Last month, DailyTech learned of a new series of drives coming out of Crucial, the RealSSD C300 series. Sporting a proprietary controller from Marvell Technologies, this new drive is to be SATA 6Gbps compliant, allowing it to put out blistering sequential read speeds of 355 MB/s and write speeds of 255 MB/s. With performance numbers like these, Crucial is clearly looking to take the crown in SSD performance.
"The Crucial RealSSD C300 drive is the fastest drive we’ve tested to date," said Robert Wheadon, Lexar Media's senior worldwide SSD product manager. “The big 'wow' factor for consumers is a marked improvement in boot-up times – the Crucial RealSSD C300 drive is blazing fast, like no other SSD we’ve ever seen in the Crucial Performance Lab.”
Frequently when a company claims to have the fastest drive, they only state their sequential speeds, ignoring the importance of random I/O at which the Intel X25-M series has dominated so far. Not so with Crucial. Third-party tester Calypso Systems has provided data (see graphs in scroller) showing impressive performance numbers out of the C300 series compared to Intel's drives.
According to DailyTech, the RealSSD series is expected to be available for sale next month in 128GB and 256GB varieties sporting a solid 5 year warranty. At this point, there is no word on possible pricing.
Anand was given a hands-on preview of the drive yesterday at CES. Powered by a new Marvell controller with a pair of ARM9 processors in parallel for SATA 6Gbps support, the C300 series utilizes faster 34nm ONFI 2.1 NAND flash to achieve its high speeds. Micron has equipped the drives with write placement and garbage collection algorithms similar to those seen on Intel's X25-M series, though unlike Intel's, the C300 performs garbage collection while the drive is idle independent of the OS.
The drive will be available in 128GB and 256GB flavors expected to be priced at $399 and $799 respectively. This puts the drives well in-line with the current pricing of Intel's drives. If the C300 series really does outperform the X25-M series, Intel is going to pressed to do something about that.
To see the full report with its set of pictures and graphs, check it out at DailyTech here.