Micron RealSSD C300 SATA III SSD Review - HotHardware

Micron RealSSD C300 SATA III SSD Review

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Looking at current solid state drive market, it's easy to draw some parallels with the early days of 3D on the PC. When 3D graphics cards first hit the scene (before the term GPU was coined), there were only a few major players, i.e. 3dfx, Tseng Labs, S3, etc. As the technology was more accepted by consumers, however, numerous other manufactures, like NVIDIA, ATI, 3DLabs, Matrox, Rendition, Number 9 and many others, wanted a piece of the pie as well and they all entered the fray with 3D processors of their own. Over time, the dust settled, the cream rose to the top, and we were left with only a select few GPU manufactures. We're sure you've all heard the stories by now.

At this point in time, the SSD market is akin to the 3D chipset boom. Whereas only a couple of companies laid the foundation when solid state drives first arrived, now we have a broad range of options to choose from. Intel, Samsung, JMicron, Indilinx, and Sandforce, among others we're sure we've missed, all make SSD controllers. Today we're going to show you yet another new SSD based on a new controller from a long-time player in PC storage, Marvell.

The Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 controller at the heart of the Micron RealSSD C300 we're going to show you today affords the drive a feature not yet offered on any competing product--SATA III support. And the controller in combination with some of Micron's own NAND flash, culminate in a drive that offered some of the best performance we have seen from any solid state drive to date. Take a moment to check out the specs below and then strap yourself in as we show you more of the drive itself and then move on to the all-important benchmarks.

Micron RealSSD C300
Specifications and Features



As the specifications show, the Micron RealSSD C300 offers a SATA 6GB/s interface
(backwards compatible to SATA 3GB of course) with a 256MB capacity, and sustained sequential read and write performance of 355MB/s and 215MB/s, respectively. Those specs alone currently put the drive in a category all by itself, but great specifications don't always translate to great real-world performance. Then again, sometimes they do...

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That is some super fast SSD, i nearly peed my pants at those kick *** numbers it was putting out.  Looks like Micron came to play some real ball showing everyone else, what a SSD should really be able to do.  If only they were not so darned expensive...

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Dave and Marco, I believe you should call the interface "SATA 6G." (You kind of vacillate back and forth between that and "SATA III" in the article.) First of all, the SATA-IO wants you to (actually they prefer "SATA 6Gb/s", but heck with 'em); second, there's the confusion with the stated speed of the second generation which is 3 Gb/s. I know it's a minor point, I know everyone says "SATA II" instead of "SATA 3G;" but as SATA 6G becomes more wide-spread, it's something that will come up more often-- and I'm sure that Micron would prefer that the higher speed interface was given its due.

I also cringed a little when Marvell was mentioned. When SATA 6G was new, that company introduced a controller chip which several motherboard manufacturers rushed to put on their P55-based products-- and then rushed to take off. Several causes were blamed; Marvell said that it was problems supporting legacy PATA controls, others said the chips wouldn't reach 6G speeds. I suppose the proof is in the pudding, or rather the benchmarks; but for me it's like Toyota: sure they fixed that annoying "careening out of control" issue, but would you want to buy from them any time soon?

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I thought Micron was working with Intel on a couple projects right now anyway. You would think at least based on Intel's general QC, that some might bleed over to Micron. I would hate to pay for something as expensive as this one and have a blow out either way that's for sure.

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Thoser are some impressive numbers! Now if only I could get a pair for a RAID :-D

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Lol yeah two of these in RAID 0 would be FAST wouldn't they.

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Well you forgot Toshiba (their drives compete with Samsung drives in the OEM market) and SiliconDrive (now Western Digital  Solid Storage, who's drives closely match the Sand Force drives).  If you get around to it, I would love to see you bench one of the new SiliconDrive III's.

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The only question that I still have about SSD drives is how do there sustained rewrite speeds perform. I know TRIM is suppose to fix everything but, realistically do the speeds posted on all the reviews really maintain themselves. The only real true test to this is to do 12 or so back to back 10GB write tests. This way you can see the drive performance tail off as TRIM activates and your assured that the entire disk has been written at least once. In all honesty this is the true test of weather or not a SSD is ready for prime time or not. In most of my experience all of the SSD drives are lacking to that respect....

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