Crucial M4 128GB SSD review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 12/20/2011 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Features & specifications
So the Crucial M4 sample has finally arrived in our underground test facility, it's the 128GB version of the drive, which means it's also slightly slower in writes compared to the 256GB model due to memory channels available. Small side note, you can also spot the very same drive as Micron C400 in the stores.
Initial tests straight away impressed us, this product can keep up with any SandForce SSF-2281 SSD product in terms of read performance and Intel's latest and greatest as well. Have a peek at the official spec sheet of the M4 series.
|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|
|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|
(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|
|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|
As said there are four models available, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and an impressive 512GB version, all 6Gbps SATA interface based SSDs. This SATA3 version as such will deliver speeds of up to an advertised 415MB/s of bandwidth in read performance and a 175 MB/sec in write performance (sequential).
BUT ... the specs are all still based on the old firmware release. You'll notice that the performance really is a good 20% above what they advertise, and that surely is a nice additional bonus. With the tested 128GB model (obviously comes with the newest firmware) you'll see that we can even reach 500 MB/sec on sequential reads and roughly 200 MB/sec on writes.
That gives the M4 really nice performance when dealing with compressed data compared to other drives, we'll check that out of course. Sequential read and write performance should be impressive.
The M4 SSDs will include Aynchronous MLC Flash Micron memory chips (yes they make these themselves) as well as a 256MB DRAM cache. The controller used comes from Marvell which thus works with a large memory cache, whereas SandForce uses a segment of the NAND flash the cache. That's the essential difference really, the benefit of a DRAM cache is that you'll have more GB's available for real usage.
The SSDs come with full support for the TRIM command to keep the SSD nice and fast.
- Crucial M4 64GB costs 90 EUR
- Crucial M4 128GB costs 165 EUR
- Crucial M4 256GB costs 320 EUR
- Crucial M4 512GB costs 620 EUR
So these are the prices at this moment, quite competitive. Crucial will get you a 3 year carry-in warranty on the product.
We finally test the Crucial M4 128GB SSD and will check out the performance of this very popular SSD. Obviously the M4 series is nothing other then a success story, and with a lot of people not trusting SandForce anymore we'll have a peek, after which we'll dive into the technology behind it and obviously we'll present you a nice phat performance overview.
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