Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Storage arrow Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSD
Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSD E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage
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

SSD Testing Methodology

Solid State Drives have traveled a long winding course to finally get where they are today. Up to this point in technology, there have been several key differences separating Solid State Drives from magnetic rotational Hard Disk Drives. While the DRAM-based buffer size on desktop HDDs has recently reached 32 MB and is ever-increasing, there is still a hefty delay in the initial response time. This is one key area in which flash-based Solid State Drives continually dominates because they lack moving parts to "get up to speed".

However the benefits inherent to SSDs have traditionally fallen off once the throughput begins, even though data reads or writes are executed at a high constant rate whereas the HDD tapers off in performance. This makes the average transaction speed of a SSD comparable to the data burst rate mentioned in HDD tests, albeit usually lower than the HDD's speed.

Comparing a Solid State Disk to a standard Hard Disk Drives is always relative; even if you're comparing the fastest rotational spindle speeds. One is going to be many times faster in response (SSDs), while the other is usually going to have higher throughput bandwidth (HDDs). Additionally, there are certain factors which can affect the results of a test which we do our best to avoid.

EDITOR'S NOTE 04-May-2010: Crucial Technologies has released the first public firmware update (version 0002) for the C300 SSD series, available here.

SSD Testing DisclaimerCrucial_RealSSD-C300_SSD_Bottom_Corner.jpg

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.

Test System

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P (Intel X58/ICH10R Chipset)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-920 BX80601920 @ 2.667 GHz
  • System Memory: 6GB Triple-Channel DDR3 1600MHz CL6-6-6-18
  • SATA 3Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Intel ICH10R Controller
    • AHCI mode - Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver 9.6.0.1014
  • SATA 6Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Marvell SE9128 Controller
    • AHCI mode - Marvell Magni Driver Marvell Magni Driver 1.0.0.1036
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64-Bit

Drive Hardware Tested

The following storage hardware has been used in our benchmark performance testing, and may be included in portions of this article:

Test Tools

  • System Speed Test v4.78 by Vladimir Afanasiev: Accurately measures random access response time
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.34: Spot-tests static file size chunks for basic I/O bandwidth
  • HD Tune Pro v3.5 by EFD Software: Measured random access IOPS and speed
  • Iometer 2008.06.28 by Intel Corporation: Tests IOPS performance and I/O response time
  • EVEREST Ultimate Edition v5.30.1900 by Lavalys: Disk Benchmark component tests linear read and write bandwidth speeds
  • CrystalDiskMark v2.2 by Crystal Dew World: Sequential speed benchmark spot-tests various file size chunks
  • HD Tach RW v3.0.4.0 by Simpli Software: Measures approximate buffered read and write bandwidth speeds



 

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.
Report Comment
 
 
# RAID 0allmoney.ws 2010-07-14 01:30
I ordered 2 Crucial RealSSD-C300 & soon write how it is faster! ;)
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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?
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: PCI-Express bandwidthStas 2010-03-09 11:15
:)

Are you interested in real data or in Marvell pseudo-SATA-6G based?
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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."
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Yes, they doOlin Coles 2011-09-10 18:26
Hello, nobody. You're exactly who I was referring to. :)
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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...
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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).
Report Comment
 
 
# 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?
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# pricesEric 2010-09-11 12:54
Hopefully the prices do drop enough so I can do 24 off an Areca controller ;)
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: MBL HatsRealNeil 2010-11-25 06:46
You liked my comment that much? LOL!
Report Comment
 

Comments have been disabled by the administrator.

Search Benchmark Reviews
QNAP Network Storage Servers

Follow Benchmark Reviews on FacebookReceive Tweets from Benchmark Reviews on Twitter