Just as we expected, the C300 64GB lacks none of the read performance of the larger drive, delivering a phenomenal 348MB/sec sequential read speed in AS SSD
when tested over SATA 6Gbps via our HighPoint Rocket 620 PCI-E 1x expansion card. The same performance was apparent in ATTO’s 1024KB disk benchmark
, with the 64GB C300 clocking in with a huge 361MB/sec sequential read speed.
Again as we expected, the write speeds weren’t so fantastic. In AS SSD
a sequential write speed of just 75MB/sec is well below that of a decent 3.5in hard disk, and 80MB/sec speed in ATTO disc benchmark
The reduced write performance also had a knock-on effect when dealing with random write speeds
. Where the 256GB C300 managed a random write speed of 72MB/sec, the 64GB model manages only 48MB/sec - a 33 per cent reduction. This is still more than enough for even very demanding random write workloads though, and the write latencies (both average and maximum) were just as good as with the 256GB C300.
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What’s more, the random read performance
was unaffected by the lower capacity NAND of the 64GB drive: it was just as fast as the 256GB C300. A random read speed 55MB/sec is superb, as it's slightly faster than the 256GB drive managed. The 64GB drive's fantastic read speeds allowed it to match it's more capacious compatriot when loading STALKER: Call of Pripyat
too. The level load took just 20 seconds, 17 per cent faster than with even the best SandForce drive.
TRIM performance was excellent too, with only the tiniest of 1MB/sec wobbles in sequential performance despite over 500GB having been written to the 64GB drive. Random read speeds were similarly unaffected, although we did notice, as with the C300 256GB, a slight drop in random write performance following extended use; the random write speed dropped by roughly 12 per cent. As the random write latencies weren’t affected, this isn’t of great concern and even after heavy use the drive was still fast, responsive and a pleasure to use.
Making the value-to-performance trade-off is a tough one when it comes to SSDs, especially now that 60GB SandForce drives are becoming increasingly common. However, the C300 64GB really does deliver the performance where it really counts – you get 100 per cent of the larger C300 drive’s read performance, topping out at 360MB/sec without having to shell out the best part of £500.
To hit these speeds, you do have to get a fast SATA 6Gbps port, and we're extremely sceptical that on-board ports deliver this. The most reliable way to unlock the full performance of a Crucial C300 drive is to buy an add-in card such as the HighPoint Rocket 620
, which adds £40 to your upgrade. Of course, the drive still works fine with SATA 3Gbps ports, so you could argue that by getting a C300 without the HighPoint card is still fine, and gives you an element of future-proofing.
Back to the drive itself, the sacrifice of sequential write speed down to a miserly 70MB/sec is a disappointment. It means that you wouldn't want to be writing big files to it often, which could undermine its potential use a high-speed drive for games and applications - after all, you'll be shuffling games to and from the drive if it's only 64GB. However, the drive is still a great home for your OS and any games or applications you never plan to uninstall.
Despite the lowered write speed, the C300 64GB is definitely a winner, and we’re sure it’s going to prove too tempting for more than a few. Phenomenal read performance at an attainable price is seriously enticing despite the lazy write speeds. With effective TRIM support thanks to the 0002 firmware now shipping, only the space constraints of a 64GB drive (59GB when formatted) are of concern. If you're after the fastest SSD, but don't have the £500 to drop on the C300 256GB, or the £300
for the 128GB drive, the 64GB version is a great choice.
Crucial C300 64GB