Hard-Drive Roundup June 2010

3. Corsair V128 Nova Series 128GB SSD5. Kingston SSDNow V Series 30GB SSD

Hard-Drive Roundup

Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB

Crucial package their SSD in a reasonably large box which gives plenty of protection to the drive inside. Something which sets them apart from their competitors is that when ordering direct from Crucial.com we are given the option of also buying an upgrade kit. This allows consumers who have an existing desktop or laptop the ability to image their operating system and write it to the RealSSD series via USB. Then, rather than have to reinstall Windows, the user simply switches over to the new drive and boots up as normal, saving a significant amount of time.

The C300 uses a dark grey casing and weighs 74g. It is a 2.5” model and the top of the drive features a sticker with product branding. On the underside of the drive we can see the SATA data and power connectors which are SATA2 and 3 compatible and there is a sticker which gives further product information. This includes details on the capacity and firmware revision.

Crucial offer a 3-year warranty on the RealSSD range and rate the shock tolerance at 1500G with power use running from 0.94w at idle to 2.1w read and 4.3w write.

Attached to the PCB, which is accessed by removing 4 screws on the cover, we have a Marvell 88SS9174 controller and sixteen 34nm Micron MLC NAND flash chips. Also present is a single 256MB chip which acts as data cache, this too is Micron branded and the drive supports EDC/ECC data reliability functionality as well as TRIM when combined with an appropriate operating system. Additionally, like most recent SSDs, this Marvell based drive performs garbage collection.

NOTE: The storage used in the RealSSD is certified to ONFI 2.1 standards whereas most other SSDS use 1.0. The difference between the two is that on the newer architecture we have a NAND interface speed of up to 133MB/s whereas 1.0 was limited to 50MB/s.

Crucial rate the 256GB model at 355MB/s Read and 215MB/s write when connected to a SATA 3 controller. The 128GB model shares the same read speed but write specification is lower at 140MB/s. In terms of a useable size, when formatted in Windows 7 the 256GB drive has 238GB available for the consumer.

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