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Can someone please explain the difference between these two SSDs:

Corsair Force Series 3
Corsair Force Series GT

Looking at their specs, their performance looks the same. The only difference that I found out from my local retailer is that the Force Series 3 comes along with a migration kit (SATA to USB cable and software) while the latter does not.

At the same time, the Force Series GT is about 35 dollars more expensive than the other. Any ideas?

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

TLDR: The different types of drive use different type of NAND. The Force GT should be faster than the Force 3, but the Force GS should be faster again. How much of a difference you'll notice is difficult to say though.

Consolidating the information in the other answers it appear that the three subtly differing models use very subtly different types of NAND flash that offer some slight performance increases.

From WWWs link

Model       Seq. R/W(MB/s)      Random 4k Write     NAND Type
Force 3     550/520             85K IOPS            Asynchronous NAND
Force GT    555/525             85K IOPS            Synchronous NAND
Force GS    555/525             90K IOPS            Toggle NAND

Benchmarking of the three types of Flash memory seems to suggest the same as above, that Asynchronous flash is the slowest, Synchronous is better and Toggle mode NAND is the best.

The difference between Asynchronous and Synchronous NAND appears to be improved bandwidth between the controller and NAND chips as per HardOCP:

Both flash types use a 25nm die package size. The technical term is ONFi 2.x (synchronous) and ONFi 1.0 (asynchronous). ONFi 2.x uses a central timing circuit and moves data on both the rise and fall of the signal wave. This is similar to double data rate random access memory (DDR RAM). ONFi 2.0 is capable of delivering speeds up to 133MB/s but ONFi 1.0 is limited to just 50MB/s. On paper it sounds like one is twice as fast as the other but due to the total SSD architecture the real world benefit is much less. enter image description here

The "maximum read/write" speed specification seems to be based on theoretical performance figures while the real world benchmarks show a marked improvement in speed for Synchronous NAND over Asynchronous NAND.

Toggle NAND is another new way of handling the NAND flash and should provide improvements again over the speeds of Synchronous NAND, as per Toshiba

Toshiba offers a full lineup of 32nm DDR Toggle-Mode NAND, in MLC versions with densities of 64Gb1, 128Gb and 256Gb and SLC versions with densities of 32Gb, 64Gb and 128Gb. Toggle-Mode NAND is a DDR NAND solution designed to consume less power than synchronous DDR NAND flash by eliminating the clock signal typically used in synchronous DDR memories.

Toshiba DDR Toggle-Mode 1.0 NAND has a fast interface, rated at 133 megatransfers/second (MT/s), as compared to 40MT/s for legacy SLC single data rate NAN. This makes it suitable for high performance solid state storage applications, including enterprise storage. With an asynchronous interface similar to that used in conventional NAND, the Toggle-Mode DDR Flash NAND requires no clock signal, which means that it uses less power and has a simpler system design when compared to competing synchronous NAND alternatives. The DDR interface in Toggle-Mode NAND uses a Bidirectional DQS to generate input/output signals (I/Os) using the rising and falling edge of the write erase signal.

Outside of the technical publications actual distinctions of what each type of flash is and how they function appears to be a bit hard to come by.

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Force 3 has asynchronous NAND flash memory, Force GT has synchronous NAND, the new Force GS has toggle NAND.

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And that means what, exactly? –  user3463 Jul 31 '12 at 8:12
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The Corsair forums might help you

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Welcome to Super User! Link-only answers are discouraged on this site. Please include the gist of the linked web page in your answer, so it doesn't lose all value when the linked web page is no longer reachable. –  Daniel Beck Aug 6 '12 at 17:00
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