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Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB SSD review - is it all we've been hoping for?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 2 July 2010, 09:55 4.5

Tags: RealSSD C300 64GB, Crucial Technology (NASDAQ:MU)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qayw4

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How we test

Storage drive Crucial Real SSD C300 Crucial RealSSD C300 Corsair Force F120 Intel X25-M G2 Corsair Nova V128 Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Drive capacity 64GB 256GB  120GB 160GB 128GB 2,000GB
Drive firmware 002  001 30CA13F0 02HD 1.0 CC12
Approx. price at time of writing £118  £500+  £285 £350 £260 £215
Approx price per GB 1.84
1.95+
2.37 2.19
2.03
0.107
CPU Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition (3.20GHz, 8MB L3 cache, quad-core, LGA1366 - Turbo Boost on)
Motherboard ASUS P6X58D Premium
BIOS revision 0703
Memory 6GB Crucial DDR3-1,066
Host hard drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.12, 1TB
Graphics Card Sapphire Radeon HD 5850, 1,024MB
Mainboard software Intel 9.1.1.1025 and RST 9.6
Graphics driver Catalyst 10.2
PSU Corsair HX1000
Operating System Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit

Tests

Benchmarks HD Tach 3.0.1.0 RW
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 beta 3
Iometer 2008.06-22 - database and workstation profiles (QD two and 32)
PCMark Vantage 1.0.2.0
File copy test  (8.83GB, 544 files)
Windows 7 booting test
Crysis level-loading test (train) 

Setup notes

The 64GB C300 is up against some very healthy competition. It is the only drive in our comparison that's under 120GB in capacity. What's more, it's less than half the price of the other SSDs. We'll be adding other sub-100GB drives as they come in for review.

We use a Seagate 1TB mechanical hard drive, housing the operating system. The benchmarked drives are connected to the motherboard's ICH10R 3Gbps controller should they use SATA2, or the Marvell 6Gbps connector if they're SATA 6Gb/s. The Crucial RealSSDs are both connected to the Marvell controller. All are used as secondary/storage mediums for the first five tests.

HD Tach's full variable-zone read/write test is used to write to the drive(s)' blocks and therefore bring the benefits efficient garbage recycling into play. We run this test first to mimic the wear a drive is likely to have during day-to-day operations.

CrystalDiskMark provides throughput data based on sequential reads and writes, and random (512K/4K) reads and writes. We've used the default 1,000MB file-size for the tests.

Iometer is run by using workstation and database patterns for queue depths (outstanding I/Os) of two and 32, representing very light and moderate loads. Drives with efficient NCQ functions will see performance increase as the queue is deepened. 

PCMark Vantage spits out a bunch of data on the relative speed of the drive(s) when undertaking common tasks.

The file copy test involves copying 8.83GB of data back on to a different folder on the same partition, stressing the read/write ability of the drive.

Copying an exact image on to the test drives and using them as the main boot storage, we time how long it takes to load Windows 7 and, once within the operating system, the train level within Crysis, as used in our graphics-card tests.