Crucial RealSSD C300: Speediest SSD Yet?

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As of September 2010, the Crucial SSD C300 Solid State Drive is still one of the fastest consumer drives that money can buy in terms of read speed – at least if you can tap into its SATA 3.0, 6Gbps support. They’re definitely not cheap, but considering the performance gain, many power users will consider one of these little miracles a bargain.

Micron announced its RealSSD C300 solid-state drive late last year, and already back then we heard rumors of staggering 355MB/s sequential reads. Now it’s been released via Micron’s consumer brand Crucial.

Introduction to the RealSSD C300

The Crucial RealSSD C300 indeed reaches read speeds of almost 355MB/s and write speeds of just over 215MB/s. Even if it writes at slightly more modest rates, this is a level of performance that makes most competitors shake in their boots. Even reading and writing small 4KB files – usually the Achilles heel of SSDs – yields exceptional results in synthetic benchmarks.

Micron/Crucial has had some problems with its TRIM implementation and thus performance would deteriorate over time. They notably failed to address the issue with an intermittent firmware update, but the latest version seems to be doing fine. When looking purely at the sheer performance of the C300, it crushes the competition in some benchmarks.

For now, the RealSSD C300 seems almost unbeatable as an enthusiast drive for consumers, and even for professionals provided the firmware issues are completely resolved.

read write speed chart

With SATA 6Gbps the RealSSD easily outperforms the otherwise excellent 2nd-generation Intel X25-M – especially in write performance, and it also handily outpaces the Indilinx-based OCZ Vertex. Looking at the overall scores from PCMark Vantage the differences even out, but the C300 is still ahead:

pcmark score

The Intel performs admirably and reliably in the PCMark Vantage benchmark, which mimics real-world applications and data transfers. It only falls behind the RealSSD C300 marginally with 38,554 points for the Intel SSD compared to the C300’s 40,352. Surprisingly, the Vertex gets a mere 24,893 in this test – by all means not a poor result compared to some other drives, but well behind the two top models.

The Crucial C300 supports Trim and comes in two capacities – 128GB and 256GB with an MSRP of $499 and $799 respectively.  It’s not cheap, but if you want the word’s fastest SSD this is the one. Since the other manufacturers are taking their time with 6Gbps SATA support, it looks like the RealSSD C300 will stay on top at least until late 2010.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Jesper Berg

As a PC gaming enthusiast since the 3dfx Voodoo era, Jesper has had time to experiment with a fair few FPS-improving PC parts over the years. His job at GPCB is to test and evaluate hardware, mainly focusing on GPUs and storage devices.

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