Much has been written about overprovisioning and its implementation on SSDs. In short, overprovisioning, or OP, is a portion of storage space on an SSD that is reserved for use only by the SSD controller. The three most common uses for this space are wear leveling, the replacement of bad blocks, and read-modify-writes. Overprovisioning serves to help increase both the longevity and performance of SSDs and it is a very common practice among SSD manufacturers.
However, some users would like to be able to buy their SSDs without the built in overprovisioning and make the decision to OP, or not to OP for themselves. They prefer the flexibility of deciding for themselves when to OP and how much space to use based on their specific needs. Corsair has announced and is now offering SSDs without this overprovisioned space.
Corsair SSDs with overprovisioning space typically have used 7% of the total SSD storage capacity. This means that users now have a choice with these new drives to use them with or without overprovisioning. Users can manually overprovision the drives if they wish or, they can leave them at their full capacity with no overprovisioning and enjoy the extra space.
For users of 256GB SSDs, this means they can have an extra 16GB of storage capacity on their drive over the equivalent 240GB overprovisioned SSD. Of course, RAID users will benefit even more as the number of drives is increased.
To OP, or not to OP. That is the question. Whether tis nobler to the PC performance...
Corsair SSD Toolbox
Corsair proudly brings you the Corsair SSD Toolbox. This helpful utility provides users with several powerful and useful tools for use with Corsair SSDs. Let's take a look. Download the Corsair SSD Toolbox HERE.
The Corsair SSD Toolbox will run on:
XP SP3 (32-bit)...(64-bit version not supported)
Vista 32-bit w/ latest SP (all functions)
Vista 64-bit w/ latest SP (all functions)
Win 7 32-bit w/ latest SP (all functions)
Win 7 64-bit w/ latest SP (all functions)
Win 8 32-bit (TRIM is not supported, all others functions are)
Win 8 64-bit (TRIM is not supported, all others functions are)
We have provided a detailed help file which can be accessed by clicking on the question mark symbol shown here circled in red on the upper left side of the screen.
This help file gives detailed information on each function of the SSD toolbox. Clicking the question mark will open the help file in a browser.
Your main screen at launch shows the drive information of single drives attached to the system. Other drives will appear in the drive information window but core functionality is restricted to authorized Corsair SSDs. RAID volumes will not be seen as single drives as the tool cannot address them individually. The "i" symbol will show you the toolbox version number and license agreement. The circular arrows will refresh the tool.
Individual drive information is shown in the center of the main window. When your SSD controller is in AHCI mode, you can update your SSD firmware from this page using the button circled in red below. The firmware update requires AHCI mode. AMD/nVidia chipset systems may require different storage drivers for proper operation. USB connected SSD drives must use SAT-capable cables/enclosures that support ATA/SAT-pass-through.
After you select firmware update the tool will scan your drive and check for firmware updates. If there is an update available, the dialogue will prompt you to update the firmware or cancel the operation.
Note: Firmware updates can only be executed when the SSD controller is in AHCI mode. Firmware updating via this toolbox is enabled for The Corsair Series Force 3, Force Series GT, Force Series GS, Neutron Series, and Neutron Series GTX SSDs. Earlier and EOL Corsair drives with firmware updates can be updated manually using the tools supplied on our website.
The next screen will prompt you to backup your data before updating your firmware. The updates are intended to be non-destructive but we strongly encourage users to back up any critical data before performance a firmware update. If you wish to continue, press Apply.
Once your drive is updated, close the toolbox window using the close button.
Note: Corsair recommends that users update their OS drive as attached storage when possible. Some systems will require the SSD to be disconnected briefly before the new firmware version will appear in the Drive Information window.
Additional functions can be activated with the column of buttons down the left side of the toolbox. Corsair is now producing SSDs that do not have factory overprovisioning. For users that desire to manually overprovision their drives, we have provided a function for this. Overprovisioning your drive can contribute to maintaining better performance and adding longevity to your SSD.
We have a disk cloning feature under development. At the time of this article, this feature is not complete but it is expected along very soon. For now as you can see, it's under construction. This feature will allow users to easily clone to and from their Corsair SSDs.
Users have asked for a feature to allow them to manually send a TRIM command to their drives and to also schedule a TRIM operation so that they can optimize their SSD's performance.
SSD users also occasionally have need to perform a secure erase operation. The tool allows for this in one easy step.
The Corsair SSD Toolbox is extremely useful and versatile. We're confident that our customers will find it very useful and see it as an added value to a superb Corsair SSD.