Corsair Neutron XT in the test

If you want to see SSD controllers apart from the Marvell and Samsung mainstream, Corsair is always a good candidate. Some time ago we encountered the LAMD LM87800 controller in Corsair's Neutron GTX, which performed very well. With the Neutron XT, the GTX got a successor based on the Phison S10 controller.

Intro

Intro

The former pure storage specialist has now clearly shifted its focus. The 08/15 as well as the enthusiast gamers have become the target group of Corsair today, which one would like to serve in addition to memory modules with housings, mice or keyboards, power supplies and of course also with SSDs for every price range. The fact remains, however, that Corsair always wants to see its name in connection with quality and, as a result, the products can be a bit more expensive.

Since Corsair buys the controller and NAND flash for SSDs on the market, there is of course a greater flexibility in the technology used. A connection to a specific controller manufacturer can really not be found with Corsair: LAMD controller in the Neutron GTX, Silicon Motion in the Force LX and now Phison S10 in the Neutron XT. The manufacturer tries to find the right model for each series and the corresponding segment in order to create the best possible construct.

The Phison insert is not that new for Corsair, because the smaller brother Phison S8 was already used in the Force LS. Phison you can practically see yourself as an old hand on the market, because the Taiwanese company has been developing and producing controllers for flash-based storage media for 15 years.

With the Neutron XT, Corsair is placing a fresh model in the performance segment for home users and is now relying on the combination with Phison S10 and Toshiba NAND. We test what the new performance model can do.

SSD bookmarks:

Recent SSD Reviews:

The test candidate

Key data and technology

As already mentioned, the heart of the XT is the Phison S10 controller. It is a quad-core CPU, whereby the tasks should be strictly distributed: One core takes care of the requests from the host system, and three cores take care of computationally intensive internal tasks such as garbage collection and analysis Execution of wear leveling. The following table briefly compares the properties of the XT with those of the previous high-end GTX model.

manufacturer's instructions Corsair Neutron XT Corsair Neutron GTX
capacities 240 / 480 / 960 GB 120 / 240 / 480 GB
controller Phison S10 (quad core) LAMD LM87800 (dual core)
Interface Serial ATA 6.0 Gbps Serial ATA 6.0 Gbps
Flash Toshiba A19nm 64/128 Gbit MLC Toshiba 19nm Toggle NAND
DRAM cache ? MB 256 MB
form factor 2,5 inch 2,5 inch
Max. Read (ATTO) up to 560 MB / s up to 550 MB / s
Max. Letter (ATTO) up to 540 MB / s up to 470 MB / s
Max. Read IOPS 100.000 85.000
Max. IOPS writing 90.000 85.000
Manufacturer warranty 5 years 5 years

The NAND flash is connected to the controller with up to eight channels and consists of Toshiba MLC-NAND of the A19nm class. The 240 and 480 GB versions accommodate 64 Gbit dies, while the 960 GB version uses 128 Gbit dies.

SmartFlush and GuaranteedFlush

Corsair mentions the SmartFlush and GuaranteedFlush technologies in the data to protect against data corruption in the event of a power failure. The aim of SmartFlush is to minimize the time that data is in the cache. However, this only reduces the likelihood that data will still be in the cache in the event of a power failure, or that there is less data in it.

GuaranteedFlush, on the other hand, relies on the flush cache command (E7h) of the ATA specification, which is supported by the Phison S10. This command can be used to trigger the clearing of the cache on the NAND or hard disk in a controlled manner. In this way, critical data such as the mapping table can be kept consistent.

As with most consumer drives, there are no capacitors on the SSD that can supply the drive with power for a short period of time. At this point, for the sake of comparability, it must be pointed out again that drives like the Crucial MX100 were initially assumed to have corresponding capacitors. But this is not what we are looking for here. have been received.

In summary, one can say that the Corsair XT, like the competition, does not have any "emergency power capacitors", but can still ensure the consistency of the mapping table and existing data. Data to be written is passed on from the cache to the NAND flash as quickly as possible in order to minimize the loss of data that has not yet been written in the event of a power failure.

