Micron RealSSD C300 SATA III SSD Review - HotHardware

Micron RealSSD C300 SATA III SSD Review

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Performance Summary: The Micron RealSSD C300's performance was nothing short of impressive. In almost every benchmark / test we ran, the C300 finished well ahead of competing offerings from OCZ and Intel, even when the drive was connected via SATA II. With the RealSSD connected via SATA III, however, its performance was significantly improved--especially with regard to read throughput, where its margin of victory increased dramatically. Quite simply, the Micron C300 is the fastest SSD we have tested to date.

Over the past few months, a number of excellent solid state drives have landed in the HotHardware labs, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. There was a time when choosing one SSD over another meant making compromises in one area or another, but today that's not really the case.  Sure, synthetic benchmark tests will reveal one drive's technically superior performance over another with a given specific workload, but in terms of real-world, perceptible performance, there are a handful of excellent SSDs currently on the market that all significantly enhance the desktop computing experience over standard spinning hard drives.  Of course there is still the intrinsic cost trade-off that comes with any SSD on the market currently.


With that said, we'd love to add the Micron RealSSD C300 to the growing list of excellent SSDs currently being sold. Quite frankly it is one of, if not the most impressive solid state drives we have ever tested and its performance speaks for itself. Unfortunately, the drive isn't readily available just yet. But when this drive hits, it is going to be a serious contender. If Intel's X25-M Gen2 is a Manny Pacquiao, the Micron RealSSD C300 is Floyd Mayeather, and OCZ's Vertex is Sugar Shane--all pound for pound greats.

We're told, the 256GB model we tested here will carry an MSRP of $799. Pricey? Yes. But in terms of cost per gigabyte, the RealSSD C300 will be quite competitive at that price point  Comparative to Intel's 160GB X25-M which retails for around $480 currently (or $3/GB), the C300 weighs in at just a slight premium of $3.12 per GB. Current generation 256GB SSDs sell for approximately $750 as of today, which puts the C300's price premium of only about 6.7% above other, similarly sized SSDs. Looking back at the numbers, that extra few percentage points are well worth it in our opinion and this new SSD is worthy of our Editor's Choice award.


 

  • Extreme All-Around Performance
  • Large Capacity
  • SATA III Support
  • Strong Small File Transfers
  • Great Write Performance
  • Predictably Pricey
  • Not Yet Available

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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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