Corsair released a new SSD series today branded Accelerator. Like the name suggests, this series is aimed for caching purposes and is bundled with NVELO's DataPlex caching software. Corsair actually showcased the Accelerator series at CES 2012 but it hasn't been available until today.

Corsair Accelerator Series Specifications
Capacity 30GB 45GB 60GB
Raw NAND Capacity 32GiB 48GiB 64GiB
Controller SF-2141 SF-2181 SF-2181
Interface SATA 3Gb/s
Sequential Read 270MB/s 280MB/s 280MB/s
Sequential Write 240MB/s 260MB/s 260MB/s
Warranty Three years
Price $69 $84 $99

The Accelerator series will be available in three capacities: 30GB, 45GB and 60GB. A caching SSD doesn't need to be really large because it only stores the most frequently accessed data; as an example, Intel's Smart Response Technology is limited to 64GB. Caching is also mainly aimed toward average users as utilizing two separate drives can be difficult for a novice user, but more advanced users usually want total control of their data. Keeping the price as low as possible will attract more buyers, especially ones who have not owned an SSD before. 

The brief rundown of the two controllers used is that they are both SATA 3Gb/s and are similarly specced in terms of performance. Corsair chose SATA 3Gb/s controllers to keep the prices down, as in the end caching is mostly about price. The only difference between the SF-2141 and the SF-2181 is that SF-2181 supports up to 8 channels whereas SF-2141 is limited to 4 channels. Using SF-2141 in the 30GB model is logical because it consists of four 8GiB dies and hence only four channels can be populated. As for the 45GB model, it uses six out of the eight channels to achieve a raw NAND capacity of 48GiB (6 x 8GiB), which is similar to the 180GB and 360GB versions of OCZ Agility 3.

We haven't taken a look at NVELO's DataPlex solutions yet, but as caching is becoming a more and more popular solution, we hope to be able to review an SSD with DataPlex in the near future.

Source: Corsair

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  • Sir Abacus - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Looks like I gotta waste a drive bay for this instead of using the mSATA connector on my Z68 board. Reply
  • xdrol - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    If you got a Z68, you might as well use Intel RST... Reply
  • MarkLuvsCS - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    LOVE RST on my asrock z68. I saw some of the biostar boards with the mSATA onboard, but the cost didn't seem justifiable. If space is certainly at a premium then it makes sense, but using the conventional chipset ports makes it easy to find drives to fit the role. I would love to see how the dataplex software compares vs. Intel's RST. I would imagine Intel would be a faster solution since its hardware + software vs. just software.
    Reply
  • hechacker1 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    I seriously wonder just how much of Intel's RST really has to do with hardware.

    I have a suspicion that it's really just software locked down onto z68 by bios revision. I have an X58 board hear, and modded my bios with a intel RST 11.5 alpha ROM. And now I can select RST as an option in the BIOS (though I don't have a SSD here to test it).

    Interestingly, I updated the RST bios again with a new version, and that feature got locked down.

    I could always go back though. Perhaps it was just an error on there part, and there really is hardware behind it.

    I've seen benchmarks, and it seems RST and Dataplex is competitive with each other.

    The big limitation though: You can only cache one volume/drive. What if you have an OS drive + Storage RAID, then you are stuck only doing caching on 1. Even though your sources of data may come from both.

    I'd really like that software deficiency to be fixed.
    Reply
  • ATC9001 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    If you can afford a Z68 chipset but not a 120GB SSD for OS/DATA I don't think you're doing a good job picking your system.

    RST is a good idea for dell and other OEM's IMO (But not in high end chipsets), but for most of us here that read Anand I'd figure your much better off controlling your own storage needs.

    Now where RST would be really nice is on a laptop since moist laptops only have 1 HDD Bay, getting a 256GB SSD is obviously prohibitive and may still not be enough storage. RST with a mSATA on a laptop would be nice.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    Z68 mainboards are not that much more expensive. And even with a 120 GB SSD: do you really like to shuffle 20 or 30 GB game installations around, just to "control" your storage needs? Maybe his "need" is "just works".

    Love my 60 GB Agility 3 for SRT. Might swap the HDD to a 2 TB or so, when ever the prices become sane again.
    Reply
  • kjboughton - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    I'd love to see a solution that includes a HARDWARE cache controller, instead of software. Reply
  • bonksmeister - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    I thought the caching-using-SSD thingy on Z68 boards are called SRT (Smart Response Technology), not RST, which is Intel's software to manage storage?

    Anyways, I've recently bought a new SSD to cache my HDD which I use to store mainly games, using the SRT route (as I have a Z68 board). I considered the alternatives that were feasible to me, including OCZ Synapse (and more recently, Crucial Adrenaline), which if I recall correctly, uses the same software as this Corsair Accelerator series. From what I read in the wild (read: internet forums), when it works, it works well, however, when failure strikes, the recovery process can take a very long time to complete. Aside from the price, that's one of the main reasons I go with the SRT route.

    Would love for AnandTech to give a definitive review on these SSD caching solutions, including those besides SRT & DataPlex (e.g. FancyCache).
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    Yeah, it's SRT, I've fixed it now. I always seem to mix these two Reply
  • dualcells - Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - link

    I spotted the Corsair ad for the Accelerator lineup in a recent magazine. When I looked at the description it seems that software is required in either event (SRT or NVELO's DataPlex). I can't wait to read more about these drives with a deeper comparison of the setup(s). Reply

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