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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Value SSDs at the 120 GiB capacity are very popular nowadays, since they are affordable and have enough space to use them as a fast boot drive, while you can use a standard hard drive as a secondary drive to store your data files. Today, we are testing the Corsair Force LS, a value 120 GiB SSD, and comparing its performance to a very popular 2.5” SATA SSD, the Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GiB SSD.

The Corsair Force LS SSD uses 2.5” form factor with a height of 7 mm, SATA-600 interface, and can be found in 60 GiB, 120 GiB, 240 GiB, 480 GiB, and 960 GiB capacities. The part number of the 120 GiB model, which is the one we are testing, is CSSD-F120GBLSB. It has 128 GiB of memory inside, but is sold as 120 GiB, since 8 GiB is reserved for overprovisioning, used by the garbage collection and wear leveling mechanisms of the unit.

In our tests, we will compare the performance of the Force LS 120 GiB against the Kingston SSDNow V300, with the same capacity, which is one of the best-selling value SSDs on the martket.

Before proceeding, we highly suggest that you read our “Anatomy of SSD Units” tutorial, which provides all the background information you need to know about SSDs.

In the table below we compare the Corsair Force LS 120 GiB with the Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GiB. Both units use a SATA-600 interface, 2.5” form factor, and MLC memory chips.

Manufacturer Model Model # Nominal Capacity Price
Corsair Force LS CSSD-F120GBLSB 120 GiB USD 72
Kingston SSDNow V300  SV300S37A/120G 120 GiB USD 60

We researched the prices on the day that we published this review. In the table below, we provide a more in-depth technical comparison between the two drives.

Model Controller Buffer Memory
Corsair Force LS 120 GiB PHISON PS3109-S9 None 2x 64 GiB IM Flash IP79G5SAPH
Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GiB SandForce SF-2281 None 16x 8 GiB Kingston FT64G08UCT1-8B

[nextpage title=”The Corsair Force LS 120 GiB”]

The Corsair Force LS 120 GiB SSD comes in a small box, as shown in Figure 1.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiBFigure 1: package

Figure 2 presents the Force LS 1280 GiB SSD. It uses 2.5” form factor and is 7 mm thick.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiBFigure 2: Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

Figure 3 shows the bottom of the unit. The drive weighs only 1.76 oz (50 g).

Corsair Force LS 120 GiBFigure 3: underside

[nextpage title=”Components”]

Opening the Corsair Force LS 120 GiB, we were surprised by the very small PCB, as revealed in Figure 4. It also shows that the board has no chips at its solder side.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiBFigure 4: unit open

Figure 5 shows the component side of the SSD board, where the controller and two NAND flash memory chips are located.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiBFigure 5: component side

The controller used by the Force LS 120 GiB is the PHISON PS3109-S9, which supports the SATA-600 interface.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiBFigure 6: controller

The model of the NAND flash memory chips is IP79G5SAPH, from IM Flash (Intel/Micron), with 64 GiB of storage space each.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiBFigure 7: memory chip

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our testing procedures, we used the configuration listed below. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the SSD being tested.

Hardware configuration

Software Configuration

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Basic 64-bit using NTFS File System

Benchmarking Software

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% can not be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.

[nextpage title=”Compressible Data Test”]

As you will have gathered from the previous page, we measured the performance of each drive using CrystalDiskMark.

It is important to note that we connected the SSDs to a SATA-600 port on our motherboard rather than a SATA-300 port, which could cause performance limitations.

First, we set CrystalDiskMark to “All 0x00 Fill mode” to evaluate the performance of the SSD when dealing with compressible data.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

In the sequential read test, the Force LS was 6.8% faster than the SSDNow V300.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiB 

In the sequential write test, the Corsair Force LS was 16% slower than the Kingston SSDNow V300.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

In the read test using 512 kiB blocks, the Force LS was 5.5% faster than the SSDNow V300 120 GiB.

 Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

In write tests using 512 kiB blocks, the Corsair Force LS was 17.4% slower than the SSDNow V300 120 GiB.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

In the random read test using 4 kiB blocks, the Corsair Force LS was 180% faster than the SSDNow V300.

 Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

In the random write test with 4 kiB blocks, the Force LS was 7% slower than the V300.

[nextpage title=”Incompressible Data Test”]

For this test, we set CrystalDiskMark to the default mode, which uses incompressible data.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

In the sequential read test with incompressible data, the Corsair Force LS was 13% faster than the Kingston SSDNow V300.

Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

In the sequential write test, the Force LS was 15% slower than the V300.

 Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

Moving on to the random read test using 512 kiB blocks, the Corsair Force LS was 27% slower than the SSDNow V300.

 Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

In the write test using 512 kiB blocks, the Force LS was 45% slower than the V300 120 GiB.

 Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

In the random read test using 4 kiB blocks, the Force LS was 4% faster than the SSDNow V300.

 Corsair Force LS 120 GiB

However, in the random write test with 4 kiB blocks, the Force LS was 33% slower than the Kingston drive.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The Corsair Force LS 120 GiB has a slightly better overall reading performance than the Kingston V300, but it is slower at writing. Both SSDs perform better with compressible data, which means both controllers use data compression.

However, it is important to keep in mind that even entry-level SSDs such as the Corsair Force LS have a far higher performance than a standard hard disk drive, which means you have no need to buy a high-end SSD to have a performance improvement in your computer.

Being an affordable way to improve your computer performance by reducing the operating system boot time and reducing the load time of applications and games, the Corsair Force LS 120 GiB SSD is a good product, even if it does not provide a high-end performance.