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Crucial M4 vs OCZ Vertex 3: New Firmware Face-Off

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Parge 8th September 2011, 08:35 Quote
Boom! Game set and match! Great article guys, I was interested to hear about this since you talked about it on the podcast.
andrew8200m 8th September 2011, 08:41 Quote
After all the issues with sandforce and BSODs on the dodgy ill completed firmwares I chucked my v3 out and managed to buy a pair of M4s without spending too much more. I've not seen any performance drop at all moving to drives using 0002 and with an update to 0009 they are much faster in the system than the V3. No hangs, no BSODs, no watching performance drop as I fill the drive either.

All that's required now if for the elmcrest to drop in price and the sandforce 2281 drives using the synchronous NAND will be no longer in the running due to price.

The sandforce drives using the cheap asynchronous NAND such as the agility 3, Solid 3 and Force 3 60gb 120gb units (£60-80 and £125-140 price point) will need to drop in price now as the M4 64gb can be picked up for £73 whilst the 128gb is around £135.

If you want a Vertex 3 at 60gb or 120gb your paying £110 and £175 based on each drive which is pretty poor in comparison.
Ph4ZeD 8th September 2011, 08:42 Quote
Great article guys!
runadumb 8th September 2011, 08:42 Quote
I really must update my vertex 3's firmware. Its kinda annoying how you praise the update software only to then say you can't use this method on a boot drive. Seeing as that's how everyone in the entire world bar none uses their SSD.
Not fussed on the speed increase I just want the BSOD to stop.
Deckard 8th September 2011, 08:48 Quote
But what about reliability and warranty? Don't people buy SSD's from Intel primarily because of their 5 year warranty? I've read a considerable number of negative long term reviews for both OCZ's and Crucial's SSD products. It would be nice if once in a while reliability was prioritised over performance in a review.
Vo0Ds 8th September 2011, 09:21 Quote
Kept an eye out for this since the podcast too; a Crucial SSD will prob be on the shopping list for next year... Emphasizes how important good drivers and firmware are to performance!
hurrakan 8th September 2011, 09:31 Quote
I'm getting the 510.
DbD 8th September 2011, 09:32 Quote
Even before the update they were almost as fast as a vertex 3, only they were much cheaper and so far have also proved more reliable (vertex 3 had the BSOD bug for months).
r3loaded 8th September 2011, 09:47 Quote
Ah, the wonder of SSDs - they're the only component in your computer that gets faster over time! :D
Bungletron 8th September 2011, 10:02 Quote
Quite brilliant article Stoat, well done bit-tech! Really the rematch everyone was wanting to see since the crucial firmware news last week! M4 rocks
Claave 8th September 2011, 11:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckard
But what about reliability and warranty? Don't people buy SSD's from Intel primarily because of their 5 year warranty? I've read a considerable number of negative long term reviews for both OCZ's and Crucial's SSD products. It would be nice if once in a while reliability was prioritised over performance in a review.

It's always hard to test reliability, as the test time would be months and we'd need to test at least ten drives to get something even vaguely approaching a decent sample set. Ideally you'd want at least 100 drives, and you can imagine how manufacturers would respond to that kind of sample request!

However, we all use SSDs every day - both at home and at work (and the ones at work get abused like you wouldn't believe) - and no-one's had an issue. There's always the chance that you'll get unlucky with anything you buy not working, but from our combined experience SSDs are fine for reliability. If you're interested, Harry talks more about this in the latest podcast:
http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/podcasts/2011/09/06/hardware-27-the-biology-one/
Kacela 8th September 2011, 11:29 Quote
Good article, but your opening about having to switch the port that the optical drive is attached to to upgrade the M4's firmware is incorrect; it's the SSD that needs to be on ports 0,1,2 or 3. I have both the M4 in the 64GB and 128MB flavors, as I had originally took your recommendation to go with a 64GB sized system drive, which was almost instantly full after installing Windows 7 Pro and not much else.
Bungletron 8th September 2011, 11:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kacela
Good article, but your opening about having to switch the port that the optical drive is attached to to upgrade the M4's firmware is incorrect; it's the SSD that needs to be on ports 0,1,2 or 3.

