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Corsair, Plextor, Apacer launch new SSDs

Corsair, Plextor, Apacer launch new SSDs

Corsair's new M5 family of solid-state drivers in joined by products from Plextor and Apacer as the SSD market continues to grow.

The solid-state drive (SSD) market is enjoying a bit of a refresh this week, with no fewer than three companies announcing new product families.

Corsair, to start, has officially launches the Force GS Series, which combine an LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller with toggle-DDR MAND flash for improved performance compared to the current-generation Force family. Boasting a SATA 6.0Gb/s interface, TRIM support, and maximum 4K random write of 90,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) in the smaller capacities and 50,000 IOPS in the larger, the drivers are certainly impressive.

In testing, Corsiar claims the new Force GS family can hit 555MB/s read speeds in 180GB, 240GB and 360GB capacities, or 540MB/s if you're plumping for the top-end 480GB model. Write speeds of 525MB/s are possible on the 180GB and 240GB units, dropping to 530MB/s on the 360GB and then taking a nosedive to 455MB/s on the 480GB.

Formal pricing has yet to be confirmed, but Scan is taking pre-orders on the 180GB at £147.82, £189.89 for the 240GB, £275.23 for the 360GB and £378.58 for the 480GB.

Next on the list is Plextor, which has announced the M5 Series. Based on the same Marvell 88SS9174 controller as the M3 family, the M5s will be available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities at launch. Interestingly, Plextor has made the decision to switch from the Toshiba flash chips used in the M3 Series to Micron-manufactured components, although it hasn't indicated the reason for the move.

According to Plextor, the 256GB model will reach speeds of 532.3MB/s read and 403MB/s write for sequential access, with 512K random reads hitting 410.2MB/s and writes 405.4MB/s. Pricing for the devices has yet to be confirmed.

Finally, Apacer has announced possibly the world's most convoluted product naming convention yet: large-capacity multi-level cell (MLC) wide-temperature SSDs with CF and SD interfaces.

Definitely not just a standard solid-state SecureDigital or CompactFlash card, Apacer assures us, the devices are designed to be as stable as possible across a temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. The CompactFlash version is capable of 55MB/s read and 20MB/s write performance, with the SecureDigital trailing at 19MB/s read and 14MB/s write. The CF SSD will be available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB flavours, while the SD version will be available in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models. Both feature error correcting capabilities and support for the ATA Secure Erase command.

Designed for industrial use, Apacer has not released pricing for its they're-SSDs-honest products - but expect to pay a premium over traditional solid-state CF and SD cards.

13 Comments

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Jaybles 6th July 2012, 09:50 Quote
Quote:
The CompactFlash version is capable of 55MB/s read and 20MB/s write performance, with the CompactFlash trailing at 19MB/s read and 14MB/s write.

o.O Please read this back.
do_it_anyway 6th July 2012, 09:58 Quote
Just as SSD's approach a very affordable 50p per GB, they announce extra speed and push the price back up to nearly £1 per GB.
I sense that the performance increase is such that few people will move from an existing SSD to one of these and if you are moving from a HDD to an SSD, the performance of something cheaper like the M4 would be enough.
I think that these need to be more keenly priced TBH
Gareth Halfacree 6th July 2012, 10:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybles
o.O Please read this back.
Whoopsie - fixed, ta.
jon 6th July 2012, 13:27 Quote
@do_it_anyway, spot on. I just picked up a 128GB m4 for $109 at Microcenter (and the $50 gift card made it even nicer). Anyone moving from HDD can get cheap SSDs and they'll be so amazed at last-gen's performance they won't even think about current gen, let alone next-gen.
adam_bagpuss 6th July 2012, 13:39 Quote
Quote:
Just as SSD's approach a very affordable 50p per GB, they announce extra speed and push the price back up to nearly £1 per GB.

meh im happy with my new samsung 830 256GB costing 58p per GB :)
infered101 6th July 2012, 14:19 Quote
Quote:
Corsair's new M5 family of solid-state drivers in joined by products from Plextor and Apacer as the SSD market continues to grow.

Shouldnt that Be Corsairs's new GS series...... or am I really confused.

Also really excited about this. It only means the old drives will eventually drop in price. Ala amazing performance for cheap.
TheDarkSide 6th July 2012, 17:45 Quote
Marvell announced shipment of its new controller months ago, and apparently SSD's based on it will hit the Sata3 limit. Those would represent a more tangible step change compared to last gen, any ideas when they'll be released?
Harlequin 6th July 2012, 17:59 Quote
as long as they`re not being used on marevell`s own sata 3 controller since im getting a 20% speed loss on mine :(
Paulg1971 6th July 2012, 19:29 Quote
Write speeds of 525MB/s are possible on the 180GB and 240GB units, dropping to 530MB/s on the 360GB

Should'nt these speeds be the other way round,or are they the wrong speeds to start with.
Anfield 6th July 2012, 19:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
I sense that the performance increase is such that few people will move from an existing SSD to one of these and if you are moving from a HDD to an SSD, the performance of something cheaper like the M4 would be enough.

That is certainly true, the real world effect when changing from a hdd to a ssd (even a low end one like for example a Plextor M2S which is only 49 pence per GB) is much larger than the real world performance difference when changing from one ssd to another ssd, I've went from one Crucial C300 to 2x 256GB Samsung 830 in Raid 0 and honestly, the difference in system performance isn't too big outside of benchmarks.
The main reason to upgrade from one ssd to another is capacity.
Harlequin 6th July 2012, 20:35 Quote
^^ that also depends on motherboard and sata 3 controller as well :(
montymole 6th July 2012, 23:58 Quote
i may be crazy but i am running 2 Corsair Force 3 60Gb in Raid 0 on a Gene Z and they are fast enough for me but doing the same with 2 of the 180 Gb Force GS would, appeal if i had a spare £300 id be buying a new GFX card as my 6870 is not fast enough
Cthippo 8th July 2012, 15:28 Quote
For comparison's sake, what speed does a normal CF or SD run?

edit: Or, I could just ask wiki.

I use a 133x Lexar CF card in my digital camera and according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CompactFlash that works out to about 20 MB/sec. So, yeah, 55 MB/sec would be an improvement, but until we know what they;re going to cost...
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