REVIEW ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
For those who are not aware, Crucial/Micron was the first company to market a SATA 3 consumer solid state drive and their success in the SSD world is compounded by the fact that they are one of the few to have marketed a product with little to no issues since Day One. As a matter of fact, if the logo ‘Like A Rock’ weren’t already taken, it would fit perfectly here.
Much of that success comes from their partnership with Marvell who has played the underdog in the world of SSD controllers. It goes without mentioning that this ‘underdog’ reputation comes from the uprising of the SandForce family and all but a few manufacturers who were quick to jump for the highest performing controller out of the gate, Crucial/Micron and Samsung being the only not to drink the SandForce koolaid at some point.
Fast forward to today’s tight relationship between Crucial/Micron and Marvell and, as much as many might think the introduction of the 88SS9174 was a great move, I personally think the firmware update that followed was key. It was a firmware update that finally bettered a drives performance at a time that so many had gotten used to updates that would fix their SSD.
As for the Micron C400 mSATA SSD, many of you are probably thinking I went way of course but that couldn’t be further from the truth as the Micron C400 exemplifies all that we just discussed. The C400 significantly moves the bar of mSATA performance to that of all new generation SATA 3 SSDs if we rely on PCMark Vantage to be an accurate measurement of the consumer experience. Although there are a few rare exceptions with respect to benchmark software, PCMark Vantage is generally considered the true measuring stick of consumer SSD performance.
There is, however, a downfall that we see with the C400 and that is the fact that it isn’t yet branded the Crucial M4 mSATA SSD and available to the consumer. For now, if you want one, you would be looking at a notebook/ultrabook purchase.
At the end of the day, we are awarding the Micron C400 mSATA SSD Editor’s Choice as it was very solid throughout testing and it easily surpassed the other SSDs we have tested to date, ranking right up there with the best new gen SATA 3 SSDs we have reviewed.