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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 03 February 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSD
Features and Specifications
First Look: Crucial RealSSD
Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 Controller
SSD Testing Methodology
ATTO Disk Benchmark
HD Tune Pro Benchmarks
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark Tests
HD-Tach Benchmark Results
SSD vs Hard Disk Drive
Crucial RealSSD-C300 Conclusion

Crucial RealSSD-C300 Conclusion

Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate. The first section is performance, which considers how effective the Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6.0Gbps SSD performs in operations against direct competitor products. For reference, Micron specifies the model CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 Solid State Drive offers a maximum 355 MBps read and 215 MBps write performance. In many of our benchmark tests, the 256GB C300 performed at or above this rating.

The Crucial RealSSD-C300 offered up to 383/227 MBps read and writes speeds in ATTO Disk Benchmark trailed by 363/226 MBps in Crystal DiskMark, while Everest reported a 332/215 MBps linear bandwidth speed. Input/Output performance was modest in Iometer and HD-Tune, indicating that the CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 model would perform extremely well for enthusiast consumers but not offer the high operational functionality needed in the Enterprise server sector.

Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Despite this, Crucial has taken the added step of upgrading the SSD enclosure from the standard black painted chassis used on nearly all other SSD products, and uses a textured metal finish. Because Solid State Drives, like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, are meant to place function before fashion, anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is more than what's expected of the appearance. To this end I still wish manufacturers would return to using sealed plastic enclosures (such as the MOBI 3000) to prevent moisture or electrical shock damage, though the trend doesn't seem likely.

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product segment, and Crucial products have never been an exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses, but add to this a hard metal shell and you have to wonder what it would take to make this drive fail. If a Crucial RealSSD C300-series SSD product fails during the limited 5-year warranty period, end-users can contact Lexar/Crucial via the company website or SSD support forum. Fortunately, there's also a toll-free telephone number for support or customer service questions available at 800-336-8915. Tell them Benchmark Reviews.com sent you. :)

Crucial_RealSSD-C300_SSD_Review_Splash.jpg

Benchmark Reviews has tested the Crucial RealSSD-C300 6.0-Gbps SSD, and the performance results were leading-edge. Based on our benchmark tests of this SATA-III Marvell-based storage product, the CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 model delivers a noteworthy 0.16 ms response time which assures a nearly-instant reactions when called upon, and showed absolutely no sign of data-write stuttering during our tests (although Everest linear write tests shows some moments where the buffer transitioned). Based on the high-performance Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 SSD processor, the Crucial RealSSD-C300 delivers native TRIM garbage collection and Sanitary Erase support with impressive transfer speeds deserving of the SATA 6Gb/s interface. Although a mini-USB port would have been a nice touch, Crucial includes a USB-to-SATA adapter cable to simplify the transition for hard drive users (see our Windows 7 System Image Disc Recovery guide).

As of March 2010 the Crucial RealSSD-C300 Solid State Drive is available in 256GB and 128GB sizes. Benchmark Reviews tested the 256GB Crucial RealSSD-C300 (CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 model), which is sold directly from the Crucial website for $799 or from NewEgg for $759. Alternatively, there's a 128GB version of the RealSSD-C300 available (CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1) directly from Crucial for $499 or available at NewEgg for $479.

In conclusion, Micron deserves credit for bringing SATA 6Gb/s support to Solid State Drive products. The Crucial RealSSD-C300 is the first to offer ONFI 2.1 synchronous NAND flash, and makes good on delivering 355/215 MBps bandwidth performance. Offering 256GB of SSD storage capacity isn't going to be inexpensive, but is actually in-line with other non-SATA6G SSD products. Based on the performance tests, Crucial's RealSSD C300 series is going to set the bar for Solid State Drive performance in 2010. Delivering the best speeds and highest native functionality we've seen to-date, the Crucial RealSSD-C300 rightfully earns the Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

EDITOR'S NOTE 04-May-2010: Crucial Technologies has released the first public firmware update (version FW0002) for the RealSSD C300 SSD series, available here. Based on our experience, this update must use IDE-mode on a SATA-3GB/s controller. The drive will not be recognized if AHCI or RAID mode is used.

