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Print 33 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Mar 3 at 4:26 AM

JMicron is back and its JMF612 controller is in new SSDs from Corsair

Solid state drives (SSDs) have come a long way in the past year. Long gone are the early days when SSDs like OCZ's Core Series were plagued with stuttering problems in every day usage scenarios courtesy of the JMicron JMF602 controller. Now we have SSD controllers from Indilinx, Intel, Samsung, Marvell, and Sand Force which aim to not only provide reliable operation on a day-to-day basis, but also offer blistering read/write performance.

However, just when we thought that we had heard the last from JMicron, the company is crawling its way back into the mainstream SSD market with its new JMF612 controller. Corsair is now using the controller in its new Reactor Series SSDs which are available in 60GB and 120GB capacities.

According to Corsair, the 60GB version offer read speeds of 250MB/sec and write speeds of 110MB/sec. The 120GB version bumps write speeds up to 170MB/sec.

Perhaps in a nod to the fact that the JMF602 controller was panned by many reviewers, Corsair's press release actually makes it clear that the JMF612 "incorporates 128MB of DDR2 cache memory for stutter-free performance."

Hopefully customers won't be disappointed once they start receiving the drives.

In addition to the Reactor Series, Corsair is also launching the new Nova Series which is built around the venerable Indilinx Barefoot controller featuring 64MB of cache. The drives are offered in 64GB or 128GB capacities, and both drives offer read speeds of 270MB/sec. The former features write speeds of 130MB/sec while the latter features write speeds of 190MB/sec. Naturally, both the Reactor and Nova Series drives feature TRIM support in Windows 7.

The 60GB and 120GB Reactor Series SSDs are listed for $185 and $350 respectively on Newegg.com. The 64GB and 128GB Nova Series SSDs are retailing for $200 and $370 respectively.

Both Reactor and Nova Series drives are backed by a two-year warranty.



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Review
By Gungel on 2/26/2010 10:19:00 AM , Rating: 5
I hope Anandtech is doing a review of this new JMicron controller soon to see how it compares to the one from SandForce. It's good to see more competition in this field.




RE: Review
By DigitalFreak on 2/26/2010 10:26:38 AM , Rating: 2
JMicron, or $15 - $20 more for an Indilix based drive? Not a hard choice. JMicron should stick to add-on IDE / SATA controllers.


RE: Review
By MadMan007 on 2/26/2010 11:32:13 AM , Rating: 5
It's pretty silly to demonize a whole company and all its later products for one or a few bad product. P4 vs Core 2 anyone? ;)

The early JMicron controllers had their problems but newer ones seem to have solved the stuttering problems. There were some Kingston drives which are now discontinued I think (SNV3xx) that used updated JMicron controllers tweaked by Toshiba that reviewers consistently said did not display any stuttering. They had a few hiccups in purely synthetic tests but in actual use were fine and provided good value.


RE: Review
By mindless1 on 2/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: Review
By MadMan007 on 2/26/2010 12:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
You mean the chips used on all the Intel motherboards since Intel dropped PATA from their SB? Got anything to back that up because most reviews show them performing reasonably well.

Also you're just showing more idiocy than the previous poster to whom I replied, and what does their PATA bridge chips sucking, if they do, have to do with their SSD controllers? You're the one talking nonsense if supposedly bad PATA controllers allows us to draw conclusions about all past, current, and future SSD controllers.


RE: Review
By DigitalFreak on 2/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: Review
By DigitalFreak on 2/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: Review
By mindless1 on 3/3/2010 4:26:30 AM , Rating: 2
How amusing, you actually think the only thing that matters is performance.

I didn't ever suggest what you imply I did, but obviously since you don't have a valid argument you've tried to put words in my mouth to have something to pretend to argue against.


RE: Review
By bug77 on 2/26/2010 4:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
Technically, they didn't solve the problem. They just slapped on some DDR2 cache memory to mask it. While the problem is now gone, I don't recall anyone testing to see what this does for power consumption. IIRC, a DDR2 module can burn as much as 10W, so...

In all fairness, I believe all producers did the same, so it's not only JMicron.


RE: Review
By MadMan007 on 2/26/2010 7:17:49 PM , Rating: 3
That seems a little bit too much like a semantics argument. If the problem is no present there it's solved :shrug:


RE: Review
By bug77 on 2/27/2010 5:35:54 AM , Rating: 2
Sort of. In this case, it may have been solved by introducing a new problem (power usage).


RE: Review
By tastyratz on 3/1/2010 3:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
eh... its just a bandaid. Architecturally the issues can still be there, throwing more cache at the issue doesn't resolve it... just makes it less likely to be run into through a fatter buffer. Anyone running a really intensive task can saturate different levels of ddr cache - these are the people buying a high performance ssd.

The solution to poor gas mileage isn't a bigger gas tank.


RE: Review
By Mint on 2/27/2010 10:18:44 AM , Rating: 2
Is there any proof to this? Measurements showing increased power consumption from the later J-Micron models? I don't remember seeing anything of the sort.

The cache for a SSD can use low clocked, low voltage RAM. No way is 10W per module a necessity.


