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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

First Look: Crucial RealSSD

Micron Technology, the parent company behind the Lexar and Crucial brands, has a long history of product development. Manufacturers will often dress-up their new product to help them sell, but consumers shouldn't get caught-up in the flashy stickers or packaging because they drop out of sight soon enough. When it comes to notebook computer drives consumers need to remember that once installed, that SSD gets hidden away from view and forgotten.

Because this is a premium-priced Solid State Drive storage device with no moving parts, it takes some extra attention towards product presentation to keep consumers feeling comfortable with their high-dollar purchase. To this extent Crucial has pulled out all the stops, and delivered their new RealSSD-C300 in my favorite color combination: black and yellow. This takes me back to my childhood when I would watch stock-car races and cheer for the machine painted with these same colors. Hopefully Crucial's RealSSD-C300 will be just as fast.

Crucial_RealSSD-C300_Kit.jpg

In addition to notebook and desktop computer installations, the 256GB Crucial RealSSD-C300 MLC SSD could also be utilized for mission-critical backups or high-abuse data systems; but its real focus is on high-performance data transfer speeds. Although the Micron CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 model does not offer an integrated USB Mini-B port, there is a USB-to-SATA (and SATA power) adapter for making this into a portable backup storage device. Honestly, this should be standard equipment for all SSD storage products, and I'm happy to see Crucial lead by example.

Crucial_RealSSD-C300_SSD_Top.jpg

Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded into the Crucial RealSSD-C300, which allows for quick upgrade or addition into any existing notebook or desktop system. The mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes of drive cloning I was quickly loading the Windows O/S.

Crucial_RealSSD-C300_SSD_Side.jpg

Unlike most Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are nearly impervious to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures. Crucial utilizes a textured metal enclosure for their CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 model, which reveals the internal components after removing just four small counter-sunk Phillips-head screws from the top side. The Crucial RealSSD-C300 has a warranty-void sticker along the seam, and removing the enclosure cover will remove consumer protection with it. Benchmark Reviews will reveal all of the internal components on our next section anyway, so just be patient.

Crucial_RealSSD-C300_SSD_Bottom.jpg

Thanks to a new SATA-III Marvell 88SS9174 controller architecture (detailed in the next section), the Crucial RealSSD-C300 Solid State Drive offers outstanding transfer speeds for high-performance enthusiasts. Now that you're acquainted with the basic exterior features for this 256GB C300 SSD, it's time to peek inside the metal enclosure and inspect the internal components...



 

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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