With enthusiast motherboards now breaking the 400 USD mark not everyone is comfortable with purchasing a new board on an impulse buy like what would happen just a few years ago. Motherboard manufacturers have taken a play from the video card manufacturers and turned the enthusiast motherboard market into yet another component that you keep for a year or two because of the high cost. With that in mind, there are SATA 6G add-in boards that are already selling for as low as 40 USD at Newegg, but I think a majority of users would prefer to use a native on board solution. Intel will not release a new chipset with native SATA 6G until 2011 so that leaves everyone with a tough choice, use SATA 3G for now, an add-in board, or purchase a new motherboard with a Marvell SATA 6G controller on board.
Notebook users really don't have many options at this point. Since Intel will not have SATA 6G ready for another year they are stuck running SATA 3G without an existing upgrade path for some time. The tests today with the Crucial RealSSD C300 should allow notebook users to make an informed buying decision on the C300.
Even on older SATA 3G hardware, the Crucial RealSSD C300 is still one of the fastest solid state drives available on the market today. Desktop users will be able to purchase and use the drive and still see significant performance increases over their current HDD or SSD and have the ability to purchase either an add-on board or a new motherboard when the time is right to get the maximum performance possible. Notebook users who are pretty much in a holding pattern until 2011 will also be able to update their existing HDD or SSD to the C300 and see instant performance benefits.
When it really comes down to it, no matter which side of the fence you find yourself on, either SATA 3G or 6G, the Crucial RealSSD C300 is the best possible choice for all out performance. The 128GB and 256GB drive should already be on sale by the time you read this for 499 and 799 USD at Crucial.com.
At this point you might think this is the final chapter from us on the new C300, but we still have one more set of benchmarks to run. Since I was not able to find a Pentium III motherboard with native SATA to see just how far we could go back and see a performance gain, that left us just one last option, RAID performance. Check back in a few days to see how a pair of Crucial RealSSD C300s perform in RAID 0 with onboard and add-in board RAID controllers including the new LSI 9260-8I with adaptive cache technology, PCIe 2.0 and 6G support out of the box. Be sure to hide your credit card, because after you see the performance the question will quickly turn into how many C300s you want right away.