Equipment

The SSD encrypts data with 256-bit AES, but unfortunately does not support the TCG Opal specifications, which are necessary for the use of Microsoft's eDrive standard, for example. Unfortunately, there is also no support for the additional energy-saving modes such as DevSleep and HIPM + DIPM. The drive is therefore less suitable for mobile corporate use or use in small mobile hardware, where very low idle consumption is important.

lifespan

Corsair guarantees a write performance of 124 terabytes for the life of the flash. Since the value is the same for the three drive types, it can be assumed that the value is set quite low. On a 960 GB drive, which is four times as large, the cells would only be loaded a quarter as often as if the 124 terabytes were written to the small 240 GB version. The bottom line is that you get a guaranteed write volume of almost 70 gigabytes per day if you take the five-year guarantee period as a basis.

Impressions

corsair_xt_front

 

As with many competitors, the SSD comes with a 2m installation spacer in bright red.

corsair_xt_back

corsair_xt_pcb_front

The Phison S45 controller rotated by 10 ° is clearly visible. In the 480 GB version, the NAND flash memory was divided into eight packages, each with eight dies with 64 Gbit each. In the 980 Gbyte variant, however, dies with 128 Gbit are installed in order to achieve the necessary capacity with the same number of packages.

corsair_xt_pcb_back

Software equipment

The SSD does not come with any extra software, but Corsair still provides the SSD toolbox. This can be used to carry out functions such as overprovisioning, secure erase and the cloning of drives and to read drive and SMART information. A description of the software can be found here..

If you want, you can use other means to ensure that the operating environment is optimally matched to the SSD drives. Important parameters are:

  • Does the SATA port run in AHCI mode?
  • Does the operating system support TRIM?
  • Has any automatic defragmentation of the operating system been deactivated?

Test environment

Hardware

Test station:

The test candidate:

press picture

Comparison models:

Software

Our benchmark course

Our benchmark course aims to answer the following questions:

  • How fast is the SSD reading and writing large files sequentially and reading and writing small files at random?
  • How do fragmented blocks (not to be confused with file fragmentation!) And the resulting read-modify writes affect performance after a heavy write load?
  • How fast is the SSD in a continuous load scenario (steady state)?
  • Can TRIM restore full performance?
  • How effective is garbage collection?
  • How fast is the SSD when certain mixes of large and small blocks occur?

Synthetic benchmarks

The use of synthetic benchmarks cannot be avoided, since only with these the technical limits of the SSDs become visible. They show the maximum achievable.

Benchmark Usage
Iometer (sequential read / write) Maximum read and write rate for large blocks; is only achieved in practice when reading / writing with large files, e.g. when editing video.
Iometer (random read / write) Maximum read and write rate for parallel access to small 4k blocks. These occur most frequently in practice in daily work.
AS SSD We use this widely used benchmark for the sake of completeness.

With these benchmarks we determine the performance in the following states:

Condition Features
fresh All pages in the SSD are empty and have not yet been written to. This is the status upon delivery or after a Secure Erase.
Used All blocks have already been written to at least once. (Only for writing tests)
after heavy load Performance according to a reproduced load scenario through our Iometer server load profiles.
according to TRIM Performance after the blocks have been released by TRIM.

In this way it can be seen whether and to what extent the performance of the SSD is falling and whether TRIM can restore the original performance.

It doesn't matter whether you copy a few hundred MP3 or video files or simulate this work with Iometer, the effort is the same for the SSD. Differences resulting from the file system of the operating system then affect all SSDs equally, so that the ratios of the performance differences remain the same.

Trace benchmarks

Real life, on the other hand, can be simulated using trace benchmarks such as PCMark or Iometer profiles, which simulate use cases. With these tests, practical accesses are carried out in a reproducible manner.

Benchmark Usage
PCMark7 trace benchmarks PCMark7 simulates various use cases that are primarily aimed at private multimedia.
Iometer workstation profile This profile simulates a heavily used workstation with 8K access. Two thirds of the accesses are read accesses, one third are write accesses. Two thirds of the accesses are random and one third sequential.
Iometer web server profile Mainly data of various block sizes is downloaded from a web server. This profile reproduces such work.
Iometer file server profile This profile simulates the work of a file server from which files of various sizes are downloaded and uploaded. A fifth of the accesses are write accesses.

For practical results, we carry out these tests after the SSD has already been written with load profiles several times and is occupied with active data except for a remaining 10 GB. This gives you the performance values ​​of an SSD that has already been used and is currently mostly full.

