Maximum PC Staff Jun 15, 2010

Corsair Nova V128 128GB

At A Glance

The Good

Fastest reads out of all the drives in this roundup (210MB/s average).

The Bad

4KB random writes get just 2,800 IOPS.

'Nova,' as in 'new,' might be a misnomer—but the old ways are good, too

With all the fancy new controllers out there—the SandForces, Toshibas, Da Vincis, and what have you—we were a little concerned that vendors would forget the little controller that made it all possible: the Indilinx Barefoot controller. Yep, the one that powers our current Best of the Best Patriot Torqx, as well as every other top-performing SSD of the past year. In this land of the new, can Corsair’s Nova V128, which sports the classic Barefoot controller, still push bits with the best of ‘em?

Yep. Though the SandForce-based drives in the roundup push the best sustained write speeds yet, the Nova V128’s Indilinx controller with 64MB of cache still sustains the fastest reads of the drives in this roundup, averaging 210MB/s on our test bed (the Torqx’ read speeds are slightly higher). And the V128’s average writes of 163MB/s are right up there with the 128GB Torqx.

Aging Indilinx platform aside, the Nova V128 is still a good buy.

Though the Indilinx controller’s 4KB random-read IOPS averages 7,000 (as does Marvell’s Da Vinci), its 4KB random writes get just 2,800 IOPS, lower than the Torqx and about half the speed of the SandForce-based drives. And nothing competes in IOPS with Intel SSDs, which regularly achieve random-write IOPS over 15,000.

While the SandForce-based drives in our roundup have the edge in write speeds, an Indilinx-based drive like the Corsair Nova V128—especially now that TRIM support is standard—remains a compelling (and slightly cheaper) option. And really, when your choice is between stupid-fast and ridiculous­-fast, there are no bad choices.

See comparative benchmarks on the SSD landing page.

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Corsair Nova V128 128GB

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