The Software, Firmware & Validation

Link A Media hasn't yet provided a full blown SSD toolbox that would allow you to do things like secure erase the drive or adjust spare area, but I did get a chance to use the firmware update tool to bring all of the Neutron drives to the shipping 2.06 firmware:

The firmware update process went smoothly, even with Intel's RST drivers installed. Firmware files are hosted locally on your machine; you do have to select the appropriate file yourself but the process is otherwise seamless. I did encounter a bug where firmware files with spaces in their names wouldn't update, but Corsair is aware of the issue as is presumably working on a fix.

When I asked about firmware fixes, Corsair told me that once an issue is identified and duplicated internally it typically takes LAMD about three days to get a fix in place. What then follows is two weeks of regression testing to ensure the fix doesn't break something else in the process. 

Both Corsair and LAMD handle validation. Corsair claims there's a bit of overlap in the testing but for the most part the two companies offer complementary validation. Corsair's validation lab has between 10 - 15 distinct system configurations. There are AMD and Intel systems as well as large commercial OEM notebooks and desktops. Corsair's validation focuses on modern hardware as well as systems 2 - 3 generations old.

I couldn't get as much insight into Link A Media's validation lab. The company claims all mainstream systems are covered, but it's always looking to expand testing of the less frequently used system configurations.

Without specific numbers it's difficult to compare the Corsair/LAMD operation to others. It's safe to say that the engineering and validation effort is probably smaller than at an Intel or Samsung, but that's not to say that the drives will be more problematic. We've seen firmware issues from the smallest SSD vendors all the way up to the big guys. We'll just have to wait and see how the LM87800 and Corsair's Neutron GTX play out.

The Test


Intel Core i7 2600K running at 3.4GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled) - for AT SB 2011, AS SSD & ATTO


Intel DH67BL Motherboard


Intel H67

Chipset Drivers:

Intel + Intel RST 10.2

Memory: Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1333 2 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64


The Neutron & Neutron GTX Random & Sequential Performance
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  • wsjudd - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Looks like there's a stray bit of punctuation in here:
    "The drive is the Neutron, and the controller maker? Link A Media Devices"
  • AnotherGuy - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Really after so much information in the article... thats what you have to say... the Punctuation?
    I am afraid people wanna see some relevant thoughts and opinions about the info on the article not ur stupid comments on punctuation. These articles are about technology not your English 101 u take at school.
    Really tired of the same comments on almost every article.
  • gmallen - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    They certainly don't want to see inane, off-topic troll-bait like your comment. If you're so distressed by these comments, don't read them or comment about them. Get a life instead.
  • AnotherGuy - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    when he or others who post same comments see my insane comment, they might realize that they are actually annoying and stop doing it.
  • Mr. Pedantic - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    We can only hope you will recognise the same thing and stop posting useless rubbish.
  • seapeople - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Not to feed the trolls, but I agree with this troll somewhat. The proposed punctuation correction wasn't even necessarily correct.
  • Rishi100 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Let it be so.... attractive, that I jump on my second SSD.
  • Bmadd89 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    On page 1 you comment saying the DRAM in the Neutron is 256MB but in the graph its 128MB
  • XZerg - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I would really suggest that you keep the contenders consistent across all the benches/tests. It just feels wrong to see Product X in few benches and then missing in other, point in case OCZ products missing in the power consumption. I am sure that you have their numbers but for some reason those are skipped.
  • mayankleoboy1 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    with many controllers tying at ~ 500MBPS, are we reaching the theoretical speeds of NAND flash? Meaning controllers can get better, but speeds wont increase much?
    What are the theoretical speeds of NAND flash?

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