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Brian

Crucial RealSSD C300 Review 256GB

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Crucial recently launched the RealSSD C300; their highest performing SSD. Available in capacities up to 256GB, this SSD is highlighted by the latest SATA 6.0Gbps interface yielding advertised read speeds of up to 355MB/s and writes of 215MB/s, which Crucial calls the, "fastest SSD read and write speeds available to end consumers." With so many high performing drives on the market, including the newest SandForce-equipped models and the tried-and-true Intel X25-M, should buyers pay attention to this new model?

Full Review

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You have a typo in the CONS. It should say write speed not read speed.

according to http://www.crucial.com/pdf/Datasheets-letter_C300_RealSSD_v2-5-10_online.pdf the 64GB and 128GB versions read just as fast as the 256GB version but write slower.

It's also significant that the 64/128GB versions draw the same power as each other but less than the 256GB version.

Edited by dhanson865

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Good catch, I repaired that mistake.

We're hoping to get the 64GB C300 in soon for review. I really want to see how it stands up...

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Good catch, I repaired that mistake.

We're hoping to get the 64GB C300 in soon for review. I really want to see how it stands up...

If you can, get a second 64GB drive and RAID 0 them together with the SATA 6Gbps connection. I am guessing that you will probably end up with something around the high 500MB/sec to low 600MB/sec transfer rates in RAID. IF the 64GB drive is also using only 8 chips this tell me that the real limiting factor on the the Crucial SSD is not the NAND chips but the controller.

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We try to get two for RAID testing whenever we can. With a lot of these guys though, they're too small to let drives go out with that frequency. And we're still rebuilding, so it's a harder sell, but I'll work on it.

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Thanks for the review.

Any chance you could find a non-RAID 6gbps SATA card that doesn't have problems with the C300? I ask because I bet most people don't really want to pay another $300 for a RAID card. I read at the end of the review that the one you had didn't work well, but we really can't tell (or at least I can't) what the real improvement from a 3 ->6 gbps controller is since the RAID card probably artificially inflates the C300 score.

Thanks

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We'll try to find a regular SATA III card that works out well, unfortunately it's not as easy as you might think. Since we're not in the business though of making Crucial's compatibility list though, you might try an email to their support group to see what card(s) they're recommending right now.

To the extent that it helps, Crucial recommended we use a card with the Marvell 88SE948x.

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We'll try to find a regular SATA III card that works out well, unfortunately it's not as easy as you might think. Since we're not in the business though of making Crucial's compatibility list though, you might try an email to their support group to see what card(s) they're recommending right now.

To the extent that it helps, Crucial recommended we use a card with the Marvell 88SE948x.

Could you look into ASUS Model U3S6 USB 3.0 & SATA 6Gb/s Add-on card; cough. Its Cheap, only $25; cough. it has nothing to do with me actually owning one; cough. i think might hack up a lung if i keep on talking about it any more. ;)

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We'll try to find a regular SATA III card that works out well, unfortunately it's not as easy as you might think. Since we're not in the business though of making Crucial's compatibility list though, you might try an email to their support group to see what card(s) they're recommending right now.

To the extent that it helps, Crucial recommended we use a card with the Marvell 88SE948x.

Thanks, I figured it wasn't easy, otherwise you would have already found one to test on. :D

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Could you look into ASUS Model U3S6 USB 3.0 & SATA 6Gb/s Add-on card; cough. Its Cheap, only $25; cough. it has nothing to do with me actually owning one; cough. i think might hack up a lung if i keep on talking about it any more. ;)

You could send me yours - this is - if you happen to own one ;)

Really though, Crucial has a comprehensive list, internally at least, of what works and what doesn't. Just drop them a support note or check their forums to see if anyone has had success. If you ever want us to catch up on the review queue you'll have to let us skip this test :)

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You could send me yours - this is - if you happen to own one ;)

Really though, Crucial has a comprehensive list, internally at least, of what works and what doesn't. Just drop them a support note or check their forums to see if anyone has had success. If you ever want us to catch up on the review queue you'll have to let us skip this test :)

Unfortunately i am using the card at the moment, trying to recover info from a Lacie Raid array. otherwise I might just ship it to you. BTW do you know if they tested said car? When I was looking for USB3 and/or SATA 6Gbps cards, there weren't that many on the market.

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Unfortunately I don't. I just know the one we picked up worked horribly.

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This is what I have heard.

Marvell controllers provide only a single PCIe lane (PCI-Express x1) to implement SATA 6Gb/s.

http://www.marvell.com/products/storage/storage_system_solutions/sata_controllers_pc_consumer/

PCIe x1 lanes offer 500 MB/s data transfer in one direction (after accounting for 8b/10b encoding overhead).

The resulting implementation leaves you 100 MB/s short (600 - 500) in realizing the full SATA 6Gb/s bandwidth specification.

If you have 2 SATA 6 Gb/s drives attached to the card, and you are trying to write to both of them or read from both of them at the same time, the drives will fight to use the bandwidth of that single PCIe lane.

On top of that, Its really seems that you need an ASUS motherboard if you want to be able to boot off the drive, and it seems that it does not play nicely with other motherboard manufacturers.

With this knowledge it looks like the best I could hope for would be about 500MB/sec read/write speed in RAID0, this is 100MB-150MB/sec less, give or take some, then the theoretical 650MB/Sec the drives could pump out.

Still providing that the 64GB drives are reasonable, it might be a worthwhile upgrade.

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