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197 of 212 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2012
Size Name: 120 GBVerified Purchase
Firstly, I want to start by saying that I KNOW what I'm doing with technology as I've worked with it for well over 20 years now, so what I'm about to post doesn't need trolling from 16 year olds who think they know better. Secondly, this review is mostly for those who either haven't worked with SSD's before or are having trouble getting this drive to play nice on their SATA controllers.

The thing to understand about SSD's is that while they are VERY fast, they are also still in their infant stages. With this drive in particular, this is what you need to do to make sure that it performs the way it should.

1. Make sure that the cable you use to connect to your motherboard is at LEAST a SATA-2 cable. A vanila motherboard SATA cable is more than likely going to be SATA-1 and this drive will complain about it with failures and whatnot.

2. Make sure your motherboard has the SATA port you connect this drive to configured as AHCI in the BIOS and NOT RAID or Sata. The primary reason for this is that most motherboard built in controllers are not really well built to start with and were NOT built with SSD in mind.

3. On some boards (Gigabyte, MSI & a few others), you can NOT use RAID and SATA combos on the same controller with this drive. As an example, the GPA880FX-UD3H board sports two different controllers... 6xSATA-3 and 2xSATA-2. You have the option (BIOS updates) to set the 6 way controller to do a mix of RAID and AHCI. This is great for conventional HD's but the Corsair WILL pitch an absolute fit about it. The easy solution for this is to put the SSD on the 2nd controller by itself in AHCI mode while your RAID array sits on the first controller.

4. Some FACTS about marketing with SSD's. This drive, like many others is listed as a SATA-3 drive. Sounds impressive and fast, but the sad reality is that NO SSD ON THE MARKET CAN GO 6GB's PER SECOND. It will probably be a little while before the real need for SATA-3 is even realized. So basically, if you have a SATA-2 board, you'll be just fine. I have one myself so I can tell you that it's still super fast on SATA-2 and there would is no real improvement on a SATA-3 system, which I also have.

5. If you get an SSD, do NOT go crazy trying to put all of your applications, music, videos, games, etc on this drive. Make this your OS drive and leave it at that plus a few applications (MS Office, WinAMP, etc.) There is an actual reason for this. As SSD's get full with data, they try to spread the date out in a, for laymens sake, shower pattern on the drive itself. Conventional hard drives try to go in a straight line, as much as possible. Without being TOO technical, this is one of the reasons SSD's are much better for short term storage rather than long term archival. The problem comes in when the SSD is near capacity, it'll start to slow down since it has to recall these data block from different places in the storage chips. The general rule is to only use up to around 80-85% of the USEABLE space on the drive. This gives the drive the room it needs to clean itself up and keep your data fetch times very low (5ms or around there).

6. If you're going to use this drive for a Windows 7 machine that already has a partition in place, after you've gotten everything moved and working, MAKE SURE TO RUN THE SYSTEM PERFORMANCE TEST WITH WINDOWS AGAIN. This will tell Win7 that it's now using an SSD drive and turn on appropriate services such as TRIM (you WANT this) and turn off others like caching (you don't really need this with an SSD). You will probably also want to turn off the hibernate feature of your computer once you're using this drive as an OS drive. The truth is this drive (once configured correctly) is nearly as fast in startup/shutdown as conventional hibernate and in rare cases, it's actually faster.

This is probably the best starter advice I can give to anyone looking to plunge into the SSD pool. If this has helped anyone, I'm glad.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 10, 2011
Size Name: 120 GB
This is a duplicate of my review that was posted on the older F120GB3-BK model. My original review was of the newer F120GB3A-BK--this model--, and is more appropriately included here but; I will leave the other one up because it still applies.

We have all read the reviews. If you want an SSD you have these choices:

1. If you want reliability at a premium price get either Intel or Crucial.

2. If you want to take more of a risk for a lower price and maybe higher speeds go with Corsair or OCZ.

3. Sandforce controllers should make the drive perform faster, but have issues and should be avoided until the bugs can be fixed, right?

Because of a very good price on the 120GB Corsair Force 3, I finally bought an SSD to install in my Dell laptop. I knew I wanted to eventually get an SSD for the sole reason of seeing the greatest performance increase you can do, basically, if you had to upgrade one thing. I knew nothing of what to optimize, what to tweak, or how to specially install an SSD other than putting it in, and loading Windows like I normally do to a new drive. Fortunately, this was all the information I needed to see the improvements that everyone else has seen when going with an SSD.

**I used this SSD on a Sata III port in my laptop**

Note that I am using firmware 1.3.2, and did not upgrade to 1.3.3. Corsair stated that, unless you had problems with the 1.3.2, there was no reason to upgrade to 1.3.3.

