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Introduction

We tested one more entry SSD, the Corsair Force LE 120 GiB. Let’s see how it performs.

Before proceeding, we highly suggest that you read our “Anatomy of SSD Units” tutorial, which provides all the background information you need to know about SSDs.

Like the Kingston SSDNow UV400 we tested recently, the Corsair Force LE uses TLC (triple level cell) memories. This kind of memory stores not two, as on most MLC memory chips, but three bits instead. It allows a higher data density and, thus, a smaller manufacturing cost for a same capacity chip.

The issues with TLC memory chips, compared to the two-bit MLC chips (and even more compared to the SLC memory chip, that store only one bit per cell) are the smaller speed (due to the error correcting mechanism) and a shorter lifespan, because there is more cell wearing on the erasing process (executed before writing new data).

This can be noticed at a specific characteristic of this model: the TBW (total bytes written, which means the amount of data written on the drive before it begin to experience tearing problems) for the 120 GiB Force LE is 30 TiB (the 120 GiB Kingston UV400, for comparison, has a TBW of 50 TiB). Obviously, this is a very high number and must not worry most users, but it makes this model inadvisable for applications that need a big amount of data writing, like servers, for example.

In the table below, we compared the tested units. All of them use SATA-600 interface and the 2.5” form factor, with 7 mm height. All the tested drives have 128 GiB total memory, but they are sold as 120 GiB because 8 GiB are reserved for “overprovisioning”.

Manufacturer

Model

Model #

Nominal capacity

Price

Corsair

Force LE

CSSD-F120GBLEB

120 GiB

USD 50

Kingston

SSDNow UV400

SUV400S37/120G

120 GiB

USD 41

SanDisk

SSD PLUS

SDSSDA-120G

120 GiB

USD 45

Kingston

SSDNow V300

SV300S37A/120G

120 GiB

USD 48

In the table below, we compared technical specs of the tested drives.

Model Controller Buffer Memory
Corsair Force LE Phison PS3110-S10C-12 256 MiB Nanya NT5CC128M16IP-DI 4x 32 GiB Toshiba TT58G51ARA
Kingston SSDNow UV400 Marvell 88SS1074 256 MiB Nanya NT5CC128M16FP-DI 8x 16 GiB Kingston FT16B08UCT1-0F
SanDisk SSD PLUS Silicon Motion SM2246XT 2x 64 GiB SanDisk 05446 064G
Kingston SSDNow V300 CL13826Z (SandForce) 8x 16 GiB Kingston FT16B08UCT1-DD