Corsair V128 Nova Review
No Fish, just Chips
Starting with the controller chip, and Indilinx Barefoot IDX110M01-LC. This is the same controller we saw used to such great effect on the Crucial M225. The LC designation shows that this is one of Indilinx cherry-picked chips from their Barefoot line.
This is also a revised variant which adds improvements to the general performance as well as, for the joy of us all, TRIM support in Windows 7. This is the key element as TRIM ensures the performance of the SSD doesn't degrade over time.
The cache is dealt with by an Elpida S51321DBH-6DTS-F. This is 64MB of CL3 cache which should eliminate all the stuttering early SSDs suffered with. As manufacturers have got to grips with the amazing performance available from Solid State Drive technology and implemented cache on all their models the stuttering is no longer the issue it was. However the Barefoot/Elpida combination has proven a highly successful partnership so we have high hopes that the advertised performance could be close to the truth.
Finally we have the storage itself. The two major players in the NAND world are Samsung and Intel. For the Nova Corsair have decided upon the Intel, and in this case the Intel 29F64G08CAMDB. These are 32nm NAND chips to provide 128GB of total storage.
As our Corsair Nova uses the Indilinx/Elpida/Intel combination we thought it would be good to put it up against an Indilinx/Elpida/Samsung model, the Crucial M225 which comes in at the same price and same capacity as the Corsair. This should really see the benefits of the 32nm Intel NAND flash and the refined Barefoot controller chip.
Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.2GHz
6GB Corsair Dominator @ 1600MHz
Asus P6T Deluxe
Windows 7 64 Bit
XFX HD5870 XXX
Corsair Nova 128GB using Intel 9.6 RST
Crucial M225 128GB for comparison
Windows 7 Load Time
A test as obvious as it sounds. We measure the time from selecting the operating system, until a 103KB image stored in the startup menu is displayed.
Straight away we can see an improvement. A few seconds here and there in OS loading might not make much of a difference but is a good indicator of the performance we can expect.
Along with the other tests we're also testing finding, accessing and loading multiple files from a huge selection. For this test we're using a full add-on graphics package for Football Manager 2010, weighing in at 3.4GB, containing 90000 files. Although it seems a strange choice the way that we can force the game to flush the cache and refil it provides an easily repeatable benchmark.
Outstandingly there is a second between the two drives. On such a short test that's a 10% improvement. Incredible. And yes, both the best times we're spot on to the .0 mark. Rounded for simplicity.