RE: Review
By Shining Arcanine on 2/26/2010 11:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
How about K6 versus K9, umm... K10. :P


RE: Review
By chaos386 on 2/26/2010 11:56:35 AM , Rating: 2
Or $5 less for an Intel drive with 20 more GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...


RE: Review
By RU482 on 2/26/2010 1:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
don't muddy the water with 2 day deals.

but, since you did, did you know you can get that drive for $149 shipped with coupon code SNCDANE80G


RE: Review
By kmmatney on 2/26/2010 2:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
Holy crap! Is this a G1 or G2 device?


RE: Review
By kmmatney on 2/26/2010 2:36:32 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like a G1 drive without autoamtic trim. However if the Intel SSD toolbox works with it, you can just schedule a manual TRIM operation every week. Very tempting


RE: Review
By kmmatney on 2/26/2010 2:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
In for one - $149.99 shipped. It's an Intel G1 drive, but I will be using this in Windows XP, so automatic TRIM is not an issue, and I'll just have a SSD toolbox TRIM the drive manually every so often.


Some love for JMicron
By therealnickdanger on 2/26/2010 9:23:25 AM , Rating: 4
I've got Windows 7 64-bit running beautifully on my 1-year-old G.SKILL FM-25S2S-64GB. Vista Ultimate ran great on it as well, but W7 is a noticeable improvement. The drive uses the JMicron 602B controller, which has largely been demonized, but I sh*t you not, the drive has performed flawlessly since I bought it. It doesn't support TRIM, but it doesn't matter, I never noticed any slowdown even when I had only 6GB free. Everything on my computer responds instantly, noticebly faster than my sluggish Raptor ever did. It was the BEST $130 I have ever spent on a computer!




RE: Some love for JMicron
By Yames on 2/26/2010 5:22:47 PM , Rating: 3
Just wait until your controller uses up the free blocks then has to start really erasing the data on the flash. Depending on your usage this could take some time, but it will happen, and when it does you will think otherwise about your JMicron 602B device.

This article takes you through the process.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=35...


RE: Some love for JMicron
By therealnickdanger on 2/28/2010 1:30:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I've read that and it's a great article.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=35...

JM602B devices are much faster than the Velociraptor in nearly every situation. My experience echoes Anand's findings.


RE: Some love for JMicron
By leexgx on 2/27/2010 9:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
the JMicron 602B controller for the most part sucks on Most Motherboard configurations, you was just lucky in your case (was it an Nvidia motherboard ?)

hopefully the 612 has Fixed the issues the older 602 chip had (sub 0.01MB/s random Write speeds and that slower then an HDD) the 602b seemed to be an Sata Direct to Flash chip controller

needs reviews but that's where anandtech comes in with good testing


RE: Some love for JMicron
By therealnickdanger on 2/28/2010 1:33:56 AM , Rating: 2
I use an Intel mobo. The JM602B is the controller on the SSD itself, not on the mobo. It works great... not as good as an X25-M, but also nowhere near as expensive.


Is it just me?
By bug77 on 2/26/2010 8:35:56 AM , Rating: 5
Or is two year warranty a tad low when asking $3/GB?

Such promise, yet so much more ground to cover...




Screw Corsair
By HDBanger on 2/26/2010 9:17:01 AM , Rating: 2
Corsair have been shafting their X series owners for months now. They advertised trim support in a firmware upgrade, that has yet to be released by them. Other manufacturers with the same controller have firmware updates avail. They just keep saying soon, every month, soon. I have a 32gig X and it is snappy as hell, but I have to image my drive and do an ata secure erase about once a month, or performance drops massively. Give up the firmware Corsair, starting to get pissed.




RE: Screw Corsair
By shin0bi272 on 2/26/2010 12:29:12 PM , Rating: 2
Intel.
By excelsium on 2/26/2010 11:53:38 AM , Rating: 2
Me thinks Intel will dominate the value segment with its 25nm based 80Gb value drives later this year, double the capacity of the current 40Gb value drive for the same price.




RE: Intel.
By bhieb on 2/26/2010 5:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
If you actually think you will get double for the same price, I want the name of the dealer you bought whatever your smoking from.

It will cost Intel 1/2 as much but that does not equate to us getting that level of price reduction. We will see some reduction no doubt, but I would doubt that much. It will take months after launch for prices to come down, and some stiff competition will help too.


By shin0bi272 on 2/26/2010 8:55:38 AM , Rating: 2
Corsair's own p128 not only has 8gb more space than the biggest reactor but it also has 128mb of cache and it writes up to 200mb/sec... well they claim it will anyway. And it costs 20 bucks more which is 2.73/gb.




By Inspector2211 on 2/26/2010 1:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
...(the 60GB version, of course).
Which is a fair price.

But I'd really like to read a review first.




I own one of these!
By HanSolo71 on 2/26/2010 9:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
I own the R60, I get 220MBps Sequential read, 25-40 MBps 4k random. . . overall it looks to be a nice drive




I skimmed this article
By RU482 on 2/26/10, Rating: -1
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken














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