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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  • PommieB - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    The Vertex 4 uses the 9145 controller, which as enterprise origins and was used by OCZ in there latest PCIe ssd drives, OCZ was obviously impressed with the controller to use it as there re-branded Everest controllers in the Vertex 4 and other ssd drives, so yes the Plextor M5 Pro is first ssd drive to have the 9187 Marvell controller.
  • maximumGPU - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    thanks :)
  • DukeN - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    For those of us hoping to put 3 or 4 of these in our systems..

    Please and thanks.
  • Zap - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Why does Corsair (and also Newegg) call it SATA 3?

    Proper terminology is to call it "SATA Revision 3.0" or "SATA 6Gb/s" and to NOT use "SATA III" or "SATA 3.0." This is because SATA II was often marketed as SATA 3Gb/s or SATA 300, so "3" is associated with the slower speed.
  • Beenthere - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Most consumers are interested in reliable, compatible, hassle-free PC hardware not the half-baked trick-of-the-week rushed out the door for huge profits. PC hardware review sites lose credibility when they hype half-baked products and gloss over obvious defects or down-play their significance.

    Many companies are quite successful selling quality, reliable products and providing excellent customer service - all at affordable prices. In fact that use to be the norm in the U.S. until some unscrupulous CEOs decided that they could reap more money in annual bonuses by shipping crap products and pretending there were no issues or defects.

    Unfortunately for Corsair in recent years they have jumped on the growth-at-all-cost bandwagon by using contract suppliers. Corsair's numerous product lines are filled with documented defects be it SSDs, PSUs, H2O CPU coolers, etc. At one time I recommended Corsair RAM but even that seems to have dropped in reliability and compatibility recently so I no longer recommend any of their current products.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Idle power consumption is stupidly bad. Samsung SSD830 is the reigning champion by far. It may not be the fastest, but it is competitive speed wise, and its low idle power just continues to own the competition. I wouldnt even consider any other drive for a notebook.
  • Paapaa125 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I have no clue why you keep on presenting the same data in two different charts: average data rate and disk busy time. Only one is enough. Showing the other serves no purpose at all so please pick one of them and start using it. Thanks!
  • Mastadon - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    What kind of TRIM does the Corsair controller use? Is it garbage collection after the fact, or on-the-fly?
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    I've always been under the impression that Garbage Collection, as defined by the drive makers, is not TRIM. Garbage Collection is done solely inside the drive by the controller with no regard for what the data in the flash is or what the OS is doing. TRIM is done through commands sent from the OS to the drive to tell it what flash is holding valid data, and what flash is no longer needed and can be erased. I think some drives even do both GC and TRIM. If he's saying TRIM, I'd take it to be the later case.
  • phimac10 - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Thanks for a good insight in the SSD world.

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