Applications

We test less per application itself. There are two main reasons for this: First, the CPU limit falsifies the performance gap between the SSDs. For example, when the SSD has to wait for the CPU to process certain data before the SSD can continue working when the application starts. Due to the CPU limit, the SSDs move closer together than would be the case with faster CPUs later. Second, many applications can only be measured with a stopwatch, which is too imprecise for us, especially since the results are sometimes only tenths of a second apart. However, we carry out our long-serving OpenOffice copy test because it is easy to reproduce. We have only increased the amount of data there by a factor of 12. It is now 3,06 GB of data in over 48.000 files of various sizes that will be duplicated on the test drive.

Continuous load measurements

As described in the section “Load behavior”, SSDs collapse under a continuous random write load if the garbage collection cannot provide free blocks quickly enough. Such a load behavior occurs only rarely in normal home use. For one or the other reader, however, it might be interesting whether an SSD is also suitable for somewhat tougher use. For example, as a data carrier for a virtualizer, where a lot of small accesses can occur in parallel, or as a disk for a database test environment.

For this test, we let go of as many 4k write accesses as possible to the SSD using the Iometer and create a graph that shows the performance over time. We repeat this test after a 30-minute or 12-hour break to see whether the garbage collection was able to provide enough free blocks for high performance during this time. Since Iometer works with a large test file, which is never deleted, but only overwritten, the influence of TRIM in these two repetitions is excluded. The increase in performance through TRIM itself is then measured in a fourth run. This takes place after a quick format, whereby the drive is "trimmed". The test file is then created again.

We would like to point out that this goes well beyond the normal requirements for SSDs for home use. If an SSD does not do so well here, it is therefore not counted negatively. But we want to find out which SSDs stand out positively from the crowd. In addition, this test makes it easier to see to what extent the garbage collection is working.

MByte / s or IOPS?

Usually we give the measurement results in megabytes per second. In the profile tests, however, we give the results in IOPS (Input / Output Operations per Second = input and output commands per second). An input or output command can mean reading or writing a block. This does not affect the comparability. If a data carrier manages 128 IO per second in a write test with 1.000 KB blocks, then mathematically this results in 1.000 * 128 KB = 128 MB per second. When an operating system writes MP3 files or videos, it does so in blocks, too, and the block sizes ultimately depend on the size of the files and the formatting of the file system. With many small files, this may limit the number of IOPS and with large files the maximum write rate of the SSD. Therefore, it makes sense to use the specification of IOPS wherever a high number of read and write operations take place and / or different block sizes are involved.

In the case of continuous load measurements, the indication in IOPS has the additional advantage that the maximum IOPS information usually advertised by the manufacturers can be compared directly with the real results.

Measurement results

Sequential reading

These two tests determine how quickly large files can be read. While Iometer continuously reads data from the test address range (= size of the SSD minus 10 GB), AS SSD uses test files that are "only" 1 GB in size. We measure sequential read performance while the SSD is in the following states:

Condition Features
fresh All pages in the SSD were blank before the test and had not yet been written to. This is the status upon delivery or after a Secure Erase.
according to load Performance according to a reproduced load scenario through our Iometer server load profiles. This load is higher than with typical home use.
Notice: Between the execution of the server load profile and this test, the SSD was given half an hour of idle time for regeneration via garbage collection, as between all other tests.
according to TRIM Performance after the blocks have been released by TRIM.
Iometer - sequential reading
[seq. Read (fresh)]
[seq. Read (after load)]
[seq. Read (after TRIM)]
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

554,7

547,9

554,5
Corsair Force LX 256GB

554,4

485,5

552,5
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

552,9

530,4

552,4
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

547,3

546,4

548,9
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

542,7

542,4

542,8
Samsung 840 120GB

541,9

486,3

534,8
Crucial m550 256 GB

537,1

517,5

536,6
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

536,7

460,4

536,1
Crucial MX100 256 GB

534,2

490,4

534,3
Crucial m550 1TB

533,3

536,5

533,8
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

503,6

422,3

503,9
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

498,4

479,8

498,9
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

490,4

425,9

492,3
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

459,2

389,7

456,3
MByte / s

The drive tops the field in both benchmarks. But since the SATA interface is the bottleneck here, the drive cannot logically separate itself and the differences are minimal.

AS-SSD - sequential reading
[seq. Read (fresh)]
[seq. Read (after load)]
[seq. Read (after TRIM)]
Corsair Force LX 256GB

527,7

526,7

527,1
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

527,3

518,7

526,2
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

522,8

521,0

520,0
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

522,6

522,4

522,2
Crucial m550 256 GB

521,5

520,1

520,4
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

520,5

501,2

493,7
Crucial MX100 256 GB

519,9

519,4

518,8
Crucial m550 1TB

518,7

515,6

516,2
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

515,6

513,6

515,4
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

515,5

509,2

516,3
Samsung 840 120GB

515,2

513,4

516,1
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

512,1

510,0

511,8
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

505,1

503,6

504,6
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

449,5

443,1

447,9
MByte / s

Sequential writing

These two tests determine how quickly large files can be written. While Iometer continuously writes data to the test address area (= size of the SSD minus 10 GB), AS SSD uses test files that are "only" 1 GB in size. We measure the sequential write performance while the SSD is in different states:

Condition Features
fresh All pages in the SSD are empty and have not yet been written to. This is the status upon delivery or after a Secure Erase.
Used All blocks have already been written to at least once.
according to load Performance according to a reproduced load scenario through our Iometer server load profiles. This load is higher than with typical home use.
Notice: Between the execution of the server load profiles and this test, the SSD was given half an hour of idle time for regeneration via garbage collection, as between all other tests. Since the results sometimes fluctuate very strongly with AS SSD, we specify the corridor between the minimum and maximum value there.
according to TRIM Performance after the blocks have been released by TRIM.
Iometer - sequential writing
[seq. Write (fresh)]
[seq. Write (used)]
[seq. Write (after load)]
[seq. Write (after TRIM)]
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

536,4

535,3

39,7

534,2
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

526,7

528,6

28,0

487,8
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

515,2

517,4

126,4

514,9
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

503,9

502,6

210,1

504,2
Crucial m550 1TB

503,9

501,0

421,6

499,1
Crucial m550 256 GB

498,2

497,8

138,6

499,6
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

497,5

495,4

297,3

498,2
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

484,7

482,5

39,0

483,5
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

427,8

428,0

220,6

429,5
Crucial MX100 256 GB

342,7

342,4

49,0

342,9
Corsair Force LX 256GB

298,9

298,8

125,9

298,9
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

289,0

289,7

39,3

290,3
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

240,7

252,8

13,7

252,1
Samsung 840 120GB

133,4

133,4

27,7

133,1
MByte / s

Sequential writing is also very quick. On the other hand, like the Samsung models, the drive collapses significantly under load. The reason for this is the same as with the Samsung models and is visible and discussed in the chapter "Continuous load curve".

AS-SSD - sequential writing
[seq. Write (fresh)]
[seq. Write (used)]
[seq. Write (after Last_Minimalwert)]
[seq. Write (after Last_Maximalwert)]
[seq. Write (after TRIM)]
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

509,7

509,8

34,2

459,0

502,9
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

503,5

502,7

501,0

501,9

503,2
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

503,0

443,3

39,7

445,9

487,7
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

501,8

500,2

498,3

499,4

501,8
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

491,1

489,2

289,7

444,0

488,0
Crucial m550 1TB

486,3

485,2

483,1

484,2

485,8
Crucial m550 256 GB

483,6

482,6

481,2

482,5

483,1
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

481,1

480,6

398,6

457,7

463,9
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

458,5

459,4

94,7

273,0

453,5
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

413,7

435,9

434,9

435,4

414,4
Crucial MX100 256 GB

332,8

331,7

331,7

335,2

331,5
Corsair Force LX 256GB

286,9

286,3

286,3

287,2

287,1
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

275,4

207,1

115,2

141,0

204,3
Samsung 840 120GB

128,5

128,5

127,3

128,1

128,0
MByte / s

Random reading

These two tests determine how quickly 4 kilobyte blocks can be read. When comparing the values ​​between Iometer and AS SSD, it should be noted that Iometer works with a queue depth of 4. We measure the read performance in the case of random access while the SSD is in different states:

