The quest for faster, more reliable and lower priced SSDs continues today with the review of the Corsair Performance 3 128GB. Last month we looked at the flagship 256GB model, but as you may know, performance changes when flash density changes. The flagship 256GB model impressed us with its 480MB/s read speed and 320MB/s write speed. Of course, the high speeds are just one aspect of SSDs and when it comes to this controller you need to look beyond the initial benchmarks to see the long lasting effects of quality engineering. The Corsair Performance 3 is a marathon runner designed to go the distance at higher speeds over the long haul. At this time most other SSD controllers are like sprinters who need to take a water break from time to time to rejuvenate.
At this time, the 'high speed, long distance' feature of the new Marvell Van Gogh controller is being overlooked in both forum posts and the avalanche of what I call 20 minute reviews. We've been playing with the new Van Gogh controller since June 2010 off and on and have learned a great deal about its ins and outs, strong points and weak points. Obviously the performance endurance that comes from the aggressive garbage collection is a strong point. Those experienced with SSDs might say this feature is more important than achieving read and write speeds that are over SATA II speeds.
Using so much of the controller pie on the garbage collection means other areas have to suffer. One of the most intensive tasks for both HDDs and SSDs is the 4K read and write. The Corsair Performance 3 has a lower read and write speed than what we get on say a SandForce SF-1200. The P3 is not your typical SSD, it is something different, something more evolved for real world use and not for those just looking to hit high benchmark results.