True! It is very clear from the update instructions.
tigertop1 8th September 2011, 12:07 Quote
That was a really useful article . my M4 128Gb arrived yesterday
kosch 8th September 2011, 12:14 Quote
Loving my Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120GB got it for a steal of £170 on super special at Aria!
Woollster00 8th September 2011, 12:38 Quote
I purchased a corsair force 120gb ssd for 130 pounds the other day updated to latest firmware and it's underperforming only 400mb read speeds and 180 mb writes gonna return it and probably get the m4
rickysio 8th September 2011, 12:57 Quote
Intel needs to catch up pronto.
Sonofalich 8th September 2011, 13:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Intel needs to catch up pronto.

That's where you're wrong though... I have an intel 510 series. Before that I owned a Crucial C300 which didn't work properly. Had lots of stuttering issues and in the end I rma'd it for a refund.

I then purchased about 6 months later... a vertex 3 240gb... this also had problems. Random crashes, random slow downs, pages on the browser lagging... so again I RMA'd it and got a refund (amazon RMA are brilliant)

I then waited another month or two realising I couldn't go back to mechanical drives and I just looked for the most reliable drives out there and everyone said Intel were the ones to go for.

So I decided to buy one I got the 510 120gb about 3 months ago and zero problems what so ever. Sure it is not as fast in the benchmarks and on paper but in real life performance theres not much in it. Windows boots slightly slower than my vertex 3 and the c300 but for everything else you do not notice it.

Intel do not need speed boosts their drives just work they dont need more gimmick than that to be honest and I would recommend anyone buy an intel 510 because you're paying for speed but you also have to have reliability. You can't just have the speed 90% of the time because I guarantee you that 10% of the time when it acts strange or slows down for no reason or stutters. They piss you off more than when its working fine.
Blackshark 8th September 2011, 14:10 Quote
Had a C300 256Gb since they came out and it is fast with everything, not just a small selection of highly compressible text files (LoL). Am looking for a M4 256 at Christmas, and maybe a 128 for my work machine...
Farfalho 8th September 2011, 16:50 Quote
The recent news about the Vertex 3 giving too much hassle like SSD dying, gets itself erased and such, are fixed with this firmware?! I've been glancing at C300 256GB from the first review and was sad to know that the M4 substitute wasn't up to the task but now I can see, with the new firmware, it's the way to go so I guess I might wait a little bit to see if the price drops and treat myself to one of those :P
Jermboslice 8th September 2011, 17:12 Quote
Sweet! I literally just made the order for 2x 128GB M4's last night. Thanks bit-tech, I would have most likely never known.
Deckard 8th September 2011, 17:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claave
It's always hard to test reliability, as the test time would be months and we'd need to test at least ten drives to get something even vaguely approaching a decent sample set. Ideally you'd want at least 100 drives, and you can imagine how manufacturers would respond to that kind of sample request!

However, we all use SSDs every day - both at home and at work (and the ones at work get abused like you wouldn't believe) - and no-one's had an issue. There's always the chance that you'll get unlucky with anything you buy not working, but from our combined experience SSDs are fine for reliability. If you're interested, Harry talks more about this in the latest podcast:
http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/podcasts/2011/09/06/hardware-27-the-biology-one/

Thanks for the response. I understand the point you’re making – instead, I should have emphasised the importance of warranty because, although no real indication of reliability, it’s somewhat reasonable to assume that if a product comes with a good warranty it will be reliable. I also acknowledge my point about online reviews is somewhat absurd – generally people only leave reviews when they’ve had a negative experience, but then again our experiences and those of others are sometimes all we have to go by when it comes to buying products.
Pookie 8th September 2011, 21:30 Quote
Upgraded from firmware 0002 and now its crippled my drive....if it aint broke........
mute1 9th September 2011, 04:12 Quote
Very happy with my Intel drive. The toolkit, extra warranty and the little touches for better reliability make the difference. The firmware upgrade was easy and trouble free.
I'm actually surprised at how little difference an SSD makes to my general usage. I could easily have lived without it, although it would probably be a little annoying to go back.
slothy89 9th September 2011, 04:39 Quote
Pity OCZ firmware 2.11 doesn't entirely fix the bsod issues.. I have one and its bsod'd twice since 2.11

Altho that was shortly after the update, has been ok for about a month. Maybe it settled down? *touch wood*
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