Crucial RealSSD C300

256GB Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5-inch SATA 6GB/s
Model No: CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1


  • Read speeds up to 355MB/s
  • SATA 6Gb/s interface
  • High-speed Synchronous NAND
  • Limited three-year warranty

Like most SSD vendors, Crucial turned to a third party to supply a controller for its SSD – Marvell. Inside Marvell’s controller is a pair of ARM9 CPUs that work in parallel. One core handles SATA requests while the other
handles NAND requests. On the SATA side is a 6Gbps interface, a significant upgrade from the 3Gbps controllers found on all other SSDs we’ve reviewed. If you’ve followed our SSD coverage you’ll know that sequential read speed is one area where SSDs are traditionally limited by 3Gbps SATA. The C300 should fix that. To feed the controller Crucial uses ONFI 2.0 NAND with higher max transfer rates.

Test Setup:

Processor             Intel Core i7 965 running at 3.2GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)
Mainboard:             Intel DX58SO (Intel X58 chipset)
Memory:             Qimonda DDR3-1333 4GB
Graphics Card:      eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Operating System:     Windows 7 x64

Conclusion:

In terms of new, out of box performance, the Crucial RealSSD C300 does very well. It performs like a next generation drive and is significantly faster than Intel’s X25-M G2 or anything based on an Indilinx controller. The 128GB C300 tends to be slower than the 100GB SandForce drives while the 256GB C300 is about on par and sometimes faster. The 256GB C300 also pulls ahead if you move to a 6Gbps SATA controller.

For Crucial the achilles heel is our old friend: the read-modify-write, a used C300 can potentially lose a good amount of its initial performance. The major disadvantage for SandForce is if you’re writing perfectly random or highly compressed data. Again I’m talking about data that’s random in nature, not random in terms of access pattern. Our heavy downloading workload shows this best where the 256GB C300 remains on top while the 100GB SandForce drive drops to Indilinx-like performance.

The C300 is clearly a drive made for Windows 7. With no TRIM utility, poor 512-byte aligned performance and clear degradation over time with heavy random writes, the C300 is best used with Windows 7 and its native TRIM support.

review by AnandTech

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~ by benchmarkstest on July 13, 2010.

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