Corsair Nova Series V128 SSD Performance Review

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A Closer Look & Test System

Popping the top of the Corsair Nova V128, we find no surprises on the internal layout. Micron NAND arranged in neat rows of four by two while the controller sits next to the cache on the SATA connector end of the PCB.

CORSAIR NOVA GUTS

A nice closeup of the ARM based Indilinx Barefoot controller reveals that it is the newer ECO version that supports the 34nm NAND that we’ll discuss a little further down. This controller supports TRIM for those using Windows 7 or variants of Linux that support that function as well as garbage collection which runs independent of the OS.

CORSAIR NOVA CONTROLLER

Next to the controller is 64MB of cache from Elpida which is found in several other models of SSD’s that also utilize Indilinx controllers.

CORSAIR NOVA CACHE

There are 16 total NAND chips that line the drive on each side with each being 8GB in capacity. A little simple math and the sum comes out to 128GB. Funny how that works.

CORSAIR NOVA GUTS

The NAND itself as mentioned is Micron and 34nm in manufacture. The quality of the NAND used in SSD’s has a lot to do with their longevity and performance and Micron is one of the best in the business.

CORSAIR NOVA NAND

TEST SYSTEM

All tests were performed on a fresh and up to date install of Windows 7 x64 with no
other applications running using AHCI mode set through the BIOS. The
Asus P6T motherboard uses a ICH10R south bridge chipset which supports
TRIM. In between every test, the drive was wiped completely (written to in all 0′s or FF) and left
for at least 20 minutes to ensure the TRIM function had time to do its job. As such, all results should be indicative of optimal performance. All
components were set to their default speeds. The components used are listed below:

Intel LGA 1366 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Core i7 920

Motherboard

ASUS P6T Deluxe V1

Memory

12GB OCZ Gold DDR3 1600MHz

Video Card

ATI Radeon HD 5970

Hard Drive

OCZ Vertex 30GB

Power Supply

Corsair HX1000

Operating System

Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit

As you can see from the readout on CrystalDiskInfo, S.M.A.R.T. is enabled, as is NCQ & TRIM. This is a great tool to see what version of firmware the drive is running as well in the event there are updates available.

Corsair Nova CRYSTALDISK INFO

Intel recently released an update to its Rapid Storage Technology (RST) (version 9.​6.​0.​1014) which is said to increase performance on some drives. I ran all of the benchmarks before and after the update and didn’t see a discernible difference in the outcomes for this drive nor the Sandforce-based Force drive we recently reviewed.

Corsair Nova INTEL TOOL INFO

We’ll move to the all important benchmarks so get your geek hat on.

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