Micron C400 256GB 6Gbps mSATA SSD Review – Crucial M4 mSATA SSD in Disguise

TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

Our analysis today will be conducted with our new Asus Z77 Premium Test Bench.

In testing, our main objective is to obtain results as pure and as accurate as possible and we want to ensure that no anomalies slip through. Simply put, we want to provide you with the absolute best results the tested hardware can provide. Repetition in testing is standard and, if necessary, we may conduct specific tests in Windows 7 safe mode to ensure the OS has little to no influence on the end result.

In order to validate and confirm our findings, testing is supported by industry accepted benchmark programs. All results are displayed through capture of the actual benchmark for better understanding of the testing process by the reader.

We would like to thank ASUS (P8Z77-V Premium), Intel (Core i7-3770K), Crucial (Ballistix), Corsair (H100), Be Quiet (PSU/Fans), and Fractal design (Define XL) for supporting the build of our Z77 Premium Test Bench.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for todays analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities and PCMark Vantage.  We rely on these as they each have a way of supporting one another yet, at the same time, adding a new performance benchmark to the total picture.  Much of the software is free and can be downloaded simply by clicking on the linked title.

CRYSTAL DISK INFO VER 3.9.3

Crystal Disk Info provides some excellent information about the SSD itself to include its health, product information, power on information as well as the characteristics of the SSD. We can see that the SSD is capable of TRIM as it is not greyed out as with AAM.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

Initial testing is off to a good start when ATTO results, for both read and write disk transfer speeds, exceed listed specifications.

21 comments

  1. The Mushkin Atlas SATA III mSATA SSD is still not reviewed here?????

  2. Nice review. But what about power consumption ? I would like to put one msata in my dell laptop. Is there any big difference between the Crucial and the ADATA ?

    • Typically, we don’t address power consumption as it is not indicative of something the typical consumer concerns themselves with. See below for manufacturer listed specs:

      C400 – 85/200mW
      ADATA – .45/1.5W

  3. Could this be as good as having Samsung 830 256GB SSD? ( not mSata version )? I am thinking to use this with 7.2K RPM 750GB , but not sure if its worth using SSD or mSata SSd with HDD? Thanks

  4. I have found that AS SSD transfer testing is not accurate. If you manually transfer a large file and I guarantee you the transfer rate is nowhere near what AS SSD shows.

    • Thanks Bill but we find it’s results to be consistent, not only in this analysis but also, in every analysis we have done and used it on the site.

    • umm…pretty sure Bill Gates doesn’t know how to use a computer

    • You need to turn off your virus scanner. On access virus scanning really hurts transfer performance of fast SSDs. The reason why AS SSD doesn’t show this degradation is that AS SSD writes to a pre-created file and is not reading from another drive, so the virus scanner isn’t triggered.

  5. Is this available anywhere on the web?

  6. Useful review, thanks Les. Thinking of getting one for my Lenovo T420s (which has an mSATA slot) but as yet, Crucial’s compatibility tool is marking them as not compatible with any of the Thinkpads. Given what you mentioned about the Thinkpad market for mSATA upgrades I’m guessing they’re being over cautious, wondering if you have any thoughts on this. Thanks.

    • I have yet to find ANY mSATA incompatible with any of my laptops and, specifically the X100, we did testing of serveral drives. Yes, they will list it as incompatible until tested. I can not for the life of me see any reason why one mSATA would be compatible while another would not though. They all serve the same purpose in the same way after all.

  7. I have the Crucial M4 mSATA 256GB model on order. It should arrive later this week. Looking forward to using it. Thanks for the review Les.

  8. Hy, first of all, I would like to thank you for the huge amount of information I found on this site. Nice review, Im almost convinced about this one but Im not sure my lenovo Y570 would support sata3 in the msata slot. Im wondering if you have any information regarding this :). I plan to use it as my boot drive with the original 2,5″ hdd as a “movie shelf”. The other options Im considering are -OCZ Nocti mSATA 120GB
    -Crucial RealSSD M4 mSATA SSD 128GB
    -Adata XPG SX300 128GB mSATA
    They have almsot the same price and rigth now i cant deside wether to go for 256gb or just stay with 128gb. The 128gb range seems more valuable.
    If you could help me decide I would really appreciate. Thanks

    • a quick check seems to return that it is SATA 3 so I might suggest confirmation through a Google search. The next question deals with capacity as the three others you highlighted seem to be lower capacity drives. as for my choice of the bunch…..no need to answer on that one!

  9. Very useful review!
    Having one question though:

    NAND IC’s use dual die internally or not? 4K Random reads should be greater if so, if not it’s explained in a way (less channels)

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