Reviews and Problems with Crucial m4 Series (CT064M4SSD2/CT128M4SSD2/CT256M4SSD2/CT512M4SSD2)
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Crucial M4 256GB SSD review (7)
11 February 2014
Conclusion: Finishing the review of the Crucial M4 SSD we can say that this drive has only given us positive feedback. "Starting with the out of the box performance and finishing with the latest firmware update that adds 70MB/S to the read speed. Also another impressive factor is the low price." We therefore give this drive the "Outstanding" and "Editor choice" awards. You may comment on this review below.
Pros: SATA 6Gbps, Excellent read/write performance, Firmware support appears to be very good, Excellent at multitasking, 3 Years Warranty, Low price for a SATA 6Gbps, Excellent access times
Cons: Sequential write speeds could have been faster.
Excerpt: As our technology advances, consumers continually demand more from manufactures. Make it faster, make it lighter, make it smaller, and of course do it all at the same time. You would think that we would have hit a limit by now, or at least slowed down, but new cutting edge products keep hitting the market and blowing us away.
Conclusion: Despite having only four NAND flash memory chips on a tiny 1.8" PCB, the mSATA m4 managed to keep pace with larger 2.5" drives, including Crucial's original m4 and most of the 2.5" SandForce SF-2281 SSDs. In fact, in both of our real-world application tests, the mSATA unit delivered the highest or second-highest score, succumbing only to the OCZ Vertex 4 . Likewise, the drive fared decently enough in our file copy tests.
Summary: The Crucial M4 64GB is arranged with only one NAND chip connected to each of the eight channels provided by its Marvell controller, preventing each channel from reaching its full write potential. The obvious alternative to this strategy is to use only four channels with two NAND chips each but this would have decreased overall performance, not just writes.
Excerpt: SSDs have gone down in price a lot in recent months. It's now possible to find 64 GB SSDs for less than £50. That means that the cheapest SSDs are now on the same level as the most affordable hard drives, in theory taking away any arguments for not including an SSD in your (new) PC.
Summary: Final Thoughts
Crucial is a name we always know for reliability and quality-made products and the M4 drive is no exception. It is very well made and besides the controller everything else inside is made by Crucial (Micron). Crucial does offer their standard 3 year warranty with the drive, but I would expect it to last much longer than that.
If you look at many of our comparison graphs you may be saying to yourself wait those other drives perform faster.
Pros: – Exceptional speed, – Does not rely on realtime file compression to achieve highest levels of performance, – 3 year warranty, – Available in up to 512GB capacities
Summary: The great thing about revisiting the Crucial m4 is that we now have a great deal of experience with these drives. When I first looked at the m4 back in May of 2011 some 9 months ago a lot was unknown about the product, most importantly reliability.
Summary: It's great to finally be able to include the Crucial M4 series into our benchmark results suite as Crucial did not make the SSD available for a lot of the EU press for a long time. The end results are as expected, this Marvell 88SS9174 based solution is downright competitive with any other SATA3 SSD available on the market.
Especially the latest Firmware upgrade completely lifted the product into very high-end regions.
Conclusion: The 0009 firmware update for Crucial's m4 drive mostly improves its sequential read performance. Unless you're doing a lot of large file copies to another high speed SSD or drive array you likely won't see any huge gains in real world use. Where does the m4 stand in the grand scheme of things? It is among the SF-2281 and Intel SSD 510s of the world when it comes to performance. The latter two generally benchmark better but all three drives do well in real world usage.