EDITOR'S NOTE 25-May-2010: Our initial test results with firmware FW0002 indicate that bandwidth speed and operational IOPS performance are both unchanged by the update.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Impressive 383/227 MBps read/write speed with ATTO
+ Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 controller supports SATA-III 6.0-Gbps
+ Native TRIM Garbage Collection, Sanitary Erase, and SMART
+ Good enthusiast-level operational I/O performance
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ 128 or 256GB of SSD storage capacity
+ 5-Year Crucial limited product warranty
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life
+ Upgrade kit makes transitions easier for builders

Cons:

- Expensive enthusiast-level product
- Lacks integrated USB Mini-B data connection

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.75
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 7.25

Final Score: 9.1 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.

NewEgg.com


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Comments 

 
# What about RAIDWW_Dagger 2010-02-17 22:27
I would be very interested to see how this drive performs in Raid 0 compared to it's stand alone.
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# RAID 0allmoney.ws 2010-07-14 01:30
I ordered 2 Crucial RealSSD-C300 & soon write how it is faster! ;)
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# RE: Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSDWW_Dagger 2010-02-17 22:32
And what I mean by "performs" is how close a raid 0 setup can get to the 6GBs SATA limit. I mean, I can buy 1 256GB SSD or 2 128GB SSD's and put them in Raid 0 for the exact same price, right? What are, if any, the disadvantages of one over the other? Just trying to maximize the potential power in these puppies.
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# pricesviciouslyevil 2010-03-18 16:42
nope the 128gb model is about 480$ on newegg while the 256gb model is 760$ and is on sale for 660$ atm
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# Might want to add random 4k read/writeRafale 2010-02-27 17:56
You might want to add the random 4k read/write speed to this comparison table. To some it will be more relevant than the sequential max read and write speed. Also why did you not have the hugely popular Intel X25-M to this comparison? My understanding is that the Intel and Jmicron JMF612 both support TRIM
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# We already have those things...Olin Coles 2010-02-28 12:17
4K read/write is in the HD Tune Pro Benchmarks section... you just need to read the article or look at the test screen captures. Also, the Intel X25-E is used in several tests and charts while the Kingston SSDNow (rebranded X25-M) has been reviewed and tested over and over.
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# Highpoint Rocket Raid 620 questionRussell 2010-03-07 06:53
I have just got one of these C300 drives along with the Highpoint RocketRaid 620 LF mentioned in the review.

If I use the drive attached to the highpoint card is TRIM still going to work?
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# TRIM & Windows 7Olin Coles 2010-03-07 16:53
Supposing that you have the Microsoft Windows 7 O/S, then you will have TRIM support on any controller. The Highpoint RocketRaid 620LF is nearly identical to the one on the motherboard, as they both utilize the PCI-E lane. The only difference is that one is surface soldiered, and the other plugs in.
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# Wrong test benchstas 2010-03-08 23:58
Do not think Marvell-based controller may be of any use as part of a test bench, as it in principle can not work at full 6Gspeed. Why not to use SAS 6G HBA - at least there would not be controller limitations involved.
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# RE: Wrong test benchOlin Coles 2010-03-09 08:02
Nobody uses SAS controllers on their computers. Benchmark Reviews tries to match hardware with what users could have on their own system. Since most new motherboard include the Marvell controller, we've decided to use it. While it's true that there's a 5Gbps limit, it's also true that no SSD comes close to reaching this limitation.
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# RE: RE: Wrong test benchStas 2010-03-09 09:12
No sane overclocker uses Marvell controller with top-end SSD - either Intel chipset or MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i.

Marvell controller can not provide more than 450MB/s in 6G mode even in theory (and only halve of that in 3G), so, at least in reading, you tested SATA controller, not the SSD.
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# PCI-Express bandwidthOlin Coles 2010-03-09 10:40
I suppose that you're forgetting how any SAS adapter would connect to the PCI-Express bus, and that this very same bus is the reason Marvell controllers are limited to 5 Gbps bandwidth. So, in theory, any SAS or other adapter connected to the PCI-Express bus on consumer motherboards would have the same effect.

