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Posts Tagged ‘computers’

Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Mid-Tower Quiet Case

November 27th, 2012 4 comments

5 Stars

Corsair 550D

Corsair’s PC enclosures are some of the finest enclosures you can buy. The case that started it all was the Obsidian 800D –– a premium full tower beast with advanced features and a drool-worthy appearance. Since then, Corsair has added the Graphite Series, Carbide Series, and Vengeance Series cases to their stable of acclaimed enclosures. With a complete line of cases to suit a variety of tastes, performance requirements and budget, the only type of case missing was a silent case, until now. The Obsidian 550D is a premium, mid-tower case with sound isolation characteristics that rounds out Corsair’s collection of enthusiast enclosures.

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Corsair Accelerator Series 60GB SSD Cache Drive

April 22nd, 2012 No comments

5 Stars
Corsair Accelerator SSD

I use SSD drives on all my systems because they make my computers fly––even my 4-year-old Core2 Duo laptop. But I understand that not everyone can justify the cost of an SSD drive, even as SSD drives keep dropping in price. If you’re stuck using your mechanical drive, Corsair has a solution that will make you smile.
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Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR4500)

April 9th, 2012 No comments

4 stars
NETGEAR N900 WNDR4500

Netgear has been on a roll with their wireless routers of late. The N600 (WNDR3700), released a couple of years ago, was very popular for its performance and value. The N900 ups the ante with 450Mbps throughput on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and is the fastest-rated router offered by Netgear. All that performance comes at a cost, however; the N900 sells for just under $200.

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Corsair Vengeance M90 Performance MMO Gaming Mouse

March 21st, 2012 No comments

5 Stars
Corsair M90 Gaming Mouse

There’s a new player in gaming peripherals. Corsair, the maker of enthusiast memory, enclosures, and other PC components, has two new sets of gaming mice and keyboards for the hard-core gamer. The M90 is Corsair’s corded, MMO and RTS-geared mouse. In general, I’m not a big fan of corded mice and haven’t had one since the Logitech G9, but after spending a couple of weeks with the M90, it’s become my primary mouse.
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Patriot Memory Pyro SE 240GB SSD

March 3rd, 2012 No comments

5 Stars
Patriot Pyro SE

Since the introduction of their highly acclaimed, high-performance Wildfire SSD drive, Patriot Memory has been busy filling out their selection of SATA III SSD drives. The original Pyro SSD was released as a value-oriented alternative to the Wildfire. The lower cost of the Pyro was achieved by using asynchronous NAND flash memory. Now, Patriot has released the Pyro SE, which uses the higher-performance, synchronous NAND flash. The Pyro SE settles in, right in between the Wildfire and the Pyro.

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Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD Upgrade Kit (SH100S3B/120G)

February 16th, 2012 No comments

5 Stars
Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD

SandForce-based SSDs are dominating the SSD market right now, because of their terrific read/write performance. Buggy firmware in the early-going, gave a lot of SSD manufacturers, big-time PR headaches. The good news is, SandForce seems to have finally remedied the bugs that reacquainted a lot of Windows users with the blue screen of death (BSOD).
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Corsair Force 3 240GB SSD

January 2nd, 2012 1 comment


Corsair Force 3 240GB SSD

Corsair’s Force 3 series SSD drives are enthusiast-grade solid-state drives, with advertised maximum sequential read/write speeds of 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write. While prices of SSD drives have been steadily declining, mechanical drives have started going up due to the flood in Thailand. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your storage, now might be a good time to consider the Corsair Force 3 SSD for your system.

PROS

  • Rock-solid stability
  • Fast performance
  • Good capacity for notebooks
  • Super simple to install
  • Includes 3.5-inch adapter for desktops

CONS

  • Firmware utility only supported in Windows

Corsair Force 3 box

INSTALLATION
Installation of the Force 3 on most laptops should be a breeze. Desktops are also a piece of cake because Corsair includes a 3.5-inch adapter––something not all manufacturers do.

Corsair Force 3 unboxed

PERFORMANCE
The Force 3 Series SSDs support SATA III (6Gb/s) connections and are backwards compatible with SATA I/II. They’re also based on SandForce controllers and offer up quite a performance boost. The first benchmark I ran was ATTO benchmark. The transfer rates I got were slightly better than advertised.

ATTO Disk Benchmark max transfer rate

Unsurprisingly, the results from both CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD Benchmark were significantly lower because those benchmarks use incompressible data to test transfer rates. SSD drives that use asynchronous NAND flash, like the Corsair Force 3, don’t perform as well on incompressible data. Though the Force 3’s transfer rates are lower with incompressible data, keep in mind that in the real world, most people won’t ever notice a difference. Put it this way: asynchronous NAND SSD drives are still about three times faster than 7200RPM mechanical drives with incompressible data and over six times faster with compressible data.

Corsair Force 3 SSD drive

RELIABILITY
SandForce-based SSDs performed extremely well from the get go. Unfortunately, there were some bugs early on that caused instability in SSD drives that used the SandForce controllers, which was practically everybody.

I’ve had the Corsair Force 3 running in my primary system for over two months now, and have not experienced a single stutter, hang, crash or blue screen. I also haven’t experienced any issues waking up from a sleep state or hibernation. The drive I received had firmware version 1.2.

SandForce recently sent out updated firmware code to manufacturers, claiming they had fixed the bugs causing the instability in a lot of SandForce SSD drives. Corsair integrated those fixes into firmware 1.3.3, but I want to stress that even before firmware 1.3.3, the Force 3 did not exhibit any stability issues for me. The Force 3 has been very reliable during the course of my evaluation.

Corsair Force 3 SSD ports

SPECS

Form Factor 2.5-inch
Unformatted capacity 240GB
Controller SandForce SF-2281
Storage technology Asynchronous NAND
Interface SATA III (backwards compatible w/SATA I & II)
Sequential Read Up to 550MB/s
Sequential Write Up to 520MB/s
Max Random Write IOPS Up to 85,000 (4K aligned)
MTBF 2 million hours
Warranty 3 years

CONCLUSION
The Corsair Force 3 240GB SSD is a great solution if you need a high-performance drive but want to save a few bucks for other system upgrades. The benefits of SSD drives include incredible performance gains, low power consumption, quiet operation and fast boot and shutdown times. 240GB (223GB formatted) is a nice size for single-drive notebooks or for desktop users who want to use it as a boot drive with lots of applications. Either way, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Corsair Force 3 SSD.

Available from Amazon.com.

Review unit provided by Corsair

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