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There’s no mistaking the fact that SSDs are the future. The traditional spinning disks that we’ve become accustomed to just can’t hold a candle to the SSD when it comes to performance. Of course things like capacity and price still keep these devices out of the hands of the general population for the time being.

So lets say that you’re someone who likes to be on the cutting-edge of technology. The SSD is going to be an obvious choice, but which one is right for you? Well, hopefully today we can help narrow your search down just a little bit. We’ve got a 256GB Crucial RealSSD C300 on the review table.

Features

Capacity: 256GB
NAND: Micron MLC
Controller: Marvell
RAID Support: Yes
Interface: SATA
Monitoring: Self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology (SMART) command set
Transfer Rate: 6Gb/sec (compatible 3Gb/sec)
Average Access Time: < .1ms
Sequential Read: (up to) 355MB/sec
Sequential Write: (up to) 215MB/sec
Random 4k Read: 60,000 IOPS
Random 4k Write: 45,000 IOPS
Dimensions: 100.45 x 69.85 x 9.50 mm
Weight: 75g
Operating Temperature: 100.45 x 69.85 x 9.50 mm
Shock Resistance: 1500G / 1.0ms
Vibration Resistance: 2-500Hz at 3.1G
Life Expectancey: 1.2 Million Hours MTBF

You can see that since the drive takes advantage of the faster SATA 2.0 spec, it’s able to achieve much higher speeds that its predecessors. But manufacturer’s numbers don’t always stack up in real-world tests. So read on for our tests.

Test System

We’ve upgraded our test system since the last time SSD review we did, as our old one did not support the faster SATA standard. All tests have been re-ran on the new system to ensure that the scores are up-to-date.

CPU: Intel i7 950
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
RAM: 6GB OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 Platinum
GPU: MSI Radeon 4890 OC Edition
HDD: Crucial 256GB RealSSD C300
HDD: Kingston 128GB SSDNow V+ v.2
HDD: OCZ Summit 64GB SSD
HDD: Western Digital 750GB 7200RPM
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
Chasis: Thermaltake Element V

CrystalDiskMark

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Right off the bat, we’re seeing those advertised speeds that Crucial gave. Write speeds are almost double that of Kingston’s V+ drive, which seemed impressive earlier in the year.

ATTO

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Since the only real competitor we’ve reviewed is the Kingston V+, we’ve just limited the ATTO comparison to just these two. Once again, we’re seeing very impressive speeds that fall in line with what Crucial advertised.

After seeing these initially impressive results, I was eager to see what the non-synthetic tests had to say.

Crysis Load Times

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For the gamers out there (like me) who hate dealing with loading screens, this is one area that SSDs really shine. When compared to a traditional spinning platter hard drive, the C300 was able to load the Island level on Crysis in almost 1/3 of the time. It even shaved off 10% of the time when compared to the Kingston V+, though at this point we’re liking starting to run into bottlenecks elsewhere.

Copying 5GB of Mixed Media

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If you deal with large files at all, you’ll really appreciate these read/write speeds. Seriously, being able to copy 5GB of data (consisting of random files sized between 4KB and 1.5GB) in 42 seconds is amazing. If you want speed, this drive has it.

Conclusion

If speed is what you’re after, then the Corsair RealSSD C300 has exactly that. It trounces older SATA 2.0 drives and delivers solid read/write speeds. The $600 price tag for a 256GB is going to hit pretty hard, but the performance will definitely make up for it. The drive is also available in 64GB and 128GB flavors for $150 and $300 respectively. An extra $20 will also get you a USB transfer kit.

[ Crucial ]


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