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Crucial RealSSD C300 Review 128GB

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Fractal 12th October 2010, 08:42 Quote
Well nothing hugely surprising from those benchmarks; SSD on 6Gb/s bus outperforms different SSD on 3Gb/s bus...

Still going to hold out for the SandForce 2000 controllers myself but for others that may be too long to wait.
MaverickWill 12th October 2010, 09:04 Quote
Solid drive, but the price premium isn't massively worth it unless you NEED insane read speeds.

Also worth pointing out, that link on the first page now has the Corsair Force at £180.
Almightyrastus 12th October 2010, 09:08 Quote
Just put one of these in my PC and I am hugely impressed. It is not quite running at max speed yet as I still need to put a separate controller card in as well, the 6Gb/s ports on the UD7 don't quite seem to be able to manage.
Jasio 12th October 2010, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickWill
Solid drive, but the price premium isn't massively worth it unless you NEED insane read speeds.

Also worth pointing out, that link on the first page now has the Corsair Force at £180.

Price premium? Versus traditional platter drives - definitely. But compared to other SSD's? Hardly, at least here in Canada where I picked up this exact drive for $200 (£120)
MaverickWill 12th October 2010, 10:24 Quote
Over here, it's £215. Which is more like $350 CAD. Sandforce-based SSDs are more like £180 and falling ($290 CAD). That's a premium to me. :-P

EDIT: I'm sure this is mentioned in the article. Fairly sure it's on the front page, too. ;)
rollo 12th October 2010, 10:42 Quote
its a tad expensive as the prices of ssds are dropping pretty fast and once 25nm nand is out they will drop even further
mclean007 12th October 2010, 11:26 Quote
Thanks for the review. I think however that it's unfair that you always say the C300 *needs* a SATA 6 Gbps expansion card to get the best from it. Yes, without SATA 6 Gbps you'll be bus limited to ~ 300 MB/s rather than the up to 355 MB/s the drive would deliver if not bus limited, but (unless I'm missing something) the same is true of other drives including those running on Sandforce controllers. So it's a bit disingenuous to say things like:
Quote:
you’ll need a high quality SATA 6Gbps controller from an expansion card such as the Highpoint Rocket 620 to get the best out of the C300, the price goes up a further £40, taking the overall cost to £255 - £74 more than competing 120GB Sandforce SSDs
Happy to be corrected if I've got this wrong.
MaverickWill 12th October 2010, 11:32 Quote
5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Thanks for the review. I think however that it's unfair that you always say the C300 *needs* a SATA 6 Gbps expansion card to get the best from it. Yes, without SATA 6 Gbps you'll be bus limited to ~ 300 MB/s rather than the up to 355 MB/s the drive would deliver if not bus limited, but (unless I'm missing something) the same is true of other drives including those running on Sandforce controllers. So it's a bit disingenuous to say things like:

Happy to be corrected if I've got this wrong.

The Sandforce drives (all SATA 3Gbps-equipped) are hitting 285MB/s in read, which isn't quite saturating the SATA 3Gbps bus. But, they're also delivering 275MB/s in writes.

In comparison, the Marvell drives under SATA 3Gbps will be limited to 300MB/s reads, with drastically lower writes (depending on capacity, natch). So, without the card, you'll not see the extra 50MB/s speed on reads, which would be the reason to buy Marvell over Sandforce (if you need read speed more than write).

It's not so much a correction (you're perfectly right - the Rocket isn't necessary), but if you want to go Marvell, you're probably looking at it in terms of reads, and to get the advantage in that department, you "need" the card. 15MB/s isn't worth the extra outlay (at least, not for me, subjectively), but 65+MB/s might be if it was required.
CrapBag 12th October 2010, 12:02 Quote
This is the drive I have set my mind on.

I will need to purchase the rocket card as well seeing as I am stuck on sata 2 but I have read that just the initialisation of the card can add 17 seconds to the boot time of windows.

