Corsair Neutron GTX SSD Review (240GB): Link A Media Controller Testedby Anand Lal Shimpi on August 20, 2012 6:00 AM EST
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.
Intel Core i7 2600K running at 3.4GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled) - for AT SB 2011, AS SSD & ATTO
Intel DH67BL Motherboard
Intel 18.104.22.1685 + Intel RST 10.2
|Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1333 2 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)
|eVGA GeForce GTX 285
|NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
|1920 x 1200
|Windows 7 x64