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While the 120 GiB SSDs are the most popular models because of their low cost, 240 GiB models are becoming affordable, and thus becoming the preferred ones. Today, we will test the Corsair Neutron XT 240 GiB, targeted to the high-performance market.
The Corsair Neutron XT SSD uses the 2.5” form factor with a height of 7 mm, makes use of the SATA-600 interface, and can be found in 240 GiB, 480 GiB, and 960 GiB capacities. The 240 GiB model, which is the one we are benchmarking, has 256 GiB of memory inside, but is sold as 240 GiB, since 16 GiB are 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 Neutron XT 240 GiB against the Kingston HyperX Fury with the same capacity.
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 Neutron XT 240 GiB with the Kingston HyperX Fury 240 GiB. Both units use a SATA-600 interface, 2.5” form factor (7 mm height), and MLC memory chips.
|Manufacturer||Model||Model #||Nominal Capacity||Price|
|Corsair||Neutron XT||CCSD-N240GBXT||240 GiB||USD 140|
|Kingston||HyperX Fury||SHFS37A/240G||240 GiB||USD 110|
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.
|Corsair Neutron XT 240 GiB||PHISON PS3110||256 MiB DDR3-2133 Nanya NT5CB128M16FP-CG||8x 32 GiB Toshiba TH58TEG8DDKBA8C|
|Kingston HyperX Fury 240 GiB||SandForce SF-2281||None||16x 16 GiB Kingston FT16B08UCM1-34|
[nextpage title=”The Corsair Neutron XT 240 GiB”]
The Corsair Neutron XT 240 GiB SSD comes in a small box, as shown in Figure 1. Besides the drive itself, there is a frame that can be sticked over the unit in order to let it mechanically compatible with laptops that require a 9,5 mm drive, since the Neutron XT is only 7 mm thick.
The Neutron XT uses a very light aluminum casing. In the bottom cover is a sticker with the drive model information, as seen in Figure 3.
You can open the drive using a small tool as a lever, since the bottom, cover is fitted in the case by pressure. Figure 5 shows the unit open, revealing the printed circuit board (PCB), which does not use all the available space. On the solder side of the PCB, there are only four flash memory chips.
Figure 5 shows the component side of the SSD board, where the controller, one DDR3 memory chip and four flash memory chips are located.
The controller used by the Neutron XT 240 GiB is the PHISON PS3110, which supports the SATA-600 interface.
There is one DDR3-2133 256 MiB Nanya chip, model NT5CB128M16FP-CG, that works as a data buffer.
The model of the NAND flash memory chips is TH58TEG8DDKBA8C, from Toshiba.
[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.
- Processor: Core i7-5960X @ 3.5 GHz
- Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty X99M Killer
- Memory: 16 GiB DDR4-2400/PC4-19200, four G.Skill F4-2400C15Q-16GRR 4 GiB modules
- Boot drive: Kingston M.2 SM2280S3 de 120 GiB
- Video display: Samsung U28D590D
- Power Supply: Corsair CX750
- Case: NZXT Phantom 530
- Operating System: Windows 7 Home Basic 64-bit using NTFS File System
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.
In the random write test with 4 kiB blocks, the Neutron XT was 5% faster than the HyperX Fury.
[nextpage title=”Incompressible Data Test”]
For this test, we set CrystalDiskMark to the default mode, which uses incompressible data.
However, in the random write test with 4 kiB blocks, the Neutron XT had the same performance of the Kingston drive.
Before analyzing the results of our test, it is important to keep in mind that the Corsair XT is an SSD targeted to the performance market, and does not compete directly to the Kingston HyperX Fury drive, which is an entry-level product. This can be seen on the price tag of both units. We compared the performance of those two SSDs because, unfortunately, we had no direct competitor available.
That said, we can say the Corsair Neutron XT 240 GiB performed as expected for a high-end product, with high read and write performance with both compressible and incompressible data. It is on the write tests with incompressible data that a performance-aimed SSD performs better than a value model, as the controller chip does not rely on compression to achieve high performance at this kind of operation.
With good performance and a price tag not much higher than an entry-level SSD, the Corsair Neutron XT 240 GiB is an excellent deal.