I suppose that is a small price to pay for the boost in performance once up and running and seeing as I only turn my pc on once a day in general and the rest of the time its coming out of sleep mode it shouldn't be a big issue.
Baz 12th October 2010, 12:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Thanks for the review. I think however that it's unfair that you always say the C300 *needs* a SATA 6 Gbps expansion card to get the best from it. Yes, without SATA 6 Gbps you'll be bus limited to ~ 300 MB/s rather than the up to 355 MB/s the drive would deliver if not bus limited, but (unless I'm missing something) the same is true of other drives including those running on Sandforce controllers. So it's a bit disingenuous to say things like:

Happy to be corrected if I've got this wrong.

You are indeed incorrect. SandForce drives only ship with a SATA II (3Gbps) interface, so even if you put them on a SATA III (6Gbps) interface they'd perform the same. The C300 has a SATA III (6Gbps) interface, allowing it's superior controller and NAND to reach the speeds they claim.

Add in the fact that SandForce drives only ever hit their headline speeds in benchmarks and I'd still buy the C300 over a SandForce drive, even with the price difference.

Of course, Micron and Intel are best buddies, so we could well see a C300 based on 25nm NAND before long. SATA 6Gbps and £1/GB? We can dream!
Omnituens 12th October 2010, 12:24 Quote
Agreed that you are being unfair by factoring the price of the controller card into it. Why not use a mobo with 6GBps ports on board? Usually people will only buy things they can currently use, so its more likely that the people buying this SSD already have 6GBps ports.
sb1991 12th October 2010, 12:43 Quote
The mobo used does have 6Gbps ports but the onboard solution (using a separate controller chip on the motherboard) is generally considered inadequate. AMD's native SATA 6Gbps (SB850) is better, but I suppose using the add-in card helps to keep things consistent.
Looking at the results, I wonder if there's been a firmware update since the 64/256GB drives were tested? I can't see why iometer would favour the 128GB model in particular for the 4K random read/write tests.
Baz 12th October 2010, 13:20 Quote
We've done some testing of lots of different on-board SATA 6Gbps ports and tbh, none of them matched the speed of the Highpoint 620. I think we're looking to get the feature online soon. Needless to say though that some boards with SATA 6Gbps listed as a feature were total dogs that ran slower than SATA 3Gbps, while some were much better.

For the best speeds though, expansion card cheesecake.
El_Capitan 12th October 2010, 16:02 Quote
I have two Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB's on two separate machines, each as a the OS/App drive on a SATA 6Gbps port. I bought the first one for $240 USD, and the second for $220 USD (I'm a bargain hunter). Clearly one of the fastest SSD's out currently. However, performance after a few months of average usage, there's clearly some performance degradation. I also didn't update my firmware on each of them due to issues with the firmware I didn't like -> read AnandTech's articles about this SSD.

To note, I also have:
2 Corsair P128's
1 Intel X-25M 160GB
1 Kingston SSDNow V-series 64GB
Omnituens 12th October 2010, 18:05 Quote
Hm, I wish I had a 6Gbps drive to test out my mobo's controller :/
Gradius 13th October 2010, 00:59 Quote
I have this puppy, and is superb, cannot think a computer without a SSD boot.
Cyberpower-UK 13th October 2010, 10:53 Quote
We've been doing these for a while. They are still the only drive worth getting SATA III for.
tom_hargreaves 13th October 2010, 11:03 Quote
I've decided to get the 64GB version now that it's hit £100. It's a lot of dough to pay for the speed, but then again so is a BMW M3.
andip1967 13th October 2010, 17:29 Quote
I was looking at the 64GB verion as a boot drive, trying to justify the cost at the moment though
REMF 14th October 2010, 16:25 Quote
i have this SSD on an 890GX board, and its been great.

i paid £305 nearly six months ago and consider it well worth the money, at £215 today it is a bargain.
Ciber 28th November 2010, 17:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrapBag
I will need to purchase the rocket card as well seeing as I am stuck on sata 2 but I have read that just the initialisation of the card can add 17 seconds to the boot time of windows.

If 17 seconds is right then that's awful. Totally negates the boot speed benefit of an SSD.
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