Corsair Force 3 vs. Force GT 120 GB Solid State Drive Review

A Closer Look

Both of the drives on test have the same 120 GB capacity and feature the same Sandforce SF-2281 controller. Aside from the aesthetics of the enclosure, the memory used is the only difference in hardware between the drives.

Corsair has chosen to use anodised black aluminium for the enclosure, with a brushed finish. This gives the drive an attractive appearance and should provide the internal components with a good level of protection.

Corsair Force 3 vs. Force GT 120 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 2: Corsair Force 3 120 GB

On the top side of the PCB, the Sandforce SF-2281 controller takes center stage alongside eight of the 16 total Micron 29F64G08CBAAA memory chips. The sixteen 8 GB memory chips give the drive an actual capacity of 128 GB, which is reduced to 120 GB through over-provisioning.

Corsair Force 3 vs. Force GT 120 GB Solid State Drive Review Figure 3: Corsair Force 3 120 GB PCB (top)

The remaining eight memory chips are located on the underside of the PCB. The Force 3 also features full TRIM support (if your OS supports it).

Corsair Force 3 vs. Force GT 120 GB Solid State Drive Review Figure 4: Corsair Force 3 120 GB PCB (bottom)

Corsair has chosen to give the Force GT a bright red enclosure, presumably to appeal to PC enthusiasts who like to show off their top-of-the-range components. The enclosure should give the internal components a good level of protection, as it is constructed from metal.

Corsair Force 3 vs. Force GT 120 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 5: Corsair Force GT 120 GB

Like the Force 3, the Force GT features the Sandforce SF-2281 controller, which is located on the top side of the PCB. There are eight of the 16 total Micron 29F64G08CBAAB memory chips located on the top of the PCB.

Corsair Force 3 vs. Force GT 120 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 6: Corsair Force GT 120 GB PCB (top)

The remaining eight chips are located on the underside of the PCB.  Even though the model numbers of the memory chips on the two drives on test are extremely similar, the memory itself is very different. The Force 3 features asynchronous memory, which doesn’t perform as well when dealing with incompressible data. In contrast, the Force GT features synchronous memory, which is more expensive than asynchronous memory but performs much better when dealing with incompressible data.

Corsair Force 3 vs. Force GT 120 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 7: Corsair Force GT 120 GB PCB (bottom)

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Author: Henry Butt

Henry has been taking apart computers since the age of 10, which eventually lead to a career in technology journalism. He's written for numerous leading UK technology websites as well as writing advisory articles for Best Buy.

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