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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

EVEREST Disk Benchmark

Many enthusiasts are familiar with the EVEREST benchmark suite by Lavalys, but very few are aware of the Disk Benchmark tool available inside the program. The EVEREST Disk Benchmark performs linear read and write bandwidth tests on each drive, and can be configured to use file chunk sizes up to 1MB (which speeds up testing and minimizes jitter in the waveform). Because of the full sector-by-sector nature of linear testing, Benchmark Reviews endorses this method for testing SSD products, as detailed in our Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing article. However, Hard Disk Drive products suffer a lower average bandwidth as the capacity draws linear read/write speed down into the inner-portion of the disk platter. EVEREST Disk Benchmark does not require a partition to be present for testing, so all of our benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting.

The high-performance storage products tested with EVEREST Disk Benchmark are connected to the HighPoint Rocket 620LF SATA-III 6.0 Gbps adapter installed into the third 8x PCI-Express slot on the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard. Using the 1MB block size, read performance of the Crucial RealSSD-C300 measured an average 332.1 MBps with a similar maximum peak of 332.2 MBps. Linear write-to tests were next...


Linear disk benchmarks are superior tools in my opinion, because they scan from the first physical sector to the last. A side affect of many linear write-performance test tools is that the data is erased as it writes to every sector on the drive. Normally this isn't an issue, but it has been shown that partition table alignment will occasionally play a role in overall SSD performance (HDDs don't suffer this problem). The 128MB buffer and fast NAND flash memory on the 256GB C300 Solid State Drive helped improve results in our linear write testing, as shown in the waveform chart below.

The waveform chart below illustrates how the buffer fails to keep-up with transfers, and makes linear write performance appear unsteady. The results seen here are relatively consistent compared to most other SSD products we've tested in the past. The Crucial RealSSD-C300 recorded an average linear write-to speed of 214.8 MBps, with a maximum performance of 225.3 MBps. The buffer appears to falter as it switches between 32GB NAND modules, although the average is still better than Crucial's stated write-to performance.


The chart below shows the average linear read and write bandwidth for a cross-section of other SATA drives attached to the SATA-III 6.0Gbps HBA:


Linear bandwidth certainly benefits the Solid State Drive, since there's very little fluctuation in transfer speed. Hard Disk Drive products decline in performance as the spindle reaches the inner-most sectors on the magnetic platter. I personally consider linear tests to be the single most important comparison of storage drive products, although hard disk drive products decrease performance as they reach the edge of the spindle, SSD products operate at a relatively smooth speed from start to finish.

Drive Hardware

In the next section, Benchmark Reviews tests sequential performance using the CrystalDiskMark software tool...



# 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 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.
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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
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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