Corsair Force Series F120 SSD
Corsair's Force Series F120 SSD uses a SandForce controller to deliver speedy access through clever page-management algorithms.
- Expensive cost per GB
We only tested 120GB Corsair SSD, although we were told that, unlike other SSDs, the company's SandForce controller technology helps the Force Series F120 to perform just as well as 256GB drives that elsewhere have greater scope for parallel write tasks. This is a fast drive, especially when working with non-compressed data or when it can take advantage of NCQ to quickly process queued transfers. Nonetheless, it isn't quite the fastest SSD when judged by many routine tasks. Ultimately it's the price that gives us cause for reservation: over $4.50 per gigabyte.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
Corsair is a well-established designer of performance upgrade components for PCs, making its name with rugged power-supply units, system memory, and more recently, fast SSDs. The Force Series F120 is its latest model.
Corsair's Force series of SSDs sits above the cheaper Nova and Reactor series of drives, and takes a more unusual configuration of SandForce SF-1200 controller, with no added cache. This controller features DuraClass technology, billed as sophisticated processing that enables on-the-fly compression and decompression of data, ensuring that less data is written to the drive.
SandForce is tight-lipped about the inner workings of its proprietary algorithms, but the net effect is said to be speedy access through clever page-management algorithms, with less garbage collection required behind the scenes.
The Corsair Force Series F120 is superbly finished in a black anodised aluminium shell, yet it weighs only 78g. Included in the box is a mounting bracket to easily convert the 2.5in drive into 3.5in drive form, for easier mounting in a desktop PC.
In traditional HDD-based benchmarks such as HD Tach and HD Tune Pro, the Corsair Force Series F120 wasn’t seen to perform so well, giving around 190 megabytes per second reads and 146MBps writes; CrystalDiskMark let it fare better with a 212MBps sequential read speed, while AS SSD pegged it at 207MBps reads. Corsair told us that the built-in compression technology means it doesn’t impress so much in CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD as they use data sets that are already compressed.
So we tried CrystalDiskMark using regular (0x00), rather than random data.
Here the F120 could show of its own built-in file compression/decompression system to give much higher transfer speeds. In sequential reads and writes, the SSD now scored 265MBps and 231MBps. For 512kB data, the drive's speed barely fell, now at 250MBps and 229MBps. With small 4kB files, there was little change from random data sets, at 23MBps and 54MBps reads and writes respectively.
This suggests that for some kinds of data transfers there will be little advantage available to SandForce's algorithms, such as moving already compressed zip files and MPEG video and audio. Other files types may benefit from this reduced-write methodology though.
The multi-threading of data reads and writes is handled particularly well in this SSD. In the AS SSD test of 64 threaded 4k files, the Corsair Force Series F120 could read and write at 120MBps and 110MBps respectively. Similarly, CrystalDiskMark's comparable QD32 test saw the Corsair read at 118MBps and write even faster at 124MBps.
And with non-random data in this 4k QD32 test, the F120 now achieved a high result of 143MBps reads and 167MBps writes.
In the ATTO test the Corsair shone bright too, recording a maximum read speed of 281MBps and write speed of 238MBps.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
- WD will make a record-breaking 14TB hard drive available next year
- Start hoarding SSDs: Prices are expected to spike as supply gets tight
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Enterprise Information SharingQLD
- FTNetwork Engineer - Cisco VoiceWA
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- FTWeb Developer/ReportsNSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTTechnical Team Leader | ArchitectQLD
- TPBusiness Implementation ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- FTDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Permanent - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- TPOracle Consultant - CC&BQLD
- CCMigration EngineerACT
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior C++ .Net DeveloperWA
- CCSAP ISU Device Management ConsultantNSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - NetApp SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior Functional Consultant - Data Analytics - TelcoVIC
- FTHR Payroll ConsultantQLD
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTWintel EngineerSA
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW