For the Crucial V4 256GB drive, having 256GB (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes) of NAND on board the user ends up with 238GB, technically GiB (1GiB = 1,073,741,824 bytes), as shown the properties screen in Windows. Some of this is a result of overprovisioning which is used to assist with drive maintenance like wear leveling, and have some ‘fresh’ NAND available to swap out when blocks go bad.
We’ll start off our conclusion with a look back at performance bearing in mind (if you’ve skipped to the end) that this is a SATA II (3Gbps) drive so performance will be more tame than we see from the newest 6Gbps drives. Crucial lists the capabilities of this 256GB drive of hitting read speeds of up to 230MB/s and writes up to 190MB/s. In two out of three synthetic benchmarks, we saw these specifications exceeded with the max reads hitting a hair under 280MB/s and writes just under 240MB/s. As such, Crucial was a bit conservative in their specifications. Obviously, this is best case performance scenarios but it gives a clear indication of what the drives are capable of although the lesser capacity versions will return lower results. Being a value oriented drive, we feel like the performance is very solid.
The Phison controller proved to be capable when supported by the on board cache and we saw no hiccups or performance issues during the time we used the drive in a real world environment. TRIM appears to work properly and we could see garbage collection working after a period of idle time. Crucials partnership with Micron is evidenced with the Micron NAND and cache present which, as always, are quality components. All are backed with a three year warranty just in case which we find to be the typically coverage for SSDs.
As mentioned in the introduction, the 256GB V4 can be found for $180 online which rounds out to be a decent $0.76 per usable GB. For those not wanting to pay a premium for the SATA 6Gbps drive they can’t fully utilize have a nice, recently released alternative to drives that have maybe been on the market quite a while. On the other hand, if there’s a chance you may upgrade your motherboard/hardware in the near future, it may behoove you to go for a SATA 6Gbps drive now so you are set with a drive that will fully leverage the more modern SATA III supporting platform.
Legit Bottom Line: The Crucial V4 line is one of the few SATA II (3Gbps) drives released recently giving solid performance at a reasonable price that will appeal to thiose with older hardware not able to take advantage of the latest generation of SATA III (6Gbps) drives.