|Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 03 February 2010|
Page 13 of 13
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. :)
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.
+ 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
- Expensive enthusiast-level product
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.