Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB SATA3 SSD Review

The introduction ...

With the 256GB RealSSD C300 Crucial developed an enormously fast SATA3 SSD, which can clearly eclipse usual SATA2 Solid State Drives. In this test report, the Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB SATA3 SSD was practically tested and benchmarked on a SATA3 interface and on a SATA2 controller. The Redaktion ocinside.de review will show, if the at present largest and fastest 256GB RealSSD from Crucial is a great choice.

 

 

 

Thanks for the support ...

Many thanks for the support with the Crucial RealSSD 256GB 2.5" SSD by the manufacturer Crucial.

The Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB SATA3 SSD CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 has at present a price of approx. 500 Euro (10/2010).

The Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5-inch series contains at present the following types:
64GB CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 for approx. 125 Euro (10/2010)
128GB CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 for approx. 250 Euro (10/2010)
256GB CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1for approx. 500 Euro (10/2010)
SSDs and other hardware is available at our sponsors.

Here you can buy the Crucial SSD.

 

 

The supply of the Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB SATA3 SSD ...

In this well protected cardboard box comes the currently largest and fastest Solid State Drive from Crucial:

 

 

The technical data ...

Crucial supplies the RealSSD C300 SSD as well as a short installation guide well padded in a hinged box.

Here is a picture of the Crucial RealSSD C300 SSD with installation guide:

 

And here is a picture of the fast SATA3 SSD, whereby the sticker again and again came off of this very high-quality SSD ...

 

The following picture shows the back of the 2.5" Crucial RealSSD 256GB SSD, where one can see the SATA3 connectors for data and power on the left.
The connectors are identical to conventional SATA3 hard disks and the SATA3 SSD can also operate with lower speed on a SATA2 interface:

 

That is contained ...

Manufacturer Crucial
Article number CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1
Capacity 256GB
Interface SATA3 6GB/s
Cache 128MB
Controller Marvell
Flash Type MLC - Multi-Level-Cell
Size 2,5" (100,45 x 69,85 x 9,50mm)
Weight 75 gramm
Speed Read up to 355 MB/s / Write up to 215 MB/s
Seek Time < 0.1ms
Power Consumption 0,094 Watt idle / 2,1 - 4,3 Watt in operation
MTBF 1.2 million hours
Other TRIM support, RAID support, SMART support

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskInfo 3.5.3 SSD and HDD information software:

 

 

SSD firmware update ...

The tests were done with the first 0001 firmware version as well as with the 0002 firmware, whereby the benchmark results were nearly the same.
At the review date, the company Crucial offered the firmware version 0002 for Marvell based SSDs, which offers in comparison to the FW0001 version more safety, a higher TRIM performance and a lower power consumption.
The update of the Crucial firmware is very easy: Download the firmware from Crucial, unpack the contained ISO file, burn it on a CD, boot with this CD, select the SSD in the firmware update utility and confirm the firmware update several times.

 

Benchmark values and test results ...

Let us continue with the benchmark results.
SATA2 drives are currently tested with an ASRock M3A790GXH/128M motherboard and SATA3 drives are currently tested with an ASRock 890GX Extreme3 motherboard.
At present, Microsoft Windows 7 RC Ultimate Edition is used as the operating system.

The SSD drive speed was examined and compared with the following benchmark software:

AS SSD Benchmark 1.4.3704.27281 - Download
ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46 - Download
CrystalDiskMark 3.00 - Download
HD Tach 3.040 - Download
SiSoftware Sandra 2010c - Download

 

AS SSD benchmark result ...

The SSD benchmark values offers a very good reference point of the maximal possible reading and writing performance, the speed with smaller files and the respective access time.
The 256GB Crucial drive achieved above all an amazing high sequential read and write rate.
With approximately 322 MB/s, the maximum transfer rate of the Serial ATA 2.0 interface was exceeded, so that a SATA3 interface is really the best choice for this SSD.
The write performance was approximately 211 MB/s and the total core reached thereby 290 points!
To compare it with the OCZ Agility 120GB SATA2 SSD, it reached only 138 points.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the AS SSD benchmark results (SATA3):

 

On a SATA2 port the read result was 239 MB/s, which is clearly below the SATA3 values of 322 MB/s and also the write performance was on a SATA2 port with approx. 196 MB/s lower than the SATA3 port with 211 MB/s.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the AS SSD benchmark results (SATA2):

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the AS SSD iops results to measure the input/output speed (SATA3):

 

And here is a Snipping screenshot of the AS SSD iops results to measure the input/output speed (on SATA2):

The comparison of the AS SSD benchmark results is extended with each new HDD/SSD test.
Here we see the OCZ Agility 128GB SATA2 SSD in comparison to the Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB SATA3 SSD on a SATA-3 controller and on a SATA-2 controller, whereby the diagram is updated shortly with new SSDs.

