83 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2011
So, let me first say that I bought this as an upgrade from an OCZ Vertex II 60 GB. I did so for two reasons. First, after having owned the Vertex for about a year, I had found 60GB to be grossly inadequate. 55GB formated, and about 10 of that gets sucked up by the OS. Add in Office, CS4, and some other essential apps, and you're staring right at that 55 GB cap. I'm not an idiot - I know not to store music, photos, videos etc. on an SSD and I have a 1 TB portable external for all that. But add a game or two on top of the OS and the essential apps, and you've more than filled up 55 gigs. The second reason I bought the GT was the SATA III speeds --- a very impressive 555 MB/s Read and 515 MB/s Write (those are advertised speeds). Once I got the SSD (about two days ago), I installed it into one of my mobo's (I have a P8P67 Pro) INTEL Sata III ports. Please note the "INTEL" -- the INTEL Sata III's are always the best to use as they can harness full SATA III 6 Gbps speeds, whereas the MARVELL controller works via PCI-E x1, which only operates at 5 Gbps. Also, I have read online that this drive *MAY* give you problems if you have a MARVELL controller. Corsair, in my experience, is a great company, and they and Marvell should figure this issue out soon and fix it via driver update, I'd think.
---IMPORTANT--- (added 1-21-2012): Before going any further, I just want to quickly share with you all a little bit of information. As you may or may not know, Corsair makes a sister-product line, the "Force 3" series. The Force 3 series uses asynchronous flash and the Force GT series uses synchronous flash. The Force GT (120GB version) also costs about $10 more than the Force 3 (120 GB version). This is me telling you to pay the extra and buy this product (the Force GT) and NOT the Force 3. HardOCP has run tests of synchronous vs. asynchronous drives (including the Force 3 and GT), and has come to the conclusion that, although ATTO scores are similar on both drives, the synchronous flash products (i.e. - the Force GT) perform 50-100% better in real-world tests, including tests where the drives are filled to 50 and 75% capacity before testing, and tests that use uncompressed as well as compressed data. Applications load faster, and BOTH power users and regular users see significant REAL WORLD gains from using the products with SYNCHRONOUS flash (i.e. - the Force GT series). If you're already dropping $170 for a premium product, why wouldn't you spend another $10 on a product that will probably be 50% faster for you overall in your real-world usage? Buy the Force GT, not the Force III. IMO, based solely on how both drives perform, Corsair could get away with charging $80-$100 extra for the GT series and would be totally justified in doing so...
But, I can say, without a doubt, that this drive worked, plug-and-play out-of-the-box on my P8P67's INTEL CHIPSET SATA III ports. I did tweak one setting, on the advice of a reviewer at another retailer - and that was, I ENABLED Hotplug setting in BIOS for the port I was plugging it into. I guess this prevents bluescreens if your SSD turns off during inactive use --- in fact, getting bluescreens when waking from sleep mode is a common problem with SSDs, not just this Corsair.
OK, enough talk about setup. Like I said, I had to tweak virtually nothing. Once I had installed a clean copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, I proceeded to install the Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers (you can find these with a quick google query). Windows 7 install took about 10-12 minutes. I ran a standard ATTO benchmark upon getting to my desktop, and my speeds in the 256 KB - 8192 KB file size were as advertised, all in the ballpark of 555 MB/s Read and 515 MB/s Write. In fact, my maximum scores were 559 MB/s Read and 516 MB/s Write. Very impressive. Outperformed my Vertex II by double (I had tested that drive when it was new and maxed out at 280 MB/s Read and 258 MB/s Write. I read on a tech site that the maximum one-way speed for the SATA III bus, after overhead is about 580 MB/s. I have no idea if this is actually true. 6 Gbps / 8 = 750 MB/sec, so that is DEFINITELY the limit of SATA III EXCLUDING overhead. If the writer was correct, then the Force III GT is just about the best drive you will be able to buy on the SATA bus for the next few years til SATA IV comes out (haven't even heard this MENTIONED yet, so release date must be >1 year and probably closer to 2 IMHO). I mean, you're almost totally (559 MB/580 MB = 96.4%) saturating the SATA III bandwidth ALREADY, only a year after that standard came out. Of course, if you buy a PCI-E based drive, you can get faster, but those are prohibitively expensive for anything this fast.
