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.


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.


blankInside 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.

blankThis 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.


SATA 3 (6GB/s)
Max Read
355 MB/s
Max Write
75 MB/s
Random 4k IOPS
NAND Speed
Buffer Chip
Buffer Size
256mb DDR3
3 Year


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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    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 dont support TRIM, so we’re left w/ the much slower MS AHCI drivers if we want garbage collection to occur. This would’ve been a deal breaker for me, as i now have this c300 SSD running on my AMD rig and wont install the AMD drivers lest i lose TRIM. This needs to be emphasized and i totally blame AMD as they’re so far behind intel in this regards. They need to be called out for being so lazy on this issue.

    ADMIN: There is presently some controversy regarding this and I am expecting the official answer from Crucial in the next day or so. Myself, I believe something is occurring as my performance with the drive today is exactly the same as day one and I can guarantee it has been written over much more than the average user. Can I ask a favour? Can we post a forum topic on this and carry on which then allows for alot more exchange than the comment page? If so, can you post some scores now compared to the initial scores?

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    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 bought it from, thinking it needed to be rmaed, which it didn’t, as I discovered over last weekend it was Marvell’s drivers that messed up my Windows 7 install. I did a temp install of Win 7 last weekend, that wasn’t activated, and copied my important files off the SSD.

    Needless to say, on Monday I got my card back, reinstalled Windows on my C300 128 connected of course to the Intel Controller, then I hooked my C300 128 up to my U3S6 card, then I was back in action, after letting Windows install the generic Microsoft AHCI driver for my SATA 6G controller.

    My system and SSD have been working fine ever since Monday with just the generic Microsoft AHCI driver in place for the Marvell 9123 controller on my ASUS U3S6 card.

    I did read the review and thought I would post above what happened to me with Marvell’s SATA 6G drivers.

    SITE RESPONSE: We appreciate your taking the time to write and sympathize with your experience. Our reviews are posted as we test and there are no outside influences whatsoever and, unfortunately, anomalies such as this can happen with any SSD for different reasons. I have two 64GB Crucials, one which has been in my system on SATA III since the test. I have experienced no problem with them as single drives, however, scores are lest than glowing for RAIDed drives, this being the fault of the mobo Marvell SATA 3 and not the drive itself. Thanks again for writing and glad you did get it all sorted out.

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