Condition Features
fresh All pages in the SSD are empty and have not yet been written to. This is the status upon delivery or after a Secure Erase.
according to load Performance according to a reproduced load scenario through our Iometer server load profiles. This load is higher than with typical home use.
Notice: Between the execution of the server load profile and this test, the SSD was given half an hour of idle time for regeneration via garbage collection, as between all other tests.
according to TRIM Performance after the blocks have been released by TRIM.
Iometer - random reading
[4K Read (fresh)]
[4K Read (after load)]
[4K Read (according to TRIM)]
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

129,9

115,2

129,5
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

129,6

129,8

129,5
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

125,2

56,3

125,4
Crucial m550 256 GB

120,3

120,2

119,6
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

117,5

118,0

117,8
Crucial MX100 256 GB

117,3

116,8

117,3
Crucial m550 1TB

115,7

116,3

115,9
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

114,1

114,1

114,7
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

113,2

112,7

113,2
Samsung 840 120GB

106,7

106,6

106,7
Corsair Force LX 256GB

95,5

95,7

96,1
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

88,8

88,6

88,0
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

76,6

77,0

77,3
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

46,0

55,4

53,1
MByte / s

When reading randomly, the picture is split. If you only measure over a short period of time like with AS-SSD, the Corsair XT is ahead. But if you measure consistently over a longer period of time as in Iometer, the drive is only in the middle.

AS-SSD - random reading
[4K Read (fresh)]
[4K Read (after load)]
[4K Read (according to TRIM)]
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

46,1

45,1

45,7
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

38,1

36,9

37,9
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

34,0

33,7

33,8
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

33,3

33,0

33,3
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

32,9

32,8

32,6
Crucial m550 256 GB

30,5

30,7

30,6
Crucial MX100 256 GB

29,8

29,7

29,7
Crucial m550 1TB

29,6

29,5

29,4
Corsair Force LX 256GB

28,7

28,5

28,5
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

28,4

28,1

28,3
Samsung 840 120GB

28,1

28,1

28,2
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

26,8

30,3

26,7
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

26,3

29,6

25,8
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

21,3

23,6

22,2
MByte / s

Random writing

These two tests determine how fast 4 kilobyte blocks can be written. When comparing the values ​​between Iometer and AS SSD, it should be noted that Iometer works with a queue depth of 4. Measurements with a higher queue depth are carried out in the continuous load measurements. We measure the write performance for random accesses while the SSD is in different states:

Condition Features
fresh All pages in the SSD are empty and have not yet been written to. This is the status upon delivery or after a Secure Erase.
Used All blocks have already been written to at least once.
according to load Performance according to a reproduced load scenario through our Iometer server load profiles. This load is higher than with typical home use.
Notice: Between the execution of the server load profiles and this test, the SSD was given half an hour of idle time for regeneration via garbage collection, as between all other tests. Since the results fluctuate very strongly with AS SSD, we specify the corridor between the minimum and maximum values ​​there.
according to TRIM Performance after the blocks have been released by TRIM.
Iometer - random writing
[4K Write (fresh)]
[4K Write (used)]
[4K Write (after load)]
[4K Write (after TRIM)]
Crucial m550 1TB

264,2

260,1

131,5

261,0
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

259,5

259,7

208,7

257,8
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

259,3

252,8

224,3

249,6
Crucial m550 256 GB

258,8

258,1

82,5

241,0
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

250,0

253,8

29,0

254,7
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

245,8

233,0

35,3

228,4
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

242,8

245,9

51,4

244,3
Crucial MX100 256 GB

242,0

263,0

45,3

237,5
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

232,7

229,2

187,9

228,4
Corsair Force LX 256GB

225,8

225,1

62,9

221,0
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

220,9

220,3

40,6

203,0
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

191,5

188,9

33,7

180,4
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

163,3

115,0

12,8

115,7
Samsung 840 120GB

132,9

133,5

27,0

127,6
MByte / s

Here, too, the Corsair XT cannot stand out from the field and suffers from poor performance when writing after load. The previous GTX model is faster in both Iometer and AS-SSD.