Which brings me to my last point - price. I remember paying about $125 for my Vertex II (60 GB) last year when I bought it. By then, it wasn't quite old technology, but it wasn't new tech either. When I bought the Force GT from Amazon last week, it was going for $225 (no tax, free shipping) AND it had a $30 mail-in-rebate offer (which I have yet to send in for, but intend to). Now it is going for $215 through Amazon AND still has the $30 mail-in-rebate offer. This is EXTREMELY competitive pricing, considering its only maybe $20 more than the regular FORCE III drives, and uses synchronous flash, which will stand the test of time better than the asynchronous flash used in the FORCE III. This drive's MSRP is $299. Now, mind you, noone's selling it for that much - seeing prices in the neighborhood of $250 is more common. But Amazon's price - $225 when I got it, $215 now, with no sales tax and no shipping fee, is UNBEATABLE. Add in the $30 mail-in-rebate, and you're paying $185 in the end for a drive that is objectively worth FOUR times as much as my old Vertex II 60 GB (2x faster, 2x the storage), which I paid $125 for LESS THAN A YEAR AGO!! I guess I could have gone with OCZ again - their Vertex III 120 GB MAX IOPS was only a tad ($15-$25) more expensive. But I decided on the Force GT because I know from experience buying Corsair RAM, PSUs, etc. that Corsair = Quality, and that if they are giving this the GT branding (reserved for their flagship/marquee products), then it was a MUST HAVE. Two days in, looks like I was right.
Of course, it IS only two days, so I have no idea yet how well this drive will stand the test of the time. I will update if anything changes. But what I can say thus far is that this is a COMPETITIVE PRODUCT that, at least out of the box, lives up to the hype and stats advertised by Corsair. My computer hasn't frozen or BSOD'd ONCE in two days and multiple power cycles (Total of maybe 24 hours of uptime, SSDs are so fast I just shut my computer down whenever I need to take a break for a coupla hours! :p ). Corsair comes through AGAIN!!
This drive has now been running ROCK SOLID for four months. I have kept my computer on for days at a time and this drive hasn't missed a beat. I'm impressed. For a while, it seemed like perhaps the drive was disappearing in BIOS at startup and BSODing. However, I realized that this problem didn't occur if I unplugged a different 3.5" SATA drive from the external SATA hot-swap bay that I keep it in. I just have to unplug that drive before I reboot, and keep it unplugged until I hit Windows. Go figure. A minor problem, but one that stumped me throughout a few weeks of frustrating BSODs. I doubt that this was really the Force GT's fault in the first place and even if it was, its not worth subtracting a star from my review. Boot up and response times have slowed just a touch since buying the drive, but its hardly even recognizable unless you're looking for it. I stand by my review from before - this is a great drive. In the four months I've had the drive, the price has dropped substantially and Amazon is currently selling the drive for #179.99 (I bought it for $214.99). At this price it is a flat out bargain and there is no reason not to buy. The Force GT (120 GB version) stacks up extremely well price-wise against other SSDs, but don't let the price fool you --- THIS IS A TOP-NOTCH SSD. Not to mention, SSDs are looking more and more attractive price-wise when stacked up against traditional mechanical hard drives during the post-tsunami mechanical hard drive shortage months. Mechanical hard drives have increased in price by 33-67%, and while they are still cheaper per GB than SSDs, the gap is narrowing as the price of quality SSDs fall and the price of mechanical hard drives [most of which are made in coastal areas of Japan] balloon. Right now, any smart consumer trying to invest $1000+ in a new quality mid to high end build would be best served by investing $180 of that money in a Force GT 120 GB. The gains in performance from an SSD boot/apps drive far outweigh the price differential between SSDs (per GB) and Mechanical HDs (per GB).
Forgot to mention one thing. I bought this harddrive on the 27th of August or something like that - only a few weeks tops after its release. I've been running the firmware that came with the drive (I have NOT update firmware) since then, with NO PROBLEMS, and the above stated speeds (559 MB/s and 516 MB/s). I know some people had trouble with the first few iterations of the firmware, but I can gladly say I was not one of them. I have the drive installed on one of the INTEL SATA III ports on my P8P67 Mobo (Sandy Bridge/Socket 1155 Motherboard)... The current price of $190 is pretty good IMO, however just a couple of weeks ago, it was $180 AND it had a $30 mail-in-rebate offer going (which, sadly, is no longer available). Amazon's prices regularly fluctuate, and its possible that Corsair will offer another mail-in rebate in the near future. I'm gonna give it a couple of weeks, and if the price drops again I'm gonna snap up another 120GB Force GT III so I can RAID these puppies!!! Can you say 1 GB/s in RAID 0???
