Corsair 128GB Nova Series SSD Reviewajmatson - April 20, 2010
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The Nova series solid state drives from Corsair are their higher end, just under the Extreme series. This particular drive offers a 128GB unformatted capacity for storage space which is ample for most computing tasks today and is ideal as a replacement drive for a notebook / netbook to reduce power consumption and increase performance or as a main OS drive in your desktop to get those blazing fast load times. On this particular solid state drive, the sequential write speeds will top out at 270MB/s and the sequential write speeds will top out at 195MB/s. The drive is made using a 2.5 inch space saving form factor which allows the use in either a notebook without modification or a desktop using the supplied mounting kit. The housing used to keep the innards safe is made from black aluminum which also helps dissipate the heat that is generated. The sticker on the front of the drive shows the part number as well as the model V128 which stands for the Nova Series 128GB drive.
The Corsair Nova 128GB SSD uses a SATA II interface for connection for up to 3.0Gb/s transfer speeds, which equates out to 384MB/s on the interface, which is more than enough bandwidth for the drives maximum speeds to travel on. To connect the drive to your system, you would install it just as any other SATA drive by attaching a SATA power cable from your power supply and a SATA II data cable for maximum speeds connected to a SATA II port on your motherboard.
Now for a look on the inside of the drive. A note of waring first that opening the drive and removing or breaking the seals over the screws will void your warranty. For this reason we here at OverclockClub.com open our drives so that you do not have to open yours. This gives you the ability of seeing what is on the inside without voiding your warranty. Once you get the four screws for the cover & PCB off, you can see the drive in all of its glory. Near the top of the board closest to the SATA interface there is the controller and the cache chip and below that are one side of the NAND Flash modules. There are eight NAND Flash chips on each side of the PC Board making the total capacity 128GB.
The Corsair Nova 128GB SSD uses the INDILINX "Barefoot" controller which is an improved controller from the older, JMicron days where performance was not so good. This INDILINX chip is an ARM-based SATA controller that offers a low price point while maintaining high performance. This controller also offers the all important TRIM support for Windows 7 computers which lengthens the life of the drive and maintains the performance. Next to the controller is an Elphida 64MB Cache chip which aids the controller in the higher performance reads and writes with no lag. The Nova Series SSD's use Intel MLC NAND Flash memory for the storage on the device.
To install the drive, you use the included 3.5 inch kit that Corsair includes with the drive. Just mount the drive to the bracket using the included screws and then mount it just like a regular 3.5 inch hard drive. Just slide it into the drive bay, connect the SATA power and data cables and you are all set to go.
Now that we have seen the inside of the Corsair Nova SSD, I say we plug her in and see how she performs compared to other SSD drives on the market.