Here is a comparison of the AS SSD benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

ATTO Disk benchmark result ...

The ATTO disk benchmark values gives a very good overview about the write and read rate on different file sizes.
More than 230 MB/s write speed with larger transfer sizes are incredible high and the result of the reading speed is with 333 MB/s starting from 64 KB transfer size also enormously high.
Very small transfer sizes below approx. 8KB could be a little bit faster regarding the reading speed, but they are well above the currently tested SSD and HDDs.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the ATTO Disk benchmark values (SATA3):

 

Compared to the operation of the very fast SATA3 SSD on a SATA2 interface one recognize very good, how the maximum read performance is limited by the SATA2 interface.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the ATTO Disk benchmark values (on SATA2):

 

The ATTO disk of benchmark values are compared with a small transfer size of 32KB and a large transfer size of 8192KB.
The bar chart already shows a first comparison to the Hitachi 1TB hard disk drive and the OCZ Agility 120GB SSD, whereby also here the best result is reached by Crucial's 256GB C300 RealSSD.

Here is a comparison of the ATTO disk benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

CrystalDiskMark result

With CrystalDiskMark one receives a balanced measurement of the performance with different transfer sizes.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskMark values (SATA3):

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskMark values (on SATA2):

 

The following diagram shows the CrystalDiskMark results once again compared with other SSDs and platter drives, which are extended step by step.
In the CrystalDiskMark comparison one can already see the big differences to the previously tested OCZ Agility SSD and an usual disk drive, since the reading and writing performance is clearly faster in all results.

Here is a comparison of the CrystalDiskMark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

HD Tach result

With the HD Tach benchmark values one can recognize the gradient of the performance.
The Crucial RealSSD 256GB SSD shows with the 0001 Firmware at the beginning a performance break-down, which did not appear with the latest 0002 firmware.
Crucial's RealSSD C300 has from the beginning to the end a constant speed and extremely low access times as usual with SSDs.
To compare these results with SATA2 values, you can move the cursor over this Crucial RealSSD 256GB SSD on SATA2 link.
To compare these results with the previous tested SSD, you can move the cursor over this OCZ Agility 128GB SSD link.
To compare these results with a Hitachi 7K1000.C 1TB HDD, you can hold the cursor over this Hitachi 7K1000.C 1TB HDD link.

Here is a Snipping screenhot of the HD Tach benchmark values:

 

The comparison of the HD Tach benchmark results shows already very impressive, how fast the reading speed and the average access time of the Crucial RealSSD 256GB is against other Solid State Drives and hard disk drives.

Here is a comparison of the HD Tach benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

SiSoftware Sandra benchmark result

Of course, SiSoftware Sandra benchmark should not be missing in this test series.
SiSoftware offers with their SiSoft Sandra program a very comprehensive tool for some years, which contains a lot of tools to get very reliable test results of all hardware components.
The average access time of the Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB SSD was in SiSoftware Sandra with 10us also extremely low and the drive index of 318,1 MB/s underscores once again the previous tests.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark values (SATA3):

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark values (on SATA2):

 

Here is a comparison of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

 

Result and general impression ...

The Crucial RealSSD 256GB SATA3 SSD CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 has extremely low access times and highest transfer rates on every read- and write tests with all tested programs.

This Marvell controller based MLC Solid State Drive did not show any weaknesses (except the loosen sticker), because all results were incredible high and cleary above all previous test results.
Also on a SATA2 controller this Crucial RealSSD 256GB SATA3 SSD offers incredible high results and get the maximum transfer rate out of the SATA-II controller.
These very high results showed the SSD also with everyday tasks at the PC, because a Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate boot took approx. 24 seconds, whereby the pure Win7 loading time was approx. 9 seconds.

All in all Crucial offers with the RealSSD C300 256GB SSD a very fast SSD with a good price-/performance ratio for high-end user and PC Enthusiasts.
With this great results the Crucial RealSSD 256GB SATA3 SSD CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 earns as first SSD our Redaktion ocinside.de Overclocking Dream 10/2010 Award !

Overclocking Dream Award 10/2010

 

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