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2011
Before buying this drive, I spent dozens of hours doing research on which one's the fastest, best, the best 'bang-for-the buck', most reliable, etc. Lots of work, but well worth it! This is, without a doubt, the best thing you can do to REALLY speed up your PC! My 'cold' start-up time has gone from over a minute and a half down to LESS THAN 10 SECONDS! I have a brand new, very fast Asus CM6850-07 with the top-of-the line Intel processor, but the supplied WD drive was junk, so I got this Corsair SSD to replace the WD drive as primary. WOW!!! Opening Office software such as Excel, Word, and Powerpoint is INSTANTANEOUS! SSDs are the way of the future no-doubt, and will quickly replace rotating disc HARD drives, which will go the way of the 'Dodo Bird' and other obsolete devices, such as floppy drives, CRT monitors, 'tape backups', Beta and VHS tapes! Why? SSDs have no moving parts, no sound, are nowhere near as fragile as conventional drives, generate much less heat,require much less power, and they are FAST, VERY, VERY FAST!!! Did I mention they are FAST!? I was so impressed, that I bought the Corsair Force 180GB SATA 3 for my wife's laptop! Her PC is now, at least 10 TIMES faster, probably more! When doing a backup or a defrag, these drives are unbelievably speedy; I'd say much more than 10 times faster. These drives definitely FAR EXCEED our expectations! Don't waste your time with anything else...just get a Corsair SSD. You will NOT be disappointed.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2012
Currently I am a professional website developer that runs my own small business from home. Also, I have studied for four years in college and am majoring in the computer science field so if you are looking for a professional opinion on this solid state drive, I hope that you would consider my review worth consideration in buying this product. For many years I used laptop computers for my work until I had one too many break on me. Finally I caved in and built a desktop computer per the recommendation of friends and colleagues. I've been upgrading and upgrading until I went all out and just bought a new motherboard, CPU, RAM and the works.
One thing I was on the fence about was a solid state hard drive. The idea of one sounded great but I didn't want to shell out the steep price for one for the low amount of space you get. But after doing some reading and thinking I decided I wanted to buy one. I was searching for SSD's and Amazon recommended this Corsair Force Series SSD to me. From past experience I know Corsair was a good company. I took a chance and ordered the 120GB version of the Corsair SSD right here.
It arrived very fast with one day shipping (worth getting amazon prime if anyone don't have it). I installed it in my new computer setup and it worked instantly, no firmware/updates needed. I installed Windows 7 ultimate and, in 15 years of using Windows computers, I've never seen a Windows computer boot so fast! In under 20 seconds of pressing the power button my computer was ready to play.
Of course, I have upgraded everything else as well, hex-core CPU, 8GB of overlcocked RAM, but I credit the fast load times to this solid state hard drive. I haven't done any benchmarking on the thing but I can tell you there is a drastic and very noticeable difference in load times vs. the traditional hard disk drive. You click on a browser like chrome, loads instantly. Open games and other applications, loads instantly.
If you are on the fence about getting a solid state drive, I recommend buying it. It's not about the money but saving time in your real world life that is the major trade off. Whether you are an average user, professional, or a gamer, this thing is going to save you precious time of your life that you normally would waste sitting at your computer fiddling around during load screens. Let me save you from a wall of text. I've done the math and for the average computer, you can waste over 24 hours of your life in one year waiting on typical load screens.
Life is too precious to waste waiting for stupid computers to turn on and things to load. Buy a solid state drive. Are there better ones that the Corsair? Probably, but I would't bet that this is one of the best SSD's on the market. What size you should get? This is the biggest and only flop with buying these, especially for gamer's. You're not getting alot of GB per dollar. I recommend for gamers and average users both get the 120GB. First off, no matter which you buy, there will be allocated space on the drive, so really you are only getting a 111GB HD. Second, Windows takes approximately 20GB, which leaves you with roughly 90GB of space. Third, PRESERVE THE SPACE. Use it to install your OS and run your big, clunky, slow programs instead. Save huge files, pictures, and movies for a secondary hard drive instead. Got a program that loads fast already? Install it on a second drive. If you have the bucks, sure go all out and buy the biggest size. But I would wait as the longer these are out the more the price will drop. 120GB is plenty if you install programs wisely and don't waste your hard drive space on garbage.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2012
SAVE YOUR PACKAGING--you might want to return it.
So this drive is blazingly fast when it works for me--which is most, but not all, of the time. Sometimes (once or twice a day) it just randomly freezes for a couple of minutes; sometimes I give up and reboot. Apparently (according to Google) this just happens with some SSDs and there doesn't seems to be a clear fix. The most recommended solution is a clean install of Windows--which is a lot to ask if you're not putting it in a brand new system.
The other issue, common to SSDs, apparently, is that they really don't like whole disk encryption. Subjectively, it cut the improvement in drive performance over my conventional disk in half. Mind you, it's still faster, just not as wonderfully fast.
My system was IO bound before, even with the hit for whole disk encryption, it still feels much faster with better balance between IO and CPU. Frankly, I'm having a hard time deciding whether to keep it and go back to slower overall performance, but no freezes, or just live with the freezes and hope a firmware upgrade eventually fixes things. I'm tending towards just coping--I'd really hate to go back to slower.
UPDATE May 2012
I can't take it anymore, so I've pulled it--and I really miss the performance. While it doesn't freeze a lot, it does manage to do so at the worst possible moments. I'm in the middle of a dialog with tech support. So far they've asked me to do a "secure erase" with using (free) PartedMagic and then do a clean install of Windows. Personally, I think that's asking for a lot of fairly technical troubleshooting for a product that should just plug in and work. And it actually seems worse now after their suggestions. I've asked for an RMA; we'll see how it goes.
UPDATE June 2012
Drive was replaced by Corsair. Moderately easy RMA process. No issues with new drive.