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SSD Roundup August 2009

SSD Roundup August 2009

Corsair P128 – 128 GB

It comes as no surprise to see that Corsair use a plain white box for their P series SSDs. All of the products they have sent us recently were the same and other than a model number there is little useful information on the outside. Inside we find the SSD packaged in a protective plastic case.

Corsair’s P128 is a 2.5” drive which has a full metal casing. On the top of the drive is a large sticker which lists the capacity of the drive, part number and a note which tells us that removal of the cover voids the two year warranty. On the bottom of the drive is a second sticker which gives a hint to the origins of this drive, it is manufactured in Korea by Samsung. Also noted on this sticker is the firmware revision of the drive, although our sample actually had a newer version.

After opening the case we can see that Corsair use a blue PCB for their drive with 16 Samsung branded MLC flash chips. The controller is the ARM based Samsung S3C29RBB01 and alongside it is 128mb of DRAM cache which is unsurprisingly also Samsung branded. By using this particular drive configuration Corsair are able to offer very high specifications for the read and write performance. Maximum read speed is rated at 220MB/s, write is 180MB/s but most impressive is the sustained write of 180MB/s which far exceeds SSDs based on other controllers.

Corsair P series drives which were manufactured prior to the 1st July 2009 shipped with firmware 1801Q. Drives produced after this date, such as our review sample, use 18C1Q which has improved idle time NAND cleaning. This ensures that the drive maintains its performance over time, even without TRIM commands from the operating system. Unfortunately for those who have the older revision there is currently no way to update the drive as Samsung have not released a tool to any of the companies who sell drives based on their hardware.

Formatted Capacity

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Stuart Davidson

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