Also, you might want to read around... nobody actually uses the MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i for their personal computer... especially overclockers. Most have spent enough money on the SSD that they use what's available on the motherboard.
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# RE: PCI-Express bandwidthStas 2010-03-09 11:15
:)

Are you interested in real data or in Marvell pseudo-SATA-6G based?
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# Yes, they doMr. Crankypants 2011-09-10 16:45
"nobody actually uses the MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i for their personal computer"
Yes, they do. Sometimes they even search Google for comments that help them decide which SSD they should buy.
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# RE: Yes, they doDavid Ramsey 2011-09-10 18:11
Snort. I recently met a guy whose home system comprises two 12-core Magny Cours Opteron processors on a server motherboard with 48G of memory. However, it's still probably pretty accurate to say "Nobody runs a 24-core Opteron setup as their home system."
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# RE: Yes, they doOlin Coles 2011-09-10 18:26
Hello, nobody. You're exactly who I was referring to. :)
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# RE: Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSDJeff 2010-03-10 21:27
Hey, this SSD looks good but i just checked out a SANDFORCE based SSD released from a company called MACH XTREME, looks great and I have been told will be released at a very competitive price point.
##dramexchange.com/WeeklyResearch/Post/5/2304.html
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# re: what about raidjon doe 2010-03-17 22:31
I believe I read somewhere that Windows 7 does not support Trim for SSDs when configured in a RAID array, so stripping for performance doesn't sound like a good idea at the moment. I may be mistaken, but I swore I read that...
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# RE: Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSDvasileios 2010-03-19 11:02
hmmmmmmmmm
so i do not understand the acard ans010 was in the test or not?
cause it showed only in one graph???
in the io meter graph that would kick ass was not.
so all drives were tested in the sata3 channel??
or only the crusial??? cause i wonder if acard ans010 can gain anything from the new bandwith of the sata3.
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# RE: RE: Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSDStas 2010-03-19 11:06
Acard has a SATA I+ internal interface, so SATA 6G would not help it run faster
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# RE: RE: RE: Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSDvasileios 2010-03-19 11:16
so the max therotical of sataI is 150mb/sec?? cause i get 166mb/sec read speeds with my ans010
so the unit pusses the sata bus to the outmost limit
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSDStas 2010-03-19 13:12
Ya, jast a bit. In some conditions even close to 200 (modern SSDs may run at up to 280 - that's a real limit of SATA II).
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# 3 G/sJonathan 2010-08-16 10:57
No laptop has a 6 G/s interface and therefore it would be useful to compare this product with the earlier Crucial SSD on the same 3 G/s controller?
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# RE: Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSDrealneil 2010-09-07 05:25
Thanks,.....good review. I wish these bad to the bone drives were a little more affordable for us mainstream guys to buy in decent sizes. I put an OZC Agility-2 drive in one of my boxes and it's amazing how fast it speeds up most tasks. I think that this is probably the most significant upgrade one can do to a gaming computer. But I could only afford the 60GB drive, so I have to run a 1TB drive for data along side of the SSD.

I'm used to the 'new tax' associated with the latest shiny technology for a time after it's release, but it's high time that the prices for these drives came down out of the Stratosphere. These prices turn the phrase "The Leading Edge" into The Bleeding Edge" for us PO-Folks.
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# pricesEric 2010-09-11 12:54
Hopefully the prices do drop enough so I can do 24 off an Areca controller ;)
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# MBL HatsMBLHats 2010-11-24 18:52
Thanks,.....good review. I wish these bad to the bone drives were a little more affordable for us mainstream guys to buy in decent sizes. I put an OZC Agility-2 drive in one of my boxes and it's amazing how fast it speeds up most tasks. I think that this is probably the most significant upgrade one can do to a gaming computer. But I could only afford the 60GB drive, so I have to run a 1TB drive for data along side of the SSD
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# RE: MBL HatsRealNeil 2010-11-25 06:46
You liked my comment that much? LOL!
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