We've looked at the Corsair Performance 3 in both 256GB and 128GB sizes and in both cases found that the new Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 controller offers the best garbage collection system we've ever seen. On the surface garbage collection may appear as a throwback technology only needed in SSDs running on Windows XP / Vista or MAC Oss, since Windows 7 takes advantage of TRIM commands.
The reality is that Windows 7's TRIM works pretty good on single drives running the right drivers, on the right controllers under the right conditions, but enthusiasts and power users who run RAID arrays still do not have TRIM. When TRIM is not present an SSD or arrays of SSDs slow over time since the drive needs to erase prior to writing data to a block of data. The Corsair Performance 3 with its advanced garbage collection is able to keep data situated in a way that keeps the drive running at full speed all of the time.
The Corsair Performance 3 also has another unique feature unseen until recently on other SSDs. When data is present on a SSD the drives performance slows. We've already shown that many SSDs slow progressively as data is added to the drive. The Corsair Performance 3 isn't one of those drives, it offers the same performance from day 0 to day 300, a feature worthy of adoring that goes far beyond a typical set of benchmarks.
When running benchmarks it is easy to get caught up in the performance at the time the benchmarks are ran. These are the same performance numbers that you will get out of your SSD the day you take your new drive out of the box. Little attention goes into the performance numbers you will get on day 2, day 5 or two years after your installation.
The Corsair Performance 3 may be the very best SSD for RAID ever built. Let's take a look at the performance of two 128GB P3 drives and see what happens when we test drives with data on them.