Corsair has released a new member of its Force series SSDs called the Force GS. The Force GS is based on SandForce's SF-2200 series controller (most likely SF-2281) and uses Toggle-Mode MLC NAND (24nm Toshiba Toggle-Mode 2.0 NAND is the likely candidate). As expected, the Force GS uses a 6Gb/s SATA interface and comes in a 2.5" form factor. Corsair is providing three years of warranty, which is pretty common for consumer SSDs (some OEMs such as Intel, Plextor and OCZ have started offering 5-year warranties as a standard, though). Below is a specification table of the Force GS:

Corsair Force Series GS Specifications
User Capacity 180GB 240GB 360GB 480GB
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
Street Price $175 $220 $320 $450

Due to the use of Toggle-Mode NAND, there is a slight increase in write speeds (around 10MB/s in sequential and 5K IOPS in random speeds) compared to SF-2281 SSDs with ONFi 2.x NAND.

The biggest ddifference between the GS and most SF-2281 SSDs is the inclusion of 180GB and 360GB models. There are actually a few other 180GB SandForce SSDs including Intel's 330 and 520, OCZ's Agility 3 and Mushkin's Chronos; but 360GB is a much more uncommon capacity. The only other 360GB 2.5" SSD available at NewEgg is OCZ's Agility 3, although it's out of stock at the moment. Building 180GB and 360GB drives isn't rocket science thanks to the flexibility afforded by SandForce. SF-2200 controllers have a total of eight channels but they can also run in 6-channel mode. To achieve capacities of 180GB and 360GB, you simply run the controller in 6-channel mode and equip the PCB with twelve NAND packages. With twelve dual-die (16GB) NAND packages, the raw NAND capacity is 192GiB. Subtract the space taken by RAISE and over-provisioning and you're left with a usable capacity of 180GB. The 360GB model simply has twice as many NAND die per NAND package, hence doubling the capacity.

Corsair's Force GS is available immediately and at least NewEgg is already listing the drives on their site (check the street price links above). Pricing is quite fair as we are looking at less than $1 per GB at all capacities.

Source: Corsair

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  • danjw - Monday, July 9, 2012 - link

    I would like to see benchmarks for those 2 models. If they aren't using all the available channels, wouldn't they see a performance hit?
  • Spunjji - Monday, July 9, 2012 - link

    In theory, although where performance is limited by other factors such as controller throughput (e.g. compression rate) or the SATA interface speed that may not be the case.
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, July 9, 2012 - link

    We have 120GB and 180GB Intel 330 Series SSDs in our bench. That should give you an idea (the 180GB model has the same 6-channel layout):

    As mentioned above, the bottlenecks are elsewhere.
  • Belard - Monday, July 9, 2012 - link

    Is it somewhat concerning that on the LARGER drives, that the IOPS drops down by half.
  • JNo - Monday, July 9, 2012 - link

    Sandforce = wouldn't touch with a barge pole

    Even the mighty, reliable Intel had problems with them. Sure they've resolved that now but Sandforce just seems to be cursed after all I've read. Competing controllers are now in the same ball park performance-wise so getting a Sandforce seems to say, "I don't care about my data".

    Maybe I exaggerate for dramatic effect but why take the risk when there are M4s and 830s out there?
  • MadMan007 - Monday, July 9, 2012 - link

    M4/Marvell and Samsung have never had firmware problem. Oh wait...
  • B3an - Monday, July 9, 2012 - link

    I think most of the problems with Sandforce have been fixed now. It's not like they're still new and have possible undiscovered issues. I'd happily buy Sandforce drives now.
  • Movieman420 - Monday, July 9, 2012 - link

    With any luck they'll crank out a few like the 240GT that uses a SF2282 to push 32 intel 25nm nand chips for max parallelism thus speed. Would love to see 2282 + 32 x 24nm toggle chips... :drool:

    180 GT sports a 2282 with 24 ICs as well...

  • ABR - Thursday, July 12, 2012 - link

    After years of going almost nowhere, looks like SSD prices have halved in the past year. (Unfortunately, I finally broke down just before the big drop started...)
  • WileCoyote - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - link

    I'm lost, so who makes the fastest SSDs right now? I'm running comparisons and it seems like the ones that are fast read are slow write and vice versa.

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