**When you are buying this SSD, make sure you note the -model- number** In this case my model # was CSSD-F120GB3A-BK. The *A* is important, because that means the SSD is preloaded with 1.3.2 firmware and is likely the newly 'revisioned' drive. Look for this on the box when you receive it. If you do not have an A at the end, upgrade to 1.3.2, or 1.3.3, as soon as you can to minimize anything going wrong.

I wanted to use this drive as a primary boot drive (the drive that loads and boots into Windows). After installing the drive in my laptop, I switched the SATA controller (as your computer is starting up you have to press an F key--which usually shows on the screen--to get into the BIOS) to AHCI, and booted to a USB Flash Drive (I had a Windows 7 .iso, or CD, on a 4gb flash drive though you could alternatively use a Windows install DVD/CD). **The reason for having Windows on a thumb drive is because of the quickness of using Flash to install on Flash (your SSD)** The complete Windows installation took about 15 minutes whereas it usually took around 45 minutes on a normal harddrive. This is your first taste of how your computer has increased its performance. During the installation I had 0 problems.

Doing a fresh install of Windows on your new SSD is the same process as if you formatted a harddrive and started from scratch to restore from system discs. Make sure, though, if you have the option, to enable AHCI mode under SATA Controllers in your BIOS before using the SSD.

After Windows had been opened for the first time, I installed the drivers for my system and was finally able to restart after each program 'install' and not worry about losing a lot of time. You know everytime you install a driver it asks to 'reboot now'? Well, with an SSD you will not have to say to yourself, "But do I really want to waste a minute or two letting Windows shut it self down and restart all over again"?

[---Bootup Times---]
Complete shutdown to bootup time was 30 seconds.
Startup time after immediately pressing power button is around 23 seconds.
Shutdown time is 4-5 seconds.

After installing drivers I ran Windows Experience Index. This drive scored a 7.9--the maximum score available--under 'Primary Hard Disk'. I have heard that you should run the WEI with an SSD as soon as you can because it is at this time Windows recognizes your SSD as an SSD. Why is this important? Because Windows 7 will then disable Defrag, Readyboot and other non-constituent performance tweaks. It will also enable the much needed TRIM. Also I would search online for further tweaks that you can use to improve your SSD performance even more.

Now because I wanted hard data on what speeds I was getting from the Force 3, I installed ATTO and PerformanceMark. Here are the numbers:

[---Actual Performance Numbers--]

*PerformanceMark takes a composite score that rates a drive based on its Sequential Read/Write/Random Seek speeds.*

Performance Mark Disk Mark was around 3550.

To put this number into perspective: the highest average Disk Mark number on PerformanceMark's website is 3512. Going by their website, my Corsair Force 3 Disk Mark score is as good as it gets right now.

[---PerformanceMark numbers for competitors---]:

Intel 510 Series 120 GB SATA Version 3 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive is 2,263

Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2 is 2,063

ATTO Scores were close to what is advertised under the specifications listings. Read was close to 550mbps max and Write was close to 500mbps.

I will add too that I usually put my laptop into sleep mode about 20-25 times a day. Having this drive for a little bit now, I can safely say that there have also been 0 problems when coming out of sleep. This review will be updated if anything changes.

One thing I have noticed too after upgrading to the SSD is that my laptop fan never comes on when I am just using the web checking e-mails, or streaming videos. If I close my eyes, I cannot hear anything that would let me know my laptop is on. Did I mention too, that this also transfers to the heat at the bottom, most likely on your lap. It does not even feel warm to the touch anymore. Probably just lukewarm.

Want another reason to take a risk with Corsair? Their excellent customer service and warranty program. If you did happen to get a bad one, you would be covered--for 3 years as per their warranty. The latter is one of the reasons I took a risk with Corsair even with unfavorable reviews. Because my drive is reliable, and it produces outstanding performance numbers, the little risk that may have been involved has since turned into a huge reward.

[---My Recommendation---]

Because I found the Force 3 at such a low price, I did not consider the Force 3 GT however; the price of the Force GT, as of right now, is close enough to the Force 3 that the extra dollars (in this case around 30$ more) is worth it to buy the Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB SATA 2.5-Inch SATA III Solid State Drive (CSSD-F120GBGT-BK). The latter will come close to doubling the performance gains of the Force 3 in *real world* usage. The stated specifications will seem to be the same, but the performances you see will be better with the Force GT. If you have never had an SSD and the price gap between the Force 3 and Force GT is greater than 50$, go with the Force 3. If the gap is less and/or you want the absolute best performance an SSD can give you right now, buy the Force GT.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
Size Name: 240 GBVerified Purchase
I love this drive! It runs incredibly fast, giving me a total boot time (including the BIOS and POST screens) of about 20 seconds. Here's a short guide for you on how to do this.