AS-SSD - random writing
[4K Write (fresh)]
[4K Write (used)]
[4K Write (after Last_Minimalwert)]
[4K Write (after Last_Maximalwert)]
[4K Write (after TRIM)]
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

102,0

98,4

90,2

101,9

94,5
Crucial m550 1TB

100,6

100,9

97,6

100,4

98,8
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

100,0

96,6

87,4

97,1

95,5
Crucial MX100 256 GB

99,6

99,0

63,9

86,9

97,3
Crucial m550 256 GB

97,8

100,6

97,2

100,4

98,0
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

97,0

97,4

55,0

83,6

96,0
Corsair Force LX 256GB

95,3

95,3

81,4

95,9

92,3
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

95,2

95,2

58,6

88,1

94,6
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

94,5

92,2

53,6

82,0

92,8
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

91,7

92,1

85,4

89,7

88,5
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

90,4

90,8

44,6

74,8

88,4
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

90,2

91,4

43,7

66,7

90,4
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

88,0

88,9

63,4

88,1

85,8
Samsung 840 120GB

87,1

86,8

52,9

80,7

86,0
MByte / s

Web server, file server, workstation

These profiles simulate simultaneous read and write access as they occur in typical server or workstation applications. We measure the performance as practically as possible when only 10 GB are free on the SSD and all blocks have already been written to at least once by a previous load that was reproducibly identical for all test subjects.

Profile Features
webserver Blocks of various sizes are read from the SSD. This profile also allows good conclusions to be drawn about game partitions, from which usually only the files of the games are loaded into the RAM.
File server This profile simulates the work of a file server from which files of various sizes are downloaded or uploaded. A fifth of the accesses are write accesses.
Workstation This profile simulates a heavily used workstation with 8K access. Two thirds of the accesses are read accesses, one third are write accesses. Two thirds of the accesses are random and one third sequential.

These profiles represent a load of several minutes. Drives that carry out a garbage collection during idle times benefit from a higher level of performance at the beginning of the measurement.

[Iometer]
[Web server]
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

31500,0
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

30744,1
Samsung 840 120GB

29824,1
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

28973,9
Crucial m550 1TB

28374,3
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

26441,1
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

26439,7
Crucial m550 256 GB

26157,3
Corsair Force LX 256GB

25475,6
Crucial MX100 256 GB

24566,7
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

24107,4
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

24077,3
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

18938,4
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

17251,3
IOPS / s

The tests with the load profiles show once again that the drive is noticeably behind the top field in the write-oriented load tests with random patterns. The lag is not so great in the read-intensive web server profile.

[Iometer]
[File server]
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

28599,0
Crucial m550 1TB

28219,6
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

26362,1
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

22986,5
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

20031,7
Crucial MX100 256 GB

17044,0
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

16410,3
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

15682,3
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

14102,8
Crucial m550 256 GB

13885,9
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

12625,3
Corsair Force LX 256GB

12054,9
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

11602,3
Samsung 840 120GB

8325,0
IOPS / s
[Iometer]
[Workstation]
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

38440,4
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

38000,1
Crucial m550 1TB

35515,2
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

26852,5
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

21413,8
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

15622,1
Crucial m550 256 GB

13170,2
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

12393,1
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

11320,9
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

10846,4
Corsair Force LX 256GB

10138,8
Samsung 840 120GB

9483,1
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

7546,2
Crucial MX100 256 GB

7464,0
IOPS / s

HT4U OpenOffice copy test

Our OpenOffice copy test duplicates the OpenOffice installation files on the test drive. Since today's SSDs do this in no time at all, we have increased the amount of data twelve-fold. Ultimately, 3,06 GB in over 48.000 files of various sizes are read on the test drive and immediately written to another location on the test drive.
[Xcopy]
[OpenOffice copy test]
Samsung 840 120GB

50,8
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

43,2
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

35,7
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

35,3
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

34,9
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

34,5
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

34,3
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

33,4
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

33,4
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

32,3
Crucial MX100 256 GB

31,4
Crucial m550 256 GB

30,5
Corsair Force LX 256GB

30,1
Crucial m550 1TB

30,0
Duration in seconds (less is better)

PCMark7 trace benchmarks

PCMark7 simulates various use cases that are aimed primarily at private multimedia. From the memory tests available in PCMark7, we have selected those that show the greatest differences in performance between devices in the most varied of performance classes.
[PCMark, 7]
[Image import]
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

30,4
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

30,4
Crucial m550 256 GB

30,3
Crucial m550 1TB

30,3
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

30,2
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

30,1
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

29,9
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

29,3
Crucial MX100 256 GB

28,4
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

28,2
Corsair Force LX 256GB

27,5
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

27,4
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

26,5
Samsung 840 120GB

21,0
MByte / s
[PCMark, 7]
[Video editing]
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

