Corsair Neutron SSDs employ new controller

Computex โ€” There’s a truly staggering number of solid-state drives on the market these days. However, the number of unique controller, NAND, and firmware combos is actually quite small. Most drive makers are essentially selling different versions of the same thing. Corsair’s new Neutron SSD is different, though. The drive uses a controller chip from Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD), a company that’s purportedly been making SSD controllers for enterprise products since 2004. This is the first time one of LAMD’s controllers will be available in a consumer-oriented SSD.

Corsair has exclusive access to the LM87800 controller for the time being, although it seems other SSD makers will eventually be able to get their hands on the chip. The LM87800 has a 6Gbps Serial ATA interface and support for both ONFI and Toggle DDR NAND. Enterprise-strength error correction routines, combined with advanced signal processing, are claimed to prolong NAND life without resorting to compression trickery. The Neutron also features a NAND redundancy scheme that protects against physical flash failures.

Two Neutron flavors will be available starting in July. The standard model will use 25-nm ONFI flash and cost about as much as Corsair’s SandForce-powered Force GT. A higher-end Neutron GTX is set to employ 26-nm Toggle DDR NAND. It’ll cost a little more and offer higher performance than the standard model.

The Neutron GTX is rated for 555MB/s sequential reads and 500MB/s writesโ€”numbers confirmed by the benchmark results being displayed by one of Corsair’s demo systems. While the vanilla Neutron matches the GTX’s sequential read speed, its write speed is pegged at only 370MB/s. Both drives have similar performance ratings for random I/O. The GTX can purportedly crunch 90,000 IOps with random reads or writes. The standard Neutron has the same random read rate but is limited to 85,000 random write IOps. Corsair was quick to point out that the Neutron offers excellent performance with both compressed and uncompressed data.

LAMD isn’t exactly a household name in consumer SSD circles, but Corsair hopes the Neutron’s five-year warranty will help to allay any fears about the drive’s reliability. The company also revealed that it’s looking ahead to next-generation 19- and 20-nm NAND. We’ll have a full review of the Neutron as soon as we can get our hands on a sample.

Comments closed
    • NeelyCam
    • 10 years ago

    Moved the 80GB 320 from my PS3 to the SandyBridge desktop (it didn’t help with Skyrim on PS3 [i<]at all[/i<]), and reinstalled Win7. Intel GFX drivers wouldn't install until I upgraded Win7 to SP1 - it just kept crashing and crashing... I'm [i<]this[/i<] | | close to quitting Intel and switching back to AMD.. I still need to find a reliable SSD provider, though..

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    Are we reading the same thing? The improvement is massive in mean service time between Intel 510 and Samsung’s drive. The differences are massive in pretty much any bench you look at when you compare application or scenario to scenario. Strangely they differ greatly based on scenario. Some drives work better for low to mid-range cases, some don’t, and are more well-rounded.

    SSDs shine the [i<]more[/i<] I/O requests you throw at them. Can you say that about many other technologies?

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    [url<]https://techreport.com/r.x/ocz-vertex4/db2-overall.gif[/url<] Seems like a huge gain to me. You just can't measure it in human-time. We are still limited by the paltry SATA interface and non-native PCIe controllers. Also The difference between Samsung and the midrange for SSDs is far, far greater than the fastest mechanicals versus the midrange, even including enterprise mechanicals.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    It’s just a synthetic test. Wait for some real reviews that at least try to simulate real-world use. It shouldn’t be surprising that in synthetic tests things have leveled off when SATA III SSDs are hitting the limits of the connection.

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 years ago

    I can forgive the GTX branding for graphics cards, because graphics cards have always been the poster-child for [i<]ridiculously[/i<] over-the-top art and model naming. If I were to exaggerate only slightly, you'd get this: [quote<][b<]Model number:[/b<] XFX X1950XTX Xtreme XXX Superclocked+ GTO Golden Special Edition [b<]Box art:[/b<] Flaming goat/pig/demon-hybrid riding a flying sapce-barbeque with laser eyes and knuckledusters. [b<]Cooling shroud:[/b<] Almost-naked warrior girl (in crouching samurai pose) brandishing multi-barrel doomsday handcannons (akimbo)[/quote<] Now we have to watch SSD's fall down the same rabbithole.

    • UberGerbil
    • 10 years ago

    If you’re asking to be the beta tester who finds the first bug in a heretofore unrevised SSD firmware, I guess….

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    I see. Well then that leaves what, JMicron? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • entropy13
    • 10 years ago

    That’s most probably intentional…

    • UberGerbil
    • 10 years ago

    [url=http://www.anandtech.com/show/5460/samsung-updates-the-firmware-of-ssd-830-series-fixes-bsod-issue<]There was one[/url<], but it got fixed before it affected many people. I've been running an 830 (with the updated firmware) as a system drive on my personal machine now for about 120 days and haven't seen any issues, for whatever anecdotes are worth.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    Probably, unless [i<]its[/i<] firmware bug decides to pop up again. Thinking about it, I can't recall ever hearing of firmware issues with Samsung drives. Haven't heard of any problems from OCZ Vertex 4 either ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • NeelyCam
    • 10 years ago

    Well, isn’t this special:

    [url<]http://communities.intel.com/message/157094#157094[/url<] I got hit with that one last night. &$%*#%&@!#(~!!! And this was after the firmware update that was supposed to fix these issues on 320's. So, what's currently considered to be the most reliable SSD? Crucial M4..?

    • bcronce
    • 10 years ago

    Love your name, but you got the St and V mixed ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Waco
    • 10 years ago

    The Force GT is rather affordable IMHO…

    • StashTheVampede
    • 10 years ago

    With SSDs having this kind of performance, RAIDing them could help push 10GigE down in prices for switches and components on motherboards.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    Read this a second time after a return visit and got it….+1 for you ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Dposcorp
    • 10 years ago

    oh a wise guy eh

    • swaaye
    • 10 years ago

    +97

    • bcronce
    • 10 years ago

    Need 4 of those. 2x256GB and 2x64GB. 256GB in RAID-0 ZFS read cache and the 64GB in a RAID-1 ZFS write cache.

    • bcronce
    • 10 years ago

    Impressive numbers.

    • ludi
    • 10 years ago

    No hints at price range, eh?

    EDIT: Oh: “…cost about as much as Corsair’s SandForce-powered Force GT.” A little above my range, I think.

    • ludi
    • 10 years ago

    Only if they find the file we hid inside.

    Nyuk yuk yuk…

    • brute
    • 10 years ago

    won’t the warden/guards confiscate it if we try to mail it?

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 years ago

    i’d like you to try a couple in your ssk’s workstations. thanks, you know my address <3

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    Yes please. Good job, Corsair. I’ll try a couple in the office’s workstations.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 10 years ago

    Don’t worry. OCZ will “customize” a few in for you.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    Nice to see yet another controller type that works equally well on all data types enter the market, and this company has been at it for a while so hopefully there won’t be many firmware issues.

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