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Corsair goes on SSD offensive, launches Reactor and Nova series drives

by Parm Mann on 1 February 2010, 21:03

Tags: Corsair

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Around this time last year, Corsair jumped into the SSD market with a splash - and though its Performance and Extreme series drives continue to offer hard-drive-shaming speeds - we've yet to see the California-based memory specialist really stretch its legs.

Well, that's all about to change today with the introduction of four new drives as part of the companies Reactor and Nova series SSDs, all of which have made an appearance at UK retailer cclonline.com.

Corsair's Reactor series, pictured above, arrives in 60GB and 120GB capacities, with early pricing set at around £147 and £285, respectively.

We've yet to see any mention of which controller is used but we do know there's 128MB of onboard cache, and read and write speeds are quoted at 250MB/s and 110MB/s, respectively, for the 60GB drive, whilst the larger 120GB offering will hit 250MB/s and 170MB/s.

Corsair reckons the Reactor series offers "the perfect balance of performance and value", but considering the speeds and pricing, these look to be direct replacements for the existing Performance line.

Need more choice? There's also the all-new Nova series, available in 64GB and 128GB capacities, with pricing currently at around £155 and £295, respectively.

With the Nova you'll be treated to the popular Indilinx Barefoot controller, and read speeds of up to 215MB/s. The 60GB drive will net you write speeds of 130MB/s, whilst the range-topping 128GB model will peak at an impressive 195MB/s. A like for like replacement for the existing Extreme series range, perhaps?

All four drives ship with TRIM support right out of the box, and we expect Corsair's latest to show up at various retailers by the end of the week.

*Update* Corsair's latest drives have surfaced on the virtual shelves of SCAN.co.uk*, with pricing at £146.70 and £284.63 for the Reactor drives and £154.82 and £292.75 for the respective Nova models. Looks as though those initial pricing figures were spot on.

*As always, UK-based HEXUS.community discussion forum members will benefit from the SCAN2HEXUS Free Shipping initiative, which will save you a further few pounds plus also top-notch, priority customer service and technical support backed up by the SCANcare@HEXUS forum.

HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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They are still too expensive in per GB cost to appeal to me. Much too expensive. Until that changes, the performance boost isn't worth the cost to me.
I think we will see the prices come down when the performance delta be similar across all units.

SSD is still in innovation stage - I've one system left which needs migrating to SSD but that can wait until I've a large 250GB+ drive…
I suspect you're right, prices will come down. It's pretty clear that the technology is here to stay and is only likely to go from strength to strength. Both because of marketing reasons (early adopter price premiums) and manufacturing (economies of scale from large scale manufacturing) it's a safe bet prices will come down… subject to exchange rate considerations, of course. But how widely adopted they get, and how fast it happens, will depend on price. Right now, I look at price, and I look at capacity, and I look at the extent of the performance gain and my conclusion is that the value for money is poor. So whether an individual will buy in or not depends on how they perceive the (relatively modest) real world difference they make, and how they value it. Differences in benchmark timings on something like this, to me, mean nothing. What does mean something is the difference to my actual computer usage, and while the gain is noticeable, it's nowhere near enough for me to pay the price premium.

So, right now, they'll be popular with the tech community, largely because they're the latest ‘must-have’, and they may resonate with those after low portable power consumption or shock resistance, but I don't see them hitting the mass market. To do that, they need to be a proper drive replacement, not a performance enhancing addition. When we get a single SSD large enough to be an alternative to having an HDD at all, and we get it at a price that's marketable to Joe Public, then we'll have hit critical mass. Until then, they're a niche product for techies and the well-heeled, especially when the larger ones cost as much or more than many people pay for the whole PC.
Bah - They still haven't got out the TRIM update for the X-Series. Never ever believe anyone who says it will be included in an upcoming release. Check out their forums - no release date and threads that are negative get killed.

The price of SSDs is dropping rapidly, this time last year how much would you pay for one of these babies…. about 4-5 times what they cost now. They are still to pricey for me, my buying in point is likely to be around 80p per GB, looking at getting probably a 128GB or there abouts disk for around £100, and hopefully by Q4 this year they will be touching that.