GB 480GB
Controller SandForce SF-2281
NAND SanDisk 24nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND
Raw NAND Capacity 192GiB 256GiB 384GiB 512GiB
Number of NAND Packages 12 16 12 16
Number of Die per Package 2 2 4 4
Sequential Read 555MB/s 555MB/s 555MB/s 555MB/s
Sequential Write 525MB/s 525MB/s 530MB/s 455MB/s
Max 4K Random Write 90K IOPS 90K IOPS 50K IOPS 50K IOPS

The interesting thing in Force GS are the available capacities; Corsair isn't offering anything smaller than 180GB and there is also a more uncommon 360GB model included. As explained in our pipeline article of the Force GS launch, 180GB and 360GB models are achieved by running the SF-2281 controller in 6-channel mode and using either 6 or 12 NAND packages. Corsair only had 240GB review samples available, but they promised to send us a 360GB sample once they get them.

Price Comparison (11/22/2012)
  120/128GB 180GB 240/256GB 360GB 480/512GB
Corsair Force GS N/A $160 $220 $315 $400
Corsair Force GT $130 $185 $220 N/A $390
Corsair Neutron $120 N/A $213 N/A N/A
Plextor M5S $110 N/A $200 N/A N/A
Crucial m4 $110 N/A $185 N/A $389
Intel 520 Series $130 $190 $234 N/A $370
Samsung SSD 830 $104 N/A $200 N/A $550
OCZ Vertex 3 $89 N/A $200 N/A $425
OCZ Vertex 4 $75 N/A $160 N/A $475
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe $100 N/A $180 N/A N/A

Force GS is priced competitively against other SSDs at all capacities. All capacities are priced noticeably below $1 per GB, even the not so common 180GB and 360GB models. Of course, it should be kept in mind that SSD prices change frequently (e.g. some of the models like the 480GB Vertex 3 have dropped in price by 30% or more in the past two months!), so you should do your own research before buying. We can only quote the prices at the time of writing, there is a good chance that our pricing table will be at least somewhat out of date in less than a week.

But How About Incompressible Data and TRIM? Inside The Corsair Force GS and Test Setup
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • bradcollins - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    One question, all of the tests at Anandtech for Sandforce performance after being hammered for a period of time are always over the entire drive. Do the drives maintain their performance if the random writes are only over 50% or 75% of the LBA's on the drive? Very few people actually fill up their SSD so I wonder if it is a truely relevant test?
  • Impulses - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    You will always eventually use all of your SSD, wear leveling algorithms will spread data across all NAND packages... A certain portion will always be marked "empty" if you haven't filled it to capacity, but that space has been issued and it's subject to the performance degradation conditions AT tests for.
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    Time for an article on Cache Analysis?

    It looks to me as though the 1GB Dram Cache on the Intel DC S3700 is mainly responsible for smoothing out those peaks and valleys to deliver "Consistant" performance across the drive

    As for trim.....

    It's time to start with a fresh perspective on SSD's
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    I know Intel claimed otherwise on the dram usage, but I don't buy it

    Sounds more likely they are just sending the competition on a wild goose chase
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    Reread DC S3700 review again

    256MB of the 1GB is used for cache

    OK, my bad
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link


    If I read it 5 more times I'll get it right eventually
  • extide - Saturday, November 24, 2012 - link

    If it were that easy, don't you think other guys would have drives like the 3700 out?
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    The problem with caching in general is that there is no good way to test how much write/read caching the drive is doing. All we got is what manufacturers tell us, which may or may not be accurate.
  • mayankleoboy1 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    With each review, Samsung 840Pro looks better and better.
  • JellyRoll - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    This information has been already hashed over by several sites, in particular TweakTown. They have been educating the public for months about the lack of TRIM with Sandforce SSDs.
    Other sites have also noticed the read degradation, and commented on it ad nauseum.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now