Crucial M4 256GB SATA 3 SSD Review – Vantage SSD Comparison & Conclusions


The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications


The Crucial M4 256GB SATA 3 SSD scored a high of an incredible 60951 points as compared to only 42934 points that we saw in the new Intel 510 Series SSD with the same Marvell processor only a few weeks ago.  Lets show a comparison of the Crucial to the Intel where Vantage provides transfer speeds of eight typical user activities in simulated scenarios:

As the 8 tests of Vantage are based on real typical user computing patterns, Vantage gives very little weight to the high sequential transfer speeds that are hardly ever used and elects to rely upon 4k random reads and writes for the majority of point calculation.  This is because we use these disk access methods over 50% of the time where we use the high sequential disk access methods less than 1%.

Its a clear indication of the pace in which SSDs are progressing when we see a SSD such as the Crucial M4 SATA 3 series better two ICH10 RAID configurations of Crucials former generation C300 series SATA 3 SSD.  In fact, if you care to compare this drive to any RAID SSDs on the market today, its right up there beside the OCZ RevoDrive.


The only words that seem to come to mind right now are ‘Lesson learned’.  Crucial has sent us a product that is not only the best performing 2.5″ SSD drive on the market today, but also, we have no doubt of its positioning as other SATA 3 SSDs are released.  Although the M4’s SATA 3 scores are  as expected, its true strength lies in its absolutely amazing 4k random write performance of 98MB/s which translates to real life performance.

With respect to pricing, we haven’t found the M4 listed just yet but we have found the C400 advertised and might predict that they will be one in the same.  This would mean the 64GB would be offered at $129.99, 128GB at $244.99, 256GB at $454.99 and 512GB at $919.99.  Quite frankly, the consumer favorite capacity of 256GB is a steal when you consider the Intel 510 250GB is listing at $614 and the Corsair P3 256GB is listing at $749.

Let the price wars begin!

Pg1 – Introduction and M4 Characteristics

Pg2 – Benchmark Prorocol and Initial Testing

Pg3 – ATTO and AS SSD Benchmarks

Pg4 – HDTune Pro Benchmarks

Pg5 – PCMark Vantage SSD Comparisons and Conclusions

Pg6 – Review Extras!

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