Legit Storage Reviews
Micron RealSSD C300 256GB SATA 6Gbps SSD Review
|Date:||Mon, Feb 22, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Nathan Kirsch -|
RealSSD C300 Brings SATA 6Gbps Performance
The Micron RealSSD C300 drives are special in the sense that they are the first solid-state drives (SSDs) to be released on the market that take advantage of the SATA 6 Gb/s interface that is just now becoming integrated on Intel and AMD motherboards. This new interface brings blistering read and write speeds, helping to improve boot and application load times, but you need a drive that supports that interface. Hard drive manufacturers Seagate Technologies and Western Digital have announced hard drives with the SATA 6Gbps interface, but for some reason the SSD market was missing a SATA 6Gbps product.
Micron then stepped up to the plate and announced the RealSSD C300 series, which was the very first SSD designed from the ground up for the SATA 6Gb/s interface. By moving to the SATA 6 Gb/s interface, Crucial discovered that it removed the bandwidth bottleneck and that their 256GB drives can deliver sequential read and write speeds of up to 355 MB/s and 215 MB/s, respectively. The best part about the SATA 6 Gb/s interface is that is it offers backward compatibility to the SATA 3 Gb/s interface that most consumers are using today. This means that you still use this drive on SATA 3 Gb/s systems and then move it over to a SATA 6 Gb/s system if you choose to upgrade your platform down the road. This drive is (dare we say?) future proof in the sense that the C300 supports both the Trim command and has the SATA 6Gb/s interface. These are two key features in SSDs today and are the features that many have been waiting years to get.
RealSSD C200 Versus RealSSD C300
||RealSSD C200||RealSSD C300|
|Capacity||30GB to 120GB||128GB to 256GB|
|System Interface||SATA 3 Gb/s||SATA 6 Gb/s|
|Average Power (active/standby)||2.5W / <120mW||4.3W / <94mW|
|Sustained Sequential Read/Write Speeds||up to 170 MB/s read and 70 MB/s write||up to 355 MB/s read and 215 MB/s write|
When comparing the new RealSSD C300 to the previous generation of RealSSD C200 drives you can see that the capacity and speeds have more than doubled on the C300 series. The only negative to the new drive is the fact that active power consumption is up by 1.8 Watts, but the standby power consumption is actually lower than the previous generation.
RealSSD C300 256GB SATA 6G Features
- 2.5" Form Factor
- SATA 6Gbp/s system interface
- 4.3W/94mW average power (active/standby)
- Up to 355MB/s sustained sequential read speed
- Up to 215MB/s sustained sequential write speed
- 1500 G/1ms shock and 2Ghz to 500Hz at 3.1G vibration
- 0°C to +70°C temperature range
- 75g weight
The drive that we have for testing today is the RealSSD C300 256GB SSD with part number MTFDDAC256MAG-1G1. This capacity of the RealSSD C300 series is the fastest of the bunch, so we should be seeing some great performance numbers from it. Flipping the C300 over you get a
better look at the back of the drive. Notice that it has threaded
mounting holes on both the bottom and sides to fit in various cases and
laptops. The RealSSD C300 label on the back of the drive is one of the nicest that we have ever seen as it tells you what firmware revision is on the drive and all the details about it. We haven't seen any other SSD manufacturer put this much detail on their label and we must say that we like it as there is no guessing as to what firmware is on the drive when you go to install your OS for the first time.
Here is a better look at the SATA 6Gbps header and the SATA power
connector on the C300 series. Notice that this drive doesn't need a
jumper for firmware flashing. The SATA 6 Gb/s storage
interface is backwards-compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s interfaces, so no worries about that. For maximum performance you will want to run the Crucial C300 in ‘AHCI’ mode in the BIOS and on a SATA 6 GB/s controller. We should also point out that as with any SSD, performance degradation can occur over time. The Crucial C300 supports the Trim command and an advanced wear-leveling algorithm to help mitigate the effects of heavy usage. In order to return the drive to a 'fresh, out-of-box' state, you will need to back-up your data and perform a secure erase. The RealSSD C300 series supports secure erase and other features in the ATA-8 security features set.
Let's crack open the drive to give you a look inside so you can see the new controller and what else makes this drive run so fast!
Next Page - Inside The RealSSD C300
Page 1 - RealSSD C300 Brings SATA 6Gbps Performance
Page 2 - Inside The RealSSD C300
Page 3 - The Test System
Page 4 - HD Tach v22.214.171.124
Page 5 - HD Tune v4.01
Page 6 - HD Tune v4.01 - Random Access
Page 7 - SiSoftware Sandra 2010
Page 8 - CrystalDiskMark v3.0
Page 9 - ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.41
Page 10 - PCMark Vantage
Page 11 - IOMeter
Page 12 - AS SSD Benchmark
Page 13 - Final Thoughts and Conclusions