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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  • qwertymac93 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Has more to do with SATA than NAND.
  • SlyNine - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Thats Sata 3 limits. Not NAND flash.
  • surt - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    NAND can go faster. That's why products like the fusionio go to 2Gbps or higher. 500 is just the most you can get across a single sata3 connector.
  • B3an - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    When will the Plextor M5 Pro review be up?

    I've seen some other reviews popping up and it's looking very good, maybe the best SSD around, but these other reviews are not as detailed as Anandtech reviews.
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Some odd behavior with the M5 Pro came up which has delayed the review a bit. I'll try to have it ready in the next few days, then posting it is up to Anand.
  • B3an - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Thanks Kristian... and i hope you mention what this odd behaviour was in the review.
  • Movieman420 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Too soon for a review...a pre-view maybe Anand?

    M5P will do for now tho..;)
  • jwcalla - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    At this point it seems that there is little, if any, real-world difference in the latest gen drives of similar NAND.
  • seapeople - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Agreed. Crazy how everyone and his brother now has a blazing fast SSD out there that puts the x25-g2 to shame. Just three years ago we were happy when an SSD controller came out that didn't have stuttering issues.
  • maximumGPU - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Agree with some of the previous comments, we need a comparison with the latest Plextor M5 pro.
    Btw Is the M5 pro the first to use Marvell's new controller, or is it the vertex 4?

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