Corsair claims 25nm Flash ICs not as reliable as 34nm

More overprovisioning sorts out the problem

ANYONE INTERESTED IN getting a SSD have been looking forward to more affordable 2Xnm Flash memory as it’s been promising lower prices for consumers for the same size drives, but now it seems like things might not be as rosy as first thought, at least not if Corsair is right. The company has posted a long statement on its blog explaining the difference between 34nm Flash and 25nm Flash and it suggests that the newer 25nm ICs aren’t as reliable as the older 34nm ICs.

It’s not as if it’ll matter hugely though and some of this depends on the SSD controllers if we’re reading things right, which seems quite odd. The first two 25nm SSDs from Corsair will be the F80-A and F115-A where the “-A” denotes a SSD using 25nm ICs. The F115-A replaces the F120, so in other words, the new drives will offer less storage space, albeit at a lower price as Corsair’s MSRP of the F115-A is about $15 cheaper than that of the F120. However, some smaller models might actually end up costing more due to the extra overprovisioning.

 Corsair also provided some benchmark numbers comparing its new 25nm models to an older 34nm SSD of the same class and the result varies as to which is the better choice. In ATTO and AS SSD the older 32nm F120 drive comes out on top in every single test, however in real world copy tests, the F115-A comes out on top by a pretty good margin and it’s also ahead in HD Tune. In other test the results are a bit more varied, although the F120 wins most of the individual tests.

It’s still early days though and these are the results from a single SSD manufacturer with a single source of 2Xnm Flash memory. As such it’s too early to draw any major conclusions from this, but it’s clear that some work is still needed both in terms of the SSD controllers, firmware and maybe even in the Flash ICs. The new models aren’t any less reliable thanks to the extra overprovisioning, but hopefully this is a problem that will disappear over time.S|A

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