Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The Crucial m4 uses an 8-channel Marvell controller similar to the one used last year in the RealSSD C300. The new Marvell controller is tuned a bit differently so it performs a bit better at some tasks. Paired with the new Marvell controller is Micron's own 25nm flash that seems to be the choice for almost all SSD manufacturers this year. The m4 also uses a DRAM cache for IO buffering and internal operations.
Crucial's product details page doesn't give us a whole lot of performance information, but I still have my cheat sheet from the m4 256GB review. The 128GB m4 is capable of delivering up to 415MB/s read and 175MB/s write speeds. This is where things get interesting. The 256GB and 512GB Crucial m4 share the same 415MB/s read rating, but the write speed goes up to 260MB/s. The read IOPS rating is shared throughout the m4 series, 40,000 IOPS, but the write rating is a bit different. The 128GB model that we're looking at today is recorded at 35K IOPS; the two larger capacity models are rated at 50K IOPS. Because of these variations, the 128GB Crucial m4 will perform a bit differently than the 256GB model we've already tested.
Crucial is one of the few SSD manufacturers that sell products on their own website to consumers. At the time of writing the 128GB model we are looking at today is listed at 249.99, but after looking around the web, we found the m4 128GB as low as 209.99. On its own the price difference is just 40 Dollars, but in the grand scheme of things the Crucial m4 costs less than the OCZ Vertex 3 120GB and the mainstream Agility 3 120GB.
The m4 is currently shipping with two different packages. The first is the bare drive and the second comes with an accessory package. The accessory package model ships with a USB to SATA cable and software so you can easily clone your existing HDD. Unfortunately neither package comes with a 2.5" notebook to 3.5" desktop adapter bracket. They both do carry a three year warranty.