Corsair to launch high-performance, low(ish) cost SSD: hold on if you're planning an upgrade


Thinking of buying an SSD to speed up your system in the next couple of weeks? If you can hold off for a little while longer you might be doing yourself a favour. News in this morning is that Corsair is launching a new line of solid state drives (SSDs) which are looking particularly promising in terms of price and performance.

It's called the Force 3 and it'll be available in 60GB, 120GB and 240GB capacities. What's interesting is that it makes use of the latest SandForce SF-2281 controller chip, which cropped up recently in OCZ's competing Vertex 3 drives. That means they can utilise those funny coloured SATA III hard drive ports that are sitting empty on your motherboard, which support up to 6Gb per second of data transfer. Reviews for the Vertex 3 were very good - it's widely regarded as the fastest SSD drive currently available, capable of getting close to the theoretical 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write speeds that the SF-2281 is capable of. You can find reviews of the Vertex 3 over at Hardware Heaven and Anandtech .

There are two things which make Corsair's drives potentially more interesting, and they're both about the price. First off, SRP for the 120GB model is $219, which is around $40 less than the comparative OCZ drive is selling for, a difference which will hopefully translate into pounds sterling too. Secondly, there's 120GB is the smallest drive OCZ have to offer. The 60GB Vertex 3 is $129 (£92), which is cheaper than some older drives of a similar capacity.

I could be wrong. Only a full review in the next couple of weeks will confirm that the smaller capacity drive is competitive (there's still a problem with smaller drives being slower than larger ones when it comes to SSDs), but I think this is going to be worth waiting for. Wait and see.