1: Configure your BIOS to run the SATA controller in IDE mode.
2: Do a fresh install of Windows onto the SSD.
3: After installing drivers and stuff, download a nifty tool from Microsoft. It's called "Microsoft Fix It". Go to Microsoft's web page and look for "STOP 0x0000007B AHCI". Click on the first option. Scroll down to the Microsoft Fix It picture-thing and click on it. Run the tool and it will allow Windows to run in AHCI mode.
4: Reboot the computer and change the SATA mode from IDE to AHCI. If your controller has multiple interface options, make sure that ALL channels are set to AHCI. For instance, my Gigabyte motherboard (GA-A75-D3H) can run SATA 1, 2, and 3 in one mode (IDE, RAID, or AHCI), and run SATA 4 and 5 in a different mode simultaneously. I had to change the SATA 1, 2, and 3 to AHCI, then select "As SATA type" for the last 2 channels.
5: Now to enable TRIM. TRIM keeps the drive running fast and clean, so it's something you want. Open command prompt as an administrator and type: fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0
6: Run the Windows Assessment and bask in the glory of a perfect 7.9 for the primary disk drive.

I cannot overstate how great this thing is. If you decide to leave it in IDE mode, it will slow down a bit, but it will still be a whole lot faster than a traditional 7200RPM disk drive.

Edit: This drive reads and writes randomly, meaning if you analyze it with a defragmentation program, it will come up extremely fragmented. THIS IS NORMAL. Never defrag an SSD, as defragmentation greatly reduces the life of the drive. Windows 7 automatically turns off defragging for SSD's (as long as they are not in a RAID array), but the other Windows OS's don't. Be very careful of this. Search your computer for a defrag option and turn it off for the SSD. The internal Sand Force controller divides the data up evenly between all the ROM chips within the drive, and defraging places all the data on one chip, placing a huge burden on a single part of the drive. Again, defragging SSD's just kills them, and it sometimes reduces the performance, too.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2011
Size Name: 90 GB
I have 3 of these drives set up in a software raid on my Asus Crosshair IV. Running ATTO Disk benchmark on Windows 7, I am getting 1020MB/s Read and 1100MB/s Write speeds. I never have any crashes and I have had this set-up for a couple of months now with no issues or BSODs. Needless to say, I can fully recommend this drive!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2012
Size Name: 180 GBVerified Purchase
I bought this Force 3 drive in February 2012 for the sole purpose to install in my 13" Early 2011 MacBook Pro. I will start with it.

Installation was straight-forward as expected. Once the MBP was closed I re-installed Lion(I wanted a fresh install), I then used my Time Machine BU to restore programs and settings. I had done this before with a traditional HDD and the whole process took more than an hour. With this Corsair It only took about 20 Min, including the restore.

Once the restore was done I shut down and performed a cold start. Now anyone that owns or has owned an Apple computer knows the initial screen, for a few seconds, is just getting the computer ready to boot. Once the Apple was on the screen I started a timer. From off to completely usable it only took 13.7 seconds. I started Adobe Photoshop CS5 in about 3 seconds.

Next I performed a hot restart. With 7 apps open I restarted the machine. Now Lion allows for the automatic reopening of everything opened when restarted. To shutdown and restart while opening the 7 apps, it took 16.6 seconds.

Next I ran Drive Genius to check what my speeds were. This is where it was kind of odd. I ran 3 test just so I knew it wasn't a fluke, but my scores were as follows.
Read/Write
Test 1 464/425
Test 2 499/418
Test 3 466/392

Now in all fairness I know I did not have trim enabled in OS X. For better performance make sure it is enabled.

Just about 6 weeks ago I decided to sell my 13" MBP to get a 2012 15" Non-Retina MBP (I wanted the ability to upgrade RAM and HDD without Apple premium). So I will comment on this same drive under Windows 7.

So I removed this Force 3 and decided to put in in my wife's aging Lenovo laptop she uses for work. It is running windows 7 so there is no way to just restore applications unless you clone the drive. And that is just what I did. First I de-fragged the existing Windows drive 3 times with PD12. Once that was done it took about 30 min to clone a Windows drive with about 65GB used in a Dual SATA dock with an eSATA connection. Once it was re-installed in the Lenovo I booted into Windows. It added the driver automatically the I rebooted. What would have taken her 1:30 minimum to reboot took about 50 seconds. After the desktop was up I went and ran a WEI to let Windows recognize it was an SSD. WEI score had the drive at 7.8 where the old drive was at 5.6. Now as I said this is an older laptop. A Socket 1156 Pentium Dual Core with SATA II only.

Once I finished the WEI I wanted to test it so I shut Windows down. From a cold boot to a fully functioning desktop it took 38.9 seconds but my wife has several things that start at boot. Then I did a restart. It took 21.8 seconds.
I used ATTO for testing the speed. But please remember this is connected to a SATA II controller in this laptop.

