Crucial V4 256GB SSD Review – All Is Not SATA 3 Just Yet

A few weeks back, Crucial sent us one of their new V4 SSDs to check out and, much to our surprise, we discover that it is an SSD based on a Phison controller and it is SATA 2.

To new SSD users, this may not seem like much but we were a bit surprised as Crucial/Micron and Marvell seem to fit like ice cream and apple pie. In fact, I can’t think of Crucial/Micron using anything but the Marvell controller previous to this.

With SSD technology still advancing at such a quick rate, we had to also ask how Crucial/Micron, the company primarily responsible for pushing SSD prices down drastically in recent months, was going to pull off a SATA 2 SSD marketing pitch and match prices of their own far superior SATA 3 line.  After all, the M4 is already billed as one of the top dogs on the block for both performance and reliability.

blankblankI then realized that, as much as we keep pushing the bar on SSD advance, over 90% of computer owners could still not realize the performance of a SATA 3 SSD.  More importantly, the typical user would never observe any visible difference between the Crucial V4 we are reviewing today and the best SSD on the market.  The reasoning for that is because the main visible performance upgrade of the SSD is seen in quicker start times and faster OS and software starting, this being accomplished by disk access speed alone which is virtually identical for all SSDs.


The Crucial V4 is available in capacities of 32, 64, 128 and 256GB and available now with pricing at Amazonblank sitting at $44.99, $64.99, $98.36 and $191.73, respectively.  The V4 is also available with a migration kit and, depending on capacity, it adds about $20 to the final price.  The V4 is a SATA 2 SSD and performance varies depending on capacity with our 256GB version topping out at 230MB/s read and 190MB/s write with 10,000 IOPS read and 4000 IOPS write.  The V4 also comes with a standard 3 year warranty.

blankblankThe exterior case is of a black aluminum with four screws on the sides securing the top casing to base plate. Once open, removal of four more screws allows separation of the PCB from the base plate.


On the front of the PCB is the Phison PS3105-S5 controller, Micron DRAM cache as well as four modules of Micron 25nm synchronous MLC NAND flash memory, each being 32GB in capacity.  There are also four modules on the back of the PCB as seen here:


Total capacity of all memory modules (32GB x 8) is 256GB, however, formatting leaves an end user capacity of 238GB.


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    They sold a Indilinx barefoot controlled M225 had similar performance to this drive even at sata2, can’t understand the thinking behind this drive at all. Phison ere great controllers anyway. Have a good day Les.

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    Missed a few letters there, meant to say Phison weren’t great controllers anyway. Where’s the edit button.

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    How about doing a summary of the best SATA2 SSDs, if one needed one today?

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    I’m afraid I’ve gotten a little lost in the technical details here, if someone doesn’t mind helping a brother out! I have a 2008 white Macbook (SATA) and want to upgrade to SSD. Is there a reason why I would pick the V4 over the M4 if not for a slightly cheaper price at this time? Or is there some reason I should consider the M4 over the V4? And, do I need any special mounting hardware or will it plug into the existing slot in my laptop?

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      m4 is sata3 which is backwards compatible with sata 2. sata 2 itself is backwards compatible with Sata1. if your mac is sata1 you should go with v4 and not m4

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    I’ve just purchased thw 256GB model and installed as an OS drive on my Macbook and it has worse performance than a HDD. Try multitasking with real world use and you’ll see how dire the drive is.

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    The V4 256gb version is HORRIBLE at multitasking and cannot perform a replay service which is a relatively lite read sample, smoothly! I am hugely disappointed with this ssd.

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    I was shocked at the performance of this V4 SSD. It is very similar to a spinning HDD and is the slowest SSD I have encountered. Shame on Crucial for ever releasing such a dullard.

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