Crucial M4 / Micron C400 256GB SSD Review

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Crucial m4/Micron C400 – Two Names, One Drive

Crucial, best known for their memory products, was the first to put an SSD on the market with a 6Gbps interface way back in early 2010 with the C300 drive. Back then, we ran some tests and found it to be impressive when compared to what was on the market at the time with its 355 MB/s reads and 215 MB/s writes. Since then, a lot has changed and there are a number of 6Gbps drives on the market now so competition is definitely stiffer this time around. For clarification, the naming of the drive can be a little confusing between Crucial and Micron. Crucial drives will carry the moniker of m4 while the Micron model name is C400. Both are the same drive with different branding and successor to what most people know as the C300 drive we referenced above. For the purposes of the article and simplicity’s sake, we’ll refer to the drive as the Crucial m4.

Crucial M4/Micron C400

As you may have expected if you’ve been keeping up with the newest drives, the controller driving the m4 is essentially the same architecturally as its predecessor, but obviously some firmware changes have taken place if for nothing else but to support the 25nm NAND on board. The 256 GB drive we received arrived in attractive packaging but without any of the literature, etc. the retail packaging would include.

Crucial M4/Micron C400 BOX

The m4 will be available in several capacities from 64 GB to 512 GB and all should be available this month. Crucial finalized pricing this week, so 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB
SSD’s will retail for $129.99, $249.99, $499.99 and $999.99,
respectively. Our 256 GB drive rated for up to 415 MB/s reads and 260 MB/s writes which is a little behind that of the Intel 510 Series drive which uses the same Marvell controller – although the m4 utilizes eight channels while the Intel uses ten. Obviously, the firmware employed by each differs and the benchmarks will bear out how they perform in comparison.

Crucial M4 SSD 2.5″ CT064M4SSD2 CT0128M4SSD2 CT0256M4SSD2 CT0512M4SSD2
Capacity (Unformatted) 64 GB 128 GB 256 GB 512 GB
NAND Micron MLC Micron MLC Micron MLC Micron MLC
Controller Integrated 8-channel single chip Integrated 8-channel single chip Integrated 8-channel single chip Integrated 8-channel single chip
RAID Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Firmware Field Upgradeable Field Upgradeable Field Upgradeable Field Upgradeable
SATA Transfer Rate 6Gb/s (3Gb/s compatible) 6Gb/s (3Gb/s compatible) 6Gb/s (3Gb/s compatible) 6Gb/s (3Gb/s compatible)
Sequential Read (up to) 415 MB/sec 415 MB/sec 415 MB/sec 415 MB/sec
Sequential Write (up to) 95 MB/sec 175 MB/sec 260 MB/sec 260 MB/sec
Random 4k READ 40,000 IOPS 40,000 IOPS 40,000 IOPS 40,000 IOPS
Random 4k WRITE 20,000 IOPS 35,000 IOPS 50,000 IOPS 50,000 IOPS
PCMark Vantage 55K HDD test score 55K HDD test score 65K HDD test score 65K HDD test score
Dimensions
(L x W x H)
100.5 x 69.5 x 9.50 mm 100.5 x 69.5 x 9.50 mm 100.5 x 69.5 x 9.50 mm 100.5 x 69.5 x 9.50 mm
Weight 75g 75g 75g 75g
MTBF 1.2 Million Hours 1.2 Million Hours 1.2 Million Hours 1.2 Million Hours
Data Reliability Built-in EDC/ECC Built-in EDC/ECC Built-in EDC/ECC Built-in EDC/ECC
Drive Endurance 36TB=20GB per day for 5 years 72TB=40GB per day for 5 years 72TB=40GB per day for 5 years 72TB=40GB per day for 5 years
Warranty Limited 3 Year Warranty Limited 3 Year Warranty Limited 3 Year Warranty Limited 3 Year Warranty

Crucial M4/Micron C400 REAR

The design of the exterior is not all that different from the original version with a simple design sticker on the front and the rear featuring a sticker with all of the drive information and legal verbiage. No flashy lights or bling here.

Crucial M4/Micron C400

Let’s have a look inside.

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