At this point we've seen all of the larger, 256GB based SSDs and it's now time to start looking at the 128GB range. The 120GB - 128GB capacity size is important for manufacturers and consumers since this is the size that most of you are looking to purchase. The 128GB drives are very affordable this year, quite a bit less than the 2010 crop of drives and offer an amazing amount of performance.
Last year Crucial was the only major SSD manufacturer to offer a SATA III (6Gb) SSD, the RealSSD C300. When the C300 was first launched you only had two options to get the most out of the drive; use an expensive RAID controller capable of SATA 6G speeds or use a motherboard with a Marvell SATA 6G controller. Looking back, the Marvell SATA 6G chip was terrible and plagued with several problems at launch. Over time the SATA bridge chip became better, but even after several updates the X58 / Marvell combination still can't deliver the same performance as a native chipset solution.
Here we are halfway through 2011 and SATA 6G is all over the place. Companies like GIGABYTE and ASUS are rolling out motherboards with native SATA 6G on all of their new Intel and AMD products. If you're buying a new system or building your own, It's safe to say you'll have a high speed SATA 6G port ready for products like the Crucial m4.
Let's dive right in and take a look at the specifications listed by Crucial on their m4 128GB and then see just how fast this drive really is.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 3 [The Packaging]
- Page 4 [The Crucial m4 128GB]
- Page 5 [Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - HD Tune Pro]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - AIDA64 Random Access Time]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - PCMark Vantage Hard Disk Tests]
- Page 10 [PCMark Vantage - Drives with Data Testing]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - AS SSD]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Passmark]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]