Read/Write
Test 1 298/262
Test 2 289/260
Test 3 294/269

Conclusion

If I had it to do over I would choose this drive again. It's performance is great. I have used other SSD's that were not as impressive and they cost way more than this drive. The time it has been running there has been not one problem. No stutter (although that was an issue with XP and SSD's), no freezing, no lag. My wife is so happy i removed it before I sold my MBP because it has made her laptop so much faster and more bearable.

If you are new to SSD's they are a worthy investment if you do any drive intensive computing. If all you do is spend your time on the internet using facebook or reading email, there would not be a huge benefit for you except faster boot times. But for those that will use this drive I will say the performance gain under Windows and OSX is exceptional and worth every penny. Even more so now when the price is below $1/GB. When I bought this I paid $80 more than it is now. I say go for it if you need the speed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2011
Size Name: 180 GB
Super fast, 180GB, SATA III, Amazing, Best value.
It's compatible to both PC and Mac.
I installed it to a 2010 Macbook pro. Apple will charge $500 plus for the SSD option.
I got this corsair. cannot be happier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2012
Size Name: 180 GBVerified Purchase
I purchased two of these SSD's and installed them in a RAID 0. One failed in about 7 - 10 days and had to be replaced. It was a good thing I had backed up the information and was able to restore it, otherwise it would be lost. Purchased a third SSD and set up a RAID 5, so far so good. I believe the quality control on SSD's is lacking, I also purchased an OCZ SSD for games and it arrived DOA. I believe if your going to use SSD's it's important to be them up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2012
Size Name: 120 GBVerified Purchase
I am not new to SSD technology and have been transitioning to them for a few years now. We started by upgrading most of our field reps laptops. They were extremely pleased. Not only did their laptops boot more quickly, but their runtimes on battery increased dramatically. So much so, that many of them stopped by our department to compliment us on the upgrade decision.

Like others have mentioned, going from a 7200rpm platter disk to SSD is by far the single best upgrade you can give to a 1-3 year old notebook or desktop system. You won't need benchmarking software to "see" the difference in performance. You'll notice the first time you start your machine or when you are performing a fresh install of your OS. If you like working in a quiet environment, SSD is the way to go.

The Force Series are extremely reliable and come with a great warranty. I have easily deployed over 45 of these drives for business use, and probably 10 more for personal or family. I have not experienced one problem. As a precaution, we have performed firmware upgrades on a few of our oldest drives, but this has not been done because of problems or failure, rather for maintenance when a unit is being re-imaged for use in new hardware. As with all SSD drives the Force series is not competely without faults. In some rare instances, a drive may not resume properly form standby or hibernation in certain hardware configurations. Don't let this deter you from moving to SSD. A firmware update can resolve this problem in 99% of cases. Keep in mind that all manufacturers have had issues during the time SSD has evolved. They keep getting better.

I just finished a desktop build with 2x F120's in RAID 0 on an Asus MB, Z68 chipset.

Boot time: 26 sec. My MB allows me to supress display of POST messages, so I get a very fast Boot.
Improved Effciency: Dramatic performance increase booting, opening large files or loading hi-rez photos, less heat inside my case
Resume from standby: about 7 sec (twin view monitors)
Resume from hibernation: about 12 sec. With spin up of system fans

This system was built using the model listed F120GB3A-BK w/ v1.3.2 firmware. If you like a product that works as promised, look no futher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2012
Size Name: 240 GB
I purchased this drive for my laptop. Four attempts later I still cannot get it to boot after installing an OS. The installation goes smoothly and it works as long as I don't power down my laptop. After that the drive is not even detected in the machine. Multiple attempts to use Corsair's Support website have proven useless. I have even submitted three requests for RMA numbers to return the drive, which have been ignored. When I tried to verify the three ticket numbers I was given, none of them even show up in their database. I have determined I have a very expensive paperweight and will never buy another Corsair product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2012
Size Name: 240 GBVerified Purchase
I read a lot of mixed reviews about these drives and am not sure why. Some reviews stated that you needed to jump through all sorts of hoops to get these to run like a regular drive but I experienced nothing of the kind. I installed this drive as a boot drive on a sata3 port along with to older sata2 drives one of which was my old boot drive. This was installed on a asrock z75 pro3 board with 32 gb corsair ram and an intel i7 3770k cpu. From the beginning windows 7 64 bit recognized all the drives and I just needed to tell it were to install the O.S. The only difficulty was that the old boot drive was about the same size as this new one so I needed to be careful selecting it.

With all my firewalls, anti virus, anti malware, anti spyware and other utilities loaded at high security levels it still boots in about 10-15 seconds.

Loving it!!!!
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