Pint-sized SSDs with puny performance is a familiar refrain. Can Corsair's SandForce-powered F40 break the mould? In a word, yes. Starting with ATTO's sequential read benchmark, the Corsair Force F40 racks up a massive 285MBps. That's an epic figure and much faster than Intel's X25-V 40GB can manage.

It's also marginally quicker than the Corsair Force F100 we tested recently. That's a 100GB drive based on the same SandForce controller.

In fact, it's likely that the limiting factor in this test for the F40 is not the flash memory or controller chipset. Instead, it's probably the SATA 3Gbps interface. This drive – and probably all SandForce-based drives – deserves a SATA 6Gbps connection.

Anyway, it's a similar story in the sequential write test. Meanwhile, things look a little better for the Intel competition in the HD Tach burst rate bench where it manages a creditable 246MBps. But it's not enough to beat the pluck little Force F40, which spits out 261MBps.

Of course, such peak performance metrics don't tell the whole story. Arguably more revealing is a look at random access performance. Before the SandForce controller came along, Intel owned this test. No longer. The Corsair Force F40 blows Intel's X25-V away with an impressive result of 45MBps.

As for our real-world file decompression benchmarks, it's pretty much in line with the synthetics. The caveat to all this is that F40 is running a slightly newer firmware than the F100 when we tested the latter.

We liked

The bottom line is that this fun-sized SandForce offering delivers the same real-world experience as its bigger brothers. Whether in peak throughput, random access or actual application performance, it's a real scorcher. Even better, thanks to support for the Windows 7 TRIM command, there's a good chance it'll stay that way in the long run.

We disliked

The list of things we don't like about this drive is extremely short. However, there's no doubting the Force F40 is seriously small. With a formatted capacity of just 37.1GB, it's debatable whether it's big enough to merely serve as a boot. If you're a gaming enthusiast with a large library it almost definitely won't be. The F40 would also benefit from a SATA 6Gbps controller.

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