23,7
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

23,7
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

23,6
Crucial m550 256 GB

23,4
Crucial m550 1TB

23,4
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

23,3
Crucial MX100 256 GB

23,3
Samsung 840 120GB

23,2
Corsair Force LX 256GB

23,2
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

23,2
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

22,8
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

22,4
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

22,3
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

22,3
MByte / s
[PCMark, 7]
[Application start]
Crucial MX100 256 GB

69,3
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

67,5
Crucial m550 1TB

63,6
Crucial m550 256 GB

63,2
Corsair Force LX 256GB

62,0
Samsung 840 120GB

60,9
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

60,6
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

60,2
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

59,1
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

58,3
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

56,8
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

55,1
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

52,4
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

51,8
MByte / s
[PCMark, 7]
[Games]
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

17,5
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

17,3
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

17,2
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

17,1
Crucial m550 256 GB

17,1
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

17,1
Crucial m550 1TB

17,0
Crucial MX100 256 GB

17,0
Samsung 840 120GB

17,0
Corsair Force LX 256GB

17,0
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

16,9
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

16,7
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

16,3
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

16,3
MByte / s

Continuous load curves

This test is based on the "Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification" of the SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association). It should show the behavior of the SSD under continuous load and also show what minimum performance the user can rely on and how stable the performance is in such a case. For this purpose, the SSD is continuously written with 4k random writes with a queue depth of 32. The longer the SSD can maintain its high initial performance and the higher the permanent performance after the break-in, the better. This test scenario is like that Worst case and less important for normal home applications as it tends to target higher loads. This test shows the loss of performance over time with constant load. With lower loads or smaller test areas, the loss of performance will accordingly only occur later!

 

A few things can be seen in this diagram for the Neutron XT: First, the high initial power can be maintained over a relatively long period of time. When fresh or completely trimmed, the initial level is maintained for almost five minutes. At around 55.000 IOPS, this is not particularly high compared to the competition, which of course means that more time passes before the SSD saturates. The longer high level is certainly also favored by the fact that 512 GB gross are available on the SSD and the difference to the 480 GB user space is used for spare area and parity data. A long, high initial level indicates that a lot of this memory is used as a spare area, i.e. relatively little parity data is kept. The SSD will not be able to compensate for the failure of a complete die.

Furthermore, the Neutron XT does not carry out any preventive garbage collection when it has nothing to do, because the green graph “after 12 hours” of idle starts at a low level. Only the TRIM command ensures higher performance again. This is disadvantageous for all users who write with smaller blocks in existing files.

The course of the power curves is strongly dynamic, because even at the high initial level there are strong periodic drops. On the other hand, under constant load there are periodically short phases with high performance when the garbage collection has ensured free blocks under load. These peaks ensure the higher average value under continuous load compared to many competitors. But no matter from which direction you look at it, the previous Neutron GTX is more stable and faster under load.

Steady State Performance

Steady state mean

AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

20000,0
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

18300,0
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

12300,0
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

9900,0
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

8660,0
Samsung 840 120GB

5200,0
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

4900,0
Crucial m550 1TB

4900,0
Crucial m550 256 GB

4200,0
Crucial MX100 256 GB

4200,0
Corsair Force LX 256GB

3900,0
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

3400,0
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

3400,0
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

3400,0
IOPS

input

We measure the real power consumption using a clamp meter in the five application scenarios Idle, Random Read, Random Write, Sequential Read and Sequential Write. From these five basic values, everyone can determine the appropriate total consumption, depending on the distribution of the conditions in the specific case.
In practice, the idle portion clearly predominates, since SSDs are rarely used continuously.
power consumption

idle

Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

1,3
Crucial m550 256 GB

1,1
Crucial m550 1TB

1,1
Crucial MX100 256 GB

1,0
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

0,9
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

0,7
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

0,7
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

0,6
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

0,6
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

0,4
Samsung 840 120GB

0,4
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

0,4
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

0,4
W

The idle consumption is very low. Since the SSD does not support any other energy-saving modes such as DevSleep and the like, some energy is wasted on newer systems when idling. In a PC, the 0,4 W potential savings are certainly not important to most. The energy consumption during reading and writing is in the middle.

