Corsair Performance Series Pro review

12 Jul 2012

Corsair's latest trumps rivals thanks to a decent price and lightning-quick performance

Corsair Performance Series Pro
Price when reviewed: 
331(£276 inc VAT)
5

Many companies produce high-speed SSDs, but the trick to producing a winner is to balance high levels of performance with a price that's low enough to tempt enthusiasts to open their wallets. Corsair's latest, the Performance Series Pro, is the latest drive to arrive in the Labs.

The Corsair costs £276 for the 256GB model we've reviewed here, which works out at £1.15 per gigabyte. That's more than the 61p per gigabyte Crucial asks for its budget M4 but, in the realm of high-end SSDs, it's a very reasonable price.

SandForce is one of the biggest names when it comes to SSD controllers but, under the hood of the Performance Series Pro, Corsair has opted for a Marvell 88SS9174 chip. It's an unusual decision given how many drives use SandForce hardware but, crucially, it's the same controller used by the M4 drive, so it has plenty of pedigree when it comes to shifting data quickly.

Corsair Performance Series Pro

Corsair has gone against the grain when it comes to the memory too. The chips used are still made of familiar MLC memory, but the 32nm modules are Toshiba-made "Toggle Mode" NAND chips rather than the synchronous chips used on most other SSDs. Toshiba claims these can process more data transfers per second, and that’s backed up by the consistent speed shown in our benchmarks.

Its result of 500.9MB/sec in our large file write benchmark is superb, easily outpacing the 387.4MB/sec score of the Crucial M4, and both SSDs returned fine scores of 320MB/sec when reading large files. The Corsair also impressed when handling small files: its write and read results of 186.4MB/sec and 30.4MB/sec were better than the M4's 167.4MB/sec and 29.7MB/sec speeds.

The Corsair is also quicker than its rival in the AS SSD sequential write speed test with a result of 413.85MB/sec, and it followed that up with excellent pace in the rest of the app's tests.

That's consistent raw speed, and it's balanced with a competitive price. It makes the Corsair Performance Pro the best SSD we've yet seen, especially for enthusiasts who want top-quality performance. The M4 is still a fine budget choice but, if you're after the best an SSD can offer, the Corsair Performance Series Pro is it.

Details

Price ex VAT £230
Price inc VAT £276
Overall rating 6
Performance 6
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 6

Specifications

Capacity 256GB
Hard disk usable capacity 238GB
Hard disk type SSD
Cost per gigabyte 115.0p

Performance tests

Write speed small files 186.4MB/sec
Write speed large files 500.9MB/sec