Crucial C300 64Gb RealSSD Review

Most recently, The SSD Review has completed its build of a new Test Bench which we hope to be future proof, in that, it is capable of testing new SATA3/USB3 hardware releases. Can you imagine our surprise when we started to get requests from hardware manufacturers asking if we would like to run their their SATA3/USB3 hardware through its paces?

One such manufacturer was Crucial who was quick to send us a Crucial C300 64Gb SSD a few weeks back and welcomed our testing and thoughts on their SATA 6Gb/s drive which had just been released. I have to admit that I couldn’t contain myself and threw it in within minutes of receiving only to have it return an initial sequential read speed of 357 MB/s!!!

To back up just a bit, SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) is the interface that is contained within ssds, hard drives, optical drives and other devices which connects to your computer motherboard by way of a cable. It is important to have a knowledge of this because SATA has been released in 3 revisions, Rev. 1.0 which is capable of speeds up to 1.5 Gb/s, Rev. 2.0 which is capable of speeds up to 3Gb/s, and then the newly released Rev. 3.0 which is capable of speeds up to 6Gb/s. How does this translate into hard drive or ssd speeds? A SATA 2 SSD can technically only reach as high as 300MB/s for its sequential read speed although I don’t think we have seen one above 280MB/s. All this changes with SATA 3 and we will now see speeds above that reached as with our new C300. A point of interest to many interested in reaching these new heightened levels of bandwidth is that you cannot simply buy a new SATA 3 drive and throw it into your SATA 2 capable system and expect to reach similar speeds. A hardware upgrade is also necessary in the system but don’t fret because we are now seeing SATA 3 adapters on the market for very reasonable prices.

CONSTRUCTION

The C300 is constructed of a grey metal exterior casing on the front and back, separated by a plastic frame and held together by four small screws. Of course, there is also a sealing sticker on the side that would void your warranty if it were damaged indicating that you had opened the unit.

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Inside we have a single PCB (Printed Circuit Board) which has the SATA 3 interface seen on the right side of the PCB, the Marvell controller which is distinctly stamped with the company logo as well as 8x4Gb 34nm NAND flash memory chips on each side which makeup for the 64Gb size of the drive (16Gbx4). NAND flash is a type of non-volatile memory which does not require continuous power in order to retain its data. This drive is practically identical to its big brother of the 256Gb size and the only difference is the size of each NAND flash, the 64Gb containing 16x4Gb each and the 256Gb C300 containing 16x16Gb NAND.

This directly relates to the maximum write speeds of either drive because, as we know, the 256Gb version is advertised at a maximum sequential write speed of 215MB/s whereas the 64Gb version is 75MB/s. The reasoning behind this is the fact that the 16Gb NAND (256Gb ver) each contain 4 NAND dies whereas each 4Gb NAND (64Gb ver) contains 1 NAND die. In the end, we learn that it is not any form of a cap put on the drive through its firmware. There is also another chip on the reverse which is the 256MB DDR3 buffer to assist in the drives quick speed and smooth operation.

SPECIFICATIONS

Model
CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1
Interface
SATA 3 (6GB/s)
Max Read
355 MB/s
Max Write
75 MB/s
Random 4k IOPS
15,000
NAND Type
MLC
NAND Speed
34nm
Controller
Marvell
Buffer Chip
Micron
Buffer Size
256mb DDR3
Trim
Yes
Warranty
3 Year
C300 PRODUCT DETAILS

CRYSTAL DISK INFO – C30064Gb

The need for speed

If you’re looking for unhindered speed, Crucial’s RealSSD C300 is here! The new 2.5″ Crucial® RealSSD C300 drive offers mobile and desktop users scorching-fast read speeds of up to 355MB/s. And because it has no moving parts, you will also enjoy a quieter, cooler, and more durable storage solution ” and a better alternative to a traditional notebook hard drive.

Improved data transfers

Designed with high-speed synchronous MLC NAND, advanced controller technology, optimized NAND management, and the new SATA 6Gb/s interface, these drives dramatically improve data transfers for bandwidth-demanding applications like audio and video.

Push your performance

The improvement in boot time and application load times push performance to new levels at the desktop too. You will experience improvement across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security.

Memory Experts.

The Crucial brand of memory has long been synonymous with reliability and high-performance. Our expertise in NAND process technology enables us to optimize the performance and durability of Crucial solid-state drives.

Guaranteed Compatible.

Crucial RealSSD C300 series employ a standard hard drive interface and dimensions, so it is an easy storage upgrade for most notebooks.

Transfer everything in a few easy steps

The Data Transfer Kit makes it simple to copy everything on your hard drive, including operating system, data, email settings and applications, to your Crucial RealSSD. The kit includes the EZ Gig II Cloning and Imaging Software for Windows®, ShirtPockets SuperDuper! for Mac®, a USB to SATA cable and a Quick Start Guide. Upgrade your notebook drive in just three simple steps.

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poohbear
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poohbear

Les , nice review, i bought this ssd based on ur advice in RFD, but there is one VERY crucial thing u didnt mention, and i really think it needs to be emphasized. between this and sandforce based SSDs, it does not have its own garbage collection mechanism (which the sandforce based SSDs do). this is supposed to be all well & good in Win7 since it has TRIM, but only if you’re using an Intel chipset because their AHCI drivers support TRIM. to the large number of AMD users out there, we’re basicly screwed because the AMD AHCI drivers… Read more »

Nightwolf
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Nightwolf

I can tell you something else about this drive and other C300 drives and it’s not good, the drivers for Marvell SATA 6G aka SATA 3 controllers like the 9123 and the 9128 which are both common on motherboards and add in cards, have stability problems. These stability problems happened so sudden last week, that after I shut my system down to fix something on my case, and powered back up, I could no longer boot Windows 7 off my C300 128 connected to an ASUS U3S6 combination USB3/SATA6G(SATA3) controller card. I took the card in to the shop, I… Read more »

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