At first glance this drive looks very much like Corsair’s Force Series 3 but with a price per GB that’s 25% higher. The specs look nearly identical so how can Corsair demand a premium price for this high-end SATA 6Gb/s drive?
It’s certainly not due to the drive controller as the SandForce SF-2281 chip is identical to that found in the Force Series 3 and A-RAM’s Elite. There aren’t any flashy extras either with the 3.5in to 2.5in adapter the only bit of fluff packed into the compact box. Which leaves the memory and it’s here that we see the reason for the price hike.
Sixteen Micron 16GB 29F128G08CFAAB chips provide this drive’s storage and these chips have one major difference to the affordable SATA 6Gb/s drives; this memory is of the synchronous variety. In many of our benchmark results this doesn’t lead to a massive different to the asynchronous drives — it’s basically identical when it comes to sequential 4MB read 4K read and a handful of other tests. However this memory type blitzes the opposition when it comes to 128K and 4K QD16 read results; both file sizes that are commonly used in the real world.
This means that the synchronously powered Force GT will deliver noticeable performance increases in real-world use though it does depend greatly on the type of applications you’re running — if you’re just worried about transferring large files it won’t make a whiff of a difference. However if you’re looking for the ultimate overall performance the Force GT is one of the leading contenders offering performance very close to the OCZ Vertex 3 but at a much more affordable price.
Available from Corsair retailing for $510.
APC rating: 9/10 (Editor’s Choice)