When it comes to solid-state drive lineups, "the more the merrier" seems to be a hard and fast rule among many vendors. Corsair is a prime example, having introduced a new Extreme Series X256 SSD with the same 256GB capacity as the Performance Series P256 that came out in May.
Corsair says the X256 has a "renowned" Indilinx Barefoot controller, Samsung flash memory, and a 64MB cache. The drive can purportedly reach top speeds of 240MB/s for reads and 170MB/s for writes. (For reference, the P256 does 220MB/s reads and 200MB/s writes using an all-Samsung package and 128MB of cache.)
In our real-world tests last month, that Barefoot controller didn't fare all that well compared to Samsung drives. We're therefore a little surprised to see the X256 selling for $699 at Newegg, when the P256 is available for $30 bucks less. Admittedly, though, the X256 does have a $50 mail-in rebate tied to it.
Also, as Corsair points out, Indilinx drives support firmware updates "to allow for new features to be added, such as the upcoming TRIM command for Windows 7 and other operating systems." TRIM should improve used-state performance, which appears to be one of the Indilinx controller's weak points. You'll be able to get new firmware for the X256 straight from Corsair's website. Samsung drives may fare better now, but they don't support end-user firmware flashing.
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