power consumption

Random Read

Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

2,1
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

1,8
Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

1,8
Crucial m550 1TB

1,8
Crucial m550 256 GB

1,8
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

1,7
Crucial MX100 256 GB

1,6
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

1,5
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

1,4
Samsung 840 120GB

1,2
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

1,1
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

1,1
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

1,0
W
power consumption

Seq. Read

Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

3,3
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

2,9
Crucial m550 1TB

2,8
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

2,8
Crucial m550 256 GB

2,7
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

2,6
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

2,3
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

2,3
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

2,2
Crucial MX100 256 GB

2,1
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

2,0
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

1,9
Samsung 840 120GB

1,2
W
power consumption

Random Write

Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

5,0
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

3,8
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

3,5
Crucial m550 1TB

3,2
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

3,0
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

3,0
Crucial m550 256 GB

2,9
Crucial MX100 256 GB

2,6
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

2,4
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

2,3
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

2,2
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

2,0
Samsung 840 120GB

1,5
W
power consumption

Seq. Write

Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB

5,3
Crucial m550 1TB

4,8
Sandisk Extreme II 240 GB

4,6
AMD OCZ Radeon R7 240GB

4,4
Crucial m550 256 GB

4,3
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB

4,1
Sandisk Extreme 240GB

4,0
OCZ ARC 100 240GB

3,9
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB

3,6
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256 GB

3,0
Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

2,5
Crucial MX100 256 GB

2,5
Samsung 840 120GB

1,9
W

For technological reasons, paperwork is the most power-hungry, as the cells then have to be charged and discharged and the controller has the most computing effort. Consumption of 5 watts sounds like a lot for SSDs, but you shouldn't lose sight of the fact that in most cases these are idle, and when something needs to be done, it's mostly read access. You should therefore always see these results in relation to your own use of the SSD.

Summary

Intro

Corsair is promoting the XT as the most powerful solution in its portfolio for the most demanding requirements in the areas of games, graphics and video. If you look at the areas of sequential processing that are important for graphics and video, then the statement is correct, because here the XT is at the front of the field in our measurements, both for reading and writing. Reading files is just as important for games, but random access also plays a role here. Interestingly, the XT is noticeably ahead under the AS-SSD, but can only land in the middle field under constant load under the Iometer.

Test scoring Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB
Reading performance +
Writing performance +
Storage +
Load behavior semi / professional segment o
input o
What's in the box o
Price level in the performance segment (as of 12.04.2015/XNUMX/XNUMX) o
Price per GB (price comparison 12.04.2015/XNUMX/XNUMX) € 0,56 / GB (480 GB)

Evaluation options: ++ [very good] / + [good] / o [satisfactory] / - [bad] / - [very bad]

Caseking: around 273 euros Amazon: around 343 euros Manufacturer product page

If you also consider other areas such as workstation or semi-professional server use, the XT cannot hold its own against other performance SSDs such as the AMD Radeon R7 from OCZ, the M550 from Crucial or the SanDisk Extreme II. Even the predecessor Corsair Neutron GTX performs noticeably better here. The XT suffers from the same handicap as Samsung's 840 series: In the absence of proactive garbage collection during idle times, only TRIM and the performance-consuming garbage collection under load ensure order.

If we compare the current prices (April 2015) of the 480/512 GB models from the performance segment, the following picture emerges:

Model Price comparison curmudgeon
AMD Radeon R7 480 GB 258 €
Crucial M550 512 GB 177 €
Corsair Neutron GTX 480 GB 329€ *
Corsair Neutron XT 480 GB 273 €
Samsung 850 Pro 512 GB 282 €
SanDisk Extreme Pro 480 GB 258 €

* - The somewhat older Corsair GTX was only listed on Geizhals by a lesser-known dealer. This price therefore comes from idealo, where several listings were entered. The prices for the discontinued model are certainly no longer representative.

Corsair's Neutron XT is the manufacturer's new performance flagship. It slams larger data into the Flash a little faster than the competition, but cannot quite keep up with the current pricing. This is mainly due to the competitive price of the Crucial M550. The Micron daughter can apparently afford that with her mother behind her. The competition is currently not (yet) willing to accept such a price point. The new Neutron XT is ideal for those who do not leave the video / graphics / games area and is a really good choice there. But the Corsair surcharge has to be met.

[ri], April 13, 2015

About David Maul

David Maul is a qualified business IT specialist with a passion for hardware