Corsair launches Extreme SSD line

The new drives use the popular Indilinx Barefoot controller

Corsair Memory Inc. today unveiled its Extreme Series 2.5-inch solid-state disk (SSD) drives, which it said rival other consumer SSDs in terms of performance.

The drives, which come in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities, use Indilinx Barefoot controllers from Milpitas, Calif.-based Indilinx Inc., the same controller used by other SSD manufacturers, such as OCZ.

The new Extreme SSDs use Samsung multi-level cell NAND flash memory and have 64MB of cache for improving write performance. The Extreme Series drives have sequential read speeds of up to 240MB/sec and sequential write speeds of up to 170MB/sec, according to Corsair.

"The combination of the Indilinx Barefoot controller, Samsung flash memory and 64MB of on-board cache delivers blistering, stutter-free performance, eliminating the bottleneck imposed by traditional mechanical hard disks," Jim Carlton, Corair's vice president marketing, said in a statement.

The Extreme series is Corsair's third foray into a consumer SSD line. Its previous lines include the Legacy and Performance series drives, which used Samsung controllers. The top-end Performance series drives, with 128MB of cache, have sequential read/write speeds of up to 220MB/sec and 180MB/sec, respectively. The lower-end Legacy series sports read/write rates of up to 170MB/sec and 100MB/sec, respectively.

One anomaly with regard to Corsair's Legacy series drives is that the 32GB and 64GB models both have 128MB of cache, while the larger 128GB model has no cache. Hence, its read/write speeds are greatly diminished: 90MB/sec and 70MB/sec, respectively.

Corsair is aiming the new Extreme series drives at desktops and laptops, as well as for RAID 0 configurations in high-performance desktop applications such as gaming. The company did not release a suggested retail price for the drives.

The firmware on the drives can be upgraded by owners to allow for the addition of new features, such as the upcoming TRIM command for Windows 7 and other operating systems. That command helps maintain optimal performance over time.

The Corsair Extreme Series X32, X64 and X128 SSDs are now available from a variety of resellers and come with a two-year limited warranty.

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