Corsair Neutron SATA III SSD Review

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Our Test Methodologies: Under each test condition, the Solid State Drives tested here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a standard spinning hard disk for the OS and benchmark installations. Out testbed's motherboard was updated with the latest BIOS available as of press time and AHCI (or RAID) mode was enabled. The SSDs were secure erased and left blank without partitions wherever possible, unless a test required them to be partitioned and formatted, as was the case with our ATTO, PCMark 7, and CrystalDiskMark benchmark tests. Windows firewall, automatic updates and screen savers were all disabled before testing. In all test runs, we rebooted the system, ensured all temp and prefetch data was purged, and waited several minutes for drive activity to settle and for the system to reach an idle state before invoking a test.

HotHardware Test System
Intel Core i7 and SSD Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Card -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Drives -


Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-2600K

Asus P8Z6-V Pro
(Z68 Chipset, AHCI Enabled)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285

4GB Kingston DDR3-1600

Integrated on board

WD Raptor 150GB (OS Drive)
Samsung SSD 830 (256GB)
OCZ Vertex 3 (200GB)
Corsair Force GT (240GB)
Crucial M4 (256GB)
Corsair Neutron (240GB)
Intel SSD 520 (240GB)
OCZ Vertex 4 (256GB)

OS -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
Intel, iRST 10.5.1027
DirectX 11

NVIDIA GeForce 275.33

Benchmarks Used:
IOMeter 1.1.0 RC
HD Tune v4.61
ATTO v2.47
CrystalDiskMark v3.01 x64
PCMark 7
SiSoftware Sandra 2011

I/O Subsystem Measurement Tool

As we've noted in previous SSD articles, though IOMeter is clearly a well-respected industry standard drive benchmark, we're not completely comfortable with it for testing SSDs. The fact of the matter is, though our actual results with IOMeter appear to scale properly, it is debatable whether or not certain access patterns, as they are presented to and measured on an SSD, actually provide a valid example of real-world performance for the average end user. That said, we do think IOMeter is a reliable gauge for relative available throughput within a given storage solution. In addition there are certain higher-end workloads you can place on a drive with IOMeter, that you an't with most other storage benchmark tools available currently.

In the following tables, we're showing two sets of access patterns; our custom Workstation pattern, with an 8K transfer size, 80% reads (20% writes) and 80% random (20% sequential) access and IOMeter's default access pattern of 2K transfers, 67% reads (34% writes) and 100% random access.

The Corsair Neutron performed relatively well in our IOMeter tests. When using IOMeter's default access pattern, the Neutron finished near the top of the charts, trailing only the OCZ Vertex 4 drive. With our Workstation Access pattern the Neutron also performed well, but finished about in the middle of the pack.

The Corsair Neutron's transfer speeds in our IOMeter tests position the drive in the middle of the pack, behind the SandForce and Intel-based drives.

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realneil one year ago

Whoo-Ya! Great review Marco.

$189.00 isn't bad at all. I love the decline of SSD prices over the past year. I look forward to it continuing.

Corsair is hitting a lot of markets, (cases, keyboards, cpu coolers, speakers, fans, etc) and ~all~ of what they make is a cut above.

They're one of the best brands out there.

Dave_HH one year ago

Agreed, .79 cents/GB is pretty dang good for this sort of performance. Way to go Corsair!

SmogHog one year ago

If this is a review of the Neutron why are the specs for the OCZ Vector listed instead of the specs for the Neutron?

About 80% of normal daily disk access measured in Microsoft's diskmon is small file reads and writes of 512K or smaller with most being writes.

The Neuton GTX and regular Neutron SSDs are great performers when benchmarked empty of data and are the best consumer SSDs for consistency but who buys an SSD to leave it empty.

The Neutron SSDs lose half of their performance when the drive is half filled with data.

The very high amount of power consumed at idle is also not so good.for an SSD.

Marco C one year ago

Shoot---that was a typo in the specs header that I failed to correct. The specs listed were/are correct though ( Thanks for the head's up!

AberfoyleParkPC one year ago

Really please that SSD's have finally dropped to reasonable price levels - my first 64gb SSD cost more than this 256gb one!

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