You can read more about TweakTown's Storage Product Testing Workstation and the procedures followed to test products in this article.
In order to get the most performance out of your Crucial m4, or for that matter any other SATA III SSD, you need a motherboard with native SATA III built into the chipset. At this time your best performance will come from P67 and Z68 motherboards. I'm currently using a GIGABYTE P67 and am very impressed with its performance.
ATTO Baseline Performance
Version and / or Patch Used: 2.34
ATTO is used by many disk manufacturers to determine the read and write speeds that will be presented to customers.
Well, if that isn't quite a surprise! The Crucial m4 512GB after the 0009 update is producing SandForce level read speeds - 555MB/s. The m4 uses what is considered a traditional SSD design with a controller, NAND flash and a DRAM buffer. Because of this the write speeds are less than what we see on SandForce drives that are reviewed here every few days.
There are benefits to the DRAM design, though. One that we see coming into play often is the background garbage collection that keeps your drive running fast even when TRIM isn't available.