|Crucial M225 128GB SATA-II SSD CT128M225|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 17 August 2009|
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Crucial M225 SSD Review
Until 2009, Solid State Drive (SSD) popularity was only growing in the elite enthusiast circles. Then along comes the Indilinx Barefoot chip, which quickly became the backbone SSD controller for over a dozen different products. Crucial, being The Memory Experts that they are, have returned to the market with their second SSD product. By most accounts, this isn't par for the course when you consider how often the competition reveals a new product line. Equipped with the test-proven Indilinx Barefoot controller and 64MB of DRAM buffer, Crucial is insured that the M225-series will deliver outstanding performance. Benchmark Reviews tests the bandwidth speed and IOPS performance for the Crucial M225 128GB SATA-II SSD CT128M225 against a large contingent of desktop storage products in this article.
Anyone familiar with articles published at Benchmark Reviews is very well aware of our obsession with Solid State Drive technology. They're complex, and every SSD is different than the next. Nothing like Hard Disk Drive technology, which improves as spindle speed and cache buffer are increased, SSDs are the future and because of this their internal architecture is constantly evolving. This is why we offer so much coverage on the topic: it's interesting and exciting. Plus, they can turn the average computer system into a roaring beast. It's not marketing hype; for once the truth is stranger than fiction.
Since first making a public debut at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, Solid State Drives (SSDs) have been a topic of hot discussion among performance enthusiasts. These nonvolatile flash memory-based drives feature virtually no access time delay and promise a more reliable storage medium with greater performance while operating at a fraction of the power level. Moving into 2008, SSDs became a consumer reality for many performance-minded power users. Now that 2009 has proven how strong the industry support behind Solid State Drive technology is, we should hope that mainstream acceptance moves faster than it did for DDR3 SDRAM.
Solid State Drive products are no longer restricted to bleeding edge hardware enthusiasts or wealthy elitists. Heading into 2009, SSD storage devices were available online for nearly $2 per gigabyte of storage capacity while the most popular performance desktop hard drive hovered just above $1/GB. While most consumers are waiting for that day when SSD costs the same as HDD, they seem to be forgetting how Solid State Drives have already surpassed Hard Disk performance in every other regard. Our collection of SSD reviews is a good starting point for comparing the competition.
EDITOR'S NOTE: On 13 January 2010 Crucial made available firmware version 1916 for the M225-series SSD on their support forum. Learn more and download the files here: Crucial M225 Firmware 1916 Download.
SSD Testing Disclaimer
Early on in our SSD coverage, Benchmark Reviews published an article which detailed Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing. The research and discussion that went into producing that article changed the way we now test SSD products. Our previous perceptions of this technology were lost on one particular difference: the wear leveling algorithm that makes data a moving target. Without conclusive linear bandwidth testing or some other method of total-capacity testing, our previous performance results were rough estimates at best.
Our test results were obtained after each SSD had been prepared using DISKPART or Sanitary Erase tools. As a word of caution, applications such as these offer immediate but temporary restoration of original 'pristine' performance levels. In our tests, we discovered that the maximum performance results (charted) would decay as subsequent tests were performed. SSDs attached to TRIM enabled Operating Systems will benefit from continuously refreshed performance, whereas older O/S's will require a garbage collection (GC) tool to avoid 'dirty NAND' performance degradation.
It's critically important to understand that no software for the Microsoft Windows platform can accurately measure SSD performance in a comparable fashion. Synthetic benchmark tools such as HD Tach and PCMark are helpful indicators, but should not be considered the ultimate determining factor. That factor should be measured in actual user experience of real-world applications. Benchmark Reviews includes both bandwidth benchmarks and application speed tests to present a conclusive measurement of product performance.
About Crucial Technology
Crucial is a key brand in the Lexar Media family of products. As the Memory Experts, we're the only DRAM supplier that's part of a major memory manufacturer.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc., Lexar Media, Inc. boasts one of the most comprehensive offerings of memory product lines in the industry. We deliver high-quality, award-winning products in every memory category: USB flash drives, all popular form factors of memory cards and card readers, DRAM computer memory for PCs and Mac systems, and solid state drives (SSD). We back our products with outstanding customer support and industry-leading warranties, and we strive to expand our offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers - customers just like you.
The Lexar brand has long been synonymous with reliable, high-performance products, which is reflected in the award-winning memory products and USB flash drives sold under the Lexar name.
Our Crucial brand reflects our status as the only consumer memory upgrade supplier that's part of a major DRAM manufacturer. We sell high-quality memory that has been qualified and approved by most major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Crucial.com website features innovative online tools and an intuitive design that makes it easy to find compatible memory and recommended upgrades. And because we carry over 250,000 upgrades for more than 40,000 systems, we've got options for nearly every system out there.
Lexar Media has more than 10 years experience in the memory industry. Our strong retail brands, along with our direct online and OEM presence, make Lexar Media a global player in every major customer channel, including value-added resellers, system builders, and e-commerce. And we've built a name synonymous with quality, innovation, and customer service.