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Pros: This is an inexpensive SSD. Not quite as cheap as the Silicon Image S55 or Crucial BX100, but still slower than high-end SSDs. That said, most people want "affordable and still really good". Today's SSDs are *so much faster* than traditional hard drives that fretting over their differences is like worrying about which Ferrari use for your commute: The F12 Berlinetta may be the fastest, but they are all overkill.
Corsair Force LE features:
- Uses TLC flash (see below for what this means), like most cheap SSDs.
- Includes a fast SLC (see below) cache to improve performance. This doesn't help much for large file copies, but it is a huge help for day to day tasks like starting programs, saving documents, rebooting.
- The most important factor in an SSD's performance is the controller -- the processor that handles reading, writing and bookkeeping. This SSD uses a Phison PS3110-S10, which is a faster and higher-end controller than the PS3108-S8 used in the Kingston SM2280S3, the Silicon Power S55, and the MyDigitalSSD BP3.
BUYING TIP: There is rarely much difference between SSDs that use the same controller. Once you know this, you simply look for the cheapest SSD with that controller to get the best deal. In the case of Corsair specifically, they tend to use higher-quality parts and offer other value-add features such as custom high-performance firmware and configuration software. I have not often been impressed with their software, but it is far better than anything from the low-end manufacturers.
PERFORMANCE WITH SMALL TRANSFERS:
(Note that all my benchmarks use a queue depth of 1 because that is the most common for non-server systems)
This drive reads random small pieces of data (4KB) at 33.3MB/sec. This may sound slow, but it is faster than many inexpensive drives including the Crucial MX200, BX100, and the OCZ Vector 180, and it is about 45 times faster than an average hard drive, which often can't even handle a single megabyte per second.
Phison controllers are still not known for their speed with small file transfers, but this is among the best Phison TLS SSDs. Still, choose a different drive if small IOs are important to your workload (for example, software development).
It writes 4K random data about twice as fast as it reads (147MB/sec), which is about twice as fast as most TLC SSDs based on the Phison PS3108 controller (mentioned above).
PERFORMANCE WITH LARGE TRANSFERS:
Almost all SSDs today, even cheap ones, get around 500MB/sec for large transfers (546 in the case of this SSD). This is because the SATA port is the mitigating factor, not the SSD. Note that large transfer performance does not happen much in the real world other than when copying large files. Nothing to see here.
MIXED READ/WRITE PERFORMANCE:
Heavy daily computing tasks are mostly reads with occasional writes, for example, to save a configuration file or overwrite a document.
When most of the reads and writes are small (under 4K) and random (not isolated to a subset of files), the Force LE doesn't do very well compared to some competitors, averaging about 40MB/sec compared to almost 80MB/sec from the Crucial MX200 and 75 from the 850 EVO. This
When those transfers are larger, around 128KB, the performance changes drastically: The Force LE can manage 340MB/sec, which is faster than the Samsung EVO (255 MB/sec), OCZ Vector 180 (301MB/sec), and the Sandisk Extreme Pro (261MB/sec).
The Force LE seems to be marketed towards those looking for an upper-end affordable SSD. Its use of TLC memory makes it inexpensive but slower than MLC SSDs, but its higher-end Phison controller and SLC cache make it perform better than many, but not all, TLC SSDs. While this drive is more expensive than the Silicon Power S55s that I recently reviewed, it also blows them away in terms of performance.
Cons: Normally in a Corsair review I would mention how the Corsair name comes with a price tag and how you can get similar hardware for cheaper from companies that don't have such an established name if you are willing to let go of Corsair's SSD software, but I looked for similar SSDs (SSDs that use the same Phison controller and use TLC flash memory) but they are all the same or slightly more expensive except for the Toshiba, which has awful reviews. Corsair has priced this thing *really* aggressively.
Specifically, I looked at the OCZ Trion 150, the Toshiba Q300, and the PNY CS1311. Note that the prices may have changed since this review was a written, so it never hurts to look.
Overall Review: First: If you are building a PC, you should use an SSD and not a hard drive. Hard drives are useful only when you need to store terabytes of data cheaply (and slowly).
Many benchmarks show the read speed of hard drives vs SSDs only for large file transfers (over 256KB). SSDs outperform hard drives by several times, but this does not reveal how important an SSD is to the system.
SSDs can make your PC tens of times faster. How? Most real-world file access involves many reads/writes of very small amounts of data (under 8KB).
For these, the Corsair Force LE is *more than 110 times faster* than a modern hard drive (specifically the Seagate 8TB Barracude Pro).
TLC/SLC flash definition:
TLC stands for "three level cell. Each flash memory cell stores three voltages instead of one (SLC) or two (MLC). This makes the cell slower because it has to read and write three values, and makes it wear faster because as it ages, it becomes more difficult to distinguish so many voltage levels, but it *triples* the SSD's capacity vs. SLC (or increases it 50% vs MLC). This means the SSD is more affordable and still fast enough for most users. I wouldn't suggest most TLC SSDs for servers, but for home computers they are just fine.
Power users know that a high-end SSD like an Intel 750 is faster and will last longer, but this is an SSD for your friend's computer, your dad's computer, or your computer when you don't have unlimited cash.
My credentials: I helped edit articles for StorageReview.com for years and was their first moderator. I have a degree in computer science and work as a senior engineer for a multi-billion dollar semiconductor manufacturer. My company does not make any SSD-related products and I have no investment in any PC hardware manufacturer.
Pros: -Phison PS3110-S10C controller provides decent budget performance for mainstream users
-Competitive price point at different capacities
-7mm casing is slimmer than many older SSD's and light at 40 grams
-Corsair's 3-year warranty – average in duration but superior in customer service
-Straightforward packaging - warranty slip, manual, and drive
-Black and yellow color scheme matches other Corsair products (and it's great for Steelers fans)
-Silent (obviously doesn't have moving parts, but no whine either - unlike my old Vertex 3)
Cons: -Thin matte metal casing - doesn't feel nearly as solid or cool to the touch as my 850 Pro and is actually hard to identify as metal
-TLC flash is slower and has a shorter R/W cycle than MLC – it’s the best choice for your wallet, but not so great for server applications. You'll probably upgrade long before using it up anyway.
-Average IOPS and speeds
Overall Review: The test bench I used for the three drives I'm comparing included a Sabertooth Z170 motherboard, an i7 6700K, and 32GB of TridentZ DDR4 3200 memory. The ADATA SP550 is in the same price bracket as this, while the 850 Pro is a premium drive from 2014 that still sells for significantly more. All of these benchmarks were performed using AS SSD 1.8 in Windows 10.
Corsair Force LE 480GB
Sequential: 516.83 MB/s read, 448.28 MB/s write
4K: 41.38 MB/s read, 82.91 MB/s write
4K-64K: 353.28 MB/s read, 127.74 MB/s write
Access time: 0.037ms read, 0.038ms write
ADATA Premier SP550 480GB
Sequential: 518.38 MB/s read, 472.62 MB/s write
4K: 25.29 MB/s read, 74.79 write
4K-64K: 338.08 MB/s read, 168.21 MB/s write
Access time: 0.049ms read, 0.054ms write
Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
Sequential: 528.46 MB/s read, 499.02 MB/s write
4K: 34.75 read, 128.47 MB/s write
4K-64K: 369.50 MB/s read, 334.96 MB/s write
Access time: 0.037ms read, 0.025ms write
Performance is competitive, especially in 4K read/write speeds and access times – which translates to snappier performance when loading and using large, spread-out programs such as Windows. Otherwise, speeds are fairly average, and if you’re looking at benchmark numbers, those used to newer NVMe SSD’s with 4x faster sequential read/write speeds may be underwhelmed. Still, this drive is very competitive with others in the price range, and the (older) 850 Pro is in a different price bracket yet doesn’t provide a special performance advantage despite using better V-NAND flash. Overall, I would probably recommend the Force LE to the average budget-conscious mainstream user. Thanks Corsair!
Pros: FAST<br><br>CHEAP<br><br>3yr Warranty<br><br>Nice Aluminum build<br><br>Solid software bundle
Cons: I really don't have anything negative to say here.
Overall Review: I have owned quite a few SSDs since the have become mainstream PC components. With my very fist drive being a OCZ 30GB costing me over $120. The tech has come very far, in a very short amount of time. This SSD just proves the reality of that statement.<br><br>I should start out by saying that I'm still in a little disbelief that a 240GB SSD can be found at under $60. let alone one that comes close to saturating the bandwidth of a SATA3 (600MB/s). Even last year most "middle of the road" SSDs were over $1 per GB and top tier ones could run you at least double that While Typically only hitting about 400MB/s read/write. this includes my daily driver I've been using for about a year and a half, a 120GB Intel 530. Well... This new Corsair SSD absolutely smashes my "old" Intel 530 in performance. When running the Benchmark tool, Crystalmark the Intel 530 was lagging behind by over 100MB/s in some cases. This Corsair Drive just simply screams! I easily got over the rated speeds by a good margin. See the numbers below. Note that this was with the blank SSD formatted to NTFS.<br><br>Seq Read - 532.5 MB/s Write - 513.3 MB/s<br>512K Read - 428.1 MB/s Write - 349.5 MB/s<br>4K Read - 31.71 MB/s Write - 95.33 MB/s<br>4k QD32 Read - 328.4 MB/s Write- 289.0 MB/s<br><br>As you can see, this is no slouch. I plan to buy a Second for a RAID 0. To think that I will have a half TB Raid that has a read/write of 1000MB/s for $120 is still blowing my mind...<br><br>As far as the software goes. Again, Iam impressed. It took basically no effort to Clone my OS from my original SSD to this new one. Plug the new Corsair LE SSD in. Turn on your PC, run the software and 6 minutes after clicking the "start" button over 60GbB was moved over to the Corsair LE SSD. Shutdown, unplug the old drive, move the Corsair LE SATA cable to where the old SSD's SATA port was plugged in and Start your system. THATS IT! There is also a Firmware update Utility but as of the day I tried there were no updates available. So I cant comment on this.<br><br>After Cloning the SSD and using it as my Boot drive the performance improved not only in benchmarks but in real world usage. My programs open and close noticeably fast than with my old SSD. Also something to note is that I didn't see a performance hit after the clone. Typically most SSDs will start to reduce in performance as they fill up (its just the nature of the tech) but with 60GB of Programs and being the operating system drive I seen (give or take a few MB/s) basically the same numbers I listed above when running Crystalmark.<br><br>I'm finding it hard to figure out any kind of Con or reason to go with a more expensive SSD, even Corsair's XT for that matter. The higher price point gets you more IOPS But it doesn't seem to make that big of a difference in real world use on SATA3. The warranty also being the same 3 years suggest that Corsair must hold roughly the same life cycle of the Nand chips used in both SSDs. <br><br>Bottom line. If you are in the market for a Solid SSD, this one should be on your list, Regardless of budget!
Pros: Very, VERY fast SSD with a great low price. Excellent value. An SSD is a very simple and very noticeable upgrade for any computer, new or old, that makes a HUGE difference in how fast it "feels". It can breathe new life into an old, outdated computer.
Corsair specs state ATTO max sequential read up to 560MB/s and ATTO max sequential write up to 530MB/s, as well as Crystal Disk Mark max sequential read up to 510MB/s and max sequential write up to 460MB/s. In my testing with an ASRock H97 Performance using SATA3, ATTO read was 563MB/s and ATTO write was 541MB/s; CDM read was 548MB/s and CDM write was 530MB/s. In other words – the performance matches what Corsair promised and the Force LE beats the pants off my Crucial M4 SSD.
Corsair has an SSD Toolbox utility for the drive which is available to download from their site. It allows you to clone your HDD to the SSD, shows the overall health of the drive, allows you to check for drive firmware updates, and also lets you force a TRIM operation (on-demand or scheduled) to keep the drive healthy – although Windows does this on its own. The app installs on your computer but does not run at all times like other vendor’s products that I’m familiar with (such as OCZ’s SSD Guru utility).
From POST to usable Windows 7 Professional 64-bit desktop, it takes roughly 7 seconds. All applications load within a second or two at most, and games load at a fraction of the time it used to take them.
Drive has a 3 year warranty and Corsair has always been top notch on tech support and RMA repairs.
Cons: Keep in mind you are getting the SSD drive here and that’s it. No screws, no cables, no 3.5" HDD to 2.5" SSD adapter trays. Typically that’s not an issue since most people have extra SATA cables, spots in their case for an SSD, and extra screws - but it’s something worth mentioning.
Overall Review: Overall I'd definitely recommend this Corsair Force LE SSD because it has phenomenal performance but is very affordable.
I believe this drive uses the Phison S10 controller. The Force LE 960GB uses this (based on reviews that I’ve read), so I would assume the Force LE 240GB and 480GB do as well. Typically manufacturers use 1 PCB version and just add more NAND memory to it to offer the different capacities (as opposed to spending money on different PCB for each capacity).
I used Macrium Reflect Free to clone my existing drive onto this SSD, but as I mentioned in the "Pros", the Corsair SSD Toolbox does have a Disk Clone feature that will also do this for you.
Pros: -No-frills design & packaging
-Although the 3-year warranty is fairly average, my previous experience with Corsair’s products tells me that it will go well past that.
Cons: Something to be aware of/Minor Con: As with many SSDs these days, there are no extras with this drive, not even a plastic shim to make it thicker if needed. This drive is 7mm thick and in the case I have mine in, it goes in a slot that was designed for a 9mm thick drive. Because some laptop mounting options depend on the thickness of the drive being a certain amount, make sure you plan ahead with this drive.
Overall Review: Whenever possible, I configure desktop systems that have a SSD for the system and application files and a mechanical drive (or drives in RAID) for the media files (Documents, Music, Video, Games). For that purpose, the 120GB SSD is perfect for my main systems and several of my media systems do great with a 60GB SSD for the same purpose. For my needs, a 480GB drive is best suited for a laptop and I have been extremely impressed with the write speeds on this drive. I decided to clone a comparable SanDisk SSD that I had Windows 10 Pro installed over to this drive and I am always happy when the whole clone only takes about 2 minutes from start to finish. Here are the comparisons using CrystalDiskMark:
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 543.197 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 486.631 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 213.224 MB/s [ 52056.6 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 170.705 MB/s [ 41676.0 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 495.964 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 462.825 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 23.408 MB/s [ 5714.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 41.204 MB/s [ 10059.6 IOPS]
CORSAIR FORCE LE 480GB
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 556.397 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 447.729 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 197.667 MB/s [ 48258.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 159.062 MB/s [ 38833.5 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 484.239 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 461.185 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 24.971 MB/s [ 6096.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 53.928 MB/s [ 13166.0 IOPS]
As you can see, the Corsair keeps up really well with the more expensive SanDisk. Of course, comparing SanDisk’s 10-year warranty to Corsair’s 3-year warranty comes into play, but I happily give this 5 eggs for the value with top-end speeds that is the Corsair Force LE 480GB.
Easy to migrate
Tools are useful and easy to figure out
Overall Review: I am using this drive on a board with only SATA 3.0Gbs (SATA v2.0), and the tested speeds are exactly half of the listed (275MB/s read, 250MB/s write).
Pros: Low profile, very easy to install in desktops and replace HDD from laptops, even if the HDD is in a 9.5mm caddy.
Installation on a desktop was flawless, tried both, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 and in both occasions installation was smooth.
Finally, the main purpose and why I bought this Corsair LE, to replace the mechanical drive in the HP Star Wars Edition, first I took the mechanical drive out and install both drives in my desktop, use Acronis to clone both drives and after a successful cloning, I install the Corsair in the Laptop, the caddy was for a 9.5mm drive but the SSD fit perfectly as well, very snugly in the bay.
Installation and process of Windows 10 went w/o a any issues, installation and removal (blotware) of programs was fast, my new HP laptops boots up very fast.
As far as performance goes:
Here is what the test on a Z97/i5 4690K/16GB DDR3-2400/GTX960 results are:
CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 563.541 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 534.305 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 325.923 MB/s [ 79571.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 350.941 MB/s [ 85679.0 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 512.469 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 486.922 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 32.668 MB/s [ 7975.6 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 108.542 MB/s [ 26499.5 IOPS]
Test : 1024 MiB [E: 0.0% (0.1/447.1 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Date : 2016/05/28 15:00:09
OS : Windows 8.1 [6.3 Build 9600] (x64)
And here are the results on the HP Star Wars Edition i5 6200U:
CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 545.466 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 511.490 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 274.552 MB/s [ 67029.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 250.833 MB/s [ 61238.5 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 480.265 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 435.852 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 28.140 MB/s [ 6870.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 81.079 MB/s [ 19794.7 IOPS]
Test : 1024 MiB [C: 11.5% (48.7/423.6 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Date : 2016/06/02 7:20:05
OS : Windows 10 [10.0 Build 10240] (x64)
Slightly slower than in my desktop but nevertheless pretty fast speeds for a laptop.
Overall Review: This is a great drive to replace any mechanical drive, even in laptops, it would perfectly fit due to its 7.5mm low profile. 3 year warranty and very inexpensive.
Pros: fast, inexpensive, Corsair reliability
Overall Review: I installed this in my laptop as the storage drive for my games. While this would be a great all purpose drive, I'm fortunate enough to have an m.2 slot (Samsung EVO 850 250GB) in addition to a 2.5" SATA slot. The Corsair drive is fast, I'm getting 517 MB/s writes and 540 MB/s reads. For real-world performance, a typical 7-8 GB movie takes under 15 seconds to transfer between the 2 drives regardless of which one I'm transferring to/from. The Samsung (OS drive) has slightly lower rated specs than the Corsair so I'm sure it's the bottleneck, you may be able to achieve better real world performance but I doubt it'd be anything noticeable.
The drive performs great, it's inexpensive and the Corsair products I've owned (numerous) have always been dependable. If you don't have a separate drive for your OS/apps, you should consider the 480GB version.
This is installed in an Inspiron 15 7559 w/ i7 6700HQ and 16GB (2x8GB) RAM