Micron RealSSD C300 SATA III SSD Review - HotHardware

Micron RealSSD C300 SATA III SSD Review

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On the outside, the Micron RealSSD C300 looks very much like virtually all other 2.5" solid state drives currently on the market. It has a metal shell, with little more than some branding and a couple of visible data and power connectors.

 

 
The Micron RealSSD C300

Even still, the RealSSD C300 does stand out a bit aesthetically. The drive's case is an attractive gun-metal color with a grainy texture--no matte black here. Of course, it's not likely the drive will even be visible when installed in a system, but it's a good looking unit nonetheless. A decal with some specifications is affixed to the underside, while a "Crucial RealSSD" decal adorns the top.

 
The C300's PCB Exposed

While the outside of the C300 is somewhat unique amongst its peers, it's what inside the drive that really stands out, at least for now. The Micron RealSSD C300 is outfitted with 256GB of Micron MLC NAND flash memory that features a high-speed ONFI 2.1 compliant NAND interface, produced using an advanced 34nm manufacturing process. The Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 controller features a native SATA III 6Gps interface and is comprised of a pair of ARM processor cores. The firmware for the drive, however, was produced by Micron's in-house engineering team. On the underside of the C300's PCB a single 128MB DRAM chip, which is used for caching.  We should also note that the Micron RealSSD C300 also supports the TRIM command and has built-in idle garbage collection algorithms that work independent of the host OS.  These algorithms help the drive maintain its performance over use and time and also help extend